There’s no schedule per se – no program to follow. Just a bunch (as in, millions) of people walking around kind of aimlessly. And so we do the same. I want the Sadhus. The Sadhus are the religious renunciates who have left all material possessions behind and live in caves. They wear loin cloths or go naked. They are also impervious to the cold due to consistently exposing their bodies to the elements, and abuse their * ahem * members to such drastic degrees that they are no longer capable of getting sexually aroused. They CHOOSE this. Cray.
Anywho, they are always the main draw to the Kumbh since they make quite a spectacle of smearing their naked bodies with ash then running into the river to bathe. I wanted a piece of that.
Cerrie and Chad decide that they’re still going to bathe in the sewage water. That’s fine. We wake up at 2AM the next day/night/whatever and walk down to the river to find a boat to take us to the bathing spot. We climb precariously into the boat, taking care to not let one ounce of water touch our skin. I pretend to push Juana in the river and we both have a good laugh. But my heart drops each time the boat rocks from side to side. She ain’t a sturdy barge, that’s for sure.
Once at the bathing spot, Chad takes off his sarong and sprints through the Ganga in the nude. Best. Moment. Ever… his naked body reflecting the moonlight. We are all laughing our asses off from the boat until he’s brought in by a river warden. No nakies in the river. Sad. They climb back in and I can smell the dysentery on them. It’s only a matter of time, folks.
From there, we set out to find the Sadhus. Where? We don’t know. Like I said, not much organization at this place. But I’m sure in this crowd we’ll just happen to bump into them.
I still hear the chanting. WHERE is that damn chanting? All I wanna do is sit cross legged on the floor and watch some chanting. Maybe burn some sage.
We never found the Sadhus. Henceforth, I was ready to call it a day and get the hell out of Allahabad. But no. The koomb wasn’t done with me yet…
*all photos by Greg Bryan, except the ones that aren’t*