A Travellerspoint blog

McLeod Ganj

sunny 30 °C

I awoke to a butterfly tapping on the window next to me. A certain intense orange, translucent wings, set off perfectly against black. I flung open the pane and it flittered, free once more, into the sun.

Yesterday we sat on a hot tin roof opposite the Dalai Llama. Macleod Ganj is the home of the Tibetan government in exile. That doesn't mean he's here all the time, he's probably quite busy, but it's the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Children's Village, an educational facility just north. So he came along to say 'hello'. Or possibly something deeply insightful about the nature of existence, but it was in Tibetan so I wouldn't know.

Following the speeches the children performed a series of synchronised displays to music, like they do in North Korea. Eight hundred of them, in perfect lines, swaying this way and that, standing, sitting, clapping like a giant version of a Halifax advert. The discipline was almost military. The public display of the power of individuals acting together a symbol of the collectivism of the community.

We walked back through the woods with our favourite Llama, following the path as do the water pipes that here and there hiss and spark like electricity where a leak has sprung. Through broken English we talked of melas (Tibetan rosary beads), sang 'Om Mani Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Om', then went to share a pizza.

Another barber's massage - face, head, shoulders, back and arms this time - and returning to our room with fruit and a slab of chocolate Brownie.

It's a bright, cloudless day. I should probably be volunteering to help the Tibetan people, many of which trekked a dangerous, frostbitten 45 days across the Himalaya to get here. I'll just get a cappuccino first. Scratch that, the Rinpoche next door has offered cardomom coffee and eggs.

Posted by Pharkie 11:07 Archived in India Tagged india tibet mcleod ganj dalai

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