Varanasi Again – 74: Farewell Eternal City

My story must come to an end, the story of my trip to Varanasi, the city eternal, the city of Mahadev, the city of Shiva, of Shakti, and of Aditya, the sun god. The city nestled on the banks of Ganga, the river which has nursed the teeming millions who live by her banks. Varanasi,…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 74: Farewell Eternal City

Varanasi Again – 73: Dinner and Goodbye

It was an average sized hall, with large Italian tiles for floor and murals on the walls. The false roof was low enough to give an impression of cosiness without making the hall seem stuffy. The lights were appropriately ‘disco-esque’, and there was even a DJ at the far end of the hall with a…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 73: Dinner and Goodbye

Varanasi Again – 72: Last evening in Varanasi

We took a different route this time, to return to our hotel situated near the cantonment area of Varanasi. This was the route we have already talked about in our previous blog – ‘And the other places we may go’. When one is entering the gate, the Lion gate, of the university, one may choose…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 72: Last evening in Varanasi

Varanasi Again – 71: Driving through the campus

Lunch over, we walked out of the hall, and made our way towards the exit. This was the time everyone was preparing to go visit their hostels and departments before wrapping up the visit to the campus and return to the hotel for the final, parting dinner. We, myself and Vaishali, had already visited our…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 71: Driving through the campus

Varanasi Again – 70: Lunch time

The alumni function over, everyone in the hall filed out of the LT and started to walk towards the lunch venue which was in a hall in the new lecture theatre complex built behind the main institute building. I could never imagine, looking back now, that there was space enough there to erect another building.…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 70: Lunch time

Varanasi Again – 69: On the lectern

I walked down the steps of the LT, with the children tagging along, into the well and then up to the lectern. Vaishali moved aside to let me take the ‘stage’, eyeing me mischievously, and smiling knowingly. The alumni were quiet, listening intently, smiling, some of them pointing at me, some nudging each other. The…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 69: On the lectern

Varanasi Again – 68: The alumni function

Vaishali started by welcoming all the former teachers one by one. The teachers were presented bouquets by the organisers, and the alumni, and then she invited the alumni to the podium one by one, by their roll numbers – their undergraduate roll numbers!! It was fun! The alumni walked down to the well of the…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 68: The alumni function

Varanasi Again – 67: The proceedings begin

KG’s wife was helping organise stuff down below in the well. The flowers, the bouquets to greet the teachers who would come, the stoles which all the alumni had to wear and, pagris. Yes! A man carrying several bag-loads full of the typical Indian headgear known as pagri walked in and, with the help of…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 67: The proceedings begin

Varanasi Again – 66: Inside the ILT

We climbed the steps of the aisle to find ourselves a comfortably distant vantage point, and a suitably unpopulated seat in the farther benches of the ILT. As all four of us settled down, I had a good look around. The poor old ILT looked like a bad case of facelift performed on a gracefully…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 66: Inside the ILT

Varanasi Again – 65: The corridors of the past

We walked past the atrium with the guard desk, or the reception, on our right side, the entrance to the corridor which housed the Preventive Medicine department and the Institute library at the end of it, on our left, and the main corridor of the institute, the spinal cord, the hollow bowel of the building…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 65: The corridors of the past

Varanasi Again – 64: Ghosts of the past

The temple stood to our left side, mute, beckoning, nursing dark secrets from our past lives inside its bosom, not revealing, not sharing, just waiting……waiting for me…. But that was last year. I had already honoured my tryst with the temple, and the bright orange deity with the large, dark eyes who resided inside the…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 64: Ghosts of the past

Varanasi Again – 63: Retracing our steps

We exited the Radiology department, and the hospital building, and started to walk towards the Institute building. Vaishali kept talking about the department, about the faculty there in her time, about the academic program, the training, the equipment they had back in her day, while I kept thinking about Lahiri Dada, the Cardiothoracic surgeon who…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 63: Retracing our steps

Varanasi Again – 62: Radiology and more…

We entered through the glass door and, with some help, found ourselves in familiar corridors. First stop was the MRI unit where Vaishali had spent a considerable part of her training, and had done her thesis work on MRCP, Magnetic Resonance Cholangio Pancreaticography or imaging of the biliary tract using MRI. We especially wanted to…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 62: Radiology and more…

Varanasi Again – 61: Urban legends

‘Tell us some stories Papa’, Vandita said. ‘There have to be some stories, some interesting anecdotes from your times, some urban legends that were handed down, or were circulating in the hospital?’ ‘Legends?’, I said, my eyes twinkling,’Yes, I do have some.’ ‘Tell, na…’, the children sang in unison. I laughed and then obliged. ‘When…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 61: Urban legends

Varanasi Again – 60: Change is the only constant

The familiar vista of Asoka lined, two lane, partitioned road greeted us as we entered the university campus through the Lion gate. The gate seemed smaller now, and the roads narrower, than what we seemed to remember. But I guess it is our fond memory of things which make them larger than life, even though…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 60: Change is the only constant

Varanasi Again – 59: And the other places we may go

However, if one does not enter the Singh Dwaar, the Lion gate, and turns left, one may proceed through the narrow lanes to a pontoon bridge which leads one to Ramgarh, an 18th century fort built by the rulers of Kashi, the old name for Varanasi. Also, one can find a large open field, if…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 59: And the other places we may go

Varanasi Again – 58: Yesterday once more

The car winded its way slowly through the late morning traffic, edging towards the entrance of the university, the gate known as the ‘Singh Dwaar’, or the Lion Gate. Just in front of the majestic entrance to the university is a roundabout, with a life size statue of the founder of the university, Pandit Madan…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 58: Yesterday once more

Varanasi Again – 57: Of Vespas and bicycles

It was the 1990s. Throughout the 70s and the 80s several motor companies had sprouted in India, and had given a spurt to the production of scooters and motorcycles, the mode of transport for the people in a developing nation. Lambretta, Scooters India, Bajaj …. all these companies were making scooters in India in the…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 57: Of Vespas and bicycles

Varanasi Again – 56: To the campus

The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel’s sumptuous buffet spread, we made our way to the BHU (Banaras Hindu University) campus in our own car, ditching the common transport arranged for the guests by our hosts. Today’s program was the official alumni function inside the Institute building, followed by lunch and hostel…… Continue reading Varanasi Again – 56: To the campus