This Sunday, the Jan 30th was an eventful day for me, worth sharing with you.
First one of the day, was a fortune to meet the Nobel Laureate His Holiness, the Dalailama, the Great Tibetan Spiritual-Religious Leader. Over half an hour’s interaction it was, the room we were seated was brightened by the avid persona of His Holiness. His smile was infectious and so was his communication. The Great Personality never exhibited any airs and his was a child like conduct. And it occurred to me as if was speaking to an elder member of my own family.
The way His Holiness treated a four year old kid (Arnav), son of a passport Officer whose family was also around in the same room was just a great sight. Incidentally, the boy shared his birthday with the Dalai Lama. His Holiness made the boy to sit near him, cuddled him up and said “I will never allow you to go away”. The little child and his parents were beaming with happiness with the blessings they got.
I was curious when I asked him, how has it become possible for him to maintain the spirit of Tibetan movement even after sixty years of exile. The answer he gave was an absolute revelation for me. “We believe in truth”- said he and recollected an incident of Sixties. The then Indian Home Minister late YB Chavan while sharing his experience of Freedom movement had said to him, “we never knew if freedom will come at all. If it has to come we didn’t know when. Yet we never lost faith in the movement.” These words of Chavan had become a guiding philosophy said His Holiness. The attitude of Chinese administration too might have strengthened the Tibetan resolve to keep the movement alive. Even the younger generation, which had not seen Tibet, today dream to visit the place if they get a chance. I was fascinated by his humility.
He also explained the passion of the Youngsters who, in spite of modern education have maintained their emotional, religious chords intact. They steadfastly adhere to the Tibetan Cultural habits.
His Holiness recollected his association with our State’s former Chief Minister Late Nijalingappa. He went nostalgic of an incident with him that happened in 1956.
When I came out of that ambient interaction and the benign caress of His Holiness, I was engulfed with a sense of pleasure hard to define. All I can say, it was a real contentment.
The second fortune came in the evening. Jan 30th is incidentally observed as Martyr’s day in memory of martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhiji. Mahatma was assassinated on this day 63 years ago by Nathuram Godse. I attended an event with a difference held at a unique place.
Many of you might remember my letter to Mrs Jyothsna Suri, the Chief of Hotel Lalit Ashok requesting her to instruct the concerned officers at Hotel Lalit Ashok to do away with serving of liquor near Jyothi Vriks, the monumental tree under which Mahatma used to conduct evening prayers during his visit to Bangalore in 1927 (June to August). I was assured that my sentiments will be taken care of and thanks to her proactive pleasant response; this year’s martyrs’ day was observed under the same tree in the premises of Lalit Ashok. I was approached by her Officers last week with an invite for the event.
When I went there yesterday, the 5-Star Hotel was abuzz with Bhajans reminiscent of those that were held when Mahatma was around. Yes, Bhajans in a star hotel might look incongruous or strange. But it happened. With hundreds of students from Sevadal School being there to magnify the memories, it was an event which went on to etch a lasting place in my heart. Flowers were offered to the statue as a tribute to Mahatma.
One little effort of an email to Mrs Jyothsna Suri yielded this result of remembrance of Mahatma at his own place of visit, a true tribute to the Mahatma I believe.
I am yet to come out of the nostalgia this Sunday has offered me.