Totally random, right? I think so too. But how many things in our lives happen with a prior announcement? So this is an ode to the randomness that has become an important part of my life now.
A few years ago, on this particular date (February 18), I took a walk down the street with a friend. It was a fine Friday and we decided to pay a visit to the local theater where they were featuring different facets of Tibetan Buddhism.
When we walked in, the air around was calming. There were a couple of monks with a display table of Buddhist artifacts and I noticed a bracelet of wooden beads that I was instantly attracted to. I knew I was going to come back for it.
We went into the main hall where the other monks were making a mandala. It was one of the most amazing things I had seen materialize. The outline of the design itself was so detailed that the idea of filling the parts with colored sand was mind-boggling. To the untrained eye, this was going to be super hard. But watching the monks do it so swiftly and effortlessly was a sign how much concentration and patience they have inculcated within themselves to accomplish this.The mandala that they made was a representation of the city. The next day they would be chanting and at the end of it all they would brush away the mandala and disperse the sand into flowing water. (a symbolism of sending out good vibes, we were told)
I ended up being a translator for the oldest monk (who could not speak English) present as they were from Himachal Pradesh and spoke little Hindi. The people reporting had a lot of questions.