People Along The Way by Bhaktimarga Swami


On occasion, I deliver a meal from our Govinda's Dining to Subuddhi, a godsister in her 80s, on a three-kilometre walk away. She is not too mobile these days, and but for a young male renter upstairs, she calls herself lonely. Being a perfect sunny day, there was nothing stopping me from carrying rice, veggies, dahl soup, gulabjamin, chappati, and samosa to her home off Christie Street. The walk was pleasant. I had brief encounters on the way.

As I crossed Davenport Ave., a young fellow talking on his cell and bellowing out a cloud of cannabis smoke at the street corner, opened up his eyes as I was crossing. His eyes widened as I got closer, and at a point he stopped chatting to address me.

"Are you an actual swami?"

"Well, yes, I am."

He liked that remark, but had to get back to his caller.

Not but five minutes later, a young woman was hobbling along on a pair of crutches. She didn't look happy until I suggested, "Heal fast!" She broke into the biggest smile.

On a quiet side street, two guys started a talk, each with a poppy on their lapel to acknowledge men who served and/or died in action in one of the two world wars. It began like this:

"Hey Rick, that's a nice vintage car you got there, eh?"

Finally, an Indian senior, a crossing guard security man, recognized my saffron attire. Out of his Hindu piety, he leapt to action, raced over to my side of the street holding up his stop sign, and led me across with a pranams (folded hands) to finish.


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