LITTLE COLORED LIGHTS were strung all round the building. Inside was a smell of incense and a rhythmical murmur of voices. He checked his sandals at the cloakroom and headed for the main hall.
A couple of hundred people were sitting cross-legged on rugs. He found a place five or six rows from the stage, near the aisle that separated men from women. Musicians played sitar, sarod and tablas. A swami led the crowd in a four-part musical chant.
"Aum, aaaauuuummmm," they sang, "Haa-ree Kriishnaa." More quickly, "Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." And as a descant, "Om Mane Padme Hum," repeated twice for each call to Krishna. Once everyone was comfortable with a part, the swami switched them. Faster and faster the changes came, higher and higher the ecstasy, till one inspired, wordless soprano struck everyone else dumb with awe, then melted into a silence that was resolved by a sitar chord and another slow round.
He sat there for two hours, maybe three, then felt an urge to move. He seemed to float out. He needed space. Out past the pink and blue lights, he saw the moon, full over the ocean. He wandered towards it, the sand caressing his toes, and turned back. The hotels of Miami Beach stood before him, answering the moonlight with a thousand little homages.