Varanasi Epilogue

Sometimes the places you visit are just places; sometimes you make connections with people and when you leave it’s like leaving a friend. Varanasi was like this. On the last night, we returned to the restaurant we ate at almost every night. Much to Gerard’s delight, the owner, Santosh, played classical Indian music all the time. He asked us if we had enjoyed the concert we’d gone to the night before, and as we left quite unexpectedly gave Gerard two CDs of music he had copied from his own collection, and then bade us a fond farewell until the next time. As we walked back to the hotel through the lanes, our friends at the CD shop, the perfume stall, the man I haggled with over the price of a silk handbag, all said their farewells. It was very touching. Early the next morning, one of the boys from the hotel carried my heavier than ever case through the lanes out to the main road. He took us a shortcut through the Muslim quarter, where the lanes were quieter with no tourist bazaar, and then waved us off in our rickshaw to the train station.

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