Sitting in my office cubicle, I feel so weird - very weird. My cell phone isn't ringing constantly, my MSN isn't going on an overload due to last minute messages and my inbox has not a single email in the last 56 hours from the ratha-yatra2008 google group. 7 months of planning and working hard daily to make sure that we can present Srila Prabhupad this humble offering, the Toronto Ratha-Yatra.
Before going on forever about how fantastic this years festival was, I just thought of sharing my top 15 moments of the past festival week and here they go, in no particular order...
1) Watching the deities being carried into the cars and taken to the raths. Seeing Jagannath after 2 weeks felt good!!
2) Assembling the altar for the deities the night before the festival with the girls at Centre Island and giving Maduha Prabhu a very pleasant surprise..and also taking down the altar in crazy rainfall.
3) Seeing Jayapataka Swami after months and getting chastised by Maharaj for running around too much during the parade.
4) The Tunnel - 'Nuff Said
5) Bus Tour singing at Yonge and Dundas square - Toronto's equivalent of Times Square on Wednesday before the festival and random by standers dancing to the kirtan!
6) Anapayini getting a standing ovation from the 700+ people seated in the huge entertainment tent on Saturday after her Jagannathashtakam performance
7) Watching Devadatta Prabhu lead yoga classes amidst the pouring rain and people doing Yoga literally on the mud!!!
8) Pyari Mohan Prabhu's magic shows - made me want to become 7 again!!
9) Mahatma Prabhu's kirtan in the Bhajan Kutir..unbelievably soothing
10) Watching devotees from the Ganesh Mandir come at 10 am amidst the rain and storm to stand in front of Jagannath and read Visnu Sahasranaam, proving that rain or shine, devotees will come to sing the glories of Lord Jagannath.
11) Loading the pickup truck before the festival and being a part of Jaya Radhe's famous Monkey chain
12) Bus Tour kids leading the Saturday finale kirtan at the Festival site and having people dance in ecstasy!
13) The ENTIRE Ratha-Yatra committee and more trying to lift the kids jumping castle onto the U-Haul
14) Kirtan on the ferry back to the temple after the festival.
15) A huge smile on the face of every single person who attended the festival -devotees, vendors, performers and the general public.
Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Devi ki Jai!!