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Urmila obviously puts a lot of thought and creative energy into design of the deities' outfits — and it shows!

Thursday, October 16th, 2003

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Creative Design

Even I have to notice

I have to admit that I am not the most observant person in the world; I guess I must take after my dad.

I remember, growing up in the early sixties, that every once in a while (whenever the family budget would allow it) mom used to treat herself by taking a bus to the beauty parlor in the city. She would come back hours later with her hair cut and styled in the latest fashion. About a week later my dad would poke his head out from behind the newspaper and say something like, "Did you do something with your hair?"

Though she often never said anything, I could tell that this lack of appreciation peeved her, so once, I resolved to take up the slack, as it were, and say something nice when she returned from her next outing to the beauty parlor.

A few month's later, I did notice mom's hair. Secretly congratulating myself on my awesome new powers of observation, I approached her and waxed lyrical about her on her stunning new hairdo. Mom — rather brusquely, I thought — informed me that she had been to the hairdresser two weeks ago.

"Honestly! I could dye my hair green and nobody in this house would notice for a month!" she blurted exasperatedly. The funny thing is, she wasn't looking at me, but at my dad...

So it may come as a surprise to some people when I say that I noticed the deities' outfits today (albeit late in the day).

At the evening arati, Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Madhavasundarjiu have on these eye-catching garments, with sequins and thick velvet (it gets pretty cold here in Saint Petersburg). Don't ask me for a better description — I can barely tell a sequin from a harlequin, okay? Suffice to say that I did catch my attention!

I wonder who sewed these outfits? Of course: Urmila Devi Dasi! Where did she get the pattern? She shows me some of the pen sketches and designs in her notebook: she designs the outfits herself.

Urmila obviously puts a lot of thought and creative energy into design of the deities' outfits — and it shows! You should see some of her other creations, particularly what I like to call the "Cossack" outfit, with the tall, furry, cylindrical hats, whatever it is that they are called — awesome!

Devotees are so talented. I wonder if I can xerox her notebook for Swarnangii Devi Dasi? (Just kidding! :-)

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