Grand, old Varanasi
Sohini and Anandita had included Ramnagar fort and Sarnath in their itinerary for the second day. Sohini exercised all her negotiation skills to book an auto for the entire day, at a moderate price. Ramnagar Fort, built right beside the Ganges, opposite to the Tulsi Ghat, is a 250-year old beauty. While Sohini got busy inspecting the artifacts at the museum, Anandita marveled at its architectural wonder.
They set off for Sarnath after a quick photo session at the fort. They canceled their lunch plans, yet again, due to time crunch. The auto driver insisted on a detour to the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom, a small garden displaying the fundamental theme of Buddhism, a quaint and peaceful place. From there the girls visited Sarnath and Dhamek Stupa and also a handicraft shop, persuaded by the auto driver. Quite a salesman the man was! They grabbed a few souvenirs to gift their loved ones and serve as sweet memories of this lovely trip.
The next day, the girls reached the railway station on time, only to be informed that their train got canceled due to fog, a common occurrence in the month of January. It was after a 6-hour long wait at the overcrowded railway station that they got to board their train. The train, to their utmost astonishment, was empty. They had a hearty lunch, after a long time, (remember the skipped lunches for the past two days) at the Mughal Sarai station. Little had they known that their lunch was going to be their last meal of the day. Due to the disrupted timings, the vendors refused to serve dinner on the train. Anandita, being the wise and practical one, decided to go after the sweets she had bought for her friends and family. Sohini, after a bit of persuasion, also gave in and started devouring them. After a while, their fear of diabetes caught up and they went off to sleep.
The next morning greeted them with yet another dreadful revelation. The train was now ten hours behind schedule. Their last hopes of attending office on that day went straight out of the window. Had it not been an AC coach, they would have flung themselves out of the window too. Rest of their time went cribbing and complaining about the sorry state of Indian Railways and Government and eventually their work life – a surefire sign of the withdrawal from a wonderful trip. Finally, they returned to Kolkata in the afternoon, much to the relief of their families, who were quite worried about their misadventure (as they termed it).
Would they do it again? Two girls on a trip? They already have. To know more about their adventures, keep reading our “Two girls and…” series at Blank Slate Chronicles
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