Young Varanasi

4 February 2013

We all knew who we were without saying too much, so all the young people went to see something other than thousands-year-old traditions in the thousands-year-old place.

The university was a little while away, and we walked via all the southern ghats until we got to the relatively very modern university gates. There were nice little parks with–very rare–grass. The Indian guys were playing a guitar and the girls sat to the side. They weren’t interested in each other anyway, only English Charlotte with her long blonder hair. We finished the chai and made it to the physics building, much to Italian Federico’s delight.

‘Hello do you know where is a lecture we can go to?’ Federico asked a passing student. He’s got good English and decided after a couple of weeks travel to just speak to Indians in English without asking. Impressively, for the Indians, it works.

We went into the library and were amazed that everything was in English, and the same textbooks as any other university. But all were sorely out of date. It was the same in the huge central library (after we finally found it). Not many books. All out of date. Charlotte pointed out that there was only one girl in the whole library. I pointed then to the ‘LADIES’ READING ROOM’, but there was no one in there.

Federico was just happy to sit down and rest his bad leg (ran away from an elephant in the jungle, but there was no elephant after all). He was smiling big and wide as usual, knowing that we had been dealt a really nice hand to be here now and be able to laugh and tell more and more stories to each other. We were all smiling and I took the only photo of the day.