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Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Kolkata/ Mayapura

Our plane landed earlier than planned in Kolkata where people are either followers of the goddess Kali while others take to Kali, as in "the age of materialism." Fortunately many Bengalis now visit Mayapura which is my destination for today, and are becoming more conscious of Chaitanya and Krishna.

Like at the Mumbai Airport, security and personnel, say "Hare Krishna" but with a little more apprehension. The smile and the head waggle eventually comes.

My pick-up drivers are Sarvajna and Krishna and they come with a colourful over-sized garland. Speaking of colour, India is just that a colourful place. Even the TATA trucks are colourful. Truckers are proud of their conveyance so they spruce them up with painted images.

Everything is a load on the back of a truck - rice, wheat, cement bags, corn, sugar cane, and people too. As I stated yesterday in my blog, India is a land of optimists, smiles and opportunity. On the negative side there is dust and trash, but to compensate you love ambition, energy, family and love for life.

The drive to Mayapur is a bumpy one and at times congested. All that is forgotten when you arrive at the dhama, the place of pilgrimage. It was how time and visitors were lined up like anything.

A shower, a meal, a visit from the anticipated South African devotees made the welcome fulfilled. That long, long and I suppose deserved sleep carried me to the next day marking the start of a happy and holy next four weeks.

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