Posted by: Megan | June 20, 2007

Move over Brad Pitt!

While Brad Pitt may have missed out on potentially debuting in a sequel to ‘Seven Years in Tibet’, Hollywood should not feel at any loss for during a visit to Lhasa I discovered extraordinary new footage. Discovered that there is more to the holy side alleys of the Jokhang (centre of Old Lhasa) than meets the eye – aside from the golden glare off the prayer wheels that align them. Discovered documentary material that would make David Attenborough squirm in his pants for what he did not capture … and I did!

Captured‘ were hundreds of the oldest Tibetan pensioners imaginable, smelling of years old yak butter, spinning prayer wheels (some with tea cosy like covers, some silver, some as ornate as the 5th Dalai Lama’s quarters, some gold, some …) at a constant steady spin speed – not just for one minute, not just for an hour, but all day on possibly the 12th day out of 14! Wandering off the holy Barkhor (pilgrimage circuit) for a break after my 3rd lap tyring to find my shopping companions rewarded me with my best ‘purchase’ – a foreign role in a backstreet ‘Tibetan Fairy Tale’. Shopping for that replica of a prayer wheel seemed insignificant and priceless in comparison! The smiles of these old Tibetans were among the most delightful and happy ones that I could ever hope to reproduce myself – even after years of practice in the mirror, a touch of rouge on my face, and a Tibetan outfit. My smiles towards them all were almost on par with theirs at me!

I can’t better describe the ambience that captured me during an impromptu stumble … only to say that I was taken away with the smoke of the incense …

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