On The Sideline of Varanasi

Many a places you never plan to go, but it happens. Many people you meet and forget. But some remain on your side without any effort, while many go far away and aloof even after your interest and effort to keep them near to you.

It was April 18, 2007. Babulalji kept his words given on a fine morning in Noida while walking. He is posted in Varanasi. He could have found some excuse for not providing that assistance as usually people do. But he proved to be different. He arranged a car for Vindyachal. I had an inquisitiveness about the place. My uncle organizes some religious function in every ‘navratra’ there. A recent visit of Amitabh Bacchan and family to the temple also enhanced my quest.

The driver tells a story. When Ganga was coming escorted by Bhagirathi, the small temple of Bindhyachal came on the way. Ganga had to stop its journey for two days till the Devi of the temple got the boon to have its respectable place. I was always under impression that the temple must be on a mountain top. It is not. It is only by the words of mouth that the temple has become so popular and visited by millions every year. As in most of the Hindu temple, the management is extremely poor. The small entrance was dangerously difficult for old people like us and the so-called student cum assistants (sevaks) appeared to be more a problem rather help. With time changing, the temple must undergo some changes to make a devotee more congenially accessible to the goddess. I am sure for the Big B, the temple would have been closed down for the public for sometime. How can the place be sold to one and all of the intellectual and affluent class? Can’t it be faith plus conducive ambience?

We returned through Chunar that has many pottery shops on the road. As told, the raw material is available in abundance in vicinity and some small factories in the villages nearby produce these. I am sure this can bring some prosperity to the area, if the industry is expanded further to make the quality and design of the products of world-class standard.
On return, I went with Yamuna to meet the members of the family, particularly my cousin sisters that had collected for the marriage in which we were to participate. It appeared to be a very formal one, but my cousin sisters were just loving.

In evening we went for dinner with Kavindra Rai and met his small happy family. His wife is a professor of history. The daughter Ishita is aiming for engineering. I tried to convince her that she may pursue even a science subject that interests her. Kavindra, his daddy is an example of success following that route. He was from rural eastern UP. He studied and majored in Mathematics. He is today the head of mathematics in IT-BHU, no less an achievement.

This is going to be the last entry based on my trip out of Noida. It was just wonderful trip of almost 10 nights.

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