CITY: VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA TRAVELER: TARUN SHARMA (AUTHOR)
How It all begun: It all started with a phone call. Just in the wee hours of the morning. I was sleeping in my apartment located on the sides of river Gomti in the Lucknow. Unaware of the fact that next two three days are going to be the most excited days of my life. Suddenly my phone rang. It was from one of my friend , Charu with whom i met on Christmas eve last year. Yes she was very pretty and sweet . It was like our meeting was set by Santa itself. So Right on the special occasion of Mahashivratri (Hindus Festival) she called me. I picked up the phone and I wasn’t even yet finished with greet word “Hello” she said “Banaras ghumna hai toh aajao (Come if you want to visit Banaras). I didn’t expect that. I uncertainly asked ” what what” she said ” Banaras Ghumna hai toh 1st train pakkad kar aa jao”. Then she hung up. I got bit confused about that call. I wasn’t ready for that and Secondly; Who asks so quick in those early hours of the day. The call woke me up . I got myself relaxed and called her back. She said ” She is going to banaras and if i wanna join her i can”. This conversation made me enormously happy; I’d been calling my flat mates since last 1 month to travel to Banaras. But never had a good throw. But this one call proved that patience is worth having everything. Now Since the Lucknow to Banaras distance is about 300 Kms and there are buses and trains also to travel to and fro . But as it was so early in the morning I thought it would be great to travel through the train. So I immediately opened the internet to check the train timings because you know when something good is going to happen you always want it to be happen as soon as possible. I shortlisted a train and started to thinking about the stuff i need to pack. 1st comes up the money. I was not having the cash at the moment and i was sure that ticket counter person is not going to accept the card. So I took my jacket and moved out of the apartment to take the cash from nearby ATM. It was a bit dark outside. Cold breeze was making the environment cozy. I gathered myself against the wind and kept moving. At the main door of society there were two guards who stared at me as like they’ were seeing a white walker walking inside the society. But in the excitement of going to Banaras I didn’t pay attention to them and reached ATM in 2-3 minutes of walking. There I inserted my card in machine and filled up all the corresponding details. The only thing i was scared off at the moment was non availability of the cash in the machine. ATM was little slow . Every second for me was like an hour. Heart beating was fluctuating with the time thinking about the presence of cash or emptiness of the machine. But that was seriously my lucky day. I got my money and came back to apartment. Now I took my bag pack and started to pack the most useful requisite things 1st. I also booked a cab and it was about to reach my door step in few minutes. After some time when i called the cab driver to know about his estimate time of arrival he answered he is gonna be there in a minute. So I went to other room and said to my flat mate ” Don’t Count me on in any of your plans; I am going to Banaras” He was in half sleep, i didn’t even care if he heard it or not but I closed the door behind. Sat in the cab and said to driver ” Drive as fast as you can but i want to be on station within 25 minutes.” Usually cabs take 40 min to reach to railway station from my apartment but since the train i chose was getting departure in 35 minutes. So I said driver not to worry about the traffic . Drive fast, and he did that. He actually drove crazy. and parked the car right infront of the Lucknow’s Charbagh railway station. The cab was set on paid online so i did not need to give any money to driver. I quickly got out from the cab, took the ticket to Banaras and caught the train.
Part – 1 The Train Part:
I took the train which was quite faster than other trains. Since it was the day of lord Shiva, (The Mahashivratri) train was over filled with men and women. There was hardly the space for keeping your stuffs on the floors. The smell of sweat was in all over the coach. It seems the whole Lucknow residents were travelling from that train only. But Some how i saw a way to have a seat. There was an woman whose a 5-6 years old baby was sitting on a seat next to her. So I quickly walked to her and asked her to carry her baby in the lap. Initially she ignored badly but got convinced by asking 2nd time. So I got my seat and started to wait for departuring of train from the Lucknow station. Amid of the waiting I started to talk from the persons sitting next to me. The lady and an old person. I knew asking the genuine questions is the best way to start a conversation from a stranger. So I asked where are they going and where are they from? Lady which was carrying her baby didn’t give the proper reply and i didn’t bother asking again. But the old person was friendly. He too was going to Banaras. So We started to talk about the places to visit in Banaras. About people over there, Its culture and all. It just made me more excited because the places i heard about in the Banaras was on the top of his list of so called “lovely places which are not to be missed in the banaras”. Soon the signal turned green and then train whistled, twice. All the passengers who were standing on the platform stepped up in train and overfilled train started moving.
Part 2 – Reaching the Destination
Once started ,train took 5 hrs. and 30 min. to reach to the Banaras railway station. In between the journey from Lucknow to Banaras, I kept imagining myself moving on the streets of city. Like, how will it be look like walking in the city? Whats new i am going to see ? Will I be meeting new people here.? But I knew one thing answer of my every question is just knocking up the door of the time. Soon I was on the platform of Banaras Railway station. The whole new place with new people around me. Station of Banaras was not properly cleaned on that time. But as I moved further i saw some workers cleaning the platform So I ignored them thinking they will definitely clean the dirt soon over the area I saw. Now this was the time to call charu (Girl who called me in the morning to visit banaras). I asked where she is and when we are going to meet? She said “She will meet me tomorrow and advised me to take the hotel room near railway station to relax myself”. But I was neither tired nor I was feeling un -relaxed. So I replied ” I am fine ; I dont need hotel room right now. I wanna meet you”. Then she agreed to come on Lanka Gate. For first I didn’t know where the lanka gate is? But I was sure of one thing that this gate is not atleast in railway premises. So I stepped out from the station and walked to the main road. While walking I was keep observing the things. 1st thing i observed was the architecture of the station building. It was pretty nice. The whole building was seem to be built in old time. and the wheel at top of the building was signifying the wheel of chariot of old time. Everything was looking great. then I looked at the ticket window because i will also have to go back and knowing where to get tickets can save alot of your time. So After that I asked a road side vendor about the transport facility to the Lanka Gate. He directed me towards a taxi stand where I got a share taxi to the Lanka.
Part -3 Meeting her and Exploring the City:
I was new to Banaras. So Each and every road, every turn was full of mystery for me. The Banaras is also known for its colors. The number of colors you find here or just look at , are nearly impossible to find some where else. Every shop there was full of different shades of colored clothes and each piece of cloth is so properly designed and manufactured that you cant get your eyes off from them for a while. The main attraction of the city is its culture. This city is made by residents of all religion. Hindus and Muslims live there without any disputes among each other. If we look into spiritual values, this city holds the call of holiest city of the seven sacred cities. Well while thinking all about the city i reached to Lanka Gate. It was actually the one of the entry gate for Banaras Hindu University (BHU) . The gate was big and it was the junction of four roads as well. After reaching Lanka Gate I called charu asking where is she. ? She replied she is struct into traffic and will be there in 10 min. I said Fine but come soon. Now i was having some spare time to explore the area. 1stly I looked at the directional board, placed right in front of the door to see the what locations are near me and which path way leads to which location? After observing the direction board I walked on the road in any random direction. There i found rickshaw stop , fruit juice shops , medical shops etc. which was clearly a market scenario. Now I was always curious to get into BHU so I passed the Lanka Gate and entered into BHU. The whole campus was spreaded on over 2700 Acres. Well i started to walk in. I was just at the 1st turn when my i got a back call from Charu. She’d reached the lanka gate and asking about my location. I said you stay at the door i m gonna be there. She seemed fine with it and added “hamari gaadi whii gate per hai aa jao” I thought “Seriously?? She brought a car?? ” I started to search for the cars at the Lanka. But i didnt find any car in which charu was sitting. But then suddenly something striked in my mind that “There is something i missed. The people from the banaras even says “hum” to “I”. So probably she is on her scooty which she had mentioned when we were in Lucknow. I started to look at the two wheelers. There i go she was just at the corner of the gate sitting on her black color scooty searching me in that traffic. She seemed none less than a warrior. I went to her. She became really happy meeting me. She greeted me and said we cant stay in traffic here. Lets take you to the Ganga Ghat. We left the Lanka gate and i was much more relaxed that i got some one who is so familiar with this city. I was not even worried which way is the nearest to Ganga Ghat because i have some one i could really believe on. She was the person who actually stops for a blind person to take him home regardless thinking where she was actually going. And for Banaras I was that blind man and She was there to hold my hand to take me to the place where ever she wants.
Part – 4 Ganga Ghat and Meeting with Someone New
I never sat pillion on the scooty with such a crazy female driver. She was taking the cuts, overtaking the other vehicles blindly and getting through the narrow gaps between cars and deviders. Everything was so astonishing . I was kind of enjoying myself. So i didn’t interfere to stop her doing that. Soon we reached to “Assi Ghat”. Well it is believed that there are total 110 Ghats on the river Ganga. and every Ghat is famous for its own history. Assi Ghat was 80th Ghat among all. Hindus considers that Tulsidas left for heavenly abode right from the assi Ghat. So The visit to assi Ghat can never be completed without paying tribute to the great Sant Tulsidas. So after reaching to assi ghat she parked her scooty into the parking area and came into focus under a light. My god she was looking gorgeous on that day. She was wearing her blue kurta with red leggings which she’d wore on her birthday. It suited fabulous on her. She was setting her hairs back which got disturbed because of that helmet. and Doing that she was looking very pretty. Her glorifying aquamarine eyes were none less than the shining stars. It was like she was controlling my mind with her eyes. I got mesmerized by her looks. But then she came to me and keeping the sweet smile on face said “Jaana nhi hai kya? ” I cant say what happened to me on that moment but for some seconds i was not me. I got lost in the dreams of the princess who just landed on the ground of holly city. I am sure if i could come back to my instincts if she’d not pulled my elbow to take me to Ghat area.
Now we were at Assi Ghat. The things i heard like the piece and prosperity about the city could easily be observed there. Spending even a short period of time at the Assi ghat can really soften your heart. You feel relaxed . For some moments you feel like you need not to worry about the world anymore. It seems that wealth and work is no longer a tension in your life. We walked and talked across the side of Ganga. Soon the people started to gather on the shore. I asked charu why every one is getting on the shore? It was the time of “Ganga Aarti”. It was amazing moment. The aarti which i just saw on the television was about to start in front of my eyes. Many foreigners comes here to see this spiritual activity. The place and time of aarti is fixed. Some BHU students along with the foreign students studied the procedure and researched deeply on this. Suddenly charu said she wants to introduce me to her foreigner friend. I got confused when she said “she met a girl in the train and she is here on Assi ghat”. She asked me if i would mind calling her here to us. I said i wont mind . Why would I? Let her too see the aarti and hindu culture. May be she takes the positive image of India to her native country. She dropped a message to her about our location. and she immediately replied to wait for her. We knew she was somewhere around and would come in some time. so we waited right there. In few minutes a girl came to charu and greeted her. Yes she was the one. Charu introduced both of us. Her name was Steena. I actually don’t remember her last name . It was much out of league so i asked again but this time too didn’t get. So i decided to better let it go and move further. Well She was from California by birth but was living in Arizona since her childhood. She was having little streaks of blonde hair mixed with brown ones. The interference was perfectly matched. She was having the fair skin like she never let the tanning to touch her. But anyways she was a guest in India and we have to respect that. She spent time with us and we talked about many stuff like how she felt in India? where is she living in banaras? She was very gullible so we are. It was a very nice time over assi ghat. When aarti completed, we walked around the Ganga. There we saw some people were performing the fire act and they were really expert in that .They were so comfortable with the fire like they were friends from the childhood. Since it was Mahashivratri so the program of thandaai was also there. There were some people who were already high because of having extra sips of thandaai and were dancing bluntly. But we just saw them and passed from near. I was actually not in mood of having thandaai because if i get high i would be uncontrollable So leaving it seems to be the best option for me. After some time we decided to left the other ghats for next day since it was very late out there. But Steena wanted to stay more. and she got some company of her friends too. So we (Me and Charu) left the Ghat and promised Steena to meet next day.
Part – 5 Hotel check in and Dining:
Now after we left Ghat charu dropped me to the same location where we met in starting. The Lanka Gate. She directed me towards the cantonment area where she said i will get any hotel to stay. I was not aware of the location. So i took the rickshaw which took me to Railway station. Then i came to know that whole area outside the railway station is cant. area. Where there are number of hotels and Dharamshala. I did not want to spend extra money on the hotel rooms. So I entered into dharamshala (Not remembering the name; but its was just at the front of railway station entry – exit way and gate of this dharamshala seems to be like an old Guruduwara. I first thought it would be a guruduwara where i can stay and can have food as well. But inside of that it was only dharamshala. They were offering rooms on minimal prices. but were accepting only cash. I asked about the paytm, or card payment they straightly declined so i had to leave the premises. Outside of Dharamshala, security guard introduced me to a person and said he can arrange rooms in other hotels in minimal prices. I ignored them. He followed me and said “its on the main road just have a look and if i dont like i can leave.” I made a clear cut point that if at any point we seem to leave the main road I will back off. He agreed on that. So i followed him on the same road . Traffic was on its flow .So i needed not to worry about any misleading. Then after walking of 5-6 minutes we entered into a hotel, Hotel Park. The hotel administration demanded much money than the agent said me while introduction. I decided to leave the hotel immediately. But they said they have the dormitory facility also If i like to avail. I saw the hall and restroom facility and which was quite satisfactory so I accepted to spend my night there. I filled up the details , handed over my id proof and came in hall to get fresh.
Now since the residence problem was solved, next was of dining. I walked out and looked for any restaurants nearby. I chose a random direction and started walking. Time was very late. So traffic was getting down. Silence were replacing the honking sound of the vehicles. I saw a guard outside the shopping complex and asked him about the dining. He directed me towards the elevator and said there is hangover lounge on the 5th floor. So I went there and sat in there. The lounge seemed to be expensive. There were boys and girls partying together. Drinks were on. And slow music in the background creating the mood romantic. But Something did not suit well. It would be awkward for me to eat sitting in between those party freaks, Everyone was so enjoying the party and dancing and i would be just eating. So I decided to leave. and went again to that security guard to address me any other restaurant. He said other than this you will find some at the cant area. Yeah Now i knew where cant area is. So i walked to the cant area. Found a good place to eat which was hygienic and less crowded. I was in mood to have simple Indian food so that’s what i ordered and had the proper dinner. After having the dinner I decided to walk around the station for a while. There i saw some vendors who were just sleeping on the road. I felt sad for them. But i was used to see them like this. This is pretty much in common in India. Rickshaw drivers were still active as they were in the day. Traffic became minimal but was still there too. Soon i got tired. So i went back to my hotel with a hope that next day too will be as beautiful as today with some more views and adventure.
Part-6 Visit to Kashi Vishawnath Temple
Because of the train journey and walking in the city I got so much tire that within some minutes of laying on bed I fell asleep. I really had sound and relaxed sleep. On the next day i woke at 7 in the morning. I was bit excited about this day. While I was not even yet full awake I started to plan where would i go today. I decided to go to visit Kashi Vishawnath Temple which was approx 3-4 kms from my hotel. Kashi vishawnath is famous for its spirituality. Hindus considers that visiting this temple will fulfill their wishes and desires. It is one of the twelve jyotirlings present in the world. As name itself describing “Vishawnath” means The Ruler of the universe which i lord shiva . So people from all over the world comes here and bow their heads infront of Lord shiva. In a hope that their wished too will be fulfilled. So I left the bed and went to get fresh. Because I didnot want to waste my this day merely sleeping. I got myself ready to go and packed my bag again. I was not sure if i would be living in the same hotel again so I checked out from the hotel and gave positive feedback when some from the administration asked me about my stay. I was not worried about my breakfast i just wanted to save my time. So I took the ricksaw from the right infront of the hotel and said to drop me directly to the vishawnath temple. It was around 8 in the morning. So i called Charu about todays plan. She said right now she is going to take her mother to her new house so she will be late today. I was fine with that. I explained my plan to visit temple. She said “Ok pay the visit and call her back when gets free”. Now Suddenly something clicked in my mind that Since this temple is so famous in the world then there would definitely be a long queue of people. I was hopping that there should be less number of visitors to be present when i get there. But the situation was totally opposite. There were hell alot of number of men and women who came there from every part of India. Everyone was showing their own way of showing the reverence. Some were walking barefooted . Some were covering the way by laying on the road. Some were just repeating the lord shiva’s name while some were quite. The sun also started shining on head. Though it was just 9 in the morning but it was clear that this day is not gonna be a smooth day. Now I too followed the crowed to reach to the entry gate. There I met a Uncle named Rajesh. He was from Gorakhpur and was going to Kanpur in order to look at the guy for his daughter. Ohh.. That was kind of interesting. I asked about there work their families and many more. Soon we both reached to the way to gate. Oh my god There was a long queue for the entry. We both were not sure how much time will it going to take to get us into the temple. So Without any hesitation we walked passthrough the queue and stood in between two people. They firstly got confused that where in the hell we got there. But We convinced them to let us stand there on the excuse that uncle have to leave in hour and its very urgent for him to go in. I am not sure but i think we”d saved our 1 hour by skipping some people in the queue. Now we were at the main door where they said us to leave the bag and shoes outside. Actually there are small shopkeepers who does protect your belongings for money. It is a good business near temple. Everyone have to leave their shoes and they take advantage of this. This type of business is going since a long time. Around 3 generations are into keeping the stuff for the money. Well we left our bags and shoes outside. Took the Prasad and entered into temple premises. There is wholesome tight security in between the way to the statue of Lord shiva. Different queues for male and females. Which there after joins at one place. but One will have to cross through the security checks. No one can skip this step. Now while walking in to the premises we saw many sculptures of Lord Brama, Lord Ganesha , Goddess Laxmi, Goddess Saraswati and many more. There is a mosque also near the temple which can be seen while passing through to sculpture of gods. But we were there for Lord Shiva. We bowed our head before the Lord Ganesha and All other goddess and reached to the sculpture of Lord Shiva. It was almost drowned in the milk because of reverence of the people. Police personnel who was standing at the door was not letting anybody to stand at there for more than 1-2 sec. He wanted the queue to move ahead. and even they were pushing people to walk further. Instead of such a tough situation We some how got to stand there for 2-3 seconds and completed our pray. After this its mandatory to leave the premises because there was not enough space for all plus there were alot of people still waiting for their turn to come. So Me and Uncle Rajesh searched for the exit. Collected our shoes and belongings from the same store where we left & said good bye to each other. They went their way to railway station and I came mine to market.
Part-7 Dashashwamedh Ghat and Tour to another shore
Well now after catching the way to market I called charu and informed her that i got free and asked her if she is free to meet.? She replied positively. She said me to wait at Lord Brahma ‘s temple which was just located at around 100m from the Singh Dwar of Kashi Vishawanath temple. So I did wait there and she came to me. She is kind of person which is punctual to time. If everything goes well as she planned she never gets late to reach to her destination. She was right on time. She bought her same scooty of which i enjoyed the ride last eve. She was as usual looking pretty and complementing her on her looks which is even worth doing, brings the smile on her face which cant be written in some words. I must say even the 26 alphabets are not enough to state how beautiful her smile was. Well then we went to dashashwamedh Ghat which was on straight way from the vishwanath temple. It is considered to be biggest ghat among all. Many Boat keepers started offering us the ride to other shore. We chose one micro size boat and decided to ride alone. No person other than charu me and propeller were accompanying us. Boating in the ganga river gave immense pleasurable feeling about the piece. It seemed the whole Banaras was on 1 shore. The view was spectecular. We could see all 110 Ghats from the our boat. People goes to other shore to take a bath in ganga and to enjoy with their loved ones staying way from the crowd. Thats what we were doing there. We eclicked many pictures and get ourself wet with holly water of river Ganga. While returning we bought some food for the migrated birds swimming on the water . The moment we through the food in water number of birds started following us. These birds flew here from the nearby country in order to protect themselves from the summer. So when It starts summer in india they flies back to their home country. We were really happy seeing them feeding. Soon we reached back to dhashashwamedh Ghat where we paid the for the boat and started moving across the river.
Part -8 Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat is another Ghat which is some ghats away from the Dashashwamedh Ghat. This ghat is popular for its crematory activities. It is considered that The person who dies in here ends up directly in the heaven. It is also known as door of heaven. (Sawarag ka Darwaja). One thing which is also a fact that This ghat never gets silent. means everytime 24 hrs a day someone is getting cremated. No matters of time , whether or personal reason. We walked to that ghat. She said no camera or photography is allowed on here. And I agreed. I thought Why should they even allow? Its not something which should be make world famous. Some one is loosing their family and we shoots them with a camera. I big Noo. I kept my phone inside my pocket and started to look around. There was huge heap of woods and it seemed the stock is well enough for a week. People were sitting there. No one was actually shouting or screaming anything. Every where was just silence. We did not stop there for a long time. We saw the things happening and came back.
Part- 9 Mansarovar Guest House and Saying Good bye
Well now after getting back from the manikarnika ghat . Charu handed over the keys of her scooty to me and said me to drive. I agreed and we directed towards the market. There we saw a pair of earings which she liked too much. So We decided to keep one piece of earing to ourself and other to give a gift to Steena. So we dropped a message to steena to share her location. She said she is in Mansarovar Guest house and will be there for a while. So we said to wait for us right there and not to leave before us. Now there was a big problem. We both were unaware that where this guest house is.? We asked many people nearby and no one gave satisfactory answer . Then a person came and said its on Bangali Tola Road. Now another problem is to find the bangali tola road in that big city. He bluntly said to ask again after two turn from here. So we moved further and kept asking about the directions to Bangali Tola Road. Soon we entered into a narrow street full of foreigners. There was some shops of cloths some cosmetics shops, some food shops and some guest houses were also there. We were just getting instincts that we might find her in some where here. Some turns in Bangali tola road was so narrow that even the scooty is hardly passed through them. But Some how after roaming here and there we saw the board of Mansarovar guest house. It was built over a cafe whose name was also Mansarovar. On asking It was crystal clear that both the guest house and cafe was bought by the same person. Steena was waiting for us. She really got happy seeing us there. We showed her . her gift. and Suddenly her eyes started to glorying. She said she never got such a beautiful gift ever. She tried them on the spot and really they were looking awesome on her. Her face was perfectly projecting the beauty of earing. It seemed the her beauty increased by 4 times after wearing them. She looked in mirror and she liked them that much as she declined to remove them . and thats what we wanted. We wanted her to keep those earings always in there because a jewelry will become the gem only if it is on right place. Those earings found there right place and they were none less than gem in the world.
After parking the scooty in front of guest house ,We took her to ghat where she wanted to go again. But this time she asked about the Manikarnika ghat. The things charu told me in the morning about manikarnika was sequentially repeated again to her. she understood everything and we moved further. Well Now It was time to say Good bye to Steena. Since charu was having some work at home and she asked me if i wanna stay. I said which place other than ghat can i visit right now? she advised me to roam in the BHU campus. So we thereafter said good bye to steena. had a beautiful hug and left the place.
Part – 10 BHU campus and Returning to hotel
Well leaving the Ghats behind we got back to guest house where we parked her scooty. The hilarious moment happened there that A foreigner ,we both dont know who , started to hit on Charu . My God she got stunned. What the hell is happening. He was blushing while talking to charu and made the milk cake as source of approaching her. Firstly charu heard what he was saying but at the end she just said “Nikal le beta hogya tera” . He didnt understand the language but i m sure by looking at expression and considering her high tone He immediately left. Charu told me all about this when we I took the keys and started driving. I couldn’t hold my laugh whole time. Within half an hour we reached to Lanka Gate. The Only place from where i properly know which road goes to which way. Well Seeing the fuel indicator i informed her to refill the tank as this is not enough for a long trip. Then she took the incharge of the scooty came to front seat and turned the scooty towards the petrol pump. She was in hurry and she knew the way to nearest petrol pump. So I started to drive fast. I was at back seat. well due to wind against the driving direction her hairs were coming back to my face. they not properly tied but kept open. They were all on my face. I was kind of holding them in their position. But Since the speed was high they were uncontrollable. Well after trying for two three times i left them as it is. Soon we reached the petrol pump. It was located inside the campus itself. and many other students were there with their bikes waiting in order to refill the tank. We paid the money against refilling and left. This time i hold her from her waist. Consider it guys its really feels awesome when you see your hand is on a girls waist. It was kind of smooth, fluffy and thin. I was enjoying the pillion ride. There she dropped me infront of the canteen near the vishawanath temple (Another one which is in BHU Campus) and said to meet on railway station on next morning. She got another call from her mother So she’d to leave quickly. This area where she dropped me seemed to an one of the best places to roam for the BHU students. Girls Boys Even faculties were also there roaming around. Some students were discussing something serious which i never bothered to know. I just concentrated on my food which i ordered 10 min. earlier and haven’t yet received . Now I was alone walking around the temple and having the food from the canteen. After spending nearly 2 hrs and tasting almost everything from canteens, i left for the hotel room. I was not in mood to search the new hotel so I took the Rickshaw to Cant area and I again went to the same hotel where i spent the last night. They greeted me and asked if i need a room for tonight. I shook my head and said to allot the dormitory to me. They agreed and I went to hall and relaxed myself.
Part- 11 Getting Back Train and Leaving Banaras
Now Next day we had to leave earlier. Since she was having some work at Lucknow So we mutually decided to take the early morning train. We shortlisted Varuna Express to travel back to Lucknow. She woke me up at 4 in the morning and said to take her ticket too. I said even if you had not called I would have bought two tickets. Now let me sleep See you soon. After half an hour I woke up and got fresh. I did the checkout from the hotel and left for the railway station. I actually saved my some amount of time by knowing the location of ticket \counter. I went straight to that window bought two tickets and did ask from the inquiry about the status of the train. It was on right time. so I called her to know about her estimate time of arrival. She informed she is gonna be there in some minutes and She is with her mom. I dont know if i was an alert or a warning to me but i waited for them outside the station. They were taking a long time to come. Soon I left for the train to reserve two seats in 2nd class. When I entered the coach then she called me and inquired about my location. I replied I am in the coach and you too come here asap. since they got little late from actual planned time and the train was about to depart. when she came to me I asked about her mom if she is at platform but unfortunately Her mom dropped her there and went back.
One side I was sad because my wish to meet her mom remained incomplete but on the same moment I was happy to cherish the beautiful and unforgettable memories of Banaras in my mind. I can never forget the time I spent across the river, the bike riding in that bangali tola road , meeting with my untraceable foreign friend, and many more. This time too when I close my eyes I see myself in those streets of banaras and become happy thinking about the piece and prosperity i felt there when i was actually there. Today too when Some one asks about my banaras tour I remain speechless and just passes a smile saying “I saw the heaven ” .
Author: TARUN SHARMA
Native Place: India.
Contact Address: email@example.com
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