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The Search for Shangri-La – 4
|by Dr. Amitabh Mitra|
I requested my postmaster friend who is fluent in Dzongkha and Tibetan to accompany me to the Lamas abode. One fine day early in a misty morning I packed my jeep with essentials, a bottle of fruit juice for the lama and I drove off with my friend, the postmaster.
It wasn't long when we had to stop, and Mr. Tshering suggested that we take a shortcut through the woods taking a walk instead. It was a difficult walk for me being more used to the finer pleasures. The flying leeches kept on jumping on to us and I was wondering what I was doing here instead of my comfortable home "The Dzong" (A Fortress). Mr. Tshering understood my discomfort and urged me with anecdotes of the lama.
One goes like this: A young man traveled a long distance from a far off village in the mountains to pay his respects to the Lama. He was carrying a packet of homemade cheese that his mother had packed it as an offering for the holiness. This is the same wood where he was treading to reach the lama's place. He had a long and an arduous journey. Suddenly he felt that the packet of cheese was getting too heavy to carry on with him. At that moment he decided that he should rather divide the cheese into half and hide that piece in the bushes and carry the other half for the Lama. He believed that the Lama being alone would not need such a big piece of cheese. He arrived at the Lama's cottage in the afternoon to find that the Lama was waiting for him at his doorstep. He welcomed him, gave him some biscuits to eat and told him, "My son it's going to be evening soon, you have a long walk back home, please go quickly as the birds are eating away the cheese you left in the bushes."
Hoo, Hoo, Hoo.
We sat for a long time in silence, and then talked again of Conway as I remembered him, boyish and gifted and full of charm, and of the war that had altered him, and of so many mysteries of time and age and of the mind, and of the little Manchu who had been ‘most old’ and of the strange ultimate dream of Blue Moon.
February 19, 2006
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