25. Twenty20

I remember, way back in 1992, I prepared for my Year 12 Chemistry final exam, at a cricket stadium watching India vs England. It went for 4 days and I enjoyed it immensely. I was a cricket fan. Today was the Twenty20 match between Australia & India. Each team bowls 20 overs only in this new shortened format. And almost every friend of mine, work mates and strangers I overheard today were going to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch a highly anticipated match. They predict anywhere from 80 – 90,000 spectators. My friends called me, my work mates called me. But I didn’t go. I had wanted to do my 16 rounds of chanting. Had I done the chanting in the morning, would I have gone? No. I would be reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. My devotee friends also didn’t go. They were at the temple with their services. Amazing, I thought. A few years ago, pre-ISKCON times, we would be dying to go and watch a cricket match. But now with Krishna in the centre, nothing else sounds sweet, entertaining and exciting anymore. Except the chanting, the kirtans, the readings, the preaching, the altar set up. Ah, I love this austerity. I really do.

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