Hot off the OSHO trail (((group hug))) from Pune, India I thought I’d get a grip of reality and aim for triple D’s.
Namely Delhi, Dharamshala & back home to Dubai before my rupee travel fund goes overdrawn and I knuckle down to earning a crust again. Armed with season 3 & 4 of the Soprano’s that helped me fathom the goings-on at OSHO I was ready for a change of scene.
Dharmashala, home of the his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
With only 24 hours in dusty Delhi, the throne of chivalry by successive dynasties with oodles of history I worked through nose to tail traffic where horn blowing is compulsory, I headed off to smell some flowers at……
…..Lodhi gardens, the Mecca of nature close to the town centre full of flowers, birds and lovers holding hands. As the monsoon season comes to an end the temperature was around the mid 20′s – pretty pleasant at 4pm.
I didn’t expect this place in Delhi to literally pave the way to GO! to smell the flowers and experience serenity. It’s original purpose was a 15th century graveyard but not anymore.
There are several tombs in the park and a few teenagers were attempting to climb to the top of them and apart from risking a fall they also risked being bitten by a snake and starting the trend for graves again.
From there I checked out a UNESCO world heritage site, Humayun’s tomb. Dating back to 1555 AD after Humayun’s short lived 6 month rule when he died from a fall in his library.
The Taj Mahal and many other Mughal buildings are said to have been inspired from Humayun’s tomb which was quite something in terms of the vastness of the construction, marble and landscaping.
From this surprising snapshot of Delhi tranquility it was time to catch my flight to Dharamshala in Northern India. Sitting1600m above sea level (Dharamshala that is, not in the plane, that was alot higher) it is the capital of the Central Tibetan Administration , a Tibetan government in exile led by Tenzin Gyatso , better known as the 14th and current Dalai Lama.
‘We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.’
- His Holiness the 14th Dalia Lama
The flight was full and as we touched down – that pointless impatient bit when 80% of the flight do the overhead locker dance and grab their belongings only to stand for 20 minutes. At luggage collection I overheard a couple:
‘Let’s hope we make it in time tomorrow so we can get a great spot to meet HIM?’ Said a pig tailed Israeli girl.
It turned out that the Dalia Lama himself was scheduled to be at home for his Bi-annual open Q&A session along with some teaching right where I was headed in Dharamshala, in the Kangra valley in the Dhauladhar Mountains to be precise.
On the way to the clouds end Hotel in Dalia Lama territory, I learned that the government’s headquarters are located in McLeod Ganj , a suburb that is also referred to as Upper Dharamsala or “Little Lhasa “. So much to take in about an area I knew nothing about but I remembered reading when a day before the Beijing Olympics, thousands of Tibetans in India (I now realise it was Dharamshala) became the voice of the Tibetans suppressed in Tibet and condemned China’s alleged brutal and illegal occupation of Tibet.
Tibetan supporters filled the streets here and snaked their way through the mountain pass, raising slogans and pleading for the international community – but are there two sides to the story?
The Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement aims to revive the spirit of the Tibetan national uprising of 1959, and by engaging in nonviolent direct action, bring about an end to China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. The March to Tibet was one initiative of this historic Movement.
The only other event that Tibet holds on an annual basis here that brings them out in hoards is the Miss Tibet beauty contest. All women are in exile from Tibet and can compete within the safe confines of India and although only 4 or 5 do it’s a start.
If only I’d had known! It’s held of October the 12th and I’ll just miss it – maybe a quick leg wax and have been in with a chance? Oh well, Dalai Lama it is then.
So there is hope with the triple D’s yet and maybe Tony could turn his hands to judging after his experience running his bada bing club.
Joking aside – it is essential that a ‘real-world’ view is given regarding the Tibet situation and I’ve always remembered seeing Richard Gere singing the Dalai Lama’s praises as did George Bush:
All your comments are welcomed as I settle in, sample some lip smacking cuisine with the sound of chirping crickets, Tony Soprano and the tip-tapping away at the keyboard here for company. All being well I’ll head to the temple tomorrow to see if I can meet one of the most recognised faces in the modern day world.
All comments welcomed as I start to learn about the Dalia Lama and in the next 24 hours I maybe lucky enough to see him for myself.
Something I’m working on right now – Thanks folks.