Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Wednesday, December 2nd 2015

Wednesday, December 2nd 2015
Cienfuegos, Cuba


Cienfuegos is a gem of a town; well, with 150,000 residents, it’s hardly a town. It has a great commons area with gorgeous colonial buildings around it. There’s a car-free promenade and the main street, that does carry traffic, has this broad boulevard with trees and benches. The place is located by a bay off the Atlantic and so it lends to a serenity along with tourist dynamic.

Like anywhere on the island of Cuba, the fumes from exhaust emitted from any form of transport is unforgivable. The people? I love them. They are warm-hearted, simple, and sociable. They like walking but perhaps they don’t always have a choice. Money is hard to come by. Food is rationed. People look good, as well-built creatures. Their clothes are tight; not always what a monk cares to look at. Their hair and attire are up to the mark of the latest fashion, from what I could tell.

Are they swimmers? I don’t know. The group of devotees following us from town to town were divided in their willingness to join Hayagriva and myself into the salty waters. Perhaps it is because of the jellyfish. Yes, Hayagriva got stung by one. Umesh Patel, bold as he is, took it as a mission to capture and hold them in his palm and toss them away. He was also daring with urchins and did the same with them.

It was near the beach that an arranged indoor program, at a public venue, failed to materialize. The key to open the door was lost but we sufficed with the use of Melia Park across the street. It turned out in our favor. People had easier access to our message and mantra. Some came with intent, others were park-browsers and some heard our kirtan from their balconies. That’s what formed an audience. I spoke. Hayagriva translated. I played the drum.

May the source be with you!

6 km


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