We are moving out today in the evening for Varanasi. On April 16 we shall attend the ‘Tilak’ ceremony of Babloo- the eldest son of Nirmal, my cousin brother. We are staying at the guesthouse of IT-BHU courtesy Dr. Kavindra Rai, presently head of Mathematics department, while in Varanasi. I know Dr. Rai, when he was doing his Ph.D. He visited us at Hind Motor. He is the youngest brother of Laljee Rai and uncle of Ashok Rai who worked for me in HM. Tilak is basically the most important function at the house of the bridegroom side in villages in a marriage in Bihar. If it had been arranged in our village, almost every one in village would have attended. I get reminded of my uncle and his spendthrift on such occasions. But perhaps, as Nirmal has shifted to Varanasi, it was perhaps quite inconvenient for him and unnecessary too. Life in villages without electricity gets really torturous. As I hope, it will be smaller and simpler function in his house in Varanasi.
We have some more acquaintances in Varanasi that is considered the holiest and ancient most of the cities for Hindus. I shall like to show some important places to Yamuna too. We shall certainly visit Vishwanath Temple and Sankat Mochan. Both places got extensively covered in media recently because of the visit of Bachhan family. However, I have a personal liking for Sarnath, where Buddha gave his sermon after enlightenment at Boddha Gaya. I was there in year ’59 while returning from Meerrut NCC camp. It was almost a wide barren place with the ancient stupa and some built by other Southeast Asia’s Buddhist countries. But the whole place was impressive. When I visited some five years ago, I got the shock of my life. The constructions have come up to the main stupa. And that conceal its full panoramic view. My shock was similar to one when I saw constructions surrounding the Raja Rani Temple of Bhuvaneswar that I had seen in rice fields. We, Indians and our government, can’t respect and protect our heritages.
I am supposed to address the students and faculty members of mechanical engineering department and visit its facilities. I wish it helped me to know more about the younger generation going for engineering education. I shall be giving some tips from the experiences of my professional life.
We shall like to visit Vindhyachal while going to Sasaram. Big B also visited the temple recently. My uncle goes there twice a year in Navaratra. If the Goddess so wishes, we may make it. At Sasaram, for the first time, we shall be staying at hotel for the reason of our old age. It may hurt our elders in the family, specially my Mamaji who is in his eighties now. And I shall certainly like to take photographs of Shershah tombs and other places of historical importance. However, mamaji has discouraged me from visiting Rohtasgarh. As per him, it has become Naxlite-infested and is not safe according to his information. We may visit our village Pipra for a day and meet uncle and aunty returning to Sasaram in night before moving to Patna. As Yamuna is not keeping well and the climate will be a big deterrent, I can’t be there for more time though I would have liked to do that.
We shall be reaching Patna on April 21 in the afternoon, perhaps for the first time by road. The marriage ceremony of Babloo will be in the night same day. I hope to meet many of known people from the village and other relations. That is my attraction to attend this marriage. In Patna, we shall be troubling Mrs. and Mr. Janardan, my friend of IIT days as well as the father-in-law of Rajesh, my second son, as we shall be staying with them. Both are as old as we are and perhaps equally lonely and sick. However, I have a plan to show Yamuna around Patna this time including Ashoka’s Palace and Nalanda, about which I had been writing in my blog frequently.
On April 24, we are boarding Rajdhani at Patna for return to Noida reaching here on April 25.
All these days I shall be using my camera and notebook to collect exciting things, if any, of the places and people for you. However, my eyes need some rest, I am not carrying my laptop. I shall contain myself and avoid putting any entry before April 25 perhaps, unless I get really pushed by inner urge to do that. I shall be having my own cell all the time. Any one can contact me if needed, except when and wherever the Reliance Network is weak or absent