['trans' = across; 'transform' = into another state]
They visit here to exorcise their ghosts and demons, to find a cure for diseases from toothache to cancer, to seek solace from a mendacious spouse or a raucous child. Their feet bare, their heads covered; the devotees, both Hindu and Muslim, comprising of poorest of poor from the far-flung rural areas of India, gather here in their multitude and cross over into a state of 'Trans'.
The echoes of harsh sounds accompanied with violent body movements are all around the place. The shrine of Bahadur Shahid of Varanasi is shales with the vibrant forms of religious faith. They start with moaning and their bodies swinging, which are then transformed into unruly body movements with shrieking and beseeching the saint Bahadur Shahid to free their bodies and minds, as if he entered their souls. And finally when they faint, they believe they have recovered from their troubles. It seems hysterical, or to the extreme extent of schizophrenia.
On one hand, the Shrine is a paradigm of communal and religious harmony situated at Varanasi, the most revered city among Hindus. However it exemplifies the inaccessibility of basic education and healthcare facilities by the common Indian citizens. The delusion of superstitions and false myths encourage the business of religious faith.
Sincere gratitude: Tewfic El-Sawy.