A procession of ladies in red, gold, orange and yellow sarees make their way down to the ghats to bathe as a puja with candles and lamps takes place , then there is music and dancing - a celebration of life , while bodies are being carried down to the burning ghats to be placed on the funeral pyres which burn 24 hours a day.
There is a smell of burn't flesh this along with incense, cow shit and spicey food cooking, makes for an interesting combination . Meanwhile the brightly coloured shops are selling even brighter coloured flowers, shrouds, beads, trinkets and ornaments, like a silver shiney Ganesh with flashing lights singing om nama Shiva, nothing is too excessive here !
Then there are the sadhus orange clad ash smeared wanderers, sitting, meditating, sleeping, or smoking chillums - Boom Shanka ! as the cows wander aimlessly by ....or do they sense something we don't ? .
All this interspersed with beggers of every description some with deformitys you couldn't even imagine..,....and as the light shifts and changes on this hallowed river and the pink and blue boats sail up and down loaded with colouful pilgrims all eager to take a dip or join in one of the many rituals in the abundant temples, i ask myelf how will i paint all this ?