I had my eye on a green space off of Portage Avenue where I blazed a trail. Daruka confirmed this would be a good place. It’s called Vimy Ridge Park, this place would do for a kirtan, a chanting session tonight.
After an early jaunt beginning at 2 AM, I wanted to prolong my long stay in Winnipeg with a little party. The best party is sankirtan, outreach chanting, only we will do it on the grass. It was last minute, yet Daruka, Vrinda and I pulled together a spontaneous get together in the evening where casual walkers browse and use valuable time.
We laid out some imitation grass mats imported from Sri Lanka, placed our harmonium mrdanga drum, karatals (and cymbals) and a bowl of fruit on top before plopping ourselves. The ceremony began, people took notice, some stopped for the sound, some to see the exotic instruments and us, and some were charmed by Billy, our Amazon parrot. Our message is, “We are doing kirtan. It’s an ancient system for calming the mind. It has roots in India. Join us if you like.” And some people would because it’s all attractive. Either Vrinda or I take the lead on singing. She ambles her fingers on the harmonium’s keyboard. Daruka keeps the simple ‘ching ching ching’ sound on karatals, and I maintain tempo on drum. We are not professionals, but devotionals, and that’s what really counts in the end.
You have people walk away with fruit, a smile, a friend made and a tad closer to what’s Divine.