Sunday, 8 September 2013

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Off The Road

Scarborough, Ontario

I landed in Toronto and was faced with wetness – rain all day. Rushing down the 401 Highway, my trusted driver, Nikil, with his family, and I, made it to Milligan Park in Scarborough for their first annual Chariot Festival. This event reenacts a procession held in the ancient city of Puri, India. The major highlight of this colourful event is once again, the chanting of the maha mantra.

I was really impressed by the cultural performances, most notably by a group of young girls who went on line to learn mrdanga drum beats. They went to practice, then to form a band as a solid team. Then, four young guys from the same community came forward to present a two man flute, one man violin, and one man mrdanga drum recital. It was purely instrumental and no less devotional. The tone, the mood, created that atmosphere of peace and the willingness to serve.

Perhaps of all instruments, the flute when played well is the most soothing of all to the mind. I’m not sure, but it’s just a personal opinion, or if it will ever be a debate left to public opinion. Speaking impartially, I would say, and I have mastered none as far as instruments are concerned, that would be my assessment. Perhaps science and brain scans could possibly verify this point.

The Chariot Festival was completed and I was whisked away to a post Krishna birthday event in Richmond Hill. The Bhadra family posted their 24th annual program, in which I was asked amongst other devotional obligations to say something of my current walk through the Prairies. Whenever I have the chance, I attempt to bring the audience to the road with me. I tried to express the self romanticization of the pilgrimage. It is an adventure and people do get inspiration. It’s my duty to share in this.

My lamentation for this day, however, is that time did not allow for me to do any walking, except to cross the street.

Here is a short definition of ‘pilgrim’ in the publication, The Devil’s Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce.

“A Pligrim: A traveller who is taken seriously.”

0 KM (Sounds terrible, I know.)

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