The Reunion – XII

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... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – XI

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... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – X

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... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – VIII

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... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – VII

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... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – VI

The long corridor was dark at places and illuminated with naked tube lights at others. The floor was mosaic, sometimes Kota stone, and had been wiped clean with a disinfectant solution. A few cobwebs hung from the roof, in the corners, and the few shuttered window frames which lined the corridor. A strange smell, putrid... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – V

The bumpy ride and the horns blaring from all sides signaled that we were inside Jaunpur. Appu was constantly on the phone, talking to Teju and conveying the directions to our driver. Presently, the bus coughed to a stop by the side of a road with huge potholes. As I scanned the area from inside... Continue Reading →

The Reunion – IV

Couple of hours later, the sun was up and shining through the windows of the bus and the ambient temperature had climbed within the range of comfort. The cabin of the bus was cozy now, and filled with happiness and laughter, helped, no doubt, to some extent by the beer which we had opened up... Continue Reading →

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