Awaiting permission to be

 Hello from under the elephant of bureaucracy

Hello from under the elephant of bureaucracy

 The gates are guarded

The gates are guarded

 within, we are well shaven

within, we are well shaven

 well fed

well fed

 free to stroll

free to stroll

 or sit

or sit

 or lay back and enjoy

or lay back and enjoy

 Shankar, my dear godfather who’s 90th birthday I’ve come to Delhi to celebrate, leafs through life…

Shankar, my dear godfather who’s 90th birthday I’ve come to Delhi to celebrate, leafs through life…

 past

past

 and present,

and present,

 delighting in celebration

delighting in celebration

 I keep busy, discussing secular ethics with the pros

I keep busy, discussing secular ethics with the pros

 and enjoy a well guarded coffee

and enjoy a well guarded coffee

 or equally delicious chai

or equally delicious chai

 and try to keep fit

and try to keep fit

 competition is fierce

competition is fierce

 It’s important to have friends

It’s important to have friends

 and perform the required pujas

and perform the required pujas

 in order to survive life's ordeals

in order to survive life's ordeals

 and navigate its crossroads

and navigate its crossroads

A Southeast Asian Adventure

 As the young Rato monks celebrated Tibetan New Year watching Hindi films

As the young Rato monks celebrated Tibetan New Year watching Hindi films

 Rinpoche and I left the monastery

Rinpoche and I left the monastery

 for Hong Kong

for Hong Kong

 where we visited the Big Buddha

where we visited the Big Buddha

 and the magnificent Guanyin, Buddha of Compassion

and the magnificent Guanyin, Buddha of Compassion

 whom Rinpoche prayed before

whom Rinpoche prayed before

 and who bestowed her blessings

and who bestowed her blessings

 Then to Indonesia

Then to Indonesia

 with its dancing girls

with its dancing girls

 However we had come to find the place where Atisha traveled from Bengal to study with the renowned Sumatran master Dharmakirti

However we had come to find the place where Atisha traveled from Bengal to study with the renowned Sumatran master Dharmakirti

 We looked for the place they met 1000 years ago

We looked for the place they met 1000 years ago

 found hints of it

found hints of it

 a grand gateway to the monastic complex where aspirants were questioned by sharp minded gate keepers, à la Nalanda

a grand gateway to the monastic complex where aspirants were questioned by sharp minded gate keepers, à la Nalanda

 Rinpoche prayed as we searched

Rinpoche prayed as we searched

 And then on to Borobudur

And then on to Borobudur

 and its famous noodle soup

and its famous noodle soup

 Finally, with the help of Adele, who wheeled Rinpoche through Jakarta Airport, we said goodbye

Finally, with the help of Adele, who wheeled Rinpoche through Jakarta Airport, we said goodbye

Life is a carousel

 Life can be a carousel

Life can be a carousel

 with ups and downs and turn arounds

with ups and downs and turn arounds

 It’s important to aim high

It’s important to aim high

 Some have better chances

Some have better chances

 some more challenges

some more challenges

 If we serve others

If we serve others

 keep our eye on the road

keep our eye on the road

 stay close to what’s important

stay close to what’s important

 true to our friends

true to our friends

 friends of virtue

friends of virtue

 close friends

close friends

 with faith

with faith

 effort

effort

 steadiness

steadiness

 perseverance

perseverance

 over a long long time...

over a long long time...

 we can achieve enlightenment!

we can achieve enlightenment!

 and thereby help others along their paths

and thereby help others along their paths

 to awakening

to awakening

 So don’t waste a moment!

So don’t waste a moment!

Life moves along the path

 Our journey begins in Ranchi, capital of the new state of Jharkhand

Our journey begins in Ranchi, capital of the new state of Jharkhand

 New highways

New highways

 with lovely old trees preserved along the way

with lovely old trees preserved along the way

 modern hotels

modern hotels

 and international restaurants

and international restaurants

 with his and hers sinks

with his and hers sinks

 and we drive on...

and we drive on...

 to Bodh Gaya

to Bodh Gaya

 where life is in full flow

where life is in full flow

 As His Holiness the Dalai Lama is teaching

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama is teaching

 there are cowboys

there are cowboys

 and Indians

and Indians

 clean tea stalls

clean tea stalls

 and restaurants

and restaurants

 toilets

toilets

 yes, there are toilets!!!

yes, there are toilets!!!

 and water

and water

 and barbers

and barbers

 doctors

doctors

 These two fellows sold me some reading glasses

These two fellows sold me some reading glasses

 mechanics

mechanics

 and parking places where one can rest

and parking places where one can rest

 All move at their own pace

All move at their own pace

 some stop for a snap

some stop for a snap

 others for a snack

others for a snack

 or chat

or chat

 or just to say Hello

or just to say Hello

 Ciao

Ciao

 Hi

Hi

 though most keep on moving

though most keep on moving

 along the path of life

along the path of life