Life in the Building by Bhaktimarga Swami


Our roofer, Victor, did make it up above me. I could hear his clumping on the flat roof overhead, the very place where squirrels race back-and-forth; never on a schedule. It’s just frivolous, whimsical play. Their footsteps are light compared to Victor’s firm and less speedy moments.

Below me, on the main floor, is Sri the Pea (that’s what he calls himself) getting already for Govinda's take out. It Involves mostly the use of water, the washing of trays and laying out of the day’s spread of tasty entrées. When his use of water is on it makes it hard for me to shower. It all runs on the same pipeline. When Sri is on the phone it’s so obviously him with a rather high tone voice, but not soprano.

The lower deck is the actual basement where our main cook, Dwarkanath, is cooking up a storm in the presence of Cameron, who tackles the pot washing. With two floors down it makes it hard to hear the cleaning of pots. Yet I do know they are busy because of the finished product — the meal itself. With today being a grain-fast, called ekadasi, the preps are lighter and are felt as such when portions land in the stomach. Happy cooking and cleaning, you guys. Great prasadam — blessed food.

Finally, in the most remote section of the basement, workers have been at the job, which is getting closer and closer to completion, of renovations on the west side of the building. I’m on the east side, laying down, mostly hearing and perceiving all the vibrancy in the rest of the edifice, a former church. I must not fail to mention one of the most important functions of the place. From the temple room my ear catches the bells for the arati service. It’s ever so sweet.


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