Thunder Bay, Ontario
I trekked down Golf Link Rd. when the local police approached me. It was a black police cab that pulled over. The officers were curious.
"Hello!" Said the passenger police. I was wearing my thick saffron hemp robes with my chauddar (monk's Shawl) wrapped around my upper body to address the morning chill.
"We got a report that someone was walking down the road with stolen blankets from the hospital," continued the officer. "But I guess..."
Before he could say it's a false alarm I cut in with an amused defensiveness while looking at my robes, "I'm actually a monk and these are my robes."
They then burst into laughter. I relayed how I was suspect as an escapee from a penitentiary where the inmates wear orange and on another occasion where I was suspect of being lost from a psychiatric ward. The report then was that I was with another person (it's true, another monk) and that we were old ladies.
The police laughed even more being informed that I go through this kind of stuff. We conversed and they went on their way wishing me a good stay in Thunder Bay.
At the Yogafest held at Lakehead University, friends from the New Age circles turned up. The event featured astanga yoga, laughter yoga and even japa yoga. One woman there Karen, is a teacher of ballet skiing. Serge, an elementary school teacher, has been reading the books of our guru, Srila Prabhupada, and appreciating their contents. Sweet folks!
It was so much a day of laughter and smiles. To culminate the program the bhakti (devotion) portion came into the hands of our troupe. Our drama, "The Jaganath Story" called for the entrance of the three deities of Jaganatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra; each appearing on the stage in a mystical way. As anyone who is familiar with them knows, there is something euphoric about these images. They sport oceanic smiles and with their varied colourations people came after the show with remarks came approving the point that God comes to represent the white races in the form of Balaram, the black races as Jaganatha and brownish pigmented folks as Subhadra.
At least that's how it came to be interpreted.
For my intro as emcee, I told the story of the suspect blanket thief and everyone had a good laugh.