This is a bit of a late post but here it is anyways.
Jan 28, 2008
I was having the morning prasadam when I heard that the Hare Krishna’s had set up a food tent for an event that evening and they were looking for volunteers. So, I told Koti prabhu that I would be more than happy to volunteer. I had a strange feeling it was going to be a long night.
Big Day Out is Australia’s biggest touring musical fesitival and is a big hit with teenagers and young university/college kids. It has every thing they want – loud music in many varieties, beautiful people every where, plenty of alcohol, school holidays and nice hot summer day.
We all carpooled and reached Flemington Race Course and we were greeted by some teenaagers who wanted us to let them in as they had no tickets. We had staff passess which now felt more like VIP passess. Unable to be of any assistance to the poor souls, we ventured in through a maze work of security gates. And in the distance we could see many stages, tents, baloons, flags and thousands of people. I kept thinking – is this place for us? But I was in the association of devotees and nothing can hurt in such a company.
In the midst of complete chaos and getting slightly lost, we reached paradise – the Hare Krishna food tent. It was like entering a temple. We immediately changed to our bullet proof Krishna vest – the Hare Krishna T-Shirt with a smiling Sri Jagannath in the centre. I was thrilled. My very own HK T-Shirt. Cool ! The next minute I was sent to the back of the tent to wash the pots. Short lived happiness. Basically, for some 5 hrs, I cleaned a lot of pots, helped in re-filling of the food counters and kept the tent spotless…almost.
My devotee friends serving food at the tent. We were probably the busiest food tent there. And people really enjoyed what they were eating. They had no idea what they were filling their tummies with, but they figured that if its from Hare Krishna’s, it must be good.
A shot of the food counter. I had a serving of the prepared food. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S !!! Especially the Kofta balls which I still miss dearly. When everyone were serving deep fried french fries, we had the addictive Kofta balls topped with delicious tomato gravy. And there was the halwa ! Oh Krishna. No words to describe.
This is Adrian who managed a very naughty tent of Indian Hare Krishna Devotees. He’s very patient, silent and hard working. He has been catering at events all over Melbourne for last 3 months. He was very appreciative of the efforts I put in on the day and he hoped that I can join again.
When I stepped out of the tent for a break, thousands of people were running to another tent for another set of rock music. I thought I was going to be trampled.
The whole place had a carnival atmosphere. It symbolized youth, freedom, entertainment and passion. I was amazed to see the number of young people who were completely drunk, eating tons of meat based food, enjoying the sexual tension in the atmosphere and dancing for hours together. Pretty much hellish, I thought. They had no other worries about themselves or others. The Hare Krishna’s who stayed up late into the night took care of their future in our own little way. Hopefully, all these diners will know one day, the amount of good we did to them.