“There is a special spirit among people who call themselves Banarsis, whether they are rickshaw-pullers, merchants in the market, or the old aristocracy.
It is an art of living, both passionate and carefree.
They call it masti (“joie de vivre”), mauj (“delight, festivity”), and phakkarpan (“carefreeness”).
It is the exhilaration and drunkenness of Holi, the extravagance and culture of Burhwa Mangal, and the glitter of Divali.
It is enjoyment of life without ostentation…”
(From “Banaras, City of Light” by Dianan L. Eck)
These ladies were bargaining religious accessories sold in front of the Swami Narayan Mandir (temple) in Varanasi (Benaras).
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