These days, Montreal puts on a good show of the Festival of India. It starts off with a procession, very religious in spirit and also exotic to some, hip even. To others, I imagine it may come off as appearing a bit strange.
The image of Jagannath—translated as ‘Lord of the Universe’—is mystical and captivating. The beat of the drums is what stirs up excitement. The procession draws the very faithful. At Jeanne Mance Park, we have a good crowd—second year in a row—of people culturally oriented to Eastern ways. “The food is great,” said Ajamila, a popular Bengali singer.
The administration rented a large marquis to house hundreds in shade and provide protection from rain, should it come. The key to good attendance is largely due to effective marketing. Nrsimha Chaitanya, a Russian-born devotee of Krishna, has got it down. “I'm happy with this first of a two-day event,” he said.
I mingled with a few from the crowd. The stage items were attractive. Professional and devotional performers brought the stage to life.
I came up from Toronto with the group “Vedic More” to present Indian classical-style sound along with a bass guitar to add some spice.
The only major complaint I would have with the festival is a failure to provide a station for hand cleaning after using the portapotty.
I should not forget to let all know that we also presented a ten-minute skit of slap-stick called, “First Timers,” as a satire of yogamembership and routine. Of course yogahails from India and that was our link to Indian exhibition today.
May the Source be with you!