Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Try To Keep Plugging

Calgary, Alberta

I consider today chill day number two. A meagre trek it was, 4 KMs at the most, in the north east of Calgary. My companion for the trek on trails was Gaurachandra, born as Gigi Festa in southern Italy. His Orissan wife has a good handle on prepping Italian food which is perhaps second to an Indian kitchery for being the ideal hot meal for a walker. When the plate of steamy hot pasta drenched in the red of tomato was presented to me, I boldly requested their garden basil as topping.

“No problem,” was the host’s remark, who speedily and eagerly wished to be guest friendly, and went on her feet to harvest the delectable greens. My intent at the request was to share this wealth, and so Gigi, Bindu who is from Costa Rica, and Vani Priya, the cook, went green on the tongue with this additional appetizer. Artichokes, avocado and asparagus were side dishes.

I mention about food, and especially prasadam, food that our friends consecrate before consuming or serving. A marathon walker can easily crave food for our burning cells and after hours on the road the only minor sensual outlet will be to please the palate.

“Not too much, please,” I must remind another host, “please understand, I am a swami ji, I must live a simple life. Too much rich food is not good for me.” Sometimes I have to check their generous offer of seconds and thirds. Even the firsts were big in quantity. “Have mercy,” I plead.

It sometimes becomes a playful thing. What appears as a shovel load of tasty edibles comes at you with speed, and you might have to place the head, torso and arms over the plate that is struggling to reach vacancy. If the host has his or her way, wheelbarrow loads would tip over as loads of delicious prasadam. All is done in good spirit.

I must remind myself, however good it all smells and tastes, that it was Sri Chaitanya who was a sanyassi (monk) who set up the standard for the renounced, “No fancy attire and no opulent food,” so I will try to follow in His footsteps and keep plugging away.

4 KM

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