Friday, 18 March 2011

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The Different Ways

Ahmedabad, India

India must be employing millions of chaukidars (security guards). They are everywhere. Each morning I pass by at least a dozen along a dusty road near our temple. Each guard gestures a pranam (folded hands) and delivers a respectful, "Jai Sri Krishna" when seeing companion Abhay and I passing by on foot.

It's also common to see a uniformed person on duty at the gateway of his building with a small fire burning, an arrangement of leaves and twigs for keeping him warm over night. I'm sure the fire does more than that. It becomes like a friend who entertains as it crackles and dances.

Seeing these little fires is surely a habit of the past, a necessity, which hopefully will not die in the near future. Some of us wallow in reminiscence of the past.

For the Bhagavatam talk this morning Vasu Gosh, an American born godbrother, spoke about traditions. Having lived in India for over three decades he has got a good exposure to the ways of the people here. Somehow he trailed off from philosophy to the topic of ladoos and how in the state of Gujarat, ladoos are sweets made of wheat flour as opposed to the standard chic-pea flour base commonly known in India. He veered off into speaking about the politics if ancient India and how it is now.

There is not a day that goes by when you don't contemplate the past, present, and future. It was remarked by dear friend, Pragosh, at the Town Hall for our final performance of "The Three Lives of Bharat" that the senior men who run the technical operations are very unflexible and not so willing to comply with what we needed for our production. He said "In the west its younger people you deal with from the technical side of things."

I concurred. The teckies here were definitely of the old school. That is where I have to look with balance when it comes to "old and new." I struggled on psychological levels with the lighting man. I could have had more success working with the most stubborn ox.

In any event the program overall was a grand turn-out with another eight hundred people in attendance.


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