I started stirring around 3.30am and couldn’t drift back to sleep, so I spent a while writing, before finally falling for a few more hours. I awoke to the sound of a tea seller screaming ‘Chai’ in my dozy face, I bought a cup because I was shit-scared he would come do it again if I didn’t.
We arrived in Varanasi two hours late, at 9.30am, with light rain falling on our faces. A (p)rickshaw driver dropped us about ten minutes further away from the area that our guesthouse was in, and we struggled with our heavy loads up various wrong roads, until we were put in the right direction.
After navigating many narrow alley-ways filled with un-claimed cows, stray dogs, half naked gurus, small shops and wall to wall filth, we made it to the Modern Vision Guesthouse, and chose the room which had a king-size ‘bed’ (in the loosest sense of the word, more of a wooden bench with a two-inch mat on top), a view of the Ganges from the window, and access to a roof terrace with a stunning view of the city.
We hit the local alleys in order to find a recommended clothes shop and tailor called Baba Handicraft, so I could get my new tunic taken in and buy some Ali Baba trousers. They said they couldn’t replicate some other shirts that I had intended to get made, so I found somewhere else to do it for me, and bargained a great deal on three copies of a t-shirt, and four of my favourite granddad shirt. Under £35 all in, about the amount I paid for the original shirt. BOOM!
It started raining hard. The kind of rain that the sea would run away from, to save itself spilling off the edge of the Earth. Turns out it wasn’t a monsoon as first thought, as it didn’t stop shortly after starting, this was a cyclone, and we were right in the middle of that crazy unforgiving bastard.
In nothing but lightweight clothes we ran through the streets in search of shelter, and dived into the first restaurant found, around 5pm. Just our luck, it was an outdoor joint, but they had roofed side sections with pillows to relax on. We sat there for a few hours, eating, drinking and talking conspiracy theories. I told her about my old work colleague, a black dude named Mark Brown who believed that all Chinese people were aliens, “All eye-witness descriptions of them are the same, flat faces, slanted eyes and big heads”. I think he was describing the aliens. I also told her my ‘radical’ views on the 9/11 and 7/7 ‘terrorist’ attacks, the subsequent control by fear, and the inconsistencies surrounding the government’s recollection of events. She found it hard to swallow, which is exactly what all believers and non-believers alike think, after-all, who could happily choose to accept that a government would murder its own people (unless you watch the news or read into history, and see that it actually happens all across the world)?
After growing tired of waiting for the rain to stop, we decided to make a run for it. I was hoping to stay as dry as possible, but after my foot sploshed in its first puddle all bets were off. I’ve been training myself to love the things I hate for a while now, one of which is the rain, and I’ve recently been taking off my jacket whenever I get caught out in it. I wasn’t wearing a jacket, so I pulled off my shirt and took the most liberating fifteen minute walk of my life, laughing, singing and having banter with all the interested Indians that passed by. Every cold, heavy drop that hit my back was a step away from hate and towards love, until I was so enamoured with Mother Earth’s new delivery to me that I could’ve stayed out their dancing all night. The kids loved it, and there were many men cracking smiles, in amongst the confused and concerned. We arrived back at our room and had shower of the day, number three.The rain wasn’t letting up, and thunder roared all around us, like anger from the belly of the beast, awoken with a flame to its face. In a moment of sexual genius, we snuck out of our room and onto the roof, pulling each other’s clothes off in frenzy and becoming one, once again. The feeling of the rain hitting my back as we writhed in ecstasy was pure bliss, every kiss bringing us closer to climax as we did the most natural action that lovers can, in the most natural habitat known to man, lightening frequently lighting the outline of her beautiful body as it danced in the darkness. She screamed in delight as I stared across the city, water washing away our sins before we could commit them, and we finished with a final kiss before floating back downstairs. Shower of the day number four saw us sleep soon after.