UNFOLDING OF A DREAM

Apart from lovely snow covered peaks of the Himalayas, thousands of Buddhist prayer flags on the slopes are a great visual delight. The flags fluttering in the wind appear like an ocean in the sky.  These flags are called ‘Lungtas’, meaning ‘wind horses’.  The flags carry a drawing of a majestic horse along with a prayer.  The horse is adorned with a flaming wish granting jewel called ‘Norbu Mebar’.  The Tibetans believe that their prayers will be answered with the speed of the wind horse, their misfortunes will be changed into fortunes and their aspirations fulfilled. On my recent trip to Sikkim I was fascinated by the sight of Lungtas on the outskirts of Gangtok. I have never seen these flags on the seaside and thought I could take some to Goa.  I am an admirer of The Dalai Lama and a sympathizer of the Tibetan cause.  The rational outlook of the Buddhist thought has always interested me.  I have been attracted by the spiritual trait in the Tibetan people. I find them at peace with themselves just like The Dalai Lama.  There are traders from all over the country in Goa, trying all kind of gimmicks to sell their wares to the tourists, but the Tibetan jewellery sellers are different.  They seem to sit at their stalls not to sell but to meditate !  There is a certain tranquility in their whole being.  I have never seen them agitated.  They remind me of Saint Tukaram in his shop.

It is a paradox that these jewellery sellers do not possess the greatest jewel a man can ever own, the jewel of freedom and that the people of the land which is called the roof of the world have no roof over their own heads. I bought a few hundred Lungtas in Sikkim and decided to create an installation on the seaside in Goa in support of the Tibetan cause. I discussed the concept with a few Tibetan friends, with Dr Anita Dudhane and with Kabir who has become a Buddhist monk after securing a degree from Oxford. A few weeks later I had an opportunity to discuss the project with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Goa.  He liked the idea and requested me to do the project on the 10th of March, the Tibetan Revolution day, the day when there was the first revolt in Lhasa against the Chinese oppression. I decided to create the installation on Vagator beach.  I had six hundred prayer flags in different hues of red coming down from the Vagator hill to make a spiral on the beach.  Each flag was uplit.  About two hundred Tibetans in their traditional dress walked along the flags carrying mashals and chanting prayers at 6.30 pm.