Early morning Monsoon, Varanasi

Early morning monsoon in Kashi, India

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I woke up this morning to the sound of extremely heavy rain pouring down. I sat and watched it for a while then felt drawn to head out and take photographs. It wasn’t long before I came across flooded street.  Even the main road at Shivala Ghat, pictured, had turned into a river.

It was amazing how the world had changed – people sat peering out from their doorways; dogs sheltered under tables; cows pressed themselves against the sides of  buildings, trying to seek protection from  overhanging roofs. But life also went on and I was impressed that the rickshaw wallahs were still calling out to me asking if I needed their services. The prospect of having to cycle through a foot of water didn’t deter them.

People, myself included, had no choice but to roll up our trouser legs and wade through the water, hoping that there wasn’t anything nasty lurking in the brown water that we might step on.  I saw determined souls heading out to do purga, maybe hoping for some extra blessings thanks to their determination. (I later discovered that today is an auspicious day – one of four key Mondays of the year – so it was extra important that they got themselves to a temple).  But there were smiles on people’s faces and it reminded me of when it snows in England – the dramatic change to their landscape seems to bring something out in them.

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