One of the nicest things about my recent trip to Melbourne was catching up with old friends.
Here I am in the kitchens of the Hare Krishna Temple in Albert Park with my old buddy and God-brother Bhagavat Ashraya, cooking for our Guru Srila Prabhupada.
Bhagavat joined the temple in the early 70's, after giving up a promising television career with Channel 7. His devotional life took him all over the world, from India to London and finally back to Australia. Though I've visited Bhagavat and his wife numerous times while on my teaching tours in Queensland, it's been 28 years since Bhagavat has returned to the Melbourne Temple.
While cooking together on Wednesday, we were talking of the mysteries of the time factor. I was relating how, upon entering the kitchen at 7.00am, I experienced an intense feeling that I was just there yesterday, although the last time I cooked in that kitchen was November 1999.
Bhagavat's déjà vu was even more remarkable. The last time he cooked in that kitchen was in 1979, with me. He told me that as soon as he entered the kitchen this time, and stood before the stove, it all came rushing back, every detail.
I used to affectionately call him 'Bag o' Fat'. One day, while we were frying cauliflower pakoras all those long years ago, due to being distracted, Bhagavat Ashraya had burned a batch.
It was then that I gave him his 'nom de cuisine' - "Bag o' Fat' Ash-fryer". And the name stuck, at least with me. Such irreverance is allowed only between close friends.
Posted by Kurma on 7/9/07; 7:30:47 AM
from the dept.