Our first week in Banaras has been hectic and wonderful. It is as if we are living our past experiences with the Guria family in hyperspeed – this week alone, we’ve spent time interviewing families of trafficking victims, filming every inch of the Guria center in the red light district (Shivdaspur), capturing the serenity of Guria’s boat school on the ghats, and dancing with joyous Guria children in a nearby waterpark. We’ve also spent our mornings combing through old footage of brothel raids, powerful evidence of the Guria family’s courage that brought tears to our eyes.
On Sunday, we were with Manju, Ajeet’s wife and all-around-person-in-charge (she insists that her only official title be “board member,” but to spend one minute with her is to understand that she really runs the show). We visited the orphanage where she grew up, and interviewed her about the influence growing up as an orphan had on her empathy for the stigmatized children of Shivdaspur.
It’s good to be back in the city we both love. Banaras is in our bones, and we’ve quickly adjusted back into the routine of spicy food for breakfast, jumping out of the way of bulls’ horns on the street, and spending time with old friends and family. These days are so full that we’ve often struggled to stay up until 9 PM, at our blogging ability’s expense – and we’ll be embarking on a trip with Ajeet to a village near Bhopal soon, so we’ll be off the grid again for the weekend. Apologies for the silence!