I have the furthest thing from a hangover after last night's blissful Gaura Purnima Festival here in Melbourne.
The all-day fast went well for me. It helps when you don't have to set foot in the kitchen. Cooking and fasting is quite a challenge.
I indulged in some MBWA (management by walking around) from early afternoon, seeing that floors were mopped and readied, tables were set up in the right places, confirming that microphones were charged, sound-systems were primed, and double-checking all the department heads were on target.
This job was not so much assigned as a self-appointed one; my twenty-five years entwined in the management here [1975-2000] left me with an instinctive appreciation of what needs to be done to put on a festival.
I needn't have worried yesterday since all department heads were firing on all cylinders, and had finely-honed their craft after years of practice.
The crowds started pouring in at 4.00pm, and while it was impossible to count just how many people came through the gates I'd say it was close to 2000.
The highlight of the night for me was the opportunity to partake of my all-time spiritual pastime - kirtan. We had some consummate musicians on hand, and we floated in an ocean of transcendental sound.
Break-fast was at 8.03 pm, the time of the full-moon's rising. It was cloudy, so the moon was not visible, but we had all carefully studied our almanancs, so at the stroke of 8.00 we were ready to enjoy the delightful feast that had been cooked with love and offered to Krishna in joyful devotion.
The whole event was highly photogenic, but since I had brass karatals in my hands and a microphone close to my lips most of the night, I'll just have to leave most of it to your imagination. Although these pictures will probably give you a taste.
Tomorrow I leave for Sydney to attend to pressing family matters - namely my mother's declining health.
Posted by Kurma on 5/3/07; 8:00:34 AM
from the Travel dept.