Many years ago, in 1998, I was approached by a friend for composing music for a film on His Holy Highness The Dalai Lama. I agreed. Vinita said that I ought to go to Dharamshala as that culture is so different, you won’t understand anything sitting in here Pune. She has travelled a lot since her childhood and knows much more about places and all that than I know! And yes, She was so very correct!
So that was the first time I went to Dharamshala. I went everywhere with the filming crew. We went to several Tibetan institutes, we went to TIPA [ Tibetan institute of Performing Arts] , we went in places I wouldn’t have got otherwise! We met The Dalai Lama too and had an interview with Him. He is such a sweet person ! I stayed there for little over a week in ’98, had had our meeting, interview and filming with The Dalai Lama and later on was there just experiencing the place . It was simply great. And the place has since stayed in my mind! I remembered nearly everything there even after a gap of a decade in my next visit!
After that I have visited Dharamshala several times. Love the place. The place is just like that. Once you visit, you can’t get it out of your mind. So following to a complex concert in Delhi where The Hon. President of India was present, I had decided to go to Dharamshala once again as I was simply missing the place. This was after a long gap. And I was quite curious to be there. Whether it would have been changed like the rest of the world has, or would it be the same like a decade or more ago? Will it be as welcoming as it was ? And so on!
Yes, Dharamshala has changed. But thankfully the change is not troubling. Change was inevitable and the life is flowing as it was, but in a better and improved way in a certain sense !
In the following stories I shall be writing about more about Dharamshala. But here is a quick visual impression till then !