After meeting natives from Mumbai and Delhi, it’s Varanasi‘s turn…

Banibrata, tell me a little about yourself, who you are and where do you come from?

Who am I? That’s a very deep question. I don’t even know who I am exactly. Well, I am a guy who finds fun in small things, lives in the moment and tries to learn new things. I come from Calcutta, and I am residing in Varanasi to complete my masters from BHU.

So, you were born and raised in Calcutta, right? How’s the city of Calcutta like?

Calcutta is a place… it’s a very sweet place, always fun and people are funny and ready to help you out. Its called the cultural capital of India, right? It’s a place where I can relax my mind and get to learn new things. My family belongs to Calcutta and I got my primary schooling from this city itself. The food of this place is awesome, if you ever come to Calcutta you have to try some. This is a place that taught me how to be strong and gave me the self-confidence to say “Yes I can do it”. It was my launchpad, it made me realise that you can do anything if you feel like doing it. You aim for it and you work for it, in the end you will achieve it. It’s home.

From the past to the present, you’re staying in Banaras for the past 2 years to complete your post-graduation. What’s your master’s degree in?

I am doing my masters in Forensic science.

Wow, that’s really cool. Why did you choose Banaras over cities like Mumbai or Delhi?

I am going to be very frank with you. I don’t have anything against the two, I thought that Banaras was a very good catch for me. You have good subjects and good professors. If I wanted an Arts career I would’ve opted for Delhi. Just a frank opinion.

I always call this city Banaras, when actually its official name is Varanasi. I don’t know why.

Banaras is in the crude, slang language that most people use. The name Varanasi is the adjoining of two words, Varuna and Assi, apt for the land between these two rivers. The original name of this place is actually Kashi. Kashi means lights, a city of lights, where one can find enlightenment.

Tell me a little bit more about this city of lights.

“There’s this saying amongst the people here. It goes like “Ek bar tum aaoge na, toh vapas nahi jaaoge” (Once you visit, you won’t feel like leaving). Your heart will settle in Varanasi. When I first moved here, it felt very different. Packed with people and small lanes and cars honking everywhere. Varanasi is a small city, only about 500 kilometres, with a huge population. People come here to find moksha, to be absolved of their sins on the banks of the Ganges. A place where the dead come alive.

I will leave Kashi after my graduation; however, my heart will stay here.

Pursuing your masters in a field as complex as Forensic science, you must not have a lot of free time. But whenever you get some, how do you utilize it?

“You really want to know? Because it is a bit inappropriate and gory.

Okay…

“Actually what I do is, I spend most of my time in cold storage, in a mortuary. My studies require me to spend a lot of time near dead people. Have you seen the series Dexter? The things that he does, similar to what I do.

Sans the serial killer part I hope. As I recall even you have easy access to a water body to dump in.

“No, certainly don’t have the intention to.

When you’re not hacking up bodies for science, what else occupies your time?

“I do watch some series and all, I just finished this series called as Mr. Robot. I am currently watching How I Met Your Mother. It’s an old series I know, but very fun. I travel and learn new things and just stay alive. I am a bit lazy and I go on watching series and hang out with friends. There is this place near my campus which serves really nice food. Most of the time, I and my friends just hang out there, enjoy the lassi. When I am not doing these things, most probably I am sleeping.

Experience the magnificent BHU complex and its stories with Banibrata here: Inside BHU.