I have been trying in earnest, to make an alien city home again.
I went to Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, my first time in two years. I watched an ordinary play about Tibetian settlements in Delhi, called So Many Socks. In it, the Tibetians those who escaped into Delhi, and those who were born in Delhi, were consumed by recurring dreams of the mountains.
I remember them too, the mountains of Mcleod Ganj, and Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh.
The slow-taxi ride through Punjab and into the first view of the mountains, the gentle turn of mountain roads, the narrow town lanes of Dharamsala, the grand gateway to the Government hotel, only metres away from an endless jump into nowhere, the valley of Gods, a bed of August flowers, swaying roads carefully constructed.I remember looking down.
I remember walking to an old man’s house: meeting fellow travelers who want to know why Indian women cook for their husbands, learning to make chocolate Tibetian momos, stealing one for back home, watching the sunset from a cliff, trekking to a meditation centre, guiding my mind to beautiful peace, taking the road by the stream down hill,
Arriving at a Tibetian restaurant. Eating endless quanitities of pan-fried Tibetian momos over candlelight, for the lights had run out, meeting a man from Delhi who had left his love behind to work in the mountains,
Shopping for trinkets and back massages in even narrower lanes, and finding a yoga class
Eating instead Richard Gere’s favourite Apple Crumble Bakery in a tiny bakery
And, watching the sunrise over lemon tea and onion pie, until it rained.
I remember the rain, I remember running for cover.
I remember the museum of Tibet, and the horror of staring at blood soaked shirts from so long ago. The blood had turned dull red!
I remember the prayer wheels, I turned in hope.
I remember the Dalai Lama’s home, peering in through little grill holes in the gates.
And, I remember doing nothing: watching the rain mist into endless green,
clicking a picture,
there where the Tibetians were kept happy.
“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”- The Dalai Lama