Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The day I almost met the Dalai Lama

A couple of days back I was watching two day old episodes of the food series - Master Chef Australia when lo and behold, I get to see the Dalai Lama which made me nostalgic and reminiscence about the past.  

Tis was 1997 and I was just out of college, job less, self-respect had reached the nadir, my worth in societal eyes was zero and I learnt from The Hindu that the Dalai Lama would be coming to Hyderabad for the installation of the massive Buddha statue.It later transpired that he did not consecrate the statue (that happened much later in this post). I read about the Dalai Lama a few day earlier in the Reader's Digest magazine and was much impressed by his fight against the Chinese. He is also one of the reasons why I have some respect for Nehru. When the Dalai Lama rode into India, Nehru gave him sanctuary much against the political wisdom of those times. Some say this act of Nehru ensured the Sino-India war actually took place. I have neither the information nor the bias to say anything about that war. Anyway back to the Dalai Lama. I wanted to see the Dalai Lama when he came to Hyderabad. Now to do that I needed some transport money and hence went to ask my amma and she ticked me off with a good word lashing. Any way, I managed to sneak out old newspapers, sold them for the fare and went to see the Dalai Lama. Murphy ensured that "everything goes wrong". I took the wrong bus, went to the wrong place and trudged 4 Kms to see the Dalai lama and by the time I reached the venue, the Dalai Lama had left. On the journey back home, disappointed and weary with thirst, I pondered on why I wanted to see him. What did I hope to achieve. I still am pondering. Fast forward to 2nd January 2006, the Dalai Lama was going to consecrate the Buddha statue. This time I was not in hell's hole. I was earning comfortably and was the master of my ship. I booked myself on a bus from Pune to Hyderabad on 30th December 2005, put an action plan to meet the seer and was quite happy with  the thought that I was going to meet the Dalai Lama. On D-Day I left home early (my mom didn't bother asking where was I off to) so that I could grab a good place. Reaching the venue, I noticed it was filled with people, careful probing and questioning revealed that most of them were "babus" who were to ensure that protocol was not breached. Whose protocol I still am not sure. Anyway I sat myself down and waited, waited, waited and then I got a glimpse of the seer. I tried to nudge closer but the security personnel ensured that I did not breach protocol. I moved slightly away, managed to get closer to the cordon, close enough to touch him and waited with abated breath. Then I managed to go into a time warp and ponder "why am I doing this?". I finally got out of the warp with the realization that it was just a whim. By the time the warp closed, the Dalai Lama was on the boat going towards the statue. 

Back to 2011 and Master chef Australia. The cooking was good, The seer did exactly as seers do-bless everyone and everything and I am still pondering why did I want to meet the Dalai Lama