Penultimate day in Varanasi

On April 28, I did shopping. Actually, Swami did it for me. Once in the morning then later in the midday.

The day before I had bought some books cost about Rs 2000 and returned 3000 bucks to Swami because the two most expensive books had not arrived yet at the book stall. (Swami had given me Rs 5000 for buying books.)

While returning to the Mutt after shopping in the morning, he said that the shopkeepers overcharged us for everything because of my foreigner like appearance.

I recalled what Richard had said (regarding the two-price-system in the third world) on bus en route to Varansi from Sunauli. Why different prices for the same thing for insiders and outsiders? One price for local people and another for tourists. Is this fair?

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Later in the day, both of us went to the market at Dashashwamedh and Godwilia section. Vidya had demanded for Kurta, so we went to a “Matching house.” It was really difficult for a Sadhu and a unpractical daju to buy clothe for a girl. However, we bought two pieces for kurta.

We bought a bag, two kg of petha (sweet), some notebooks, and bels (fruits), a pair of underwears…

I asked Swami to lend me money to buy a cellphone. He said, “Later, I will give you one as gift.”

Oh, before reaching the market area, we came across a temple –New Vishwanath temple. We went inside. One of the priests at the temple gave me a garland. May be he thought that I would offer some dakhshina up to him or some bheti to the temple. But I did not give a penny there. Later, I gave the garland to a cow.

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I was supposed to leave to Nepal this day. I had called Anup and told him that I would leave Varanasi for Nepal and he had asked me whether I would come to meet him or not. And I had said that I might…

But I had told Swami that I leave Varanasi only if the condition in Nepal would be fine. (I feared of being left high and dry in Bhairahawa, if I entered Nepal amidst political chaos.)

The reinstated HoR was supposed to meet for the first time that day and I had thought that this meeting would reflect the yet to come state of the country. The only one way to get informed about the recent happenings back home was the Internet – the online news sites and the weblogs.

I went to Lanka. Though Anup had said that he too would come to the Cyberpoint, our usual hang out, after his exams, he had not come yet. So I took a cycle rickshaw and went to the BHU – to his hostel. However, I met him about 50 m inside the BHU gate. He was riding pillion on Dipti Ranjan Mishra’s bicycle.

Dipti asked me to send the link of my blogsite such that he would check it out “daily.”

Kiran and Rajeev came to the Ravi’s Cyberpoint. They knew that I was leaving Varanasi very soon.

I read news and felt that everything would be fine in Neal then.

I wanted to post some entries here but the page did not open.

Anup and I went to eat Idly. Bu the restaurant –Banaras Burger Corner– had only plate of Idly left. However, we ordered to bring that too and ordered Paper Dosa.

Anup had not brought any money with him so I gave him six bucks for the rickshaw.
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That night I had to share my room with a Brahmachari– a Burmese sadhu of Nepali origin who these days lives in Nepal. He was a member of the group that had come for pilgrimage from Nepal. He told me that they came Varanasi from Gaya that morning.

(Actually, he told me that he lives in a Ashram in Lalitpur only. But Swami had told me that Brahmachari belonged to Burma. I did not bother about him, though he asked me many things.)

Same morning, I had met some students who had come from Pokhara to take exams in Varanasi. Though earlier Kashi (another name of Varanasi) was famous for good education (eastern subjects), at present, with the exception of the BHU where modern subjects are taught, this place has been promised land for those who want to win degrees with ease without labour.
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I could not sleep that night because I had to share the room. Also, the bed was narrow for me. (Till last day I had joined the two beds in my room…)

Later in the late night (or was it early morning?), a monkey entered from the Ankhijhyal and messed up the things that the group had left in the lounge (that was between my room and the other one where three members of the aforesaid group were living) of the traditional Nepali House.

The group had used the lounge as kitchen and left materials there. And the monkey was enjoying vegetables and dal.

When I saw the monkey, I closed my door which I had left open for ventillation because power was cut off as usual at the night.

After sometime, I again heard some sound and called the Brahmachari. It was the monkey again.

I hardly slept for four hours that night.

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