Riddha Dasa: This is on October 5th, 1975, Srila Prabhupada at Durban Airport. His flight from Mauritius landed at 8:45 p.m. It was Sunday. Our welcoming party consisted of some of our special friends from the Hindu congregation along with Mr V.K. Naidoo and his religious cultural group from Chatsworth.
We wanted to show our gratitude by the way we welcomed Srila Prabhupada. As it turned out, there were at least a hundred Indian people who had come from different areas to greet Srila Prabhupada. I went to the arrivals lounge to wait for Srila Prabhupada. When I got there, I met several of our life-members from the Hindu community.
One very kind and helpful life-member, Mr J.P. Gokool, who knew the officials inside the airport, arranged that when the flight landed I would go inside the restricted customs area to receive Srila Prabhupada as a dignitary. Mr Gokool had previously met Srila Prabhupada in Bombay and knew what a special, saintly person he was.
From the long line of passengers in the customs hall, I could see an orange woolen hat emerging - it was Srila Prabhupada! My immediate reaction was to chant loudly, "Jaya Srila Prabhupada!" only to find myself being ushered out by the police. Fortunately I was allowed in again! As he proceeded through the restricted area, I could see him from a distance. I realized how fortunate I was to be there.
I waited until my guru maharaja, Srila Prabhupada, came close to the exit, when I offered him dandavats and then gave him a flower garland. Dressed in conventional clothes, Pushta Krishna Swami and Harikesa were deliberately hanging back with the luggage and keeping a low profile in the guise of tourists.