• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
Image by

The Trip to Banaras

What are we doing in Banaras? We are carrying Shiva’s trident, can’t you see? We will pitchfork it into the sand, just like he did, and wait for miracles to happen. Maybe I will become a God, like him, and she, this one by my side whom I have known since she was a child in knickers, and have been married to for donkey’s years, maybe she will become my Parvati. Beauteous and bountiful, and me a Shiva, handsome and dark, and a dancer to boot, my body filled with cosmic energy. What a transformation it will be. I quite fancy the look, anything better than what we look like now, dragged up versions of our younger selves, not that we had that much energy even then, we just did the everyday work. Part of it did involved working in the garden, we have done it all our life. And that is where just a few days ago we found this invitation, to Banaras, to participate in the biggest ‘dig and dance festival’ contest, and lo and behold, I won it! There are many contest winners of course, but it could be that my ‘trident’ did the trick, symbolic thing and all that. It did bring a smile to my face then. Now I am here, and waiting. It’s a change from life in a small farm in England, that’s for sure. And once I transform into Shiva, and she into Parvati, I may not go back at all. I dig this space. Ask me to hold my trident higher and dance a jig, and I will. Already, I feel suffused with newfound courage and hope, some youthful swagger has come to my hips. And yesterday night, my Parvati actually hugged me, despite the heat. There is something here in Banaras, I tell you. Happy to be here, trident and all.