‘Lessons To Learn’
by Staff Reporter
(Mid-Day. March 13, 2000)

His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, superimposed over 
       photo of Potala Palace

Pulling The Crowd The Tibetan Way: Dalai Lama

In the snaking queues outside the Birla Matushri Hall on Sunday afternoon, genteel old ladies rubbed shoulders with intelluctuals and journalists, Colaba foreigners in their typical colourful grab (a mixture of Goa beaches and Kathmandu street fashions) and scores of Tibetans. All waiting to get inside and near the Dalai Lama.

One middle-aged man stood in line and confessed he had no pass. But armed with faith he had come in all the way from Pune. 'I missed the Dalai Lama when I visited Dharamsala. Maybe I'll be lucky.' A lady standing a little ahead, overheard him and fished out a pass from her handbag — 'Here I have an extra one.'

Ironically, the Dalai Lama in his speech touched on the burgeoning Buddha 'business' in the west and the 'sellers' of Dharma.

The organisers had obviously miscalculated the numbers towards the end there was a most undignified scramble as they tried to close the gates and the crowds pushed and shoved their way in. Eventually many chose to stand in the aisles and corridors but perhaps a little 'compassion' and 'consideration' (as advocated by the Dalai Lama) on the part of all concerned could have been demonstrated.