The next stop on our tour is Saratov, a major industrial center on the Volga River, north-northeast of Volgograd. Saratov was founded in 1590, and has a population of 1,000,000.
We leave Tambov early, when it is just getting light, at 7:30 a.m. It snowed lightly last night, so the roads are a little icy. Snow fills the rows and rows of furrows on the neatly plowed farmlands: brown and white stripes as far as the eye can see.
Ashutosha Krishna Prabhu, Amarendranath Prabhu, Igor and I, after spending the last two nights in Tambov, will spend just one night in Saratov before continuing to Balakovo, a little further up the Volga River.
Amarendranath Prabhu lives in Saratov, so we will spend the night at his house. We arrive five hours later, at 1:30 p.m., and have a light lunch of bread, cheese, and a salad.
About ten people roll up shortly after five in the afternoon. I talk about Krishna consciousness for three hours. Most of the people at this informal gathering are disciples of gurus in other societies. They don't seem very serious: their questions are bland, one couple hugs and touches throughout...
After the meeting, we distribute some prasadam, and a couple of people buy some books and tapes. At least we get a good night's sleep.