It was the day I received my gayatri initiation. There had been a big fire sacrifice and some received first initiation and a few of us were getting our second initiations. It was Brooklyn temple and to receive my thread and the gayatri mantra I went into a small room where Prabhupada was sitting alone behind a small table. There were some leftovers from the fire yajna on the desk.
As I sat down next to Prabhupada he was busily smooshing pieces of a half burnt banana in between the petals of a beautiful large red rose. He was holding the rose in his left hand and with the fingers of his right hand he was very expertly doing the smooshing -- packing little pieces of squashed banana in between each and every petal and doing so without disturbing the flower one iota. He was definitely enjoying himself and had a boyish grin as he was doing it. He went on for a few minutes before finally putting down the banana filled rose to whisper the mantra in my ear.
Afterwards I thought about asking whether what he was doing had any particular significance but I already knew the answer. Srila Prabhupada was just having some fun with the fire yajna leftovers.