Across the Mighty Ganga.

I crossed a bridge yesterday. The river has done what it does this time of the year – it floods. We are treated to a curious site of men hanging over the side of the bridge, fishing banana from the flooded farms below. Down goes the rope with the hook, and up comes the long braid of bananas. As we go slowly over the bridge, the settling sun on my left starts to turn the vast grey sea of water into ripples of orange. On my right is the grey-blue waters stretching for miles on either side and beyond. The body of water is so huge that I have to crane my neck to find the shores, the tall smoking brick kiln towers poking out of the newly risen waters. I have crossed the Ganga thrice now during field visits, but this one is breathtaking in its sheer vastness. If I look straight ahead, I can make-believe that I live only in a grey-blue-orange world – filled with water and sky. We cross the bridge – half an hour later – a long moment, lost in silence and open-mouthed wonder. I am not a believer, but in that long moment, I understood the primal need to worship such a force of nature.

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