KENRO IZU PHOTOGRAPHY

1997IND105

Varanasi #105, India 1997
I watched the cremation of a body for the first time in my life.

It is said that devotees of Hinduism, all dream of being cremated on the banks of the holy River Ganges at Varanasi (Benares).

It took three hours and thirty minutes from the time that the body, covered in colorful fabric and flowers, was carried out until one of the family elders threw the last small remnants into the river. After the family left, chatting cheerfully, a caretaker came and swept away the last of the ashes from the ground where the cremation was held.

Nothing has left.

That evening, I stood by an abandoned Hindu temple that leant out over the river while I waited for the sun to set. A cow which considered Holy in India, slowly came, and gone. A few small boats drifted by on the river. As the last rays of the sinking sun hit the leaning temple, I experienced the "atmosphere" once more.

The noise from street behind me faded as it came.