The God got sick :)

Yesterday it was an important day for the God Jagannath’s temple. Many people all over India go to the Jagannath temple and make the God bathe with water. This happens for the whole day and in the evening time it is said that the God gets sick because of this all-day-long bathing. Usually people offer sweets in the temples but after the God gets sick, people offer parwal (a vegetable) and basil soup, and then this soup is distributed amongst people as blessing. After this offering, temples are closed for the next fifteen days.

Parwal and basil soup is an Ayurvedic medicine and is prescribed to people suffering with cold and cough. So the idea is that the God will also feel better after taking this Ayurvedic medicine. The temple gate is kept closed for the fifteen days. The priest opens the gate once everyday to offer basil and parwal soup. It is said that the God will be okay after fifteen days and then people take the statue out of the temple on a chariot and bring it to the Lord Jagganath’s Sasural temple near Rathyatra. This is done to give some good time to the God after the sickness of the fifteen days:)

In Benares, the God is brought to his Sasural temple but in Puri, people bring the statue to Lord Jagganath’s aunt’s temple. The statue is kept for the next two days in these temples and then a huge fair is organized. In Benares, the statue is brought on a chariot and is kept for three days on the main road near Rathyatra Crossing and after three days of fair, the statue is brought back again to the temple. These are the only three days in a year when the God Jagganath’s temple is out of any statue. This festival is called Rathyatra.

The Benares fair is not big, but not small either but the Puri festival is literally huge. Over ten million people had atteneded the Puri fair last year.

Banaras Hindu University Hospital cancer treatment for Prabhu

My friend, Prabhu, got sick a few days ago. He was in extreme pain from a stomachache. He was taken to the BHU (Benares Hindu University) emergency ward immediately. Doctors checked him and said that he had some serious problem. Prabhu wanted to be admitted to the hospital but doctors there did not want to admit him. They said that there was no empty bed in the emergency ward. They told Prabhu’s parents to go upstairs and see if there was any bed available in the general ward. Prabhu’s family went to the general ward and found that the general ward also did not have any empty bed.

Prabhu was in extreme pain and he was crying but doctors did not want to see him. Finally Prabhu’s family decided to take him to some other hospital. They took him to a hospital called Mata Anandmayi Hospital, Bhadaini but same thing was there also- no bed. Prabhu was still crying and now he almost fainted. They took him again to BHU but the doctors were showing strange behavior. Now they did not want to talk to Prabhu’s family. Prabhu’s father even touched the feet of the doctors requesting them to treat Prabhu but these crazy doctors were telling the same thing again and again that there was no seat available in the hospital.

They asked the doctors to at least start the medication but they did not want to do this either. It seemed like they just did not want to see Prabhu. They again took him to Mata Anandmayi Hospital but again the same thing- this hospital still did not have a seat. They did not want to go to some other hospital because these two hospitals were government hospitals and were cheap. They were more looking for BHU because it was big and it had lots of advanced facilities. They again went to BHU and this time the doctor just threw Prabhu’s papers and told them to get out of hospital and do not come again.

Prabhu’s pain had started in the early morning and it was evening time now but still he could not get any medication. Prabhu’s parents were so angry that they started yelling at the doctors and other employees of the hospital. Finally the doctors called the security guards and asked them to kick Prabhu’s family out of the hospital. Now Prabhu’s family did not know what to do. One of Prabhu’s friends knew the ex-president of the students union of BHU. He thought to call him and ask for help.

They called him and told him everything. The ex-president called the doctor and said that Prabhu was his relative and then this doctor said that Prabhu should have told them before about his relationship. Doctors said that they will arrange a bed for Prabhu. After the call of this president, the doctors arranged a bed for Prabhu. I don’t know where they brought this bed from. I think they already had a bed but they just did not want to admit Prabhu for whatever reason. Well, finally Prabhu was admitted to the hospital at 11 o’clock night time. �

They did all the testing and started medication. Prabhu was getting better now but then doctors said that they would operate on Prabhu. They said it would be better if this operation was done at PGI, Lucknow. Prabhu’s family brought Prabhu to PGI, Lucknow and again they had to face the same situation. PGI doctors also said that they did not have a bed. Prabhu’s brother knew some very famous Baba in Lucknow. He called this Baba and the Baba called to the hospital and after this call they said that they could arrange a bed for Prabhu.

He was admitted to the hospital for a few hours and then doctors came and checked him for a minute, looked at the old reports and said that he had colon cancer. They also said that they will have to operate on him but still they can not guarantee that he will be alive even for next ten days. They asked Prabhu’s family to immediately deposit Rs. 1,25,000 ($2,500). As Prabhu heard that doctors wanted to operate on him and they said said that they did know if Prabhu would be alive after the operation, Prabhu asked his parents to bring him back to Benares. He said that if he has to die then he would prefer dying in Benares.

This news spread in my neighborhood like a fire in the jungle. Everybody was so sad that Prabhu had cancer. We could not believe that he was going to die. Everybody was so sad. Prabhu came to Benares and I wanted to see him but I did not find myself brave enough to see him. There is a very famous cancer research center in Mumbai called TATA Memorial Center. I suggested Prabhu’s family to take him to TATA Memorial. I called my friend Alok in Mumbai and told him about the situation. I asked him to take an appointment with the TATA Memorial to talk about Prabhu.

I emailed him all Prabhu’s medical reports. Alok took the appointment for the same day and talked to the doctors and showed them all the reports, and TATA’s doctors said after looking at those reports nobody could say that the patient had cancer. They said that if the doctors at PGI had said that the patient had cancer after looking at those reports, then they were wrong. Alok called me and gave this beautiful news. I was so happy to hear that Prabhu did not have cancer. Prabhu was admitted at some private hospital now. I immediately went to see Prabhu and gave them this news.

Prabhu and his family, everyone started crying from happiness. Everybody was so happy. Doctors operated on him at that private hospital and now Prabhu is a lot better. He is back home now and feels normal. Doctors have connected a plastic tube to his intestine to discharge stool but doctors say that he will be alright and they will remove this plastic tube within the next six months. �Prabhu is now scared of BHU and never wants to go there again for any reason. Even though it is cheaper for him to get medication at BHU, he just doesn’t want to think about it.

My baby fell down from a chair and broke his head a few days ago. He was bleeding hard. We took him immediately to the BHU emergency ward. BHU has two registration counters. One opens during day time and other one, which is in the emergency ward, opens after the first one closes. The emergency ward registration counter is supposed to close at 8 o’clock. I had reached there around 7.15 and the counter was already closed which means at this time there was no registration going on anywhere in BHU, crazy. The doctor asked me to get a registration paper. I went to the registration counter and found it closed.�

I asked a few security guards sitting there about how to get a registration paper and they told me enter the room from the back-door. I got inside the room from back-door and saw two people counting the money. I asked him to make a registration paper for my baby but he seemed more busy with counting the money. At the same time another person who wanted to register his patient, opened the window and asked for a registration. The person sitting at the counter became angry at him and asked him very loudly how dare he to open the window. The person at the window said that it was emergency case and doctors had asked him to bring the registration paper and since the window was closed, where could he get it if he had not opened the window.

This made the clerk more angry and he hit his hand with the shutter of the window. Now his hand was stuck in the window and this crazy clerk was hitting his hand again and again. That person was in pain for sure. Finally the clerk closed the window and I don’t know what happened with the patient. Maybe they waited for the general registration counter to open or went to some other hospital. Then the clerk looked at me and asked why did I come inside his room. I was already angry after seeing his behavior so I was also speaking very loudly in Benares language, to make him aware that I was local, that doctor had sent me to get a registration paper.�

The clerk told the other person sitting there to make a registration paper for me. I went with the registration paper to the doctor and then the doctor made me write that I was the guardian of the baby, that baby had fallen down from the chair and that I would not go to the police in the future for this case. After this they started looking at my baby and asked me to buy nylon thread for stitching and some other medicines because they did not have anything. It was crazy that the emergency ward of BHU did not have nylon thread. I have heard that BHU employees sell the stuff that they get to use for patients.

I left the baby with my brother at the hospital and went out to get the medicines. After I came back with the thread and other medicines, the doctors asked me to wait because there was no doctor who could do stitching. It was 7.45 now and they asked me to wait for 15 more minutes. I waited for 15 minutes and then I again asked them if the doctor had come and they again told me to wait for few more minutes. My baby was still bleeding and crying but there was no doctor to do stitching in an emergency service center of a big hospital. After an hour few junior doctors (students) came. I asked them to look after the baby and they told me that they could not do it without permission of a senior doctor. They also asked me to wait for a little more time.

I did not know what to do. I was in a hospital but there was no doctor available. Finally after an hour and a half those junior doctors decided to start stitching. My baby’s medication was started after an hour and a half of reaching to the hospital. And this all happened in BHU which is one of the biggest hospitals of Uttar Pradesh. I am also so scared of BHU like Prabhu is and I have decided that I will never ever go back to BHU for any case. I got my baby’s stitches removed at some other hospital.

All the government hospitals are in the same condition- they do not care about the people. Their employees just care about the money. BHU makes a huge amount of money. They host international conferences. People from all over the world come to BHU to do research but the reality is something different. I often hear people talking about the bad services of BHU hospital because they always make the same mistakes again and again. Most of the patients who come to BHU are poor people from out of Varanasi. It is really bad for us because health insurance is still not popular in India and most of the people do not have it. We can not go to any private hospitals because they are so expensive and these government services are awful. After this crazy experience anyone would be compelled to wonder if the hospitals are made to save the life or kill?

First Kiwi guest at home

A 55 years old guy from Auckland wrote me through couchsurfing about 3 months ago. He wanted to know about Varanasi. He said that he wanted someone to travel with him. Once he asked me if I would like to be his tour guide for all of India. I was so excited about this, and I immediately agreed with this offer. But later he said that he had lots of hosts in India, so he canceled his plan to hire me as his tour guide. We had been in touch online for the last 3 months, and finally he came to Benares on 6th.

I went to meet him at his hotel. He had brought me a ipod and a coat. He wanted to live at my place because he was interested in general Indian life. But he had already booked the hotel for two nights, so he said that he would come to my place after spending two nights in the hotel. It was Navratri time, so I took him to a tour of Varanasi. My friends and I go to see the pandals every year during night time. I took Chris also with me. We wandered the whole night, and came back home about 3 o’clock in the morning.

After spending two nights in a hotel, Chris came to my place. He wanted to go to the local church to buy old vestments, and other old stuff that have been used by churches in Varanasi. We went to the cantonment church which is only 15 years old. Chris wanted to meet the bishop, but the bishop was not in Varanasi. So we met his assistant, and his assistant said that they did not have any old stuff. He gave address of a few churches in Mumbai, Goa and south India and told Chris to go there.

Chris stayed at my place for 15 days. Actually he was planning to stay only for 10 days, but he had to stay more because he got sick. He said that he had eaten samosa somewhere on the street, and got really sick. He had diarrhea, vomiting and headache. I took him to the doctor, but it didn’t work for him. He needed extra care, so he told me to took him to a hospital. I take him to the heritage hospital. Doctors said that it was not an emergency case, and they did not want to admit him but Chris wanted to be in hospital for a few days.

Hospital charged Rs. 15000 (US $400) for their services. I had never heard of any hospital charging 15000 for diarrhea. Chris was admitted in special ward for two days. They were charging Rs. 3500 per day for the room, 600 for doctor’s visit, and a lot of other charges that even they did not know about. I have heard of the $100 hand shake in US hospital, but I did not know that there is a similar kind of system in my home town also. I was surprised at the money they charged. I asked Lane about it, and he said that it was still cheaper than western hospitals.

One thing was very interesting for me that everyone in the hospital wanted to know if Chris had health insurance or not. I asked the doctor why they wanted to know this, and he said that usually foreigners have health insurance, and if they have insurance the hospital charges them extra money. I am sure it must be an illegal activity, but it was going on openly as lots of other illegal works in India. They were not even shamed to tell me that they were doing an illegal work.

After spending two days at the hospital, Chris just wanted to come out. He said that nurses didn’t care for him, would not change the drip, don’t give him medicine and don’t give food. I talked to the doctor, but they wanted Chris to stay in hospital for at least two more days. But Chris did not want to stay there even for an hour. Chris told doctor to let him go, so finally they gave a few medicines and discharged him from the hospital. Chris was so happy to come back home. Chris went to Mumbai on the 24 th.

Rinki’s good heart and her marriage

Rinki, my uncle’s daughter, is 25 years old now and her father has been looking for a groom to get her married for the past 2 years but nobody wants to marry her because she had got her heart valves operated few years ago. My uncle went to a lot of families whom he or his friends knew to look for a groom. Everything was Ok in the beginning but as the groom’s family heard that Rinki got her heart valves operated they didn’t want Rinki to come to their family.

They think that Rinki is still sick or could get sick again in the future. She got operated by one of the most popular doctors of the world, the best in India and he also says that Rinki is perfect now and could get married anytime but the groom’s family doesn’t want to hear anything about it. It has become a big problem for my uncle, he wants to get Rinki married at any cost. He is ready to even pay dowry if groom wants but nobody agrees.

My father was also looking for a groom for Rinki in Benares. My father’s friend told him about one of his relatives who has completed a Masters in Astrology and is working with his father now who is an astrologer. My father went to meet them and talked about the marriage proposal. They seemed so nice at first, didn’t believe in concept of dowry, and everything was Ok. He talked to the groom and took a photo to show to our family. Everybody liked him and now everything was dependent on Rinki’s approval.

My father informed Rinki’s father about the groom and he also came to Varanasi to meet the groom’s family. He also liked the groom and he agreed to have Rinki married to him. I was told to mail the photo of the groom to my brother because nowadays Rinki is living with him in Noida. My family wanted Rinki to see the photo of the groom and tell us about what she thinks of him. I knew Rinki would never ever tell that she didn’t like him, even if she didn’t like him, because she is very shy by nature, and because of the way people reject her.

Rinki didn’t see the photo of the groom and said that she will be happy with the guy whom her father had choosen. We also gave Rinki’s photo along with her Kundali (horoscope book) to the groom’s side. Everybody was so happy about Rinki’s wedding, they were planning to organize this wedding in February this year. My mother asked me and my brother what we would give to Rinki. Rinki’s family was also planning to come to Varanasi to start shopping for the wedding, everybody was happy.

But today the groom’s side cancelled the marriage. They said that Rinki is not as educated as the groom, which doesn’t make any sense. Groom has master’s degree in astrology and Rinki has a bachelor’s degree in arts. He went to school only two years more than Rinki. Rinki is still 25 so she could go to school again and she wants to, and she will because she also wants to have a master’s degree. I didn’t understand what happened but it made me sad, very sad. I don’t know what can I do with it.

I understand when illiterate people do these kinds of things but this groom family was educated, maybe not, otherwise why they would make this kind of excuse? Cancellation of marriages again and again will make Rinki feel guilty about herself, It will make her feel like she has become a burden for her family, It will make her think that it is her fault which it is not. I think it is fault of our male-dominant and uneducated society. I often see people violating women’s right which makes me really sad.

I think girls must have rights to talk to their life-partner before getting married and decide if they want to get married or not. But still Indian girls in small cities can’t do this because of social and family pressure. They are presented as a robot in front of grooms, they face a lot of questions, feel pressure of their father selling assets to arrange dowry for marriage, and still are not happy in their marriage life.

Sometimes the groom’s family reject girls saying that the girl is not beautiful, how can they say this to someone? A lot of people don’t want to have a girl because they are afraid of her future- obviously marriage is a part of the future. Our sex ratio in 2001 was 933 girls for 1000 boys and it is still decreasing. I don’t know what will happen in the future and when we will see girls and boys with equal rights.

Dialysis in Varanasi

One American student from Boston University named Andrew wrote me asking to rent my apartment for his friend, Rinat, from Uzbekistan who needed dialysis services in India for 6 months. They had contacted Appolo Hospital in Delhi before which was quiet expensive and obviously Delhi is very polluted and there was no apartment available near the hospital. They asked me about dialysis services in Benares and I directed them with email address of Heritage Hospital, Varanasi. They wrote to the hospital and found that Heritage offers dialysis for foreigners as well.

I also went to Heritage to ask about their services and charges. They charge Rs. 2500 for the first dialysis and Rs. 1000 for blood check up which is charged only once. Next three dialysis is Rs. 1700 and then 2500 again for the fifth one. So they charge Rs. 2500 for every fifth and Rs. 1700 for the rest of three. It was quiet cheap than Appolo and definitely Benares is less noisy and pollution free than Delhi. Then they asked me to rent my apartment for six months. But I don’t think I was ready to host a sick person who doesn’t know any English, only speaks Russian.I told them about the language problem but they said that they will bring a translator for one week. But I was still worried about the time after first week.

I asked them about present health of Rinat and came to know that he has only one kidney and his hemoglobin was very low, one third of the normal level. It made me a little bit worried about the situation because he was seriously sick. I think Rinat’s condition is very critical and anything could happen with him. They wanted me to contact Indian embassy in Tashkent and tell them that I will be hosting Rinat in India. I was not comfortable writing a invitation letter because if anything goes wrong with Rinat, I will be responsible for it.

I contacted my few friends in the US and Canada about the situation because his condition seems like a very western condition, I don’t know anyone in India who has one kidney. I knew people who died because of kidney failure but I didn’t know anyone who had only one kidney and hemoglobin was one third than the normal level. All of my friends told that they know a lot of people who have one kidney but they were also little worried about the hemoglobin part. Finally I decided, with help of my friends and family, that I will not host Rinat.

But I still wanted to help Rinat and Andrew. I told them that I would like to help them any way but be their host. I told them that I could find a guest house for Rinat, go to hospital, talk to doctors, show them around, hire someone to buy them food and other stuffs etc…. And they all got agreed with it. I have told them to fax me all the medical reports of Rinat so that I could discuss the treatment with doctors.

They want to hire me to assist Rinat for his whole stay. They want me to receive Rinat in Delhi and bring them to Benares, I think I will do it. I have contacted few students in BHU to find one Russian speaking student to work as Rinat’s translator in future. Andrew wants Rinat to learn Hindi also while staying in Benares. So I wrote Bhasha Bharti asking about any Russian speaking Hindi teacher and still waiting for their reply, I think it will be a hard thing.

Chicago guest learns Hindi

An anthropology student named Adam Sergant from University of Chicago came to my guest house for a month. He also wanted to learn Hindi with Bhasha Bharti like Lane and Dave. Adam wanted to learn Hindi with Bhasha Bharti for his whole stay, three months, but Bhasha Bharti didn’t have that much time so he decided to learn in Varanasi for a month then move to Masoori for another two months.

He had already learned Hindi with Virendra Singh at Wisconsin University so his Hindi was so so. I asked him about why he was not learning with Virendra Singh in Varanasi so he said that Virendra Singh is in the US every year during summer time to teach students at Wisconsin University. He comes India only in winter with the same students he teaches at University in Madison. Adam used to go Bhasha Bharti for 6 hours a day.

His classes timings were not convenient for him, 8 to 11 morning and 4 to 7 in the evening. He went there for almost 15 days and decided to leave early because he had to do some research regarding his future work in India. He was doing PhD from University of Chicago and was interested in labors at construction sites.

Adam had great time in Varanasi learning Hindi with Bhasha Bharti. He said that teachers were not best but not bad either. Adam had few complaints about the dirt in classroom. He said that his chair was right under the fan and the dust would always fall at him from the fan. His overall experience with Bhasha Bharti was good, he was happy with them.

He left to Delhi to watch construction sites for his future project. He gave contact of my brother in Delhi so that he could hear something from a local person. After spending 2 days and eating Delhi food, Adam got sick. He was admitted in hospital for 3 days and got 4 drips. I dont understand why Delhi’s food is so bad. Even I had some problem when I ate in Delhi last time I was there.

Some how Adam reached Masoori to learn Hindi with a school. He had arranged his accommodation through his school so he was quiet sure that he will get a place to stay for two months. But when he reached at the place he was supposed to stay, he found that door was locked. He contacted the house owner and owner said that they have shifted to Dehradoon for next one month and would not be able to host him.

Again Adam contacted me look for housing in Masoori. I had a friend Dehradoon so I contacted him to look for some nice place in Masoori. It took three days to him to find a home but Adam had already found a place to stay. Adam cancelled his Hindi classes and left Masoori early because of some family problem.

Learning about Aghoris for the MTV documentary

First of all I want to tell how I know about this society. I worked with MTV Italy as local assistant. My job to find the characters and schedule appointment for interviews. They were interested in strange Sadhus and Aghoris. They didn’t want normal looking Sadhus and Aghoris, but they were more interested someone with dread locks, beard, without clothes etc. I had only three days to arrange 5 days of shooting. I went to lots of monasteries, met a lot of babas, sadhus, and Aghoris. I went to all the big Aghor monasteries of Varanasi including Kina Ram Aghor Peeth, Bbhagwan Avdhoot Ram Ashram, Baba Harihar Ram Ashram, Baba Anil Ram Ashram and many others. I went to both cremation places of Varanasi, Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat, in search of a few Aghoris and it worked. I met few very interesting Aghoris. So, that is how I came to know about them and their society.

Aghor society people are Hindus but their philosophy is different from the typical person’s. They pray to the same Gods whom Hindus pray but sometimes their rituals could be different. Like on the night of Diwali all the Hindus pray to Laxmi (goddess of money) but all the Aghoris go to funeral place and meditate and try to make their mantras more powerful, try to achieve some super natural powers or just try to make connections with ghosts to make them work for Aghoris in the future. Hindus light up the candle, clean their home and practice few rituals on Diwali but Aghoris like to go in dark and peaceful place like cremation ground. So these are the kind of differences between Aghoris and general Hindus.

Aghoris connect their religion to the cremation ground at every level. If you go to any Aghor monastery, you always find a place where some wood is burning all the time and that wood comes from the funeral place. Real Aghoris put that ash on their forehead and naval to make them feel secure and they use it get rid of diseases. I met a lot of Aghoris and asked them about significance of that Ash and everybody said that it is all matter of belief. If someone has belief in that ash then it could be better than a medicine and if they don’t have any faith in it then it could make them sick because then the person would worry continually about ash that has come from a cremation. All the people whom I met at Aghor monasteries had great faith in that ash. They said that they apply it everyday and if they are going somewhere out of the city then they keep some ash with them all the time. Some body said that once he had some strange disease and no doctor was able to treat him then he went to that monastery and applied some ash on his forehead and naval it made him get rid of that strange disease. All the fake Aghoris use that ash to attract people and sometimes to make them threatened.

Research for CBC Cremation Documentary

Nandlal called me to ask about Doams (people who work at cremation place) in Varanasi. He told me that his friend is in Varanasi nowadays and wants to make a documentary about Doam’s life. Since I live near the Ghats and I have lots of friends who live along the ghats, it was easy for me get information about Doams. He met me at Assi Ghat and we went to all the hotels nearby because he didn’t know at which hotel his friend was staying. We went to over 10 hotels near Assi but couldn’t find him. Finally I took him to a hotel which was near the Assi ghat and fortunately found his friend there. I asked him about his job and he said that he was as a freelance journalist. He used to work for BBC but left the job few years ago. At present he was working for a CBC’s documentary called Myths and Might.

His job was to look for the right characters, schedule appointment for interviews and get legal permission. Since he didn’t know anyone in Varanasi he wanted my help to find him the right characters. He was looking for a young doam character whose father still works at funeral place and the character goes for computer classes or have some computer related job. They wanted to show how Indian was changing. I took him to Manikarnika ghat (funeral ghat) because I knew few people there. I got him meet over 10 people. Everybody wanted to be involved with us. We met few people who had wood shop at funeral place. They told us to come next day. Then I met my few other friends who live near the Manikarnika ghat and asked them about doams. I was shocked to hear that doams still have a king. They said that we cant do anything without his permission. It was getting darker now, so, we decided to get back to home and do some more research.

Next day we left home early morning and went to Manikarnika ghat again. We met met a lot of new people who work at funeral place and asked if their son go to school. It was again a shocking thing for me when I didnt hear anyone saying that their son go to school. We talked to over 15 people but couldn’t find anyone whose son or daughter was going to school. Then we went to Harishchandra Ghat, another funeral ghat, and talked to a lot of people. We met a 55 years old person who works at Electric Burner at Harishchandra Ghat and his son was having a job in Reliance Money. We went to his home, met his family, talked them and told them about CBC’s project. They got agree to be part of this documentary.

They said that their son Raja Babu, our character, has a LLB degree from Banaras Hindu University. And now he works for Reliance Money as Area Manager. This is the kind of character we were looking for. They said that after he had completed his 5th class no school was agree to take him because Doams are still considered as untouchables in society. His father used to be a rickshaw driver and would make about Rs. 50-75 a day and it was so hard for him to take care of his family with that much money but he still wanted to send his children to schools. Since no school was agree to take Raja Babu in he stopped going to school but never stopped his studies, he continued his studies by his own.

After few months Raja Babu started working at Doctor’s clinic as a helper. This doctor helped Raja Babu a lot. He used to teach Raja Babu, train him about medicines and give some money also. Once a dead body of a very rich and respected person from Varanasi came to Harishchandra Ghat to get cremated and fortunately it was Raja Babu uncle’s turn to work there. When a body is cremated, family can not burn the body by their own source of fire, they have to ask a Doam to bring them fire from cremation place God, Shiva, temple and doams ask for money to do that. But this time Raja Babu’s uncle asked for admissions of Raja Babu in a school instead of money and that family had to promise them to get Raja Babu in a school.

So this is how Raja Babu got opportunity to go to school again. He got admission in Bengali Tola Inter College, Varanasi and passed 12th class from there.Raja Babu had hard time in school with other kids because nobody would treat him well. After completing 12th class Raja Babu applied for B.A. degree from BHU and got admission. So finally he completed B.A. , M.A. and LLB from BHU. After completing LLB he worked for a American NGO called Cash for India in Gazipur district as accountant. After two years he left the job and joined Reliance Money. This was amazing character for us, so, we decided to choose him.

Next day we went to Doam Raja (king of Doam society) home. He was so fat that he couldn’t walk properly. We went to meet him inside his home and it was not a normal home. They cook the food by burning the woods that are left after cremating a body. His house had strange smell. He had cows, goats, dogs and a huge family with more than 10 kids and two brothers and everybody was living in the same house. It was 8’o clock morning time when we reached his home and Doam Raja was completely drunk, all time all alcohol. He was sitting at his bed and told us to sit on a bed in front of him. I saw few pieces of meat and blood under his bed. It seems that he eats raw meat and drink alcohol early morning.

We described him about CBC’s project and he gave us consent to shoot at Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat. Then we went to his roof and saw statues of two tigers. It was funny to see those at someone’s roof. There was a story related to those tigers also. People say that Doam Raja and King of Benares were never ever friends. Doam Raja got a Tiger’s statue built at his roof. The statue was facing towards Maharaja’s palace which Maharaja didn’t like at all so sued Doam Raja in court of Benares. Finally this case was ended with the judgment of court saying Doam Raja to either knock down that statue or built another one that has its face at opposite direction of first one. So he got another statue built that a its face at opposite direction of the first one.

Now CBC guy had got everything he wanted, like he had all the characters, permission from Doam Raja, permission from city government etc…………….