Things You Should Never Do

Here are some things you should never do: ask a girl to marry you after only two weeks, buy a car and spend all of your money to drive 2500 kilometers across the country to meet her family, get married in an office building, drive 2500 kilometers back across the country in time to appear in court for her divorce and then bring her home unannounced to your mother. Welcome to my insane world! The year is 1975 and for the next eleven years it would be the most bizarre, reckless and yet the most spiritual period of my life. It was the time of Rahu.

The next day on the morning japa walk I found Kama Nagari walking alone without friends, and so I “japa-ed” up beside her and said,”Hari Bol. “My name is Bhakta Brian and I am from Canada. I just got here yesterday.”
“Yes, I saw you in mangal arti and then again from my window taking out the garbage last night,” she replied.
I had been helping in the kitchen so I was drafted as God’s official trash man.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“I work with the Gurukula in the graphics department.”
“What is your name?” I inquired.
She answered, “Kama Nagari.”
“Ah! nice name,” but I thought to myself, ” ‘City of lust’, what kind of a name is that”?
“I am pleased to meet you, see you later. Hari bol.” And I japa-ed on ahead.

Wow, she was nice! And she had even watched me from her window take out the trash. The next morning I again met up with Kama Nagari during japa time on the street behind the temple.

“Hi, Kama Nagari.” I said. How are you doing”?
“Great, thank you, and how are you Bhakta Brian”?
“I am fine,” was my answer. And then seemingly out of nowhere came, “I was wondering, would you like to get married?”
“Sure, I would like that very much,” she said.
“When would you like to set the date,” I asked.
“I think we have to first talk with Jagadish, the temple president.”
“Oh, ok.”
“Let’s try to see him today. I will set it up,” she answered.
“Good, talk to you later,” and again I japa-ed away.

Immediately a sharp voice came from the left side of my head, “What did you just do?”
The right side sheepishly answered, “I am not sure.”
“Did I hear you ask this girl to marry you?!!!”
“Yes, I think so.” My heart was pounding out of my chest!
“Did she say yes?”
“Yes, I think so.” I was in a cold sweat.
“You should be drunk at least then it would make sense. Now what are you going to I do?
“I don’t know.”
“Are you mad”?
“Yes, I think so.”

Like a freight train speeding at a 1000 kilometers an hour, this dialogue ran through my head. I had hardly talked to a girl and here I was proposing after only two days. Actually, I think it was my second week in Dallas. It is hard to remember. Life was a blur, but it certainly felt like my second day. I had arrived in Dallas and had spent the first two weeks just going to the morning program and working on the garbage detail in the kitchen. I was more acquainted with the garbage dumpster than with Kama Nagari. I had spent 8 hours each day hauling trash and breaking up boxes. And now I was to marry a girl that I had known for two days?

Later that afternoon Kama Nagari and I sat alone in Jagadish’s office waiting for him. This was the first time we had ever been alone. She looked at me and I looked at her. We both had big dumb grins on our faces. Then Jagadish entered the room. Looking down at me he said, “So I hear you want to marry this girl. Don’t you think it is a little premature, you are not even initiated?”
“No, I think we will make a good team. I will get initiated as soon as you permit it,” was my inane response. “I have thought this over in detail,” I added. As he walked out the door he said, “Ok, you can get married. I will put a notice on the board, but you must get initiated.”

The next day a notice appeared on the community board that read, “Bhakta Brian marries Kama Nagari Devi Dasi.” It was done. In the eyes of the temple community we were married. I was in for the roller coaster ride of my life and I deserved every inch of that ride.


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