What’ll I Do?
Abu Dhabi, UAE
It seemed like the longest day of my life, naturally with the time zone changes factored in. And the two flight delays from both Chennai in India and Abu Dhabi, left a perception of something never ending. A two hour delay meant I had time to kill at Abu Dhabi.
What does a Krishna monk do in spare time with no carry on to worry about.
The old song “What’ll I do?” by Irving Berlin (I believe) came to mind. The melody is naturally beautiful with a kind of raga that implies a feeling of separation, like a love song. I applied it to the maha-mantra and it worked perfectly.
On my way to the privy (wash room) I noticed the sign “Prayer Room” and an adjoining “Ablutions” area. I thought to take advantage of the space in an anticipation that the airport provided a multi-faith facility. I went it. I was the only one there. Some paraphernalia was there, a shelf with various copies of the Quran, and three chairs against the wall. The walls were plain white and nothing more, but for an image of Mecca affixed at a 90 degree angle. Prayer mats were set on the floor before it. I did some japa (chanting on my beads) and breaking out occasionally with the tune of “What’ll I Do?” At least two travellers (young men) came in for their prayers to Allah which compelled me back to a soft japa. It was a pleasure being there; a change from being in a waiting area and looking at weary waiting passengers.
On the earlier delayed flight at Chennai, I met Janasen, a nineteen year old Torontonian whose parents are from Sri Lanka. He stood out amongst the others with his mod-sculptured hair style that included some careful facial hair design. I guess this individual expression is a good thing. It just so happened that he had the same flight as me, embarking from Toronto and then back. He first approached me noticing the co-incidence (or destiny, or divine arrangement). From there we began a friendship. He promised to visit me at the ashram. I gave him my only “carry on” a soft bound Gita, as I thought he would take it seriously.
And so that’s what I had done. We’ll see what he will do. Take care Janasen.
Om Tat Sat!