Delhi_Varanasi 26.2.10-1.3.2010:Railyatra- with two and half families, In Saubhagya Mithila TV Studio;Coincidences- Vinay Jha and Malangiaji’s son-in law, Holi Milan with IAS as moderator on Mithila,JNU’s 24X7 dhaba,DU-no one to meet there, at India Coffee House, Abir to Baba Vishwanath and colours by His Ganas
In this short travelogue one may find the above points. Usually persons in job save leaves for spending them in Holi, Dushhera and Deepawali the major festivals of Hindus but I have to take journeys mostly in such days to save leaves for organizational work and so it was one such journey which I had to plan when the meeting at Dhamdaha(Purnea) could not be materialized.
When I reached Ranchi station I found my colleague Dr. RC Khanduri , dental surgeon and his wife in the same bay of the coach. They were also going to Delhi to go to there native place in Uttarakhand. They had a train after 4 hours at New Delhi station. Other couple was also going to meet their son working in IT sector at Gurgaon. Ideally in that IIIAC coach there would have been other couple but where I was an odd man there, the other was a young lady in 30s who next day in introduction was a lecturer of philosophy at Ramgarh Cantt and was going to meet her husband working as an engineer in the Airports Authority of India. So, I felt myself encircled with 2.5 families and it was a wonderful journey considering the food shared between two families where I had an exceptional advantage though that girl also took but was always with protest that she had already for her to which I had commented she thought for a Zero figure. For me it was probably an advance which I had to adjust as almost no food for two days-pre-and post-Holi when this festival is famous for heavy feasting.
For the evening I escaped as it was a Pradosh fast for me and my sister had given me food to take in the evening and the next day I had to reach Delhi in forenoon but that was not destined due to exceptional late running of train and I could eat what other families had offered but for that I had a problem in my puja (Tarpan part) as water is to pour and in AC coaches windows are fixed and closed. I had to go to other coach as there was no water in the coach and after bath in the toilet (to which I was accustomed) I did my Sandhya Bandan,Tarpan etc. on a passage from which cold air was blowing fast in that superfast train.
And also we had a lot of discussion there as per previous evening. The young lecturer had her thesis on the Maya of Acharya Shankara and my explanation to the distinctive Advait of Mithila which was called by Madhusudan Sarasawati, a great disciple of Shankara, as ‘Bhavadwait,’ which does not recognize ‘Sannyas’ for Kaivalya was a bit new for her and others, Her other statement that Sankhy darshan had not advocated for Brahm but of Prakriti and Purush only, it took long time to convince her that Sankhya darshan by Maithil Kapil was also an Astk philosophy not a Nastik one like Buddhists’ Jains or Charvak(who all three were also Maithils). Anyway it was her knowledge based on popular teaching which is mostly anti-Hindu.
I do not remember other parts of discussion but surely the faces of journey friends are in my memory. The young lecturer was going to present a paper on the ethics of female infanticide and I gave her some tips. With sorrow, the Delhi and around among the well off it is prevalent more.
While my colleague Khanduri’s connecting train was missed due to very late running, my recording in Saubhagya Mithila TV was advanced from 2 PM to 5 PM and I reached there almost running to catch the first metro for Rajiv Chowk and then to Rajauri Garden where Manoj Pathak, the anchor of Raj Suraj came himself to receive me.
There I was interviewed on the Health of Mithila, in particular and I established that Mithila is also a distinct zone from the disease point of view, different from rest of Bihar as kalazar like disease is found only in Mithila not down south Ganga except in migrants.
Mithila’s condition in health is dismal. New AIIMS should have been opened at Saharsa or Madhubani or DMCH would have been upgraded. Govt. of Bihar had just presented a health budget of 1.5 % of its total outlay which could not provide basics for vast population which is young (and soon Mithila may be the area of young persons highest in the country).
I also gave some health tips like to avoid tobacco/gutkha in any form; self-examination of breast by ladies and habit of washing anal portion after urinary portion by every girl apart from Mithila may be a hub for medicinal plant cultivation.
The other doctor in the discussion Vinay Jha , I remarked while in discussion that I have heard him by name and so he turned out while he was seeing me off to catch a bus to RK Puram.
What a coincidence againin the bus I just said in Maithili to Dr. Vinay that I would prefer a seat near gate to get down at the stoppage and lo! a person invited me to seat besides him because I spoke in Maihtili and he was Chandra Kant Jha of village Chhatauni, near Jayanagar who turned out as a son-in-law of Mahendra Malangia, a doyen of Maithili drama and my old friend whom I talked on mobile instantly knowing that he was in Delhi. I experienced the power of speaking Maithili once again.
We talked whole way and I got down at my destination and reached my younger brotherly IAS’s flat who was as honest in life as was the other IAS Abhash Chatterjee closely known to me.
There was a small Holi meet like scene- among three guests waiting for me , one was an IPS, and two other ladies apart from my brother’s wife to three of them I remarked would be allocated ministry of defense(say home for a state, she was working in Maternal and Child Service Department whose husband was abroad; hailing from Begusarai she was more argumentative in rage like Devi Durga), education(like Devi sarasawati;she was a lady doctor later I knew from my batch from RMCH hailing from Bhagalpur) and finance(like Devi Laxmi, I said to wife of my brother IAS who in any case was our Grihlaxmi) and once Mithila comes up. The IAS took the seat of moderator when IPS had strong arguments with me against forming Mithila state.
However all of them said that they were not against the view but argued so only to listen more from me in favour of state.
The young IPS was vocal that linguistic division had made nation worse. Not a new objection but I put a hypothetical question before them had not been linguistic states in India what would have result ? It was not replied by them despite my repetitive stances and later I put my views,’ then our country would have many nations like Euro nations.’ I also said that such objection is raised by those only who have already got their linguistic state and none of the state carved out on the name of languages were such who have not developed- be it southern states, or Gujarat and Maharashtra or Punjab and Haryana. I also said that linguistic affinity had even broken Pakistan’s nationality based on religion and Bangladesh was carved out.
Our problem in Bihar is though Maithili is only language of literary status, other dialects speaking persons oppose it and in Bihar Hindi is continued as English is in India.
Constitution has bound us as union of states and there is modalities of newer sate formations and opposition to that is anti-constitutional not those who want states on their points and as far as Mithila is concerned, it was a state till 1328 when foreigner, a Turk, Giyasuddin Tugalque had dismantled that.
Mithila fits the status of a state from any count on which states are made and when in this connection I narrated Mithila’s contribution and life style based on distinctive Advait Bhavadwait, the IAS called his son Adwait(a law student at Bhopal or younger one in Class XII, I do not remember) that he was being discussed. The boys had examinations close and so they were studing in other room.
Though Mithila’s boundary we demand is linguistic we demand Mithila state since it has been neglected by the Govt. of Patna and in fact expoited to the tune of Rs.18 crore per year from each district and no central institution has been opened there (I had demsanded IIT at Darbhanga/Barauni, AIIMS at Saharsa or Madhubani, IISER at Muzaffarpur, IIM at Purnea but all have been allocated to Patna only to which the IPS was opposed that Bihar had no infrastructure to have IIM. My point was that being nearest from Kolkata it would have better feeder from IIM, Kolkata and students of nearby SARC countries too would have been drawn there.
Moderator IAS said that for administrative reasons Mithila State may be formed. His wife was more in favour. The lady doctor had continued objection on which moderator intervened that better we may have dinner and now that four are convinced, in my absence they would make her convinced better.
The IAS had just returned from Africa and on my mention of the Shrimadbhagwata’s story of Maharaja Priyavrta’s making of sapt dweeps(like Jambudweep,etc.) and sapt arnavas(oceans) being made by the churning of his chariot and Janaka’s name with Mithila connection ,he mentioned about Lucy of Ethiopia, the grandmother of human civilization.
I said that I have read that story of her fossils and so called genetic study but there are other points too.(Like a new theory of Hobbits, the 3 feet human who are said to be swept from Africa after a conjectured Tsunami to Far East islands).
I recalled that IAS was selling with me books of Gandhi’s disciple Ramananandan Mishra when he was a student and I too was a young doctor.
And then while dinner he remarked that he has worn bundy-kurta because Mithila needed a Nehru too(mentioning Richard Attenborough had uselessly spent on the make up of Kigsley as Gandhi which I would have been better only with specks) but I cannot be a Gandhi because there was a Kasturba behind him and none so with me.On this the lady officers quipped that they would from their departments among some working ladies bring a Kasturba for me. So, this ended with a Holi talk but not with abirs, I do not know as to why but there were many dishes and sweets and it seems because I had eaten so much I had to go off foods next two days.
I was asked to sleep on the bed of the IAS who is still simple and the room was a puja room (so no chappals allowed though his so clean room and toilet did not need a chappal I carry always with me, to take bath in train toilets in particular). The room had many pictures of saints including that of Pt. Ramanandan Mishra whom we used to say ‘Babuji.’ I enquired about one of his disciples who was well at the age of 92 or 88 I do not remember.
Early morning I got up because I had four appointments in distant areas and I wished to be punctual to get my train in time at 1845 PM. Anujvadhu asked to wait for breakfast but I said that fruits would be ok and she cut apples, oranges and also a delicious mango brought from distance. Boyish looking IAS went till bus stop to see me off in an AIIMS bound bus from where I could get many buses for the JNU. And I got one but it left me near its old campus and when I phoned Maithil Narayan Choudhary, I found myself 3 km away and I preferred to walk finding no bus. A young boy was with me to show the way till Yamuna Hostel of ladies. I walked the Administrative building and stopped near the statue of Nehru which had on a plaque inscribed his vision for a University. Had not I come for some of that reasons unconnected with my any personal work to young students some of whom I had met twice I had visited there recently though some 2 decades back my youngest brother was studying there and I had gone to meet him.
The JNU looked me as having some rays of hope for our mission. I had told them that because our good and talented students have migrated from Mithila, an Osmania like scene cannot be created at Darbhanga or Saharsa and I wished some young students visit Mithila’s some colleges for spreading awareness. However, one should be convinced first before he can convince others. I found still there were remnants of old thoughts in those minds despite my third visit and of course they were not from my old acquaintances that I could dare to say like to that IAS that if I wished Mithila state he has to support that with no arguments to be convinced because he knew me that I in any case can not be anti-national.
On Holi eve not many were present despite email notices but those two boys and a girl(Narayan, Goplji and Manisha) had come to see me were not less. In my whole life time if I could find only one most suitable to the objects that would not be less.
I saw a distinct change in their mind. One who was a leader for Equality race was accommodative to others from deprived groups in Mithila work and that had been my assumption – Mithila and Maithili is one point where both leftists and rightists do meet. Mithila is the seat of most deprived and Mithila is the seat of most elites.
We proceeded to 24X7 dhaba which is opend round the clock on all days. There were many boys and girls. I saw one girl pushing Holi color to his boy friend. Life was lively there and for me watching youth making me younger. One Maithil boy answered other that problem of fighting corruption should not be mixed with demand of Mithila. Same point was raised by that IPS also.I saw Maithil mind same and confused over the issues under emotion. My work is to provide the young a clear message out of my experience in public life working since 1963 and I see no antithesis to any national or ethical issue when Mithila is demanded, maybe it solves the myriads of problems though a few may be created also but advantage is surely more and it weighs in favour of Mithila and hence, many are coming to this path whom I do not know.
Soon two other Maithils came-Shamsher and other stuident of Spanish who wished a translation of Maihtili social fiction in to Spanish. I guided him and asked to e mail me his ideas in details as I was perturbed over Kripanand’s deal on Maithila Painting to some one was taking much time and I feared delay in reaching D.U.
Of course at D.U only always smiling young film director Bhavesh Nandan was waiting. And soon we dispersed. I was left at Preet Vihar by Kripanand for my personal work. After some time my nephew(son of sister) Murari reached Nirman Vihar metro and again in way to Rajiv Chowk in Metro, I found two young Maithil students talking in Maihtili- they were Rajiv Kr. Jha of Beharban-Belahi and Pappu Jha of Mahrail who had an email id too. They left the metro and talked at Rajiv Chowk till we took off. They informed me that at Uttam Nagar Maihtils had Holi Milan without any banner. I asked them to contact Kripanand and give them banner of the AMP.
We came out of Metro station and walked to the India Coffee House . On the road some young college going boys and girls were sprinkling Abirs on each other. The India Coffee House on second floor used to be a gossip place for many stalwarts like Khuswant Singh and even Indira Gandhi. Coffee is cheaper there compared to newly opened Coffee Home.
Bhavesh Nandan was waiting there for us.
When I phoned Dr. Lalchand he was sorry as to why I had not informed him. He said that Nanji Deshmukh’s dead body was in nearby Jhandewalan. Soon came Kripanand too and I asked him to take me there but Bhavesh said that it would take 1-2 hours as many VIPs like Advani with Z security will be there and I may miss the train. I left the idea of going there to pay my last respect to him. Few leaders like him and after returning Ranchi I wrote a condolence message for him on my memory of short talk with him in 1981 and demanded posthumously Bhart Ratna Award from him.
Soon came Ratnesh who has a good exposure of Maithili and other work of Kolkata, Guwahati etc. He said that Kolkata and Bangalore too have this chain of Coffee House and he repeated, Bhupen hazarika’s line on Kolkata Coffee House. I wished some of such young Maithil think for Mithila’s cause.
We discussed a lot about work in Delhi and in Mithila. Coffee and snacks were ordered for all but I preferred a Masal dosa. Its taste was not good as I had in south.
There were few other groups who had assembled there on Holi-eve. Ratnesh and Bhavesh had met there last year on the same day also.
My train time was approaching and Kripanand saw me off at New Delhi station . Though I had a desire to stop and take bananas in the way for missing the train. The train started quickly.
There was a young chartered accountant in the train going to Varanasi and I got many information on the role of CAs. I felt an independent body on the line of CBI say FBI(Bureau pf Financial Investigation) should be made for investigating financial scams as certifications by CA firms are done on many considerations, many times unethical too.
Since my brother working in DLW had gone to Mumbai, I took bath again in the train and did my daily puja as I feared I could not get conveyance to Baba Vishwanath temple.
At Varanasi station I came out to see if there was one and in fact no one was ready to go among few available autos. There was a young man from Haryana who had came for Gangasanan and Vishwanath darshan. I had thought to go next time when time permits but seeing that person I became ready to go on foot also as it was hardly 4 km from there.
However, one rickshaw puller became ready on double charge and I shared with him. That rickshaw puller was also a Maithil from Begusasari. Poor Maithils can do work even in odds for some money.
There were boys in the way with colours and I did not dislike when it was sprinkled on my fresh dhoti .
Crossing through almost vacant streets of Varanasi was a unique experience in itself. We reached Godoliya and walked from there to Dashashwmedh Ghat . Only few persons ,including some from south were there. A few foreign tourists were also there who had been also coloured. The Ganga Ghat which was almost vacant when I dipped in.
I did again sandhya-vandan and tarpan with wet gamachhi. I had no clean dhoti and so I decided to have darshan in that wet gamchhi only and walked to Bawa darbar. In the way there were groups with colours but they spared me.
At the shop of a flower-prasad vendor,I put my bag with mobile(though on return I saw he had provisions of lockers on payment also- what a high tech business!). The street of bawa was full of his ganas armed with colurs who would not spare anyone but I was delighted with those colours that after all I would be able to put Abir on Bawa Vishwanath. There were some devotees from south also. I forgot bottle of my Gangajala and again I returned to that vendor. Policemen did not check me this time even on the first time I had nothing but a plastic carrybag with pujabook and money and ticket in that.
Since there were few devptees only, I had a full darshan of Bawa Vishwanath but as usual I could not ask anything from Ashutosh- what to ask from Him when He knows what I should have asked. Again I forgot to put Abir on Him and I returned back and put Abir on Shivalingam.
The priest pur a nirmalya garland on my neck. Side was the Aannpurna Temple where a couple was worshipping and the priest was asking wife’s name- I quickly slipped out.
I came out and went to the shop to take my bag. The shopkeeper adviced not to put on cloth for putting coplours and so I came out in that wet gamachhi with garland of Nirmalya flowers. One rickshawpuller agreed to go to station. He was from Malda and I talked him in Bengla and he was pleased.
He took a longer route to avoid colours but in the way I could see the Kashi Vidyapeetha. At a nearby hotel, some foreigner toursists were enjoying to see people in colours and one took a snap of mine also.
At a point some boys seeing me cried- Bawa, bawa..true with the garland from Bawa Vishwanath I had become a Bawa- Shivo bhutwa shivam bhavet..
I reached station and finding no vegetarian hotel, I stopped at a khomcha of Litti and took four- soon I felt it was unhygienic place and went in to the platform. It was around 11 and my train was after 5 hours. I went to a tape and washed colours.
Then I went downside of platform 1 and chopped my grown nails with ease,read in Aaj which full bundle was there that a MLA from Jamui(Bihar) had gunned his wife, daughter and himself, son of a minister who was admitted in hospital in shock(not followed Nanaji’s advice of retirement from politics- his son should have been Minister not he,I think)..
I went to platform and rested there for long- purchased grapes and ate. Then went to platform 5 where I was surprised to know a young passenger in a traibal look was going to Bolagir(Orissa) from that Sambalpur via Ranchi bound train and hhis father had opened a shop there though he was from near Varanasi.
The train came in time and young tribal girl of Zoology (Hons) sat in front of me to go to Ranchi. What an advancement among backward tribal community. I had been in Zoology Hons. For few days before I left for Botany Hons for I feared from complex diagrams of animals. Then came a person who did not introduce himself properly but I took his pirated book, Research methods in Health,” by Ann Bowling from Open University Press, Phildelphia. While I was turning pages, he might have been surprised as to what I could have known from turning the pages- after all I was not Kalidas given vara by Kali of Ucchaitha(Madhubani) but surely I learnt many things and clarified many terms as I was the best student of Preventive Medicine of my class. He wanted to pursue PhD from somewhere and said doctors hardly know what health was. True he was but every doctor was not same. I told him that as an editor I find articles where I need statistical terms which we had read a bit and were precisely explained in his book. I wonder if he would have guessed me as a doctor in southern dhoti but surely like the lady young lecturer’s view on Sankhyashastra(which was not Statistics of modern days) I had no time to there to explain that I know a,b,c of modern statitistics too as a part of my curriculum.
That research scholar went to other bay in side to sleep at ease and I asked the other passengers from Bhojpur area whether they would like to go to a Bhojpur or Purvanchal state demaded in UP. They said some people in Bihar are demanding Mithila who may form Mihtila but we will remain in remaining Bihar. True that is going to happen, Mithila will be carved out and Bihar with Bhojpur and Magadh would remain because politicians have only piecemeal approach.
I had no meals in the day and so in the night nor there was anyone like onward journey to offer me food and not only train was almost vacant no vendor was there and only at Daltonganj around 2 AM I could get biscuits to eat. So this Holi was with or without sweets is difficult to analyze- some times too much and sometimes none..so is the life..
The train became again late, long time it stayed at Barkakana and on reaching Ranchi. I went straight to my duty.