This weekend was Jharna-Kala aniversary celebration in NY. While someone could write a few sentences about the main program I'd like to tell about two small and sweet things that happened to me on this visit.
On Saturday, after seeing that Perfection in the Head World business was surprisingly closed, I had to google my way around mostly unknown neighborhoods to find a barber place with at least decent online reviews. Without much ado I chose some $12/haircut one up on Parsons Blvd., close to Grand Central Parkway. The owner seemed a tough looking down to earth Russian, but as soon as I was seated he set off with "are you hmm.. one of the, you know, Guru's? Oh, yes? I knew him so well, I cut his hair for 18 years, he was a regular! He was such a good man.." he went on with kind words about Guru, almost melting as he spoke. This rough, no-nonsense looking man seemed genuinely impressed and touched with the memory to share. Whoo, what a great unexpected sweet barber-find.
On Sunday, a disciple friend and I went on the Brooklyn/Manhattan pilgrimage of old places where Sri Chinmoy lived in the 60ies. Day was sunny and dry, perfect for the occasion (and Brookyln was quite interesting with its colorful inhabitants new to our European eyes). We ended it with a dinner at Curry in the Hurry restaurant which, as we read, Sri Chinmoy liked and visited. Now, we must have looked out of place, inexperienced or were asking uneducated questions or whatnot, but in the beginning our Indian waiter was a bit stiff with us and, as waiters go, almost negligent. As the evening went on I kinda noticed we was watching us.. later on he came up with where are you froms etc, and the friend suddenly asked "do you know Sri Chinmoy?" Boy, that changed the treatment we got! He answered something like: "what, yes, Chinmoy, he used to come a lot, he was from Chittagong like myself and the boss.." the waiter started melting like snow in late May. He went on telling us stories while getting sweeter and sweeter. Finally, as we were leaving, he asked how did we hear about his place. We showed him a book where it was briefly mentioned that this was one of Sri Chinmoy's favourite restaurants. When he read that, he almost visibly shook with delight. He kindly/respectfully (to say the least) offered a handshake to both of us (a softest hand on the planet), and I left the place feeling we spent the day trailing a real yellow brick road - a road of gold paved by sweet memories of Divinity.