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Early mornings in Varanasi

There’s a sliver of time between 2 am and 4 am that Varanasi grows quiet. The shops and restaurants have shut their doors and boarded up their windows, and even the dogs that roam the streets in abundance seem to be asleep. At these early morning hours, the car horns and shouts that usually fill the thick city air fade, and a peaceful lull settles in over the narrow streets. Around 4:30, the first car horn can be heard in the distance. A high pitched tone that rings throughout the cool, fresh morning air. Soon, more follow and after that the streets are flooded with people. The seemingly vacant city now begins another day, bursting at it’s seams with honks, shouts and the smell of spice. This routine has become familiar to me and as I say goodbye to Varanasi, I say goodbye to these moments. The couple hours of quiet and calm, and the noise and energy I know always follows have become familiar and will be missed.