Mayapur, West Bengal
It is almost like I wanted it to happen. Our cab driver from Kolkata to Mayapur, Babu, pulled over off the road. "I have a flat," he said. I opened the door to see if it was true or not. Sure enough his tire was flat. This type of thing is very common in India. Babu's claim is that the last flat he had was 5 months ago. In any event flattening your tire it goes on. It's my opportunity to do some trekking in the direction of our destination, Mayapura. We had been sitting down too long.
Dustin joined me. We got the opportunity to trek through raw Bengal's countryside. The dust, the smells, moustached men, sareed ladies, playing kids, tin stalls, tacky restaurants are there. People acknowledged us. Two men strained to bring their cart of merchandise over the hill, one pulled and one pushed. They work hard here and without complaints.
You know, what I really am impressed by in Asia is the hospitable smiles and soft toned voice. This is evident in the airlines from Asia as well. There's charm there and a sense of bhakti. In Europe, where people can be abrupt and rigid, there exists a sense of bhakti in it's cleanliness and orderliness.
The institution Iskcon, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is perceived by many to be a combination of east and west assets. Wherever there are strengths from either hemisphere the mating of the two produces a good result. It only needs the spiritual component to make it complete.