127 days: Dev Mishra

Today, nestled on the steps of Varanasi's vibrant ghats, I unfolded my sketchpad in the soft embrace of the late afternoon sun. The ghats, alive with the chanting of evening prayers and the rhythmic splash of oars against the Ganges, provided the perfect backdrop for my artistic endeavors. As I was sketching, an elderly man named Dev Mishra approached me, his curiosity piqued by my drawing. Dev, a retired schoolteacher and lifelong resident of Varanasi, shared fascinating stories about the city's history and culture. He spoke of the ghats, each with its own story, and the spiritual solace they provide to countless souls. His deep, resonant voice and vivid descriptions added layers to the scene before me, enriching my understanding and the strokes of my pencil. He pointed out the peculiarities of the nearby Manikarnika Ghat, famous for its eternal fires, and ignited in me a desire to capture not only the physical but also the spiritual essence of Varanasi in my art. As the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving a play of crimson and gold across the sky, Dev bid me farewell with a promise to meet again. I continued my sketching, now imbued with the stories and spirit of Varanasi, feeling deeply connected to this ancient city through my brief but enlightening encounter with Dev.

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