I couldn’t make it to Vaishali to have the feel of the place that nurtured one of the oldest democratic system of governance, where both Mahavir And then Buddha came and created two of the earliest faiths- Jainism and Budhhism, and where Ambpali or Amrapali lived and ruled over the hearts of the mightiest and richest youths of the time and finally took shelter in the Budhhist religious garb.I know that there is nothing left now from that era, but still I was mentally perturbed when I couldn’t make it because of my foolish way of depending on incapable ones for arranging a car even against a good money that I wanted to pay. The excuse was that of heavy bookings due to large number of marriages that day. I took a judicious decision in favour postponing Vaishalli’s visit for next time. Moreover, it was really a bad hot summer day so I never repented for my decision. Further, the exemplary hospitality of my friend, Janardan and his wife more than compensated my agony of not going to Vaishalli’s.
Ashok has mastered social networking in his job in railways. The way he arranged convenient conveyance from and to airport and assistance for us in Patna is remarkable.While returning, I found a counter of Bihar Tourism Department in the departure area. The person in charge was really courteous. After many years, I could see good colourful brochures for different places and circuits of tourism interest such as Buddhist, Ramayana, Sikh and Sufi in Bihar. Even the fortnight long festival of souls… Pitrapaksha Gaya is the caption of one brochure. It appears the government is trying hard to attract more and more tourists to Bihar. However, Bihar will require a lot of investment in the basic infrastructures of tourism sector- hotels, transportation and management of the places of interest.
As I was told, law and order situation is really excellent. Interestingly, both parties of bride as well as that of bridegroom travelled by road in night only to avoid the summer heat. Almost all the roads that I took were distinctly clean, smooth and well maintained. My wife kept on comparing them those in Noida. But Bihar will have to go miles for improving the education at all levels. Corruption is the main culprit. As I understood from my conversation with some persons working in the sector, even the posts of principals and vice-chancellors are sold. However, the incidence of sexual assault on women is rare. According to the gentleman who dropped me at airport, that because of the continuing rural link of Patnaites.
I don’t know when I shall go again to Patna and visit Vaishalli.