We made our way to BHU again, and this time we stopped at Sir Sunderlal Hospital near BHU’s Lanka Gate. In this hospital we hoped to meet Dr. Ram Harsh Singh, or Dr. R.H. Singh for short. He is a retired and extremely accomplished professor from the university, but a practicing Ayurvedic doctor in the university’s hospital. He is still a mentor for several PhD students. We went to his office, and sat outside. But then we realized that nobody would know we were there, because it was just a hallway with a couple of benches leading to his office, the door of which was just drapes, and draped shut. I decided we should probably make our presence known. I stepped up to the door, realized that everyone had taken their shoes off outside the office, and did so myself. Then I stepped inside.
My first impression was that this was not a doctor’s office, because it was a very small room with a desk, behind which was sitting (I assumed… and correctly, because later I saw a huge nameplate on his desk) Dr. R.H. Singh. But he is an Ayurvedic doctor, so I guess that’s why his office looked different from an allopathic doctor’s. He was treating a patient after all, and the style with which he was doing it reminded me of Dr. Jamuna Kurup in Delhi (whose office also does not look like a doctor’s). In front of his desk were two people in white coats, so I assumed they were doctors too, or residents, or something like that. One was a woman, one was a man. The man was currently treating someone as well. I beckoned my dad inside too, and we sat down on two of the several chairs lining the walls inside the very small office. We waited for an opening and I then made my way closer to the doctor. He said, “What is it?” I told him my name and that we had spoken on the phone a couple of days ago, and that he was going to be my teacher for Ayurveda next month. He told me to wait on the side for a little while again, and I did, while he cleared out some patients.
We then talked about what I wanted to do, and why I was taking one month to try to study Ayurveda. He said “If you’re really interested in Ayurveda, then go for the full course!” And I said that was part of the plan, and I was even looking at BHU as one of the schools I could go to. He told me that I should apply right away, and see if I am eligible to join already, because in India you only need a 12th grade education in a science stream and also to take an entrance exam to get into the program. And as a foreigner, I don’t need to take the entrance exam. So I said ok, I’ll try. I didn’t know what else to say. But then he seemed satisfied, and I was relieved. He said I was welcome to come to his office anytime and observe whenever I wanted, and ask him questions whenever I wanted. I told him I would only be moving closer to BHU in April, so that’s when we would start our course. He said that was fine, and in the meantime he suggested to get a book called “Holistic Principles of Ayurveda” by him. So I told him I would. I also mentally made up my mind to apply to BHU right away, to see if I could start right away this August. Quest successful!