Sights, sounds, and smells, the three essentials of a trip. I figured that while capturing a place, these are the three basics. And when you’re in Haridwar, there’ll be plenty of three elements. Though the city has changed much from what it was as the city of my childhood, it still has an old world charm, a laid back attitude that the people here exhibit evidently. Haridwar sprawls leisurely by the side of river Ganga, its people almost content by life and the lack of it.
So, while I’m here, I’m trying to capture the charm that makes this city. Granted that I get some respite from the bouts of rain that come unannounced. The banks of Ganga are marred by huge deposits of sand, silt and tree logs, owing to the cloudburst that killed thousands in the upper stretches of the Himalaya.
Thus, I steered clear of the banks for today, for in my heart I knew that much of the calamity is called for by us, as we took nature and its resources for granted.
For today, I ventured deep into the city. And this was what I found, a city brimming with life, even as its sides are littered by just remnants of life. The old grounds at the Daksha Mahaadev Temple were alight with fairy bulbs, ferris wheels, little food stalls, for a fair had come to the city.
Haridwar had again woken up to the calls of the vendors and merchants, who’ve sat tiny shacks at the temple ground.
Life, however harshly marred, however ruthlessly snapped at the roots, will always find another chance in this city. A city of thousand wrongs, yet still, of a hundred rights too.
For I’ve seen people waking up before dawn, clearing the banks of the holy river.
So that life may continue, for the ones still asleep.
Photos by – Aditya Mahendra Gautam