On Top of the Hill
The police officer, a female, approached us out of sheer curiosity. It was Parliament Hill and our small chanting party had made our way to one of those historic sculptures with armed figures, representations of early settlers to the New World as well as some natives of the First Nations. I had our group posed and interspersed with the sculptured heroes, ready to take a photo of our group holding our weapons of drum, tambourine and cymbals, when the police officer asked, “What are you doing? We have groups coming up here protesting at times. I don’t know anything about you.” To me she asked, “Are you the leader?”
“Yes, I’m a leader amongst us—a visitor to Ottawa, but I can answer your question. We are from the Hare Krishna group which has roots in India—an ancient tradition that pre-dates Buddhism and Christianity. We represent peace. We have no violent or aggressive intent here.”
Then Krishna Dulal, our drummer, added, “As a matter of fact, we come here every Sunday to share our music and spread the peace. We have a free feast, vegetarian, at our Centre on Somerset.”
“What do you call yourselves?”
“Hare Krishnas! Here’s my card.” I pointed to the mantra. She accepted the card but refused our literature.
By now she was convinced that we were harmless. I do believe she was more inquisitive for her own sake than just doing her job. We shook hands and were on our way. Dozens of cameras from tourists moved in. People thought us to be colourful, after all. We were.
May the Source be with you!