Category: Biographical

The Reunion XXVI: Dinner with Family and Friends

That night’s dinner was in the hotel itself, which was a relief since none of us had the strength to go anywhere else after the day’s excursion. We had rested a little after coming back to the hotel and then had started getting dressed. I felt happy. My little talk with Hanumanji, the stone deity, had worked and I could…

The Reunion XXV: The Tryst with Destiny – 2

My life in college had always been public. I had wanted it that way, and destiny had willed it that way. For long I had lived cooped up inside my home, inside my mind, inside others’ rules and expectations. In college I had broken all shackles and come out and exposed myself to public eye. With a new-found confidence, a…

The Reunion XXIV: Tryst with Destiny

The story thus far has meandered towards its inevitable end which, though still far away, is now in sight. The climax remains, the crescendo is yet to be reached, the crux of the matter is yet to be touched, the truth is yet to be told – not the whole truth, not the complete truth; but in some small measure…

The Reunion XXIII: Dhanwantari Hostel-2

We moved along again, descending from the second floor, using the flight of stairs at the west end of the spine, and reached the ground floor. On the ground floor, we moved from the west end towards the middle of the hostel once more, headed for the mess hall now, and the adjoining canteen. Moving along, I looked at the…

The Reunion XXII: Dhanwantari Hostel

Dhanwantari hostel was also shaped like a square bracket, with two additional limbs jutting out from the outer surface of the bracket making it seem like a crab if one could get an aerial view of the hostel. Inside the bracket, right about its middle, where the belly of the crab should have been, was a shorter arm consisting of…

The Reunion XXI: Ruiya Hostel

Ruiya Hostel, in our times was an undergraduate hostel, where freshers were given accommodation when they first joined the MBBS course in IMS, BHU. And thus, this was the place where we, the boys I mean since it was a boys-only hostel, had met first and become friends and had started making our memories. The girls, on the other hand,…

The Reunion XX: Walking down the Memory Lane

After lunch we piled up inside our cars again and drove inside the main BHU campus. What was on the agenda now? The best part – visit to the IMS, the hostels and ‘my’ temple.  As the cars entered the main gate of the Institute of Medical Sciences, IMS, our Alma Mater, I felt as if I had entered a…

The Reunion XIX: The Alumni Function

The main alumni function was to be held in the auditorium of the newly built Trauma Centre, adjacent to the main campus of BHU, over a land which had lain fallow for several decades till recently. The new campus, which housed the Trauma Centre, part of the Institute of Medical Sciences – our Alma Mater, was spacious and swanky, with…

The Reunion XVIII: Night at the Assi Ghat

Some of us boys stayed back at the club however, having sent our families to the hotel in different vehicles. The night was still young, and we wanted to make the maximum of it. We were in Banaras after such a long time that we wanted to drink in every moment, savor every second of our stay here; not waste…

The Reunion XVII: Song and Dance

As the evening wore on, we noticed that Amita and Sridhar had taken charge of the sound system and were preparing to begin the performances for the night, mainly by the children. The chairs had been arranged neatly in rows in front of the backdrop, with an aisle in between, and most of the women had already occupied their places.…

The Reunion XVI: At the Banaras Club

I have faint memories of the Banaras club, having attended a few parties there during my college time. That night, however, I could not recognize it. Maybe it had been too long, I thought, as I got down from the car inside the Banaras club. The banquet hall was on the first floor of a building which stood at one…

The Reunion XV: A Lunch Date

Later, as we exited the temple, Appu and Sutanu pulled my leg that I had myself become adept at delivering sermons and that maybe I should consider a switch of professions. I took the friendly jibe as a compliment. Yes, I had lately become quite interested in religion and religious literature. For several years now the occult had pulled me…

The Reunion XIV: At the Vishwanath Temple

All the Shiva temples across India will have a small furrow like conduit cut out into the floor on one side, which serves to drain out the water or milk or other fluids which are used to wash the ‘lingam’; the ceremony being called ‘abhishek’ or anointing. This conduit runs from the base of the ‘lingam’ to a drain situated…

The Reunion XIII: Birla Temple

As the car sped past the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Performing Arts, I went back in time and could envision myself walking along on those roads in the evenings or driving by on Appu’s scooter and, later, on my own. I knew, the temple was coming up soon, I could see the road beginning to broaden up…

The Reunion XII: Inside BHU

Later, as we collected our shoes from the shoe stall, Shubhi asked me, ‘Papa, do we have to pay the person who takes care of our shoes?’ ‘No beta,’ I said, ‘The service is free of cost and is rendered voluntarily by the people residing in the temple premises. But as a gesture of good faith, and to contribute a…

The Reunion XI: Sankat Mochan Temple

The cavalcade moved on to the next destination on our itinerary – the Sankat Mochan temple. The temple is dedicated to the Vaanara deity or Monkey God from Ramayana, the immortal Hindu epic. He is popular across India as Hanuman or Maruti. His other, lesser known name is Sankat Mochan or ‘trouble shooter’, as Maruti rescues his devotees from all…

The Reunion X: Durga Kund Temple

We passed Bhelupur and I recognized an old theatre which had now been converted into a shopping arcade. ‘Vijaya was the name,’ I thought. The car sped along the congested roads with the chaotic traffic which had always been so characteristic of Banaras. But no, there was a difference now. The roads were wider, well paved, neatly painted and cleaner.…

The Reunion IX: 26th December 2019

I woke up early next morning, and all of us got ready quickly. We were excited. Today we were going on a tour of the city temples. The temples which we had been visiting frequently all the time that we were in Banaras – Durga Kund, Sankat Mochan and VT, or Vishwanath Temple, otherwise known as the Birla Temple. These,…

The Reunion VIII: Dinner and drinks

The evening had turned to night now, cold and young. Liveried waiters moved around with delicious snacks and drinks. The women sat together on sofas around glass-topped tables and chatted. Children ran around the hall, not paying attention to the stares from concerned parents. We, the men, stood within serving distance of the bar and talked and laughed like there…

The Reunion VII: Hotel Surya Kaiser Palace

Hotel Surya Kaiser Palace, the board announced the name as our destination came in sight after the bus turned into a side road. From the road, the hotel looked rather disappointing for we had seen some great pictures of the hotel on the internet and Avinash, our batchmate who had been doing all the local arrangements along with Teju, had…