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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 33

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012
    Varanasi, India

    A small Hindu ceremony in a back lane near Alka Hotel in Varanasi, India.

    Green produce for sale in a street market area of Varanasi, India.

    Just before I was about to leave the Alka Hotel today, I heard a loud ruckus outside. As I peaked out the front entrance, two men down the lane banged and crashed away on hand cymbals and a metal plate while a third blew long, shrill tones on a conch shell amidst a crowd of small children. A few minutes later, another man appeared and conducted a Hindu ceremony with a smoking bowl at three small shrines embedded in the walls of the lane. Luckily, I had grabbed my camera out of the hotel room just in time and captured all of this on video. One time, the guy on cymbals walked up close to me while he was playing. I thought he was going to vibe me to stop shooting, but he just looked me over a few times and returned to the fray. I was so amped! Later, as I walked down the main road through Varanasi looking for a moneychanger, I saw a dead monkey covered with flies laying on the side of the crowded street. I was tempted to shoot a clip of it, but then figured no one needs to see that.

    Playing with fire at the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India.

    Playing with fire at the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India.

    Since this was my last night in Varanasi, I decided to go for one final helping of the Ganga Aarti Hindu ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat. I captured amazing field recordings of some really weird, off-kilter chants emanating out of the top floor of a temple, plus the instrumental and vocal music during the ceremony, and various drums and dissonant, clanging bells played in “stereo” from two different buildings at once. I also grabbed a little more video of the festivities to supplement the footage I already had. All in all, it was quite a productive evening. Back in the hotel, I reviewed some of the clips I’ve shot over the past month in India, and I was psyched. I should be able to cut together a pretty good short. One disappointment was I hadn’t seen many street musicians so far on this trip–other than two or three who were selling small wooden instruments. I thought they’d be all over the place in India.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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