Regional Volunteer Exchange To Varanasi
By Ameet Gohel & Priti Gohel, Volunteer, Vadodara Chapter
“Tu Ban ja gali Banaras ki… Mein shaam talak bhatku tujhme….. This means- ‘You become the ghats of Banaras and I will never get bored of you.’ Such is the serenity of this place… simply amazing. Banaras is a place chaotic, but immensely enjoyable. It represents true India where religion takes precedence over everything else in life.
People speak in their native language but their demeanor is like that of a pure Banarasi. So it is hard to distinguish between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Even God himself would be confused perhaps, as He sees his own reflection in every Banarasi. To an outsider, it may well seem like mayhem but is quite commonplace for the insouciant, fun loving natives, for whom these pulsating lanes are the veins of the city, if Ganga is the proverbial heart. The uncanny aptitude of the city to simplify the complexities of life makes it a metaphor of unassuming subtlety. This is the beauty of Banaras, a microcosm of Indian socio-cultural and moral cosmos, which we’ve tried to experience and live with during our 5 days of stay.
In a nutshell, we’re feeling fortunate enough to have started our domestic volunteers exchange journey with a marvelous city and last but not the least appreciation from the bottom of our hearts to AFS Intercultural Programs India for providing us this splendid opportunity.”