The Ganges

Ganges River, Varanasi, India

Ganges River, Varanasi, India

After nearly nine years, in 2010, I finally got the chance to go back and visit India. A short trip, tinged with the bitter realization that I never got to visit before my grandparents died, it was still beautiful and fun, and I’m glad I got the chance to go, even if it was a little too late. Without a set itinerary to follow, I went around Delhi with my mother’s cousin, and Lucknow with my grandfather, seeing all the tourist-type things there were to see. The only thing I had planned beforehand, and was adamant to see, was the Ganges River at sunrise in Varanasi, the city I was born in. The sight I witnessed that morning stayed with me, and eventually inspired me to write this poem.

The Ganges

A boy stands amidst the grey,
his shadow his companion
coming to greet him as
a soft light appears
on the horizon,
tinting the river
with shades of orange, pink, and
blue.

Gentle ripples drift away
from where he stands,
breaking the peace
ff the water around him.

Surrounding him,
boats of all sizes, colours,
litter the water,
casting dark shadows
on the surface,
swaying to the rhythm
of the wind’s each breath.

Still peeking over the surface,
the sun remains shy of its audience.

With the rising light comes the rush
of early morning traffic.
Women, children, ascetics;
red, pink, saffron,
overwhelms the eye.

In the distance,
young boys, girls,
approach the newcomers,
the clink of small glasses,
the aroma of hot “chai”,
trailing through the air.

The sun soon leaves its cover
of the river,
taking control of the sky
once more, glaring
at the people scattered
on the banks below it.

Still, the water flows on,
oblivious to
the heat,
the noise,
the people,
flowing back towards the East.

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