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Himalaya

Day 38: Dharamsala and McLeodganj

Michael Palin - HimalayaHe pauses in the doorway, bringing his hands together and bowing his head towards me in traditional Buddhist greeting. His skin is clear and healthy, his complexion barely lined. He holds his head slightly forward, giving the impression of someone who likes to listen as much as command. Pushing his maroon and yellow robes back up onto his left shoulder, he comes towards me. His arms, like those of any Buddhist monk, are bare, save for a chunky watch on his right wrist, and noticeably hairless. Almost brushing aside my offer of the katag, he gives me a firm Western handshake. His grip is strong and his palms noticeably cool. He sets me at ease straightaway, grinning broadly.

'Your face very familiar because of TV.'

Well, what can I say to the man who has stared at me from his book cover this past week.

'You watch the BBC then?'

'Practically every day'.

I'm genuinely surprised. This is a monk I'm talking to.

'Because I have more trust.'

'Yes?'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 38: Dharamsala and McLeodganj
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: McLeodganj
  • Book page no: 85

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