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Monday, June 16th, 2003

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Aum TV Interview

Three media interviews in three days

Today is "Youth Day" (formerly Soweto Day), a public holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the uprising by the youth of Soweto protesting the use of Afrikaans, "the language of the oppressor," as the medium of instruction in secondary schools.

Early in the morning, Premasindhu Prabhu drives Goswami Maharaj and I to the beautiful botanical gardens in Greyville, for a TV interview. This is our third media interview (newspaper, radio, and TV) in three consecutive days.

On a bench next to a magnificent banyan tree — a tropical Indian fig tree with many aerial roots that descend from the branches and develop into additional trunks — Goswami Maharaj and I are each given one minute and forty seconds to ad lib a Krishna conscious maxim or sound bite to be used for the Aum TV morning program on the SABC next week.

After the interview we drive up to Pietermaritzburg. Parts of the freeway are blocked off for the annual running of the famous Comrades Marathon — a bit of a misnomer since it is almost twice as long (50 miles) as a regular marathon. This year the run is downhill, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

We are warmly welcomed in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg, by the late Bhuvan Pavan Prabhu's wife, Jayawathi Devi Dasi and her family. Bhuvan Pavan Prabhu spent his life trying to build a temple for the satisfaction of Srila Gurudeva in Pietermaritzburg. His eldest son, Nimai Ananda Prabhu is now following in the footsteps of his father and overseeing the construction of the temple and hall.

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