Esraj Story part 8

Now it was time to look for a new skin in Australia. In search of it we went from one music store to the next. We thought they might have a drum skin suitable for us. We were very surprised about the kindness and helpfulness of the Australians. In every shop they gave us new addresses and told us to call them back if we were not successful. The sun was unbearably hot. We were still tired from the work and jetlag, and our secretly cherished dream to have a relaxed vacation in Australia faded away.

The next morning, Sri Chinmoy asked us if we already had a skin. At that time he called us soldiers. We told him that we hadn't found a skin yet. Full of concern, he asked: "Can the Australians not help?"

Immediately Sahayak promised to support us. His approach was totally different. He called a lot of goat farmers and tanneries. He told them the whole story and asked them for help. He got one of the farmers to send us a few fresh skins. They were still wet and had an extraordinary fragrance. It is not that easy to mount such a skin to try it out on the balcony of an Australian first class hotel. Also we doubted our capacity to prepare the skin in the proper way. One other farmer offered that we could come to his farm and choose one of his goats. We would get the skin and he would take care of the rest. Somehow we did not favor this idea either.

The next day we received an Irish drum skin by mail order. Now we bought a lot of tools and wood to make a new apparatus for gluing. We needed many shopping tours to get all the things together. After a few days we knew all the local tool shops and they all knew our story. The Irish drum skin was a total failure. It was somehow treated and did not stick on the wood. This was already our third skin.

All this we did in our hotel room to the great amusement of the room servants. They gave us quite nice comments. Every time they came in, these two German guys were sitting around a fancy-looking apparatus, working on an Indian instrument. Because you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, there was always a mess around us. They were so happy to have at least one room where they really could see the effect of their cleaning. Unfortunately it did not last that long.