A new monk has come to town. Dwarkanatha, 29, is from Vrndavana, India, and he recently has joined our crew to help in the cooking department. Apart from being a chef, he also plays a lovely sitar and is quite good at the mrdungadrum.
From the musical side, it is a relief. When here, I'm the one to play the beats, but now I can enjoy a break and have a realdrummer play away.
When weather improves, I’ll take him to the nearest ravine to experience a taste of urban-green walking. It will be novel for him, being in a modern Canadian setting. Even flying overseas is a first for him.
I am left to reflect on my first journey, not by plane, or by boat—when I was 5 my mother took me to Holland by one of those ocean liners—but my first experience in a temple. It was like a foreign zone, something like church, but more. I felt so much joy cut off from mundane-ness.
That initial journey was in Montreal, the winter of ’72, when Krishna devotees had rented a spot on the third floor of an apartment building on Park Avenue. It was actually a former bowling alley. The markings of the bowling parameters were still there. In those days no one sang Bol! Or even Haribol!
A friend of mine, Durward, also had his first venture into Krishna culture in Montreal. He tells me that in that old bowling alley a person, a visitor, had set up a tent inside and had his pet iguana with him. That was novel too. In those days it was rather more of an open door policy. Anyways, welcome Dwarkanatha.
May the Source be with you!