The burning ghats along the Bagmati River are no more than elevated stone tables. Today is Saturday, a holy day for Hindus, and there is a waiting line to burn the dead. JB and I stand 20 meters away on the other side of the river, but I can still inhale the smoke, although I try not to think about it.
Do the families of the dead bring their own wood to burn or do they buy it here? JB seems to think they could do both, but he’s not sure. There is a large market outside the gates of Pashupati where I saw flowers and trinkets for sale. I didn’t see any wood, but maybe you have to ask for it. The same might be for the orange cloth the body is wrapped in.
I hear a cry from across the river. I watch two men support a woman as she circles a body, five, six, seven times. She is incapable of supporting herself. A wooden coffin sits next to the pile of wood. JB thinks the box was used to ship the body to Nepal. There are many Nepali who work overseas, he explains.
There are people, like JB and I, taking pictures. I hear the shutters open and close; open and close. There are vendors selling juice or snacks. If we climb the stairs there are chairs to look out across the river into the temple and down onto the ghats. We decide to climb, for a better view of our surroundings.
Posted By Therkelsen
Posted Jul 22nd, 2008