May 02, 2007


By Lai Kok Fung, BuzzCity CEO

I stood on the banks of the River Ganges – one of the holiest sites for the Hindu religion – watching people throw cremated ashes of loved ones into the river’s holy waters. Religious pilgrims voyage to the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to bathe in the river, drink its water and visit one or more of the 1500 temples located here in the town of Varanasi.
It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and devotees believe that someone who dies by the river will be freed from the endless cycles of reincarnation.

After a few busy days in Mumbai where we hosted the Mobile Monday, I traveled to Varanasi for some reflections. I’ve always wanted to see the Ganges for myself. It is the city of the Lord Shiva, and the Lord Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon at a nearby town. Over the centuries, the city has produced prominent Indian philosophers, poets and musicians like the sitar player Ravi Shankar, who had such a huge influence on the Beatles. And for anyone who has benefited from an Ayurvedic massage – yes you can thank the people of Varanasi for that as well.