The Rainbows and the Babas
     
The Rainbows and the Babas
Something different from the Maha Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, India.
When the Rainbow hippies meet the Sadhus in the biggest gathering on earth.

« Chillum, chai, chapati, we are family! » Became our letsmotiv. Media from all around the world have come to cover the same 'news', when more than 100 milion people gather to bath in the 'Sangam', where the Ganges meets the Yamuna and the Saraswati rivers. This is the big show of the naked Naga babas, but what they don't show is what is really going on the rest of the time during the three month Mela. I lived for one month in the desert islands that form the Ganges during the dry season. the Rainbow camp was the very last of the Mela on the Ganga river, lost and quiet, the first ever legal foreign camp.

Away from the immense crowds, non-stop racketing of loudspeakers and
lavishly ornamented *akharas* at the Sangam, a secluded spot on the banks
of the Ganga bore witness to a gathering that added new universal colours
to this Maha Kumbh Mela.

Celebrating a "Rainbow Gathering," around150 men and women-transcending
continents, race, religion, region, ethnicity, language and occupation- spent
a month camping in tents and living like a "Family" in Sector 7 of the mega
event. The members consider themselves part of the universal Rainbow Family.

For the Babas this is a unique occasion to meet colleagues that they haven't seen since the last Mela, 12 years ago. It is a time to move from camp to camp to share moments, sing, dance, joke, smoke chillums and share food together. When this marginal Sadhu world met the free Rainbow souls a real friendship and mutual understanding of a similar way of living and spiritual quest developed. The magic of the Kumbha Mela is how an illegal Iranian plays chess with a naked Baba, how a young Austrian girl falls in love with a Nepali Baba and wants to marry him, a six year old Argentinian girl became the mascot of all the Babas and won more than two thousand rupees in donations a day, how the military police given to the Rainbow camp by the government ended up holding hands in the food circle celebration singing with us, a silent Baba discovering his passion for football and flamenco with a group of latin American Rainbow brothers, how a German bike fanatic shared his round India trip with a Sadhu who has done it all by foot, a group of Rainbow sisters end up doing their Sadhu initiation with the Mataji's (women Sadhus) on the main bath, how Buddha, Allah, Jesus or Krishna made peace holding hands singing all in one universal voice... These are just some of the stories in this incredible meeting. Now there is a long term connection forming, we are still all living together in Varanasi to celebrate the next great religious festival, 'Shivaratri'...

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