Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Saturday, April 11th, 2015



My day started with some trekking along Jarvis Street in Toronto, a head start en route to the airport before my driver would pick me up.  Who knows if I’d get the chance otherwise to do what I need to do and love to do, stretching the legs.  While trekking at the early hour 4:45, some people partying from a second floor veranda looked down below and sent me a ‘Namaste’.  I reciprocated, and with a “Hare Krishna” too.  I gather from this encounter and many more like this that the world is slowly becoming Vedic.

Much later in the day, I found myself at Unity Yoga, a studio just off of Commercial Drive in Vancouver.  I was asked to give a schpeil on my walking experiences, so I did.  I was in the room with about 40 folks, mostly Caucasian, whom I consider incremental Vedic people. 

I opened up with a ‘Namaste’ and then, ‘Hare Krishna’, and then took off from there on, lessons and happenings along the pilgrims trail.  I threw in a few jokes, but ultimately emphasized that each and every one of us are essentially spiritual beings on a journey.  “We are not these bodies, we are spirits.  We have an obligation to cultivate our spiritual side.”  There were other people leading the chant, Katelin and Nitai Priya.  We had the most ecstatic dance at the end of the evening.  The kirtan, the chant and dance enjoyed by all, and the healthy prasadam consumed, confirms that the world is going directions east.  Namaste!

May the Source be with you!

3 KM

Friday, April 10th, 201

Toronto, Ontario

Along Mud Creek

Along Mud Creek the ash trees have been cut down and more are to follow.  The reason?  According to signs posted along the ravine, we are informed that the emerald ash bore a pesky green beetle, and it is taking the life out of these trees.

The Parks and Recreation Department is on the assignment to manage the forest along the creek.  What can I say?  I hate to see trees go, but then, someone who knows more than me has to manage.  My observation is that nature seems to be cruel unto itself.  It nurtures and then demolishes. 

While on this walk by the creek, my walking partner, Durjoy, and I, came upon a group of youths mildly intoxicated.  Humans are always interesting.  We also nurture and destroy.  I guess because we are an integral part of nature.  Self destructive might be the term.  In any event, the kids, if I may call them so, were curious about us.  Handshakes were exchanged and they were happy to receive the mantra we are known for, “Hare Krishna”.  But now, back to the trail.  Much energy is going into the restoration of the forest and the creek along the way.  The mud deepened due to the sinking tires of trucks occupying the space during the day.  The thick mud forced us to turn back.  Boulders have been brought in and dumped to evade erosion I guess.  In one sense, it’s encouraging and commendable to see the efforts made to keep the forest and the creek alive. 

Much investment needs doing within our own psycho physical being, like the work done at the creek.

May the Source be with you!

5 KM

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

I Will Come

It was a type of conversation I’ve had before with people who have mystical notions about monks.  I was walking and came to the juncture of Ave and Dav when two young guys, one with hoodie and one with toque, saw me.  “Are you a monk?” said one. 

“Sure am!” said I. 

“I thought monks don’t speak.”

“In some orders they have taken vows of silence.  Our group makes lots of good noise.  We drum and we chant mantras...” 

I invited them to our ashram just two blocks away saying that our morning session was about to begin at 4:30 AM.  They weren’t quite ready for such a wakeup experience.

“We’ll come, promise, sometime soon.”

Another person I met on my way to see Devamrita Swami, a monk friend from the States, works with the Parks and Recreation division of the city.  He was in uniform and was parked on the side of the street.  He starts to speak, “Are you chanting?  Did you have your prasadam?”  I never met this person before to my recollection.  Then he identified himself as Michael and said he has a brother in Florida whose name is Mahavir, and who recently started a Hare Krishna bikers club. 

“I know him,” I responded, “he opened up so many Krishna centres in South America, right?” 

The fellow got a little jovial and then said, “Yeah, his hair’s a bit too long.  When it comes to hair, I’m more like you guys.”  And with that he pulled off his hat to demonstrate his lack of hair. 

And then I remarked, “Yeah, he looks at times a little like Shirley Temple with his hair.”  (Laughter)  “Come to our temple sometime, we have a great restaurant, you’ll love it.”

“I will come!” he said very determinedly. 

May the Source be with you!

9 KM

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


Heart Throbs

As the plane flew through the African sky, my heart throbbed over the feeling for those good souls I spent the last week with in Durban.  Two of those souls from the Zulu background had received diksa initiation.  Bhaktin Lobe became Lila, and Bhima became Bhishma.  Congratulations!

To them, and to all who gave me so much support and love during my stay, in both South Africa and Mauritius, I offer my humble obeisance.  As usual, I put the recent past behind and look ahead.  Only occasionally would I revisit moments of the now gone.  For the present, well, being in a plane and looking at the screen in front of me about the story of a woman who walked across Australia’s desert with four camels and a dog gave me mixed feelings.  I found the docudrama not very interesting, but it did make me hanker for being hugged by the Earth.  My mind raced very fast to the future in anticipation for a walk from Boston to Butler Pennsylvania, and then New York, this September.  That will be heaven, to get out of the straight jacket seat at J57 in the aircraft that I was in, and then walking the northeast of the US, that would be heaven. 

I must remind myself, however, of patience as the ultimate virtue.

May the Source be with you!

0 KM

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Durban, South Africa

Festival Done

Now that the festival is done, we managed to squeeze in some free time.  Like most years, after the Durban event I would chill with some of the members of our drama troupe.  We would organize a walk, a picnic, and engage in a kirtan, a read from shastra, the pastimes of Krishna.  One year we did all of the above, in addition to playing baseball.

I do recall at that time that wearing a dhoti is not so practical for baseball.  You can’t take the broad strides required to make a home run. 

Today a group of us decided to hit a great trail somewhere out of the city.  Within a half hour drive, we came to one of those very rural paths at a provincial park.  Low and behold, we were greeted by a family of zebras.  Oblivious to our presence the group of healthy typically African mammals were just grazing away.  We meant nothing to them, even though you could go arm’s length distance from them.  That was about it as far as sighting wildlife was concerned, except for a small snake that slithered by.  Going down a windy trail amidst foliage, bush, cacti and trees, a dhoti, once again, proves impractical.  All is pleasant until you brush against smaller plant life.  All these little things start sticking to your clothes, such as something called ‘black jacks’ and also ‘sweethearts’.  It would be interesting to know the technical Latin terms for them.  Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, was quite attuned to the botanical terminologies for exotic trees.  He wasn’t just familiar with Sanskrit verses and philosophy, he was all around quite expert at so many things. 

May the Source be with you!

4 KM

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Durban, South Africa

Everyone Is Good

After a fabulous meal at the home of a prominent Krishna follower, Kala and I took to some walking.  For directions to the festival site one of the attendees explained, “You go left to the second robot, then turn right and go to the next robot.  There you will be near the site.”

Now, I was reminded what is meant by the word “robot”.  It means “street light”.

Before we departed, however, a dinner guest, giving deliberation on whether it was safe enough to do some promenade in the neighborhood, finally said, “It should be ok.”

We set off walking in this posh area yet each lot with its well manicured grounds had its cameras, hedges, walls, gates and whatever security device possible including, in some cases barbed wire.  Welcome to South Africa, where crime is at optimum level.  In fact I never fail to hear of stories where there is vandalism, violence and murder.

To offer a balance to this assessment on this place that I come to each year, I would say that everyone I meet, whether it be an Afrikaan, a Zulu, an Indian, black, white or brown, are very human.  They are kind, sweet even.  

Yes, by nature, everyone is good. Only motives stand in the way.

May the source be with you!

6 KM

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Durban, South Africa


More rain.  More greyness.  I don't mind.  Temperatures are comfortable.

Even in the tent called “Bhakti Cloud”, designed as a young person's place for devotional dance, it gets hot.  It's usually like being in a sweat lodge.  And I'm supposed to be the “dance master”.  That's how it’s dubbed.  I'm the dance master.  Today with cooled down temperatures it was pleasant.

What happened during that session, some women had come from church, stumbled upon our fest and joined in our improvised dance.  My God! Did they work up a sweat!  They were Zulu, rather elderly, and not slim but they got everyone going with their Zulu steps to the djembe beat and the mantra I was resounding.  They were appareled in their Sunday dresses and hats.  They were enjoying the rousing music and took it, I am sure, like a Gospel-thumping ecstasy dance.

That one-half hour session went in a flash.  Time takes on a different meaning when caught in the fever of devotion. It's a timeless zone.  You can chuck out your watch and forget tomorrow.  A sumptuous of transcendence.  It's a great moment, or non moment if you will.

May the source be with you!

5 KM

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Durban, South Africa

Guy From the Street

It was a hard and yet fun full day at the site of the festival.  I was immersed in staging the drama “Sati”, a story of heroism the wife of Lord Shiva.  She stood up against her own father's mistreatment towards her due to the malice he felt over her husband Shiva.  In any event the story was highly appreciated in its presentation well rendered by my usual local crew from Durban and Pretoria mostly.

One other person who pitched into help in the production, back stage, was a fellow from another city in South Africa – Newcastle. He agreed to walk with me, a short distance really, to his hotel.  From there I was to be picked up for the journey to my flat in Chatsworth. After a day of people, it really was an ideal “chill”.  It's also unusual to have so much rain happening in Durban at this time.

Mathuranath from Newcastle, and I, took those unwinding steps under an umbrella when a young man, a Zulu, squeezed his way through a fence to access the streets.  He began speaking and even boasting about his life in the street.  “I spent three years in Joburg, then some time in Pretoria and now I've been in Durban for a few month living on the street.  Sometimes I stay under a bridge.  But yah know as long as yah live, right?” I could not one hundred per cent agree with his philosophy on life but he had an upbeat attitude towards living and didn't mind saying “Hare Krishna” a few times in his dialogue with us.

May the Source be with ou!

5 KM

Monday, 6 April 2015

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Durban, South Africa

Way To Go

The champak tree becomes your companion when you do that goom-goom walk around the temple.  In no way does this mean that the tree walks with you.  I wish.  What I’m saying is that a number of these fragrant flowering trees are planted along the path.

There are also ashok trees like the ones you read about in “the Ramayana” where Sita is held captive in such a grove.

I'm also reminded that at the opening of this temple (the 80's) when the grounds where less lush and trees not so full, Nelson Mandela walked these steps.

Our Ratha Yatra, Festival of Chariots, Durban's 26th, took the route along the usual beach front passing by all the major hotels.  On this long weekend (Easter) many people become exposed to the chariots, the deities of Jagannatha and the mantra, Hare Krishna.  At the culmination of the chariot pulling the fest ends up at an expansive aria, the former Durban drive-in movie facility.

In my opinion, like other chariots festivals I've attended, the spirit of participants is up, yet the quality sound is not what it could be to draw in the crowds.  Musically, it has a way to go.

May the Source be with you!

8 KM

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Durban, South Africa


I consider myself a lucky chap.  I have an understudy for a director here.  Yes, we are pulling together two dramas for the festival this week and when I get tired, needing some choreography assistance I have someone to depend on.

Prem Vikas just turned 29 yesterday and he's a great talent on the stage.  He hails from Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa.  In fact, a number of people in our cast are from Pretoria.

In reflection on productions done since January of this year, it seems to be a consequence of divine arrangement that a younger group are stepping up to the task of directing.  I can think of Kish who helped me tremendously in India. Stage presence he also has being a member of the kirtan band, “The Mayapuris.”  Madava of Australia has great possibilities as a director, being fine in the dance and acting department.

Hmmm! What else about today that is making me feel lucky? Well, lunch today was with Indradyumna Swami, also a former surfer (refer to yesterday's blog).  Having this sanga, companionship is shaping me.

My advice is “Seek good company that enthuses your spirit.”  Make it a priority!

I am lucky.

May the Source be with you!

6 KM

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Durban, South Africa

To Be Endorsed

It takes less than 2 minutes to walk at my normal speed, one lap or one revolution, around the temple building.  In one way it provides a sense of eternity, like you never reach a destination.  I was just curious to know.  At this rate during my precious time for mantra meditation, “Just how many times do I go around this sacred edifice?” was my question.  If my math brain doesn't deceive me, then I can be looking to doing sixty times around on an average two hour jaunt in a day.

Unfortunately, today was not one of those days.  Hours are monopolized by drama practice, but for a special treat, lunch with another monk.  Bhakti Chaitanya Swami resides here in South Africa.  It was interesting to find out that in his teen – to twenty years – he was a surfer. He and his buddies lived for that special wave from the ocean blue.  Life was simple.  “You might live in your vehicle, sleep in it.”  He then implied that you wait for that special dream wave to come from the ocean blue.

That would be ecstasy.

Like many of us in our sixties surfing the wave is out of the question.  But walking a few rounds about the Chatsworth temple is quite doable even at ten revolutions per day.  I endorse it for anyone.

May the Source be with you!

3 KM

Friday, 3 April 2015

Tuesday, March, 31st, 2015

Durban, South Africa
Where You Step
The circular trek around the temple means you meet puddles. In the wee hours of the morning the grounds with grass, shrubs and trees become wetted by censored sprays of water, leaving pools of water in spots.
My dear friend Kadamba Karana Swami, whom I met on the temple path simply said, “You have to know where to step,” referring to the puddles.
I could take the casual remark as metaphor on life: “You walk and take precautions while on your journey.”  Yes, you won't want to get your socks wet, nor do you want to make bad decisions about directions in life.
I had the good fortune to have lunch with this Dutch monk. For a renunciant it is a natural obligation to eat with, talk with and maybe a peer of like-minded. In Sanskrit you call it sanga. Our
guru, Srila Prabhupada, used the term “association”.
We talked about aging, arthritis, family, food, the world. It's not much different from any other dialogue, coming from any other person, only the insertion of Krishna is always there. Oh! We reminded ourselves, “You have to know where you step”.
May the source be with you!
6 KM

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Durban, South Africa
No Regrets!
My first full day in Durban gives the chance for a more regulated schedule. Okay! So I started with circling around the temple, on foot of course. “This might be the safest place in South Africa,” I thought. “What would disturb me, or anyone for that matter, in this peaceful spot in Chatsworth, a Durban suburb?”
Mina birds flit from tree to tree. I don't consider that a distraction though, not even the trees, as flowering or as fragrant as they are. They only enhance the meditation that's wanted.
I was informed that a group from Canada was arriving at the temple today. Some adolescents were coming for a cultural experience. I asked the temple management if I could meet with them. Request granted!
At 11 AM I was asked to break from drama rehearsal to speak to the group, who were surprised to meet a Canuck who's a monk. I briefed them on our weekend festival, the Festival of the Chariots. Naturally I also extolled the glories of pilgrimage, explained my familiarity with the Trans Canadian Highway” which I hope may be renamed the Transcendental Highway one day.” (They laughed.)
Also, to visit the temple room where I engaged in practice for the second drama, four young men in white short-sleeved shirts came through the door. Instantaneously, “Mormons!” I thought. For four decades there has been a congenial resolution between the Mormons and the Krishnas, Yes, they were American and from the state of Utah.
“On a mission?” I asked.
“Yes for two years,” was their answer.
“And then you get looked after?”
“Yes, we get a wife and so on,” said one of the fellows as they laughed.
“Good system!” I remarked and bearing in my own mind that I have no regrets to staying single all this life.
May the Source be with You!
7 KM

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Behind the Chariots? I Don't Know
I can’t boast about any walking today. It took two flights to get to Durban from Mauritius, hence no time to trek. When we did arrive I was shown the below article in “The Independent” Saturday's addition. I guess you could call it a promotion for the festival we are involved with. “Meet the Man Behind the Chariots” by Arthi Sanpath.
As a young student, Canadian, Bhaktimarga Swami, had a yearning for an alternative life, and encouraged by the mysticism of the Beatles, he was drawn to a monastic lifestyle.
Swami, from Ontario, Canada, also known as the Walking Monk, is in charge of the productions at the Festival of Chariots, which will be held at the old Durban Drive Inn over the Easter weekend.
“Our heroes of the time, the Beatles, were dabbling with the mysticism of the east and so I was attracted to alternative living. I was a fine arts student, trying my hand at painting and sculpting, but I ran into a brick wall, so to speak,” said Swami, formerly known as John Peter Vis.
“Like many youths, after the counter-culture of the 1960's I sought a different purpose to life from the routine pointlessness of “live to die”. I aspired to a depth that would promise more.”
When a few monks visited his college in northern Ontario, he listened in on the conversation, and he said, “One thing led to another.” While he didn't complete his studies he found his passion for the arts encouraged within the Hare Krishna movement.
“I have a new drama called Blue Mystic which features some of the aspects of Krishna's earlier life. We will have a cast of Zulu, Indian and African participants. I am looking forward to it.  Then another play called Sati looks at the interaction between Sati and Shiva. It’s more of a triangle dynamic involving Shiva's-in-law, Daksha. You can expect contempt, loyalty, love. We'll incorporate traces of the east and west and Africa.”
Swami has walked across Canada, Mauritius, Ireland, Israel, Trinidad and Guyana. He calls it his “downtime”.
“It’s through the walking that you get inspiration. The creative side of an individual becomes enhanced through the treks.  I began my first walk across Canada in 1996, a result of both happy and troubled times the year before. Even a monk is confronted with ‘challenges’.”
He next plans to walk from Boston to New York, and plans to walk a route in Africa, should he be up to it. “Let’s see how the legs hold out, I am going on 63.”
May the Source be with you!
0 KM

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Bon  Acceuil  
My Entrance
Now, when I reached customs at the airport the other day I went through an exercise in claimed territory. It was quite amusing to me. To the officer I dealt with, what can I say, I ascertained he did not have a good day.
I offered him my passport. He asked for a document with my travel itinerary. I reached in my right pocket the schedule and handed it to him. Along with that document accidentally had come a string of saffron cloth from my monk's shirt. It was about 1 1\2 inch long and kind of curled up. He handed it back to me saying with a straight face, “this is yours!”
I took it as a joke but he, as I said, didn't have the best day, so I speculated. He asked where I was staying and I couldn’t provide an address. “They, my community from Bon Acceuil, just pick me up every year.” That annoyed him. Mauritians are cool folks. They don't easily flair up. This customs officer also didn't lose steam on me but I thank him internally for giving a lesson on paying attention to details as to your address as a visitor and also in letting me know about ownership- a thread from your clothes is yours.
I'd be walking daily since here, only three to be precise. To a glorious first a group of forty-five of us trekked from the mountain at Black River Gorge National Park. In areas it was a tumble-down and rocky switch-back trail with wild guava trees everywhere. We spotted green parrots and the almost extinct pink pigeon. The river's water was invigorating to swim in.
Day two and fewer came, due to exhaustion from the day before but our reward was a dip in the ocean at Belle Mare beach.
Finally today, a group just circumambulated the temple at Bon Acceuil on the celebration of Ramnaumi Day. To document the three on for diksha (initiation). Khervind was given the name Krishna Katha. His wife, Hema was given the name Hari Katha. And finally Keshave Sharma was given the name Kirtan. Congratulations.
May the Source be with you!
6 KM

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Belle Mare, Mauritius
Part 3 - Final part of “Krishna and Kids”
Krishna is often profiled as the tender of the cows, a recreationist, a lover, an administrator, a philosopher... He relishes wrestling with His buddies, but with demons, it's an all out fight to the finish. After the kill, He offers a huge blessing in the form of moksha, liberation of the soul from the body. How cool! He puts them totally out of their misery. Krishna is ultimately soft, even to the hard hearted. Lord have mercy! He's so benevolent.
When the adorable blue-toned cowherd king, Krishna, grew up a bit more, He would start making these trips outside of Vrindavan. Everyone in the village would miss Him. It was suggested through a messenger by the name of Uddhava, that everyone deal with their feeling of separation by perceiving His yogic expansion as Paramatma, to explore His mystical presence in everyone's heart. However, the suggestion fell flat on the ears of the emotional gopis, whose attitude was, “Give us a break, please.” All they want is to see Him as they know Him, the attractive young country boy.
With all that we have addressed here about Krishna's childhood affairs, His kaumara stage, we appreciate His accessibility and how He locks Himself into meaningful relationships with His youthful confidantes. Krishna is so relatable. Yet, there is still much more to his profile that contributes to His profile that contributes to His fullness. He is much more than a human being. We have merely touched the tip of the iceberg regarding His attributes which have no trace of true mundaneness, but only of transcendence so far as eternity, cognition and pleasure are concerned.
Musician, George Harrison, writes in the forward of another good read, “Krishna: the Supreme Personality of Godhead” (also written by Prabhupada), “You can actually see God and hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.”
It becomes relatively easy to gain a perception of God when we look at the world with childlike wonder, when we minimize our egocentric existence, and explore the true inner child.
My address to young people is, “Be charmed by Him. You may end up with Him as His chum, and befriend His animals as playmates-, the cows, the calves, the deer, and maybe even kids (baby goats ) .” A word of caution: everything begins with the “I am the servant of the Supreme” attitude. Otherwise, you don't have a chance to be in Krishna's dance.
End of “Kids and Krishna” article.
May the Source be with you!
7 KM

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Black River, Mauritius
Part 2 of “Kids and Krishna”
At the dawn of adulthood, I was fortunate to stumble upon devotees of Krishna who happen to always carry with them books that expound on the personal concept of God. “God”, I was told by one of the monk by the current name, Bhakti Bringha Govinda Swami, “is forever youthful.”  In fact, out of his kindness, he read to me of the episode of God whom I discovered has a name “Krishna” playing an instrument – the flute - and with that He attracts His friends, family, cows and calves.
I was naturally getting excited knowing that God (now Krishna) is tightly bound into all kinds of relationships with boys and girls His age. How He values such relationships becomes evident when we reference the book, “Nectar of Devotion”, authored by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
“What a far out aspect of God!” I thought. He has all these amigos whom He sports with. As far as baseball is concerned, Krishna has His own take on it. There as these round-shape green fruits called bael that get tossed back and forth between His friends and Himself. If you close your eyes and meditate on this scene you just might hear the sound of the boys laughing and happily shouting.
These friends of His are understood to be liberated souls, who on the strength of their devotion, rose up to become intimate associates as He shares with them the beautiful rural setting of Vrindavan.
Though the name for the boys are gopas and the girls are known as gopis, implying their affection with the culture of raising go (bulls and cows) and having everything to do with delicious dairy preparations. Indeed mouth watering milk sweets such as ladhu, rasagula, sandesh, kheer, and more, were worth dashing for.
Krishna catches Himself in antics with the gopas in sneaking out at night with His slightly elder brother, Balarama, in search of butter that is stashed in neighbours homes. This routine practice becomes a relatively “hushed” party with which includes monkeys who always want a piece of the action. If you ask any “kids”, excuse me, children, what they think of a frivolous God like this, they are delighted. Night parties! Monkeys! Butter! Making a mess! Wow! What a blast!
In addition to this there are daytime pastimes that carry on where the boys imitate the various animals in their onomatopoetic sounds. They mock peacocks, dogs, frogs and also engage in a type 
of bullfight where two boys portray bulls, charging and locking heads together. When fatigued from play, there is a restful lying on each other's lap that might include a massage.
With the gopis there is His transcendental tease playing, most notably when He snatchers their clothes while they are bathing at the Yamuna River. A slight annoyance that would be for the proprietors of the fabric.
But here is what stirs the passion in “kids” oops, les enfants, the most. Krishna has an awesome time with terrorists. These ultimate demons were dispatched by tyrant Kamsa at practically every day of Krishna's childhood life. They would come to harass the innocent villagers of Vrindavan. At every encounter, Krishna, although small in size, takes down the largest of them, and even after teaching them a thing or two, He does something ironic that demonstrates true heroism.
(To be continued...)
May the Source be with you!
8 KM

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Flacq, Mauritius
Kids & Krishna
I have very little to say about walking since most of my time was spent in the air. Yet once I landed I was handed the recent copy of a glossy annual periodical from our Bon Acceuil community. I was asked to write an article, “Kids and Krishna”, in a two or three day series. I wanted to share it:
 “Kids and Krishna”
When I was a kid, my elementary school teacher detested the term “kid” explaining that the word, by definition, refers to the offspring of goats. She insisted that the word not be used out of context. She was not kidding around.
So I'll start again. When I was a child, I used to question God’s age. Not only was I inquisitive about “How old?” but “What is He like?” “Where does He reside?” “What does He do?”.
In our catechism (the Catholic version of Sunday school) we were told in one way or the another that God has always been around, that He's kind, but sometimes gets angry over the ridiculous things we do. He also creates and then destroys. He's compassionate and loving. Over all He's the coolest dude.
The deepest impression of God's age, I found, was documented by way of pictures from Michelangelo's massive depiction of God creating man in the form of Adam. On the ceiling of the world’s most famous room, the Sistine Chapel, God is portrayed as this muscular, yet greying, but full and wavy-haired elderly man. As an adolescent I was so much moved by art masters such as Michelangelo that I started to dabble with painting. Eventually, I assumed that “The creation of Adam” was merely an artist conception and perhaps I don't need to accept the subject so literally.
To be continued...
May the Source be with you!
0 KM

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Largest Walking Event
I stumbled upon an article in the “Padayatra Worldwide Newsletter,” a piece written by Ekacakragram. The article is entitled, “Participating in the Largest Walking Event in the World”. While reading I reminisced like anything.
“In July 2001 a group of devotees, all dressed with dhotis, kurtas or saris, participated for the first time in the biggest walking event in the world: a four-day walk in the area of Nijmeghan in Holland. The event, organized by the Holland National Walking Federation, had been taking place for the past forty years. Depending on their age and gender, participants can choose walking three distances: 30 km, 40 km or 50 km. Of course one can do less, but they will not get an official medal from the Queen. Devotees went with harinama and prasadam, and danced and chanted for the entire 30 km, but it was a little too intense for the devotees and a little too much for the public.
So the next year we just did one hour of kirtan and chanted japa during the walk. We got many opportunities to talk with people during the walk, as there was nothing else to do besides walking. People got an opportunity to ask the questions they had wanted to ask for many years. There were about forty devotees and congregation members coming and going during the four days. Fifteen devotees walked the entire four days, including Bhaktimarga Swami. I took the opportunity to introduce him as a famous walker in Canada… Over the four days a total of 45,000 people participated in the three categories of walks. Everybody had to wake up at 2:30 am and assemble in the middle of the city at 3:30 am. It was a very special atmosphere to see many people ready to walk together early in the morning. It was such a nice experience having a mangala-arati and walking with many people, talking all day about Krishna. We have become well-known in the camping ground. It was a kind of holiday, exhausting physically but mentally very refreshing.”
May the Source be with you!
0 KM

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Toronto, Ontario
Really Reaching Out
“Where attention goes, energy flows,” is the common phrase I hear from my dear friend Vaisesika. This “mantra”, if you will, he uses in reference to the personal commitment, thought and compassion he directs to those who struggle and are pushed to the edge of society. He gives attention to meeting people and sharing the wisdom of the Gita. People respond. Results are achieved.
In this connection I was thinking as of late about my dear God brothers and sisters that I shared time with in the early days of our spiritual endeavors. I was hankering more and more to see them, especially since the sudden departure of one American friend, Jnanagamya. At yesterday’s trip to Owen Sound I shared some time with Drupada and Garuda, both early birds in Krishna Consciousness in Toronto. Because I put attention to seeking companionship, through the ether a little miracle evolved. I had in the evening poised myself to give the Gita class by applying my last bit of tilak (devotional markings) to the body, when I received a call from sister Bhakta-vasya from Vancouver Island. I hadn’t seen her for years. Then out of the blue… this call.
It was 4:10 this morning and I received a call from our friend Premarnava from West Virginia. Again I hadn’t heard from him in years. At 5:20, Devata from northern Ontario called expressing his thanks for whatever in the past. Really what I experienced with this sudden flood of communication within this twelve-hour period was the intervention of some Divine force.
You know what? I’m going to try to give more attention to the right spots and then see what happens.
May the Source be with you!
3 KM

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Owen Sound, Ontario
From Snow to Food
To Harrison Falls we went. Located on the environmentally sensitive Niagara Escarpment near its northern stretch in Ontario, this is an example of nature’s boast. The waters are of the Syndenham River System. It’s gorgeous. Before interaction with humans (even though scheduled to be with fellow bhakti-yogis), I felt it necessary on a daily basis to make a touchdown with Bhumi, the earth. I would declare myself a psychological disaster if I did not have a break from people. Down-time is a must.
Crunching along with footsteps over cracking snow and ice along a nearby trail were my Michigan associates, one benevolent soul from Brampton, and myself. From out-of-shade areas the sun gave instant warmth to our backs and its light reflection on the white surface below provided only optimism—Krishna’s mercy.
Our walking was terminated for our stop-over at a weekly Sunday feast held at the Hanna family’s. I was asked to speak of my pilgrimage to India but the highlight after the chanting was indeed the food. Sanctified as prasadam, it was contentment to the palate. The veggies and especially pakoras (veggie fritters) were lightly spiced with hing.
I was also able to make it back in time for the feast at the big city, Toronto. Here “gourmet-like” was the food which was fine. Bless the cooks they did their very best. It’s hard to cook for four-hundred people. Before the crowd and before eating I actually feasted through my ears. Yes I found hearing myself read was relishable. Don’t get me wrong! It’s less of an ego thing. It was the content that counted. I was reading of the boat adventure of our guru when he first came to America 50 years ago. Astounding to hear.
May the Source be with you!
4 KM

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Brampton, Ontario

Okay! So!

Okay! So how did the day run for me? Well, it really starts with the acknowledgment of the guru. At 4:25 AM I entered the temple room and offered my obeisance to the deity of him, Srila Prabhupada. The doors then opened to the deities of Krishna. Once again – obeisance.

I asked Nandini Radha, one of our female devotees to lead in the chanting session. This was followed by a beautiful ritual called Tulasi puja, the honouring of a sacred plant. Who could ever claim that we have nothing to do with the green movement?

We (the residents and guests) then participated in japa (mantra meditation), followed by a bhajan (devotional song) and then honouring of the guru, I then conducted a class from the Bhagavatam and on the topic of the virtues of dharma (principles), chastity and the shortcomings of being shameless after commiting some wrong. Guilt can be good.

A meeting was held with leaders of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), amongst Krishna Conscious leaders, that is.

Vitaliy and Ananda Rupa, the couple soon to be married, drove me to Brampton for a second meeting, this time of devotee men, who are poised to raise funds for the huge temple in Mayapura, India. This went well.

Finally after some phone calls with Vancouver and the endeavor towards some restructuring there, we took the time for physical relief – walking. Hart Lake was our venue and although it is the first day of spring officially, practically it is questionable. The air was fresh and brusque. It made us hungry and sleepy in the end, making it all a perfect day in bhakti (devotion).

May the Source be with you!

4 KM

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Scarborough, Ontario

The Honor System

It’s always an honor to be asked to give some kind of presentation to a group of young souls trying to have some spiritual fun. Gopinatha’s Fun Camp is actually hosting a four day out-of-school (I was going to say “out-of-body”) experience for kids off of school for the March break. I was given a half hour to stimulate twenty plus children and indulge them in a lesson from the Bhagavad-Gita.

9.26th verse was chosen to explore. Herein Sri Krishna makes a point to His recipient,  Arjuna, “If one offers to Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it”. The kids masterfully responded to a memorization of the verse and for fun, we involved them in acting out the verse in English.

Highlights: When we portrayed picking a flower, young Mukunda, age 6, protested, “You have to offer it to Krishna before you smell (the imaginary flower)”. Okay, Mukunda, you are right.
“Which fruit should we imagine to pluck?” And one of the boys suggested, “Why not a plum, (since in Sanskrit) it sounds like one?” He was referring to phalam.

It was a second honor to be interviewed in the evening at TET TV studio in Scarborough, a three-part series for an audience of young teens mostly, so I’m told. The topic? “Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll”, the Three Stooges to vulnerable adolescence. I used that terminology only because the sad joke is youth-hood. I had fun with the questions and I hope I didn’t come across too much like an old fuddy-duddy.

May the Source be with you!

7 KM

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Brighton, Ontario

By Water, Animals and Earth

Vitaliy, Ananda Rupa and I were fortunate enough to capture the sun’s sneaking over the eastern horizon, better still, over the calm lake at Petticoat Park just off of the Rouge River System. Here earth meets water with hard water in between.  The last of winter’s white and crystal residue can be found at the beach that we did traverse for a stretch. Trees also became our fascination as did their visitors. A woodpecker and mate were vigorously stripping some bark, I imagine to access insects.

Our trio moved onto a farm where kale is harvested, washed, dipped and dried before packaging. To show us around the rural factory and farm were Fil and Sukhayanti. But first we got acquainted with family members – bulls, cows, sheep, goats, donkey, cats, dog. A step in the barnyard with alfalfa pellets in hand and you’ll find that suddenly you are very popular. The goats in particular go beyond the alfalfa.  They start chewing your coat, shirt, pants and shoe-laces.

We are informed that each barnyard animal has his or her own temperament, character or personality.  To put that in slightly different perspective, all souls carry their own individual karma, if not, the karma carries them.

Our final venture for the day was Presqu’il Park and its wetlands. A group of swans took solitude here. I sometimes think swans make better yogis than us. These massive birds sat on calm but cold waters, forever, so it seemed.

May the Source be with you!

5 KM

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

The Guru “Without”

A couple came up from Michigan and we but relished a stroll in the park. We were just catching up from where we left off in conversation from their last visit. For continuity’s sake and for the sake of learning what we haven’t already, we talked about devotion. Frankly we are all students of life and it makes sense to dedicate a portion of the day to topics that centre on the self, the soul.

I had another person come today wanting to know the need for a guru who is also a topic in the line of devotion. In this day of self-help when someone may convince you that “the guru within”, common sense, or intuition may be sufficient for achieving spiritual strength and understanding, why seek assistance from anywhere else?

The fact of the matter is that while we may apply some intuitive power, any one individual lacks all the intelligence needed to be able to accomplish all things. We are simply not God.  We are born with flaws and frailties. A guru “without”, however, has much experience, gives guidance, gives inspiration, gives wisdom and measures progress made.

If someone wants to become a great athlete, cook, businessman, whatever, that person can make a lot of effort in any respective direction, but it doesn’t hurt to take assistance from a source that has a proven background of success. Please check 4.34 from the Bhagavad Gita and the illuminated purport by Srila Prabhupada.

May the Source be with you!

1 KM

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

It’s March Break

It’s March break, which means so many young folks, especially those from the secondary school level, the teens, are out on the street.  Despite a wind with a biting cold, they were out on Yonge Street downtown, ‘where all the lights are bright’, and ‘where everything’s waiting for you’.  Nick and I were making our way to the evening Bhakti Lounge kirtan event.  Pedestrians were moving at a good clip, it’s the way to keep warm.  One tall fellow, who looked like a Punjabi, blurted out with an enthusiastic, “Hari Bol!” which means, “Chant the name of Hari (God)!”  He passed by so quickly that I couldn’t recognize him.  Oh well, a man of mystery. 

Kirtan at the lounge went well, followed by a vegan dinner where we had time to mingle with those who choose to take a break from the material world. 

My return to the ashram was the same route, Yonge Street, where all the lights are even brighter now that nighttime is upon us.  It was Dimitri who accompanied me, when the same man of mystery uttered once again, “Haribol!” in the most jovial way.  From the crowd of pedestrians emerged this same fellow from before.  He stopped.  He was a little shy and tried to hide his cigarette with hand behind his back.

“You don’t know me, but I know you.  I was one year old when I had my birthday party in your temple, so my parents tell me.  I’ve seen you over the years, haribol.”  We shook hands in a hearty way.  It was a good exchange.  For me, hearing haribol from a happy face changes the way I view this street of big time maya, illusion.

May the Source be with you!

7 KM

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

Clearing Clouds

The middle aged musician strumming gently on his guitar while singing away, he had his own self styled attire, a hat which was a cross between an American cowboy hat and an Australian bush or slouch hat.  Over his body was draped something in the family of a poncho.  He sported long, sandy coloured hair.  An artist?  Yes.  Eccentric?  Yes, I’d say so.  It was an instant judgment on my part. 

He stopped playing and singing as Chaitanya Mangala, our Brazilian monk, and I, came close to him while on our walk on Danforth Avenue.  He started talking.  He spoke in an intellectual/philosophical way, yet coherent it was not.  I basically nodded, agreeing to his remarks which rattled on.  I couldn’t get a word in.  I could sense though, that he approved of us.  We were different, and so was he.  The one radical can understand the other radical. 

I find that when there is a lacking in communication, speech wise, then I just slide in a mantra card.  That, then, does the magic.  After all the mumbo jumbo the fellow was uttering, he finally came out and said the two Sanskrit words, Hare Krishna.  The mantra seemed to clear any cloud of confusion for both him and us.  It’s just doing its job.  It works like the sun and burns away the fog.

May the Source be with you!

5 KM

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

Get Straight

The weekly Sunday Feast, or our Open House, continues to attract pilgrims, meditators, congregations, and the curious.  This event goes on at Krishna Centres all over the globe.  Here, in Toronto, there’s no exception.

A young woman by the name of Emily called, asking about kirtan.  I let her know that this is the main feature of our Sunday Feast.  She informed me that she hopes to come.

“Will it be  your first time coming?” I asked her. 



“You know I’m there by my yellow hat,” she said.  I informed her of the time.

“6 PM”.  And she came.  I could spot her in a crowd of about 300.  Her yellow wool headpiece did stand out.  So as I was about to move to my seat to deliver today’s message to the crowd, I approached her, “Emily?”

“Yes.”  She has the biggest smile.  It just so occurred that I couldn’t find the time or arrangement afterwards, but I could see that our resident nun by the name of Nandini Radha did have some words with her. 

This is one of the main components of the Sunday Feast, it’s people (‘People…’ Barbara Streisand).  There’s people who are searching, people who want the peace of mind, people who ask themselves, “Why am I in this world?  What is life’s objective?  What is my calling?  Who am I really?”  I did speak in my pravachan (talk) about our guru, Srila Prabhupada, and all he had done to deliver kirtan to the world.  I believe this connected with Emily.  It appeared to me that Emily and her accompanying friend had a good time.  I do hope they come again. 

After the feast, the usual cleanup took place, or should take place.  I, amongst other things in the tidy up routine, went around to straighten out the pictures that had been shifted accidentally when people brushed against them.  After all, we’re here in this world to straighten out some things. It’s the human obligation. 

May Source be with you!

5 KM

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Brampton, Ontario

Two Black Dudes

I had walked toward Brampton en route to a satsang in someone’s home when off on Eglinton Avenue, I was approached by a couple of black dudes.  They were in a black van and they tooted their horn indicating they wanted to talk.  They lowered the window, and I could see the interior was black.  The two men in the car were in black, their caps were black.  The only thing I remember that wasn’t noir was the earring on one of the guys’ earlobes.  It was imitation gold. 

The passenger was very curious, “Didn’t I see you yesterday in Yorkville (a swanky part of town)?  Like, what are you doin’, man?”

“That was me, and now I’m here, walking.  I’m a monk, walking.  I walked Canada four times.”  To this remark, the two looked stunned.  I gave them my card, which has on the flip side, the maha mantraHare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

With an invite to our temple and Govinda’s restaurant, I left them, and with their further questions answered.  I hope I’ll see the two black dudes with their glistening earrings in the future, perhaps even at our temple.  My point in relating this, once again, is that when you go out in devotional garb, opportunities occur. 

There were other areas that I happened to cover on foot today in Etobicoke and Milton.  I passed by their various religious institutions, the bulk of them being Christian.  There’s one place that promotes themselves as being a venue for miracles.  It’s near the Toronto airport.  I was tempted to go inside to see if I might experience a miracle, but then I thought, “What the heck, I have miracles happening in my life all the time, big and small.”

May the Source be with you!

7 KM

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Etobicoke, Ontario

Show You Love Thy Neighbour

“Love thy neighbour as much as thy self.”

You’ve all heard this phrase from Jesus.  It’s a good one to put into practice.

It happened yesterday that I walked in the neighbourhood of our ashram when I passed by a window display of an art shop whose owner I had known.  I haven’t seen Don for a long time.  He opened up shop 26 years ago, and has been running a successful business selling his and other artist’s works.  I thought to do the neighbourly thing, the human thing, stop my stepping , drop in and say hello. 

Don’s hospitable wife mans (or womans) the shop, and graciously lead me to the basement where Don is often at work.  As usual, he’s got this smile.  We started talking.  He asked me if I noticed the main painting on display.  “No, sorry, I didn’t notice,” I said. 

Don said, “It’s by…” (and I forgot the name, but it’s someone who collaborated working with Andy Warhol.  Don informed me that it’s probably worth 5 million.

“Is that right?”  He went on to talk about his passion, his art, and I could see how he was loving it.  I told him of my recent trip to India and of pilgrimage.  It was a mutual, neighbourly exchange worth much more than 5 million.  I know if I sped by Don’s shop in a car, I wouldn’t bother checking in on Don, but because I was on foot, I had every reason and opportunity to be human.

“Hare Krishna, Don.”

May the Source be with you!

9 KM

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario
Now Stollery’s Going
Stollery’s is (or was) a rather classy men’s wear store on Yonge and Bloor.  It’s been there for years, decades, really.  The reason why this place pulls heart strings is because it was at this crossroads, in a way, I was born.  The store is now being demolished.  While on today’s walk, I was somewhat horrified.
When I say, “I was born,” I mean I began my first sankirtan outreach there.  No, I would never consider going inside the store in those early days of ’73 to purchase a three piece suit.  I was happy with my monk’s attire, my dhoti and kurta, even though very unstylish, but it was outside of this men’s wear shop that I would approach pedestrians with a book on spirituality.  I would try to make friends and try to make the sale.  Often times I would succeed.  Those were nostaligic days. 
I’ll tell you another place that hits the sentiments in the same way.  It’s near Yonge and Dundas.   Not long ago, the iconic “Sam the Record Man” massive red LP came down.  That happened over a year ago.  And it’s also nostaligic for me because this is the spot where I used to meet Sam, himself, the elderly Jewish guy, the owner.  That building’s been replaced for a contemporary charmless edifice. 
The third landmark up for demolition that hits a sensitive nerve is the signature signage of Ed Mirvish’s discount store,“Honest Ed’s” at Bathhurst and Bloor.  It’s coming down.  To me, they are all places of pilgrimage because this is where the people were, and where the people were, that’s where the Hare Krishnas were.  Mantras, Gita’s, and incense were dispersed in these spots, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. 
Images of my early monkhood are being buried in the waves of time. 
May the Source be with you!
5 KM

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario
The Can
The wind was kicking the can.  It created a crass noise, clanky, hitting the pavement as a repetitious toss in the air.  It finally came to a roll, it was bent out of shape.  It was a soft drink can from what I could make of it.  After the roll it was ditched by the wind into a pool of melted snow by a curb. 
I had the notion to pick it up and to carry it to the nearest municipal recycling bin.  Yet, the can that caught several pedestrians’ attention, became so submerged, I couldn’t get access unless if I wanted to get my socks and shoes drenched.
Somehow or other I related to the can.  I took it to be me, a soul on a sojourn, being hurled around, and then journey’s end materializing.  I hope that one day my shenanigans will reach a complete stop, that is, the wrestling of anger, greed, lust, and covetousness.
In the meantime I was enjoying the sound of the symphony, that is, of water dripping, and water flowing, and then draining into the street manholes.  It was all the dynamics of a spring thaw that makes its own music. 
The can contributed immensely. 
May the Source be with you!
7 KM

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Toronto, Ontario
The Avalanche Came
I’m back home and dealing with an avalanche of emails.  I’m also back into strolling some streets.  The snow is melting, may this be the case with my karma also.  While walking I am thinking of guru and the need to read his biography once again, this being 50 years since he came to the west for a pioneering of consciousness.
I met with brahmachari monks today.  It involved a planning to build a more attractive and effective program for the future.  I believe all young men could use a period of training and self discipline (anyone interested can inquire from me).
My reconnection with the community here means tons, as it does to all places I visit.  In my absence I see there was little shake up during a five week visit to India.  Some hiccups occurred, which happens even when I’m present, because after all, I am a citizen of the material world like anyone else. 
Something that came to me from Vasudeva, friend and god-brother from France, some words from Albert Einstein, is for sharing:
“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the Mysterious.  It is the most fundamental emotion at the root of all true art and science.  He who this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed out candle.”
May the Source be with you!
5 KM

Monday, March 9th, 2015


Where They Don't Know

Balaram, Mandala, and I left India for the friendly skies.  Leaving India means you leave the land that knows.  For instance, we went through customs where you get searched by an officer.  Because of our attire and certain mannerisms, the security in India knows who you are and what you represent.  They'll stamp your boarding pass and say, "Hare Krishna," with a smile and perhaps with a waggle of the head.  In other words, they know who you are.  They at times ask a question, devotionally related, of course.  They may even ask for some prasad (sanctified food).  How pious they are!

From Brussels, back to Toronto on Jet Airways, I took the opportunity to speak to a male flight attendant.  "I've been a monk for 42 years," I said.  He was astounded by that remark.  I informed him of my affiliation with Krishna Consciousness.  It appears that he knew less, because although from Delhi, he does substantial travelling. Perhaps he's not totally in tune with all that is "Vedic".  A thought came to my mind which I shared with Mandala as we sat next to each other in the aircraft. "You know, the more you move in direction away from India, the more you enter territory that 'doesn't' know," meaning about Krishna and His message in the Gita.  In one sense it's rather consoling to go to a place where they 'don't' know.  That gives us an opportunity to tell.

May the Source be with you!

6 KM

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Noida, India

Vanity Reference

I was asked to give the class from the Bhagavatam. I was happy to extract some details from the life of Ajamil (from Canto Six) wherein he abandons irresponsibly wife and family for an existence of rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance). His story is tragic in a way but gradually transitions back to a track of wholesomeness.

Ajamil, like most of us, had a fairly stable situation. In his case his parents raised him in a sattvic (goodness) environment. Urges within, however, encouraged him to dabble in the lower modes as mentioned above. The story comes to a happy ending leaving us with hope. He took shelter of Narayana before passing. In the course of the entire day, after the class, we spent in drama preparation. I did manage to squeeze in a few minutes to read Jayadvaita Swami's book "Vanity Karma". I had to admire his description of the world as we know it, a description in one passage which far exceeds my grim outline of the world in the class this morning.

Allow me to share Jayadvaita's words:

"Finally there are the miseries caused by other living beings : flies, rats, mosquitoes, viruses, poisonous plants, howling dogs, and worst of all our fellow human beings - in the words of Jonathan Swift : 'the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the face of the Earth.'"

He goes on:

 "Oppressors with power : the fist, the whip, the blade, the gun; the fear, the threats, the curfews, and barbed wire, the boot in your face; the tanks, cruise missiles, and supersonic bombers; and when things are just quietly humming along, the governmental bleed-you-dry suction machine of tax." 
May the source be with you!

3 KM

Friday, March 6th, 2015


War Zone?

It felt like a war zone, really it did. With Holi festival upon us major attacks of coloured powder venture your way. Tourists and pilgrims come to Vraj (Vrindavan) to experience the full tilt of, in the minds of some, an exhilarating event. Some people consider it a nuisance because whether dry or wet application, your clothes, your skin, your house or car gets splattered with the stuff. I'm less inclined towards this type of partying. Tradition has it that Sri Krishna Himself, in sporting with colours centuries ago as a youth, He targeted His gopas and gopis (cowherd friends, both boys and girls). From one point of view the town gets literally coloured, especially with a gorgeous pink-to-violet tone. Looks kind of pretty. And it is a stress reliever. People are happy. It seems like good clean fun. At least I don't see any beer drinking related to it.

On the more dark side I witnessed passion play out from our slowly moving car destined for Noida. Our doors were locked and it's good they were. Enough enthusiasts attempted entry while we were in motion, ready to hurl a good dose of powder. In the frenzy of it all a brawl was about to start nearby and I also saw a young woman, a tourist, get quite clobbered by the colour, much to her dismay.

My story in brief is that after breakfast at the home of Gopal and Avatari (friends), we went through the back stairs, scaled a fence and ran for what seemed our lives with kids well armed that we apparently dodged. That's why I say it was like a battlefield. With candor, I admit though that the rowdiness and prank-prone antics of parties in the west are far more aggressive. In general Asia has got some points ahead of the west when it comes to the spirit of a big party. My opinion!

May the source be with you!

3 KM