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The very forward Dalai Lama Monastery! 2017

A place I’ll never forget

Vaishvi Mistry

India

I walked and walked and walked. The streets were eminently crowded, filled with people from across the world. I could see it and I could feel it. The language and the accents kept changing at every shop as people bargained for those khaki kurtas and Shiva printed T-shirts. As I kept walking my friend just cavorted out of nowhere and showed me his arm. He had just got inked, although this was not his first tattoo. He'd got a couple of tattoos on his body before this. The Urdu tattoo on his arm meant 'even Roses had thorns', but it also had a deeper metaphorical meaning with his life and the other Spiderman tattoo was just a drunken mistake, he admits till date. But this one was offbeat and kind of outlandish. This was something that he wanted to have as a reminder of this trip and cherish it for the rest of his life.

Little did I know that there was a Monastery a little ahead until we reached and stood right in front of the gates of the Namgyal Monastery, also known as Dalai Lama's Temple. To be honest, I've never liked monasteries and I've always found any Buddhist place very unstimulating. I had been to Sikkim earlier and I saw people meditating in almost every room there. But this was different. We entered the monastery and each one of us split. Everyone decided to start exploring this Brobdingnagian place in an unconventional way. To my surprise, the first ting I see is a board that showed me the way to the Computer lab. Computer lab? In a Monastery? Or should I put it this way, Computer Lab in Dalai Lama's Monastery? Incredible! Now here's something I didn't envisage at all. But, why was this such a shocking revelation? Can't Buddhists be forward? Did I have this stereotypical thinking that Buddhists were just monks away from all technological devices and just unresponsive to the newer revelations in technology in today's day and age? I couldn't resist walking a little further and actually seeing whether that room actually was a Computer Lab. I walked across the corridor and stood right outside the room. I saw monks on their computers. I realized 2 things there and then. One, I should read more and second, I should travel more. I had this misconception and this myth stuck in my head, but where was this from? It could probably be the media. Or it could be something I keep hearing from people around me. I always assumed they were right and believed it. But I'm sure now, there were wrong.

I walked a little further and saw another monk giggling on his phone. I wonder who he was speaking to!


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