Behavior of ghosts in villages

I have always been interested in the people who feel like they are affected by bhoots (ghosts) and destroy their lives going to some baba or exorcists to get rid of the ghosts. I have always wanted to hear more about ghosts by people who say that they are somehow affected by ghosts or have seen the ghosts or whatever and finally I got the opportunity of meeting few people who feel that they have ghosts inside their bodies and destroying their life. I was in my village a few days ago to attend my cousin’s wedding. I used to talk to him and my other cousin about stories of ghosts in his village and they had told me several things which were very interesting to me.

They had told me about a place where people, who think that they have ghosts in their body, go to get rid of the ghosts. After attending the wedding I asked my cousin to take me to this place which was about 5 Kms from my village. We headed there, crossed a lot of narrow paths, saw beautiful village life and finally we were at this place where people go to get rid of their ghosts. It was a tomb of some Muslim Baba who had died several years ago but people believe that this Baba had some super-natural power to fight with ghosts and he can still help even after his death.

There were two tombs- a small one and a big one. We went to the small one first. I was told that Thursday is a special day for that place and more people come that day; I don’t know why Thursday but it has something to do with the baba’s life. It was Friday that day so I was hoping to not see many people there. But after reaching there I was shocked to see that about 30 families had built a temporary house there to stay for long time. I looked through all those houses and saw that there was no stove or a bed or anything that I use in daily life. They cook food outside and sleep under the sky.

They needed that temporary house only in case of rain or something. I walked around that tomb and a few things seemed like a disaster to me. I saw three people locked up with a chain and this chain was locked to a tree. I just went near one person who was locked up and sat near him. There was one other guy sitting over there and he asked me to come to him and he invited �me to sit with him. I did not know how to ask him what was going on but fortunately he started explaining what I wanted to know.

His first statement was that he was in a lot of trouble because of the ghosts. I asked him why he was there and he said that he had come there with his brother. I asked him who was his brother and then he indicated towards that person locked to the tree. I asked him what had happened to him and he said that he used to work in Mumbai as a tailor and that his brother used to work at a factory in Ludhiana. One day his sister-in-law called him and said that her husband had some problem. He would not come home, would do strange activities, make strange noise etc…

His condition sounded like he was suffering from ghosts to his brother and he told his sister-in-law to bring his brother to their village immediately. This person living in Mumbai left his job and came to take care of his brother at his village. I asked him how he knew that his brother had some ghosts in his body and he said that he also had some supernatural powers and had been involved in this kind of work so he knew it. After coming to the village they took this possessed person to the tomb. The possessed person did not want to stay there and would always try to run away from there and that is why they decided to lock him to a tree.

He said that his brother had several different kinds of ghosts. One of them was the ghost of an Aghori, one of them was a Chamar, and one of them was some other caste ghost. I asked him how he knew this and he said that he already had some idea because of the activities the possessed person used to do like he used drink his own urine it which seemed like an Aghori’s doings, he used to spit in his own food and tear-off his clothes which seemed like a Chamar’s actions to him. This was the first indication to him that he should believe that his brother had several different kinds of ghosts.

But the thing that confirmed it to him about it was his talk with the baba whose tomb was there. At this time I was walking away from that affected person and we were about 20 meters away from the tomb when he said that the baba had told him that his brother was possessed by ghosts. I really did not understand which baba was he talking about because I knew that Baba had died several years ago. I asked him again whom did he talk with and he indicated towards that tomb and I thought that he was talking about one of the few people who were sitting there.

I was keen to know who that person was who had confirmed this for him and asked him again and he again indicated towards that tomb. I again thought that he was talking about someone else and then my cousin told me that he was talking about the baba whose tomb was there. I asked him how did he talk to the baba and he said that once you come here and pray to the baba, the baba talks to you. I just did not understand what was he talking about but I wanted to hear him more. So I asked him if the baba appeared in front of him and he said that the baba never appears in front of anyone.

The baba enters in the body of the people and talks to them through their tongues, it was crazy. He meant to say that the person asks the questions and then he himself answers it but the answer is given by baba who is sitting inside the person’s body. It was sad to see how strong their belief is about ghosts but I did not find myself brave enough to tell him that he himself had some mental problem. Well, I wanted to hear him so I kept asking him few more questions. I asked him about if he was not attacked by the ghosts because he was also involved in this fight against them and at this time he told it so loudly that ghosts have been continuously trying to attack him but since he also had some supernatural power, they could not do anything.

He said that once he was driving his bicycle, and some ghosts hit him and he fell down on the ground and broke his head. I asked him if he saw that ghost and obviously he said ‘No’. Then I asked him how can he say that it was a ghost who had hit him and his answer was that the kinds of feeling he was having was not like an accident, it was something different, it seemed like a ghost’s activity to him. After this we returned to his brother and I sat there for some more time. Now affected person’s wife came with his six month old child and started asking her husband about who had given him this ghost.

I clearly heard affected person telling someone’s name but his wife was not agree with this name. She said that the person he was talking about is not a bad person and he didn’t know how to give ghosts to others. Then affected person said that he had taken help of someone else but she was still not satisfied with this answer. She said that they will keep him locked up until he gives the right answer. It seemed to me that they had some name in their mind and they wanted to hear it through affected person’s tongue. The affected person’s brother told me that the ghost was making him tell a lie.

I asked affected person’s brother if his brother feels a bit better since he was brought here and he was so confident saying that baba had helped them a lot a now his brother feels a lot better after spending two months sitting in front of that tomb and being locked up. It was crazy, a 26-27 year old person locked up for two months. What could be worse than this? Now he started talking to me about the money and time he lost because of the ghost who had attacked his brother. He said that he left his job about two months ago and now he had no money at all, not enough even to go back to Mumbai but he still wanted to stay there and fight with ghost.

I was shocked to see the way he destroyed his, his brother’s and others’ lives. I was feeling so sad to see that six-month-old baby. Oh my God. I wanted him to feel that he must go to a doctor also and asked him if he never felt that his brother had some mental problem and he told it so proudly that he would have loved seeing a doctor if his brother had any mental problem but in fact there was no mental problem at all and his brother was attacked by ghosts. I asked him how did he know that it was not a mental problem and doctors could not help him and again the answer was same that he knew because baba had told him.

I understand what he meant to say but it was hard to believe that 21st century world is like this. I saw something that was more sad than this and it was number of children present there. I was numerous children there who had come with their families and had been living there for past few months. I was wondering how this time of their life will affect them in future, definitely they would also go to exorcists and would come to the tomb to get rid of their problems in future. The thing people see in their childhood time becomes part of their lives and these kids have been seeing their parents thinking that they have ghosts, what will happen to them in future?

After talking to this guy I wanted to talk to some other people and started walking around. I saw two other people also who were tied up to trees. I wanted to talk to their families but at that time there was no one with them, there were only few kids playing there. I saw many other people who were there to get rid of their ghosts. All of them were making strange sounds. I am sure they were telling something in Hindi but I was not able to understand it. I understood few things when they were talking about the person who had given them the ghost or about the ghost itself.

Few people people were talking about the baba. They were telling something like they had come here to take help from the baba and they knew that baba would help them. Some of them were drawing strange features on the ground, some of them were laying down on the ground and were talking to the trees, some of them were talking to the walls of the tomb, some of them were just rubbing their body on the ground and screaming loudly… It was really sad to see those mentally retired people wasting their time for nothing. I feel so sorry for the kids whom I saw there, very sad.

Now I decided to visit that other tomb which was about 2 Kms away from the first one. We went there and I saw the same situation there as well. But this place seemed more organized. There were few convenience stores near the tomb. I saw something really interesting that a guy who was doing strange activities and seemed like was affected from ghosts got fainted and his family made him lay down on the ground, brought a bottle of Coca-Cola and made him drink it. After drinking Coca-Cola, that person was happy again and started doing same activities again. It seems like ghosts also like Coca-Cola:)

Now I was getting late because I had to return to Varanasi the same day so I had to leave that place. I was sad and shocked about whatever I saw. After coming back to Benares I talked several people about it and most of them seemed like they also believe in ghosts. Some of them told me that there are 8.4 million different kinds of lives like trees, animals, insects …a person goes through, and being a ghost is also one of them. So they meant to say that each and every person becomes ghost some time. My one friend told me that ghosts are also like humans, some of them are bad and some of them are good.

Good ones do not disturb humans and bad one always try to do something crazy. They said that the people who are affected from ghosts have bad ghosts in their body. These ghosts enters in the body, take over the mind and make people do strange things. Sometimes ghosts don’t enter in the body, they just do strange things. My one other friend told me a story about his village where there are lots of ghosts everywhere in his village. He told me a story about one of his friends who was also affected from ghosts.

He told me that his friend lives alone in his house. He cooks only one time in the morning and eat the same food in the night as well. But every now and then ghosts piss or shit on the food he keeps for the night time so when he comes back, he has to cooks again. And when he goes to sleep, all the ghosts stick to the walls of his room, and make strange noises, abuse him, and don’t let him sleep. He told me that if you are afraid of the ghosts, then they can kill you but since his friend is not afraid, ghosts can not do anything bad for him. Ghosts abuse him and he abuses the ghosts, and everything is settled, cool.

He told me about on another story about a ghosts who smokes beedi. This ghost is in a room which has been locked for several years. This ghost start knocking the door from inside when his beedi is finished, and when people hear this knock, then bring a big packet of beedi, open the door, and put the packet inside. People say that whenever they open the door, they always find half burnt beedi thrown everywhere on the ground and it seemed like somebody has smoke those beedis. People say that since the room is always locked and there is no human inside and it means there must be some ghost who smokes all those beedis.

I read an article about ghosts in the local newspaper which talked about a English ghost living somewhere in Bihar. This ghost is of some British soldier and always wanders around his cemetery. People offer him toast with butter, coffee in a cup and plate and few cigarettes (English style, because the ghost is English) every morning and evening and if they forget about it then ghost start beating people passing over there. People say that they have seen this ghost. He looks like a British soldier who has a sword and wanders around with his horse.

They also tell the same thing that they leave the toast, coffee and other things in the morning time and when they return in the evening time, it seems to them that somebody has eaten it. Well, who would like to miss this beautiful English style breakfast, no one for sure. But it is a strong belief amongst the people that the British is eating everything. A lot of people say that a person becomes ghost if he dies unnaturally like if he commits suicide or dies in an accident etc…

Few people say that if the death sacrament is not done properly then dead person becomes ghost which doesn’t sound fair to me. Why this much dependency on others? If I die and my children do not perform death sacrament for me, then I become a ghost, not fair. I talked to Aghoris about ghosts and they told me that there could be something called ghost but usually the ghosts do not bother others. If others bother them, then they bother others. I like this idea better than being afraid of them.

I often think about ghosts because I often hear about them in my society. But to be honest I try to not be afraid of them. A lot of people are scared of going alone in the nights because they think that some ghost could appear in front of them and kill them. But I am more scared of dogs on the road who go wild in the night time or I am scared of the police who sometime do strange behavior with the people going out in the night time.

My few friends told me about flash back and I really liked this idea. But it is hard to make people believe that the ghosts that they see are not ghosts but it is all affect of flashback. I heard that sometimes something appears in front of eyes but in fact there is nothing or sometime we listen some noise but in fact there is no real noise and it is called flash back. It happens with me also sometimes. If it starts happening again and again then people should see a doctor, there is a treatment for it. But many people think that it is affect of a ghost and they go to exorcists or go to babas and destroy their own life.

I do not know how to help those people whom I saw in my village but I want to do something for them. I am thinking of making a video of the people who used to think that they had ghosts in their body and they destroyed their life by going to exorcists and got nothing. Finally they went to some doctor and got rid of their problem and show this video to the people who think that they have ghosts in their body. Maybe this could help them, or maybe make them think once about seeing a doctor, or maybe no positive result. I seriously do not know if this idea will work, but I would definitely like to do it if my resources allow me to do it.

Diwali 2008

It was Diwali yesterday and I enjoyed it a lot. I had invited a few couchsurfers to celebrate Diwali with me. I invited two US students and two British travelers. They came to my home around 6 o’clock and were just sharing their travel experiences of India. Later uncle Udo also joined us. My mother did puja first and then we decorated the whole house with candles. Usually I don’t buy or fire crackers, but this year I had lots of crackers because a few of my friends had bought some.

We went on the roof and fired crackers. It was first time in the last fifteen years that I fired crackers. I don’t like this because it damages the atmosphere. The smoke could be easily felt in the atmosphere during Diwali which I don’t like. I better like to decorate my home with candles, have good food, invite people over dinner etc… A lot of people in Varanasi gamble during Diwali night. I had also gambled last year at Bunti’s family place for the first time in my life. They had invited me this year also but I could not go.

Diwali is a very important festival for Aghoris. They do some special puja at the funeral place in the night between 12 and 1. I really wanted to see it but I again I missed it this year because the guy who was supposed to come with me didn’t call me. I was just waiting for him, and finally it was over 1 o’ clock so I couldn’t go. After firing crackers we had dinner. We had lots of good food, sweets, it was so nice last night. I really enjoyed it.

I had heard a lot about threats for foreign girls in Varanasi after it gets dark, but I never thought it was true. I have seen all the guide books telling that foreign girls should not wander alone in Beanres after it is dark. I always thought that it was wrong information provided by guide books. Abbie and Emily, the US students, were worried about going alone to their guest house. They wanted me to come with them. I went with them and I realized that guide books were true.

People were just commenting on these foreign girls. Somebody brought crackers and wanted them to fire them. Somebody was saying that they were so beautiful, somebody wanted to harrash them… It was overwhelming. I never knew that these things happen in Varanasi also. Maybe it happens in the downtown area only, because I have never ever heard of such a thing happening around Assi neighborhood. They were stopped by five-six people. Finally they reached their guest house and I came back home.

Italian guest visits Aghori society

I worked with a Italian guy named Giona Peduzzi. He contacted me first on couchsurfing asking to meet for a drink. We sent a lot of emails to each other discussing about tour of India and finally he told me arrange his tour of Banaras. He lives in Rome and works for Channel 5, the biggest private TV channel of Italy. He is a show designer and writer. He said that he writes two shows and both of them are Saturday night shows.

He arrived Benares on 6th of August and stayed until 9th of August. I had arranged his accommodation at my guest house. We went to Mother Teresa Home, Aghor monastery, Maths (where people live to wait for their death), Sarnath, Tulsi Manas temple, Sankat Mochan Temple (monkey temple), BHU, Durga temple (Ram nagar) and we visited Lali Baba also.

He was most impressed by meeting and talking to people. We went to Machali Bandar Math and talked to

I and Giona at Assi ghat

I and Giona at Assi ghat

one Sadhu who had been living there since more than 30 years and just waiting for his death. He accepted Sanyasa when he was only 50 years old and now he was over 80. Giona was shocked to see a person waiting for his death since more than 30 years. It was not shocking for me because I had already met this people while working with Sophia, an anthropology student from University of Berlin.

Giona liked Lali baba a lot. He said that Lali baba was the most fascinating character he had ever seen in his life. He liked the way Lali baba dresses himself for evening aarti, his garlands, skulls and lali baba using computer to chat. We went to Mother Teresa Home also. This is the place where I don’t want to go but cant stop myself by going. I don’t want to go because there are lots of mentally retired and sick people who cant even talk properly.

But I cant stop myself by going there because I want to do something for those people. I asked Nun about what do they have for entertainment of the sick people and she said that they have some music but occasionally like on festivals. I wanted to give a television to the monastery but she didn’t accept it because it was never used in past and she didn’t want to start anything new. I don’t understand what is bad about having a television to entertain sick people.

We went to Aghor monastery also where we visited their hospital, school and library. Giona was surprised to see their Guinness Book of World Records certificate which they have got for treating most number of leprosy patients in the world. I like this place a lot, I visit that hospital every time I go there. Giona wanted to go to Bodh Gaya for a day and then to Mumbai. He wanted to see a movie or TV serial shooting in Mumbai. I called Yogesh, who is a production manager in Bollywood, to show film city to Giona. He got agreed, I hope Giona will enjoy Mumbai with Yogesh.

Learning about Aghoris for the MTV documentary

First of all I want to tell how I know about this society. I worked with MTV Italy as local assistant. My job to find the characters and schedule appointment for interviews. They were interested in strange Sadhus and Aghoris. They didn’t want normal looking Sadhus and Aghoris, but they were more interested someone with dread locks, beard, without clothes etc. I had only three days to arrange 5 days of shooting. I went to lots of monasteries, met a lot of babas, sadhus, and Aghoris. I went to all the big Aghor monasteries of Varanasi including Kina Ram Aghor Peeth, Bbhagwan Avdhoot Ram Ashram, Baba Harihar Ram Ashram, Baba Anil Ram Ashram and many others. I went to both cremation places of Varanasi, Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat, in search of a few Aghoris and it worked. I met few very interesting Aghoris. So, that is how I came to know about them and their society.

Aghor society people are Hindus but their philosophy is different from the typical person’s. They pray to the same Gods whom Hindus pray but sometimes their rituals could be different. Like on the night of Diwali all the Hindus pray to Laxmi (goddess of money) but all the Aghoris go to funeral place and meditate and try to make their mantras more powerful, try to achieve some super natural powers or just try to make connections with ghosts to make them work for Aghoris in the future. Hindus light up the candle, clean their home and practice few rituals on Diwali but Aghoris like to go in dark and peaceful place like cremation ground. So these are the kind of differences between Aghoris and general Hindus.

Aghoris connect their religion to the cremation ground at every level. If you go to any Aghor monastery, you always find a place where some wood is burning all the time and that wood comes from the funeral place. Real Aghoris put that ash on their forehead and naval to make them feel secure and they use it get rid of diseases. I met a lot of Aghoris and asked them about significance of that Ash and everybody said that it is all matter of belief. If someone has belief in that ash then it could be better than a medicine and if they don’t have any faith in it then it could make them sick because then the person would worry continually about ash that has come from a cremation. All the people whom I met at Aghor monasteries had great faith in that ash. They said that they apply it everyday and if they are going somewhere out of the city then they keep some ash with them all the time. Some body said that once he had some strange disease and no doctor was able to treat him then he went to that monastery and applied some ash on his forehead and naval it made him get rid of that strange disease. All the fake Aghoris use that ash to attract people and sometimes to make them threatened.

Research on death in Varanasi

A German girl named Sophia wrote me on couchsurfing for meeting. She asked me about Hindi classes in Varanasi. At the same time I had a tenant named Dave from Fresno who was learning Hindi with Professor Virendra Singh so I introduced Sophia to Dave. She was doing anthropology research from University of Berlin and was interested in the people who come Varanasi to die. I took Sophia to one of the places where Sadhus stay to die and translated the interview.

Sophia was so happy to understand people because I was translating the interview. She asked me if would work for her as translator for next few days. I was happy to get a new job but was worried about work with Amanda, other student from Yale University, who was to visit Benares after few days for her research regarding Coke issue and I had already promised to work with her. I told Sophia about this problem and we decided that I would work with Sophia first and if Amanda comes, then I would go with her.

We went to 3 monasteries and talked people. We went to Machali Bandar Math, Mumukshu Bhavan and Kashi Mukti Bhavan. All these monasteries are for people who come Benares to die. There was a little difference between all those. Machali Bandar Math only permits Sadhus and Sanysis to stay there, Mumukshu Bhavan had non Sadhus also like families, and Kashi Mukti Bhavan is a place for sick people for short stay. The people who are seriously sick and seem like going to die soon come to Kashi Mukti Bhavan becasue Kashi Mukti Bhavan doesn’t allow long term stay.

We talked to a lot of Sadhus and non Sahdus living in Mumukshu bhavan. I was shocked to meet a woman who was in Mumukshu Bhavan since past 30 years and waiting for her death. She came Varanasi with her husband and her husband died after 2 years but she was still alive and waiting for her death. We asked her if she was not worried about her death. But she seemed so happy replying that she wanted to die in Varanasi. She said that she prays to God everyday to give her death. She said that there could be nothing better than if she dies in Varanasi.

We visited two Aghor monasteries also, Kina Ram and Bhagwan Avdhoot Ram Ashram. Both of monasteries belong to Aghor society. Sophia was very much curious about the ash that Aghor people use. We asked about it to a lot of people and everybody said that they use it to save themselves from diseases and other problems. They said that ash only works if you have belief in it. They carry the ash when they travel so that they could use it everyday even when they are far away from the monastery.

There is a place in Kina Ram monastery where they have fire going on since hundreds of years, they say that it never got peace. They bring the wood from cremation place, I didn’t understand why they bring the wood from cremation place but there was some religious importance of it. Cremation place is very important for Aghoris. They perform a lot of rituals on cremation place. On the night of Diwali, a lot of Aghoris go to cremation place and do some puja for the whole night.

The second monastery we visited has its name in The Guinness Book of World Records for treating most number of leprosy patients. They have a hospital that uses only Ayurvedic medicines and treat leprosy. They have a school also for street children, a library, a research center and a press where they print Aghora books. They are involved in lots of other social work. This monastery was founded by a Aghor guru called Bhagwan Avdhoot Ram in the year 1962.

They organize group weddings also because they don’t believe in the idea of wasting money like a lot of other people do in weddings. They had organized a group wedding and we were also invited there. I really wanted to see a wedding of Aghor followers because their philosophy is different than general Hindus. The major difference is that they don’t believe in casteism. I was surprised to see that the priest was a Kshtriya, not Bramhan. I asked them about it and they said that anyone who learns religion or Sanskrit could be a Bramhan. I loved it, I really like Aghor society.

We went to Mother Teresa home also to interview people. They were really nice. I always want go there. They help poor and sick people. I saw a lot of mentally retired, sick and injured people. Even though the institution is run by Catholics but they don’t bother people to practice Christianity. People living there are free to practice their own religion. They get veg meal six times a week and a non veg meal once in a week on Thursday. I liked the devotion of the Nuns there.

We went to talk to few Doams also who work at funeral place. Sophia asked them about their job and feeling of people who bring the body there. They told us that babies, pregnant women, leprosy patients, Sadhus and snake bitten people are not cremated, they are drowned in the river. Usually Doams drink and smoke a lot. They asked Sophia also to buy them a bottle of whiskey. We asked them why do they drink all the time and they replied that it is hard to cremate a body when you are normal therefore they drink every time they work.

They told us the idea behind why people come Varanasi to die. They said that when Shiva left Varanasi, he made Vishnu promise him that he will come and tell the name of Ram in everyone’s ear, in the last moments of life, who die in Varanasi. Since people hear the name of Ram when they dieing, they get liberated and this is why people want to die in Varanasi. He said that Shiva has left the city and now resides on Kailash but the city is still situated on his trident. It was interesting.

We went to meet Lali baba also who is an Aghori baba. He is the most fascinating character of Varanasi. Sophia wanted to spend sometime alone at Lali baba’s monastery because she was very much interested to see Lali baba doing his daily routine. She was so happy to meet Lali Baba. Sophia said that even though Lali Baba is very commerical but it is still worth meeting him. I also like Lali Baba a lot.

Finally Amanda came and I had to go back work with her.

Work with MTV Italy

My brother was working with MTV Italy as Italian interpreter asked me if I would assist them in Benares and Allahabad. They were making a documentary called Camminando which was joint production of MTV Italy and LA 7 (Channel 7). They were in Lucknow when they contacted me and their next stop was Allahabad where they wanted to shoot Patalpuri temple and Ghats of Allahabad but they did not anyone there. Even they did not know whom they will shoot.

Then they contacted me to choose their characters and schedule appointment with them for interview. I had only 4 days to complete everything for Benares and Allahabad part. I contacted Mr. Shubhranshu Chowdary who was my boss during CBC documentary to ask about if he knew someone in Allahabad. He gave me contact of a journalist in Benares. I contacted him and he gave me contact of another journalist in Allahabad.

I went to Allahabad next day and met him. We visited all the places MTV wanted to shoot, met the people and scheduled appointment for interviews. They wanted to shoot in Patalpuri temple also which was inside the Akbar’s fort and now it was army base camp. We tried to contact army officers but it seemed long process to me and I did not have much time. Finally I left everything on that journalist and returned to Benares because I had to do the same work in Benares also.

They wanted to shoot Sadhus, Babas and Aghoris in Benares. I went to the Kina Ram monastery first, which is head office of Aghor society, but could not get permission because few TV channels had already done shooting there and edited the video with asking them. They added the shots that were not shot inside the monastery. I was told that Aghoris use alcohol during their rituals, eat dead body flesh and do sex with it which I asked them but they said that it is all rumor, there is nothing like it.

So finally when I realized that they would not let me shoot there I talked them for long time asking about their society so that I could get some idea about their society because the things that we know about Aghoris are completely different than reality. They were so helpful, they answered my each and every question but did not permit me to shoot there. I visited few other Aghor monasteries also and everybody had same opinion about Aghor society – nobody eat dead body flesh and do sex with it anymore.

I went to Bhagwan Avdhoot Ram Ashram which is at other side of Ganga and found it very interesting. They have a hospital that has its name in Guinness Book of World Records for treating most number of leprosy patients in the world, a school for street children, a library and a press. They were so nice but they were also considered about letting MTV Italy came and shoot inside monastery. They also knew about what had happened with Kina Ram monastery. I had to talk to lots of people and finally some how I was able to make them agree to let us shoot there.

I went to few other monasteries as well who were willing to be shooted. I went to one monastery that had a lot of Italian Aghoris but they did not know anything. I showed them question sheet but they were not able to answer any of those questions about Aghora even they were living in the same monastery since last 5 years, 7-8 months every year. But they wanted to be shooted anyhow, they were not interesting for me but very interesting for MTV. MTV said that they would be so happy to shoot a Italian Aghori.

MTV wanted to shoot a Aghori character that could eat dead body flesh on camera. It was very hard to find characters like this because Aghoris said that they used to eat it but not anymore. They said it was prohibited about 400 years ago by Baba Kina Ram and if anybody still eats dead body flesh it means he is not real Aghori. They said that motive of Aghor society is to help people and if the continue doing this then nobody will come to them, I believe it. But I knew where I could find these kind of characters, I contacted my few friends near the funeral place and they got me meet to one Aghori who was agree to eat dead body flesh.

That Aghori said that he does a special puja which is called Mahabhog once in a year when he eats dead body flesh and use it during special puja but would do another puja specially for MTV. It was shocking for me to see what people could do just for money. He gave me a list of all the materials that he wanted to use for puja and 2 bottles of whisky was one of them. I asked him where would he find dead body from and his answer was- dont take any tension, I would arrange it.

He said that when somebody dies in any accident, Police gets the body cremated in electric burner. Usually they give the body to Doams, people who work at funeral place, and go back so he could take some part of heirless body. It was most shocking moment of my life to meet a person who was talking about eating dead body flesh. MTV Italy was happy to hear that there was a person agree to eat dead body flesh and they informed their head office about it in Rome but they were forbidden because Rome office said that they will not get permission to show a person eating dead body flesh on air.

Finally MTV Italy reached Benares after completing Allahabad’s part and we started shooting in Benares. We did shooting with all the character including a Baba called Lali Baba. He was very interesting character, had two skulls, wears more than 350 necklaces all the time that weights over 40 KG, does all kind of things that I had never seen before in my life. MTV said that Lali Baba was the best character of the documentary. I was happy to meet him, he was a nice person. We did shooting with Mother Teresa Home also.

Finally they left Benares. They were most unorganized people I had ever worked with. They did not have any schedule, did not know what to do in Benares right before 4 days of coming here, did not know anyone, did not know anything about the characters they wanted to shoot. Later my brother informed me that the whole crew members were arrested in Khajuraho for shooting inside the temples where nobody is allowed carry even a camera. The whole group jumped inside the temple from back wall and got arrested. They were in jail for more than 8 hours. No words to say how unorganized were they.