Bihar: Visiting Extended Family

I had a number of purposes behind visiting Bihar in this season that remains usually unbearably humid and hot too.

With Mamaji in his Sasaram house

My loving maternal uncle is now in his late eighties. He had been a very successful advocate in the extended family. I heard from Ashok that he got some wound in his leg and was in real pain. Once the travel plan got finalized, I talked to him. He was at Ramnagar, near Varanasi. What I found was very very shocking. I found him mentally tortured as he expected his son, particularly the youngest one to be more caring. I talked to my cousin and requested if he could bring him to Sasaram. He had done that. Mamaji had been an inspiration to me since my school days. He is very clear about his views on issues of life. I met him and could solace to a certain extent. His physical wound will soon heal, but he needs more care. He at this age too, remains fit and alert.

With Chachaji at the house he built at Pipra

I had not been to my village for almost three years or more. In my last visit, I was there only for few hours. I met my uncle who is about three year older than me. He is very much active and compliments Alok in farming. With Alok getting engaged recently in Bihar government agriculture improvement scheme, uncle will have to be more involved in household affairs. He was the head of the panchayat and the co=operative society too for number of years. He is still actively associated with the village affairs. I discussed with him a plan to renovate the Kali temple of the village.

At Shiv Prasad Misra’s New House at Madhukarpu

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I have visited Yamuna’s village and that too together with her only about two-three times. It might be that I would have visited Madhukarpur decades ago. The death of the wife of Shiv Prasad Misra, my eldest brother-in-law made this visit happen. Shiv Prasad Misra still remains the most educated and knowledgeable in his family. He is a retired government teacher and keeps himself informed. He used to read a lot, anything that was available. He started managing the joint family quite early in life. He was very tough in his youth. He maintained contacts with all his relatives. He had helped my mother too and lived with her for few years, when he was teacher in a nearby school. He had been the nearest to us till the youngest brother-in-law Raj Kishore started working and living in Hind Motors. And though in his eighties, Shiv Prasad Misra can still do physical work for hours. I still remember his going to Tarakeswar from Hind Motor more than 30 kilometers on feet as a religious ritual, returning and leaving for his village home the same day.


With Rita at her Varanasi residence

And then I heard Alok who was coming to see us off at Mugalsarai planning to drive up to Varanasi to get the rakhi tied by Rita, our little sister. I also expressed my desire to get the rakhi tied by the little sister who lives in Varanasi to get her daughter coached for admission in IITs or one of the good colleges of engineering. It was after a long time that I saw her and her daughter Kshama who is a typical example how younger generation aspires big and bigger.

I met many old known faces that have changed with their age and many new ones for whom I required introduction to relate with their families. It was a wonderful cherishable experience.

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