Next day on the 5th, I left for Belur Math where my brother was undergoing his spiritual training to become a Sannyasi. After engaging a taxi for the day and leaving my relative at his office on the way, I headed for Belur Math.
Calcutta is a sprawling city and I thought of the great Mother Theresa, Rabindhranath Tagore, and writers Dominique Lapiere and Larry Collins who penned ‘City of Joy’. Streets were crowded but the traffic was moving. Once my relative disembarked from the van, I was alone and wondering how and when I am going to see my brother in his new incarnation. I wondered how he will receive me.
Belur Math is situated on the banks of Hooghly river (Ganga) in a very beautiful and tranquil setting. We headed straight to cross the river by the famous Howra bridge of Calcutta. This bridge is always teeming with vehicles. Once the bridge was crossed, the city streets appeared very old and congested. It was a different face of Calcutta. I kept remembering the book ‘city of joy’ seeing the ordinary people trying to make sense of their tough day-to-day fight to survive running small shops and businesses.
Around 10.30 – 11 am, after close to two hours in the van, I reached my destination. City of Calcutta looked vast with no end in sight after an hour of fast paced journey. Outside the Math gates, there were several vehicles of tourists lined up after its occupants have left for the Math.
I requested my driver in my average Hindi that he has to wait for me until I come back and however late I am.
During the journey, people I came across including the family I lived with, asked me why I was in Calcutta? I do not know what each of them felt when I answered that “I have come to see my brother who left home to become a Sannyasi”.