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Monday, March 24th, 2003

Back To Delhi
Still no visa...

I left the Vrindavan Math early this morning with Janaki-Vallabha Prabhu, to catch the 5:00 a.m. bus to Delhi. We get a fairly decent seat, but the bus soon fills up. There's not too much traffic this early in the morning, so the bus takes only three hours to reach Delhi.

We alight before the terminus and take a tricycle rickshaw to the Delhi station. While we walk, I ask Janaki-Vallabha Prabhu how he came to Krishna consciousness. It's a fascinating story: he was born in Bombay, adopted by Italian parents when he was six months old, lived all his life in Italy, met some devotees there, and has now returned to India where he is serving Srila Gurudeva in Govardhan. Somebody really ought to compile a How I came to Krishna Consciousness book...

We cross the bridge over the station and get a room at a cheap local hotel in the Pahar Ganj or Main Bazaar area. Delhi is full of Americans and Europeans. They stare at me; I stare at them.

Janaki-Vallabha takes me to a cyber-cafe so that I can check my email. This is the first time I have been able to check my mail since I arrived in India eight days ago. One of my emails contains an invitation (necessary for a Russian visa) from Avadhut Maharaj's aide in Moscow. I print the invitation, and we go back to the hotel.

Avadhut Maharaj calls us at the hotel. He informs us that Srila Govinda Maharaj will be going to Govardhan tomorrow. Janaki-Vallabha Prabhu laments that because he has an appointment at the Italian embassy tomorrow morning, he will be unable to clean Srila Govinda Maharaj's quarters before he returns.

A little later, Avadhut Maharaj and Sanjeev pick me up to take me to the Russian embassy. Avadhut Maharaj thinks I should change into karmi clothes before I go. I agree; there's no sense in giving the consul an extra reason to refuse a visa.

I have been wearing sannyas robes since I took sannyas five days ago. This is the first time that I have donned western attire; my jeans and shirt feel uncomfortable, and I feel a little weird...

Still no luck at the Russian embassy. I'm getting a little tired of this...

We go back to Sanjeev's office and I change back in to my sannyas robes. I feel good again.

We walk a little distance to where Avadhut Maharaj has a room. I spend the afternoon catching up with my blogging.
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