We get up just after midnight. Radha Raman Prabhu warms up the car, an old Lada, and Muralishwar Prabhu, Mukunda Prabhu Brahmachari, Ishwar Prabhu and I pile in and drive through the dark, deserted streets to the Zaporizhzhya train station to get the 1:54 a.m. express to Donetsk, the next city of our Ukrainian lecture tour.
Donetsk is a large industrial center (population 1.2 million) founded in 1870 on the eastern Ukrainian steppes. We will spend just one night there, before leaving for Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, tomorrow night.
Vanamali Prabhu and Shyama Mohan Prabhu (who runs a shortwave radio station called Krishna Loka) meet us at the station and drive us to a rented apartment.
At six o' clock I give a lecture at the Kukolniy Teatr (Puppet Theater). A large puppet of the Wizard of Oz's Tin Man hangs in the foyer. It is a nice, cozy theater.
I am told that the audience is made up almost entirely of devotees from our mission and other missions, so I talk briefly about Srila Gurudeva and Srila Sridhar Maharaj's conception of Krishna consciousness, and answer probing questions for about two hours.
A dapper gentleman who looks conspicuously out-of-place (whom Muralishwar Prabhu and I later dub "the KGB guy") asks why it is necessary for me to wear a monk's habit.
I answer that it is not necessary to wear a dhoti in order to be Krishna conscious, just as it is not necessary for a policeman to wear a uniform in order to function as a policeman, but wearing a uniform identifies us to the public, who may need our help in the capacity of our particular profession.
Heh heh! If he was KGB, he must have thought that he was busted! :-)