The Reunion XXXII: The Boat Ride on Ma Ganga

The next stop in our itinerary was Goleria Kothi, a heritage property on the ghats of the Ganga, where we would have our lunch and witness Ganga Aarti, a time-honored tradition of worshipping Mother Ganga every evening with fire lamps. It was a sort of fire worship offered to the deity by the priests on... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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