I am due to arrive in Varanasi in just half and hour; I know, because I can see DLW from my train window. My train, superfast as it is; still stops in Maduwadi. It is a scheduled stop and I curse myself for not having anticipated this. A drive from here to campus would have been so much shorter.
But, I have reception at the Varanasi main station– and it is too late to change the arrangements. And, who knows? Perhaps, the station would bring memories flooding back. As it happened, it did. Not the station; it remains as chaotic and as crowded as ever. But, the drive from the station to the campus was worth every additional minute spent.
This is the first time ever that I have been driven across this maddening city in an air-conditioned SUV; to get into the spirit of things, I consider getting in a shared auto- but, schedules beckon. I content myself in drinking in the sights from the windows. And, surprisingly (or not), I recognize the city as if I never left it.