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Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Downtown, Toronto

Behind me was the voice of a familiar Hindi word, “Hanji.” So, I turned around as I took it to be directed to me. There, in the dark, was the flower man whom I see from time to time. I stopped and let him come close when he spoke in English.

“The last time you saw me you said you would pray for my sister who has cancer.”

“Oh, I did, and I will do some more right now.”

“Is she doing better?”

“Yes. Here…” He handed me a twenty and asked that I please speak to Him on her behalf. I told him that he has my promise. By the way, ‘hanji’ translates as ‘hey, sir!’

I had done the stretch on foot from my home address, the temple ashram at 243 Avenue Road to Yonge and Queen. It was a good exploration. It’s been a while. How things are changing. You have some structure up to seventy stories high. It is like it happened overnight. They seemed to have popped in from nowhere. It is a changing face of a modern-day city. Under my feet is the largest underground shopping mall in the world. Of course, it is all rather shut down now as I walked at the wee hour of the morning. Yes, it was a quiet 11:30 pm time slot when I asked a pedestrian for the hour.

I am amazed by the great number of those of Asian descent on the streets at the evening hour. Some greet me with a “Hare Krishna,” or at least a pranam (palms together), which is just great.

8 km
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