I kept Varanasi for the end. The sacred city where hindus come and wash away their sins in the Ganges and burn their loved ones.
After a complicated trip (4-hour-late train because od the winter fog, missing the next train, meeting an indian guy going to the same place, sharing a rickshaw to the bus stand and stuff), I arrived in the Old City area where I saw a corpse being taken to the ghats (stairs on the riverside where people wash their laundry, take a bath and stuff). It was covered with embroidered textiles and carried by several men on bamboo sticks. No one seemed moved, it's normal here.
The first evening I went to the daily show on the main ghat, it was beautiful.
This video has been produced by me or a friend.
I then let myself get tempted by a street massage (on a plastic sheet on the floor, fully dressed, at night, two meters away from a cow...) and it was the best of my whole life ! If the massage guy didn?t set a price, his friend made me clearly understand how much he expected and it was not a small amount ! And I was soft like marshmallow, so...
I met a lot of travellers in the guest house, where they would play tablas and cithar (probably the two best instruments of India) every night.
The morning after, I went for two hours on a boat ride to see the ghats with a nice girl I met the day before. We saw the hindus doing puja (ritual) by bathing in the Ganges and see some burning bodies from far...
We then went to the ghat where you have most body burnings. After some arguing with the people there (some give you information about the thing then tell you they are guides and make you pay fuckloads of money), we could watch the fires with the corpses burning. You feel a bit like a voyeur but then you keep in mind this is public, that families don't seem to attend and that there's no tear or cry... A strange experience that enables you to conceive how little we are in the end.
The following days I walked around, sent my last postcards, bought my last presents... It was the end of the trip.