Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
According to a famous saying in Gujarati – my mother tongue – one can attain Nirvana (bliss) through two simple ways:
“Surat nu Jaman
Kashi nu Maran”
[assuming of course that one is a Hindu]
Kashi is the old name for Benaras which is the Hindi name for Varanasi, a holy city on the banks of river Ganga.
It is a place where in the olden days, many elderly people, came during their Vrudhashram or their retired stage of life – with the sole purpose of being in Kashi at their time of death.
I haven’t met any people who did this, but I did meet a little rat who attained nirvana in this manner.
On my first evening in Kashi, as soon as we arrived, I was at the banks of the flooded Ganga that flowed well above the ‘danger’ mark and was in a state of extraordinary flooding.
A general flood is not a flash flood and though it is hugely devastating as well, the drama present in flash floods is absent. The water just swells up slowly – giving people and animals enough time to get out of the way.
Well, most animals.
This little rat was not so fortunate.
He was probably swept away with the gush and found temporary refuge on a clump of twigs that was also caught in the flow.
Please watch to the very end ….
Kashi nu Maran.
And there was nothing I could do to save it…
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