You were never right to say it wasn’t wrong
You were never wrong to feel something was amiss
Coz you never realized which side you were
Coz you never realized where you belonged
Until words became too hollow to hold any further
It was always a square or a circle with trapeze
And not the straight line you had in your mind
It remained elusive
You chose to speak your mind to coexist
And that was your innocence,
When you thought life will come around
But it was selfish when life chose to go otherwise
You remained there, with your world
That you so honestly tried to create
But life was seldom there
And whenever it chose to spend a period with you
It was always sought something in return
That you had so soulfully nurtured
And it took away all, one by one, like a disloyal partner
It would always seek more, even if you were left broken
When you were betrayed
It didn’t have even the false assurances
When you were left alone
It pushed you more into a chasm of no end
When you felt lost
It tried even to mislead you into the wilderness
You did not see it all then
You were never right about it
But then how can your innocence be wrong?
All it did was seeing the life in a right perspective
You thought it was always a straight line to coexist
Even if the journey was always rough
The friction
That defines your existence was always there
Where would we be without friction in our life?
But all this while,
Life was busy encircling you in its tentacles
Of false ideas, of false relations, of false existences
You were taught, you were preached
To blame yourself first, to find fault with yourself first
Even if you knew you were pure in your heart
Such was the mirror
That you would go with such absurdities
When you had decided to open yourself to life,
A mutual coexistence was in your mind
But after all these years,
You find life did all to throw you into a lonely abyss
Now that you can see through its designs,
Knowing that a part of you has been co-opted,
You need to be existentially right to come out of illusions
You need your straight line, more than ever..





Banaras has countless places for one to get engaged in some serious soul-searching. And the Ganga ghats are the best place among all.

And when talking of ghats for soul-searching, two ghats stand out, for embodying the essence of human existence – Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat.

These two cremation ghats are considered the eternal embodiment of life’s grand illusions and the only grand reality – that, one has to die – that, no one can say ‘when’ – and, that, many blurred lines between illusions and realties of a life are dependent on this ‘when’.

Whether seriously intended, or just a random stop during a walk through the Ganga ghats in Varanasi, the atmosphere of these two ghats engages people sitting on the ghat-steps in thinking about the basic question of life – that we keep on asking regularly – and we ask when we depart finally – the purpose of life – what did we do and why did we do ‘what did we do’?

Attachments and detachment are subjected to the questions that we ask while sitting on these ghat-steps – and detachment gets us the sublime feeling of being free of all that is material – free of all that binds us – that nothing can change the destiny of our final moments when our physical presence is finally reduced to nothing – but our deeds of being the good human-beings – to us, to others, and to the existentialism of life.

The existential beauty of life – or some can say the existential irony – is the attachments get back to being the central to our existence once we move on to the next ghat from this realm of soul-searching.

The Entourage at the Final Resting Place

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


He used to sit there, at those steps. It was his daily routine, for years. He didn’t remember when it was the last time he violated his routine.

He had not taken any vow. He was never deeply religious.

Often, he did not look at God as he was looking at God.

Yes, he questioned God, but turned back to Him, as well.

Yes, he used to come there, to sit there. Coming there had become like a part of his daily life. He was so deeply into it that he consciously avoided going anywhere that could have taken him away from this routine.

He would come there. Sitting silent, he would try to look inside him to understand the meaning of his silence. And the silence would respond. It happened regularly.

There was an increasing understanding with silence. And the flow helped him.

Sitting with his ‘self’, he would talk to his silence.

Sitting with his silence, he would travel with music of the flow.

It was a detached attachment. He had no thought when he started this one fine day, with a random decision.

The flow had many – sitting by its ghat-steps, waiting for its caring embrace and soul soothing music, and it cared for everyone.

The flow did not expect anything in return and whatever he wished while being there, at the steps, was nothing more than detached expectations.

He needed and he tried to feel something more powerful, than a human-God relation.

And having detached attachment with detached expectations showed him the way further.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Reach of expectations gets smaller,

When life seeks,

But answers don’t come,

Every day,

Asks for the coming day,

Every night,

Is spent in getting to the questions,

Time passes,

But everything comes to a standstill,

Something is broken every day,

Every moment shatters something,

Something dies somewhere inside,

Every reason to hope is subdued,

When expectations go silent,

When every answer sought,

Leaves a new question, a thought,

And with every such thought,

Expectations shrink even more..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


The necessitated wisdom,
Was still inchoate
The ‘isms’,
Were acting inanimate, insensate
The moment,
Had failed to be the moment
It was like,
Sinking deep in the bereavement
Suddenly, life started feeling,
Like a negated concept
Something of an event,
That had compromised even death
The concepts,
Got running on impulses arraigned
It did not tell if it was existential
The absence of death was killing.
The absence of life was haunting.
And the person responsible for it,
Was not the reason for it
Inchoate, sinking,
Looking for the thread,
To swim across the ‘isms’

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


The clouds looked so tamed.
The pain it had caused was amiss.
It rained but was itself drained.
The loss had its identity rejig.
The clouds looked enamored by the pain.
The loss rained thus to make its gain.

Contemplation & The Reflex

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Life – the context to live it like making it matter for you, every day, day after day – life for you – your identity for life – have to be mutually demanding.

Yes, life is demanding, but again, aren’t you demanding?

Don’t you demand from life, from the expectations that you have, from the people that you care for or from the people you don’t even seriously think of, from the circumstances that weave the elements of your life on a thread to make coherent aspects of living or chaotic phases of surviving?

So, don’t crib on life being demanding on you.

It’s a matter of who prevails on whom?

Life plays with you. You also play with life.

Be contemporaries. If you have to have your living in the context of life, your life needs to have its existence in the context of your identity.

Life, at times, may act and sound irrational. Don’t follow it then.

Synergise with the rational elements of life. Be an enthusiast to prevail over its irrational elements.

Go back to who you have been, who you are.

If you haven’t done so yet, start creating the construct of the basics that make for who you are.

Define the rationality in the context of your identity. Let your logic handle the irrational elements of life to work on the possibility of synthesis if possible.

Stop cribbing. Be demanding. Let the life be demanding.

Start playing. Start hitting. Start slogging.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/




The tree with no leaves (dry or deciduous I won’t comment) in a walled space (I would not say it anything else but a perimeter with fence) – looking at this tree without leaves and extended branches – while sitting for a cup of coffee at one of the food joints of Char Dukan at Landour – and thinking of and on life in some personal moments of a wanderer’s life – this thought on ‘life and living’ comes to the conscious naturally..


Get interactive with Banaras Calling’s Facebook extension at:
Email at: interact@banarascalling.com

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Self-realization comes to us in different stages of life.

The life-events leading ‘us’ to realize about us and ‘about us in life’ are randomly stacked up. They may or may not lead us to generalize about what we come to realize (something that is open to be changed later) but there cannot be a random selection about such events because we never know if it is the moment unless it comes into happening or unless it is passé; because we never knew if we were to come across a particular moment at a particular time having some self-realization lessons.

There is no hierarchy of such moments. There cannot be one.

Life is sum-total of the moments lived and every moment has its own vitality of individualized proportions when you live with ‘you’ only’, when you communicate with ‘you’ only. The self-realization moments form an important measurement of such individualized moments.

And there is no defined pattern of ‘how and when’ of such moments. When we don’t know the next moment of life, how can we define the moment next-to-the-next? Yet, we plan. That is about being human. But the reality remains – life moves in random, unplanned ways, from this moment to the next one. And that applies to the ‘self-realization’ moments as well.

Such moments may come to us in odd moments. Such moments may come to us in routine moments. Such self-realization moments may come to us in ignored moments.

Such moments may knock at the conscious in our merrier moments.

Such moments may stare at us in the moments of crisis and in the pal of gloom.

Such moments may pinch us even if in a state of thoughtlessness.

Self-realization can call us at any hour. Yes, there are heightened individualized moments when we tend to cut off; when we move deep inward; when we feel betrayed, by us or by others; when we find us in some difficult situation and the way-out looks nowhere in sight, when the life gives us the clear pointers on our thought-process to ‘introspect and retrospect’ to make sense of ‘all that is happening’, to make sense of ‘us’ in all that is happening. It is up to us whether we listen to the call.

In our youth, we look at such self-realization moments differently, many times not even realizing about them.

As we grow up and start making sense of ‘who we are’ and ‘what life is’, our perspective to the ‘moments of self-realization’ takes a different approach. This is the most fruitful and so the most volatile phase of life when we experiment the most with our identity and so about our ‘realization of life’ and ‘us in that life’.

When we are more or less settled-down, we tend to be less experimental and there come moments when we conveniently choose to ignore the writing on the wall in order to sail along with the flow of life.

When we approach the final days, the days to say the final goodbye, the time to witness the final farewell, we do come across the self-realization moments that sum up the whole life telling us what we collected, what we did, what we had to do and what we could not do. We feel most positively about such moments in this phase of life because we look at them in the light of the acquired wisdom of the countless moments (defining and redefining our existences) sifted and assorted mercilessly by time.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/