It's been raining steadily all morning; by the time the taxi arrives, it's pouring. We get soaked just running the short distance from the front of the temple to the waiting taxi! Siddhanti Maharaj gets in first, in the back, I hand him my danda, throw my bag on the seat, step on my uttereya, trip, and land in a wet pile in the back seat next to him — and my nice clean cloth is already dirty!
What a way to begin our journey! Oh? Didn't I tell you? Siddhanti Maharaj and I are on our way to Nabadwip: Acharya Maharaj called yesterday to invite us to a preaching program tomorrow in a village called Nasigram.
It is still raining when the taxi drops us off at the Dum Dum railway station. I grab my danda, step out of the cab into a rivulet of water, heave my bag onto my right shoulder and try to quickly, simultaneously, open my umbrella, but my danda (also in my right hand) is sticking straight up in the air, preventing the umbrella from covering my head, and when try to adjust the angle of the danda, I can't push it back far enough because its movement is restricted by the bag, so I try to I switch hands but only succeed in pouring the water from the umbrella down the back of my neck and—
Ah, forget it! It's not raining that hard, and I'm already soaked anyway; I saunter nonchalantly over to the ticket counter, surprised at how good I feel despite the dreadful drenching. Siddhanti Maharaj and I get two tickets for the 8:04 express train to Nabadwip.
In the old days, I would have just taken a taxi all the way to Nabadwip, but now that I am a sannyasi, in the service of Srila Gurudeva, I have to think frugal: a taxi to Nabadwip costs Rs1200 ($25); the train costs Rs21 (50¢). Easy choice!
How does that credit card advertisement go again?