As I make my way in an autorickshaw from the Varanasi railway station to my hotel, I am greeted by a green signal light at the busy Maldahiya crossing with a crisp LED road safety message in Hindi and English - barely a quarter past 10
in the night.
As soon as the session started around quarter past 10
instead of 9am regulation time, the Secretary Forest, who was supposed to answer questions on the day, was missing.
"You're probably leaving home at half six and getting back at quarter past 10
, every evening, or three evenings a week.
"The police got there at about quarter past 10
. I saw two officers outside, unmarked police cars.
"We were asleep when about quarter past 10
there was a hollow boom.
It was quarter past 10
and I had been travelling for almost four and a half hours.