Tag: #varanasi

The Reunion XXXIV: When Men turn Godkillers

I looked at Vaishali as if waking up from sleep, my eyes blank, my mind still faraway.  ‘Come, lunch is served,’ she said.  I was still in a daze. My heart thudded loudly in my chest, as if I had just run a few miles. Few miles? I had been to the eternity and back. The world seemed colorless, compared…

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 the bank of the deified…

The Reunion XXXI – The Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Gyanvapi

A lot had changed in the vicinity of the temple since we were here last. The temple area was being renovated, encroachments being demolished, and a pilgrimage corridor was being built for beautification of the Gyanvapi area. The area of construction, or rather demolition, had been cordoned off but it was still possible to peek between the aluminum sheets and…

The Reunion XXX – Visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple

And thus, the cars sped that morning once more, through the crowded and familiar streets of Varanasi. Crowded, but less crowded than we remembered them, and much cleaner. Familiar, but less familiar than before. It pained me to realize that I had started to forget the streets of Banaras and, if left alone, may not be able to find my…

The Reunion XXIX – Jyotirlinga: The Pillar of Light

Next morning when we woke, I felt light-headed and happy. No, it wasn’t just the drink we had last night, it was something else. Yesterday, I had exorcised the ghosts of my past, made my peace with God, bowed my head in acceptance and vowed to start afresh. I could feel the bitterness of the past receding, leaving a sweet…

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 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 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.…