Blues of Rishikesh

Look – Look at the Blue of the river Ganga, it is so electric! Especially along with the Oranges! Folks gather each evening here, at this Ghat, opp to an ashram aptly called ‘Paramaarthi Niketan’. At sunset, they sing Bhajans and perform the GangaAarthi. Earlier this ghat overlooked a big Shiva Murthi, installed in the river, which washed away a couple of days earlier in the floods. There is a smaller makeshift Shiva idol, whose pic I will share later.

The camera man you see in the centre of this, captures these videos and this Aarthiis telecasted LIVE each evening on Aastha TV Channel (hearsay). Most tourists in the area congregate here. You can see foriegners in White and humming along, Indians singing along, the students of the ashram; all very dedicated to the Aarthi. I noticed an especially devout fellow bang in the middle of all this; all eyes closed and trance like. Just after the Aarthi was done, the students formed a human chain or a human pipe – to safely escort the ‘guru’ the guy in long flowing tresses who is the focus of the cameraman in the pic.

Also, met a very nice Sadhu Ramu Baba, who insisted on English and sorta always kept appearing ahead of us! (?!) He revealed to us the secret nuances of visiting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram. Rishikesh, else, is very hip and very like the India shown in glossy foreign magazines. I live this Indian life partly and partly feel like a alien strange tourist here.