Reflections

That moment when I saw HH the Dalai Lama

I have had my personal share of waiting just to have a glimpse of the supreme deity that governs over my life as well as countless others. Having been accustomed to waiting for that ‘moment’ when I am ushered in to see the Lord of Seven hills (I share his name) amidst the surging, bustling crowd and not forgetting the feverous chanting rituals, I was pleasantly surprised to find no pushing, scrambling or the usual fist fights to get that premium viewing point. Naturally when everybody has a fair chance of glimpsing the deity, there should be no fighting among his worshippers.

We waited. Patiently. To strike up a conversation, I asked a staff member at the Central Tibetan Administration what sort of security does the Dalai Lama get. “Well, he is adequately protected by the Indian Government thanks to the Z plus category security accorded to him. In addition to that, he has his own personal guards.” The jab almost came immediately, “I know it is pale in comparison to that of Jayalalithas.” He then shared a hearty laugh with his fellow colleagues. Knowing well the security detail of my chief minister, I let it pass with a gracious acknowledgement of the fact.

We waited. Diligently. I saw Tibetans muttering a prayer under their breath. I saw young monks expertly in their robes feeling excited. I saw the working class Tibetans and their folded hands with a sense of reverence. I saw the elderly population with a sense of longing.

The entire street was lined up by people from different backgrounds and different ages. Some people had shawls; others had flowers (I knew it to be an offering to the deity.) I had my mobile.

We waited. Expectantly. I knew I wouldn’t get the opportunity to see him again in the immediate future. Torn between the desire to get a snap of him and the urge to videograph his convoy, I asked a fellow person whether His Holiness will stop by to receive the offerings (which would have enabled me to take a facebook certified picture), but I gathered that wouldn’t be the case.

No sooner than that thought of disappointment, I heard the familiar sound of the blazing sirens. The convoy was nearing. I switched to the video mode. The first car whizzed past. Usually the VIP is strategically located in the middle of the convoy but not in this case. He was in the second car. I frenetically tried to zoom in. The VIP car was gone in a flash but not before I managed to get a fleeting glimpse of the smiling face. Five or six cars followed behind but I knew that was it. Just as the last car passed by, the skies above opened up with rain pelting hard on the waiting crowd below. People, Tibetans and Indians alike ran for cover. I too scampered for shelter but not before recollecting that smiling face.

I had waited but not without a reason. Who is His Holiness the Dalai Lama? The waiting crowd gave me a resounding answer. He is God. I couldn’t argue.

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