If you have been reading my diary since more than a year, you may remember that I wrote about a big pilgrimage day last year. This year on the same day, today, we again distributed potatoes to pilgrims who were walking on the Parikrama. The whole day thousands of people were passing by at the Ashram.
Someone sponsored the potatoes, the spices and the ghee which was necessary for cooking the big amounts that we distributed. And when all the cooked potatoes were finished, we gave the skin of the potatoes to the cows which were also around. It was a big day and whole Vrindavan was on its feet.
All along the Parikrama, the pilgrimage walk around Vrindavan, you could find people selling little things like bangles, utensils for the house etc. Directly in front of our Ashram there was a man sitting on the floor who had spread some sheets of small pictures with hearts and flames and next to it a small machine and a few pots of ink. He made tattoos. Whoever came to him could choose if he wanted something written on this arm or wanted to have a picture which could be in black, red or green.
While we were preparing the potatoes we saw that his business was going quite well. Women and men, old and young, many had a tattoo done. In average he got about 20 Rupees from each client which is not even half a dollar, it took half a minute to write Shri Krishna or something similar and it will stay for a lifetime. And of course he used the same instrument with the same needle for everybody, sitting on the side of the dusty street.
Ramona was amazed about this as she knows how hygienic a tattoo studio is in Germany and how strict the rules are for taking new needles to avoid spreading AIDS. So she took many pictures while he was working to show it to some people who might have difficulties believing if they only hear it.