BAGESHWAR. INDIA. 2016
The late May sun has set behind the mountains of Bageshwar, and the brown, almost dry Saryu river makes its way down calmly. Behind the temple of goddess Kali on top of the highest hill around, Rasa rolls a spliff as we sit at the edge of the cliff watching the colorful houses in town of Bageshwar far down below us glow radiantly under the setting golden sun. As the sun finally disappears behind the hills, the beats of the drums slowly and gently make their way toward the circumference of the town and float away into a distant horizon.
We make our way down into town and let our feet direct us toward the provenance of the beats which turns out to be a Shiva temple by the confluence of the two rivers. In the wide open courtyard, an old man sits cross legged with eyes closed, his face hidden behind thick white smoke from incense sticks, beating the drums. Lukas takes a seat next to him, pulls the tabla closer, and within moments the beats from the two drums playfully weave in and out into a cosmic spiral dance of sound waves, as the sky and the birds and the temple slowly come to life. Clouds burst, lightning strikes, its starts to drizzle, and thunderous echoes from the sky join the symphony on this powerful evening.