A Week in Radhe Radhe Land

A few scattered thoughts looking back on a week spent in Vrindavan, the sacred land of Lord Krishna’s youthful exploits. We are now back in Delhi, at the Abracadabra Guest House complete with A/C, half-decent electricity (supplemented by our new maha Voltage Stabilizer and power strip!), finishing up work and regrouping for departure soon for Kabul.

Finally survived the Holi festival, unscathed this time by the touch of color soaking the whole area. I’ve much enjoyed the last couple years’ Nathdwara-style Holi—purely temple Holi, natural colors and sweet energy. Here, while amazing I hear, it’s more of the cheap, super-chem colors and more aggressive street approach—so I just hunkered down and enjoyed two days of down time here at the MVT guest house.

There were too many vignettes along the way to flesh out now, far from Vrindavan and back in the steamy confines of Delhi’s pre-trip packing frenzy. Enjoying the passing Vraja lila with Shyamdas and friends, including Vittaldas and Stefan ji and Hans all in from New York, locals Chandi and Kusha, Govind and others, an outdoor music offering for Milan Baba which I managed to record on 24 bit/96 kHz, along with Panditji’s Sanskrit talk afterwards on the site where one of Krishna’s divine plays, the Ras lila, was enacted many years ago. A couple of visits to Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram where we had a brief and sweet Siddhi Ma darshan and some nice hang time in his takhet room, where he used to hang and give darshan years ago. A few romps through the colorful and windy Loi Bazar through the incense and sacred cloth merchants, the temples and the mala walas. And, finally for me, a reconnection with the first baba I ever really hung with in India, during the first week of my first time on India’s sacred soil. His Kaladhari Ashram was hard for me to find again, ten years removed from my days of trodding its lovely ground amongst the ambling of some of my favorite cows in India—but I finally made it there again, during our last couple days in the area.  A nice reconnect.

So much to share, but so much packing to do now as well. Maybe later, I’ll get some of this down. Though with Kabul looming, it’ll all probably be swept away in the unfolding spiral of it all…

Below is a photo of a man making and tuning a harmonium on the roof studio of a famous shop (DMS) in Old Delhi, on a quiet Sunday when the work was closed. Across the street the view from the window in front of him was the main spire of the Jama Masjid—stumbling across this man and his colleague was a special treat—film someday as well…


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