Hayagriva Dasa: The coolie sets my bag before a counter where people shove one another to get tickets. I manage to get the ticket-walla's attention. He's in no hurry. He calmly ignores the mob's urgent shouting.
"Vrindaban!" I tell him. "One ticket."
"Vrindaban?" He notices my kantha beads and japa-mala and gives a red, betel-stained smile. "Achha! Hare Krishna!"
I join my hands together. "Namaste." This unexpected gesture impresses him so much that he abandons the counter and escorts me to the Mathura bus, one of the worst looking of the lot.
"Hare Krishna, Hare Rama," he says. I give him four rupees for the ticket, and he makes sure that the coolie puts my luggage beside my seat. "Bus leaving in just twenty minutes. After three hours—Mathura. Then tonga to Vrindaban. Seva Kunj?"
"Yes," I say. "Radha Damodar Temple."
"Bhaktivedanta Swami," he says, approving. "Sadhu. Guru." He closes his eyes devoutly, letting me know that it's a privilege to help His Divine Grace in whatever small way.
He leaves me with the warm feeling that I'm being cared for.