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Catching a Moment - Rhythm at 27.58N 91.87E

INDIA | Friday, 19 April 2013 | Views [692] | Scholarship Entry

‘Would we have understood light without knowing darkness?’ I wondered as I stepped from the garish daylight into the cool-shade of the prayer hall of the monastery.

Meandering roads through the Se La had led me to that abode of peace which continues to be unwaveringly nestled between China and India. Rain had only just made a vain attempt to wash-away the white-snow clinging to the slopes of the valley.

All the way from where the monastery began to inside the prayer hall, kindred souls garbed in red and orange thronged the compound. The only sound infiltrating the yard was a strange orchestra playing in the background - an intermix of the faint-whistling of the mountain-wind, the shuffling of the painted flags billowing in the breeze and the 'khar-khar-khar' of the wooden prayer wheel as it spun against its metal axle. In the yard outside, I had seen monks, working away to make lamps yielded out of dough.

Stepping into the hall suddenly shut-out all of that. It was as if I had been welcomed into a vacuum. The inside was lit only with those lamps which the monks made on a daily basis. And then a humming sound took over everything else. Rows and rows of monks were sitting inside the hall, facing a giant statue of the Buddha and chanting a sacred rhythm. As they did, I felt me entire being resonate with that sound. Like someone had just knocked at the door to the home where my soul resided. As if, the humming inside the hall created energies which were strings to the instrument which played the music of the spirit. The sound, the light and the colours had all mingled to create a suspension in space and time.

At night, from my hotel balcony, I looked at the monastery at the distance twinkling in the light of its many flickering-lamps and marvelled at the epiphany of the one who had named it Galden Namgey Lhatse. Long after, in a bustling city far away, replaying in my head a fleeting-image of the monastery of Tawang, reminds me of the moment when I had courted ‘life’.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013

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