Going Home from
My last day
Gandhi Airport, I was probably still remembered as the tall, Nordic guy who
wasn’t fooled by the “no-bus
–between-the-terminals-but-I-can-fix-it-for-a-little-baksheesh”-scam, and in
company with a TV camera crew, I arrived at the International airport many
hours too early. There the phone didn’t connect to
have liked food, but at that moment I didn’t want any more Indian hassle.
Nearing nine in the evening I put my backpack on, and walked the short distance
in heavily polluted Indian air to the International Departures doors. No
younger girls shunned him, he turned to the elderly Sikh ladies, inviting them
to sex in frank words – in Swedish though. I thought: “Glad they don’t
understand what he says.” But their body language did show they didn’t
appreciate his advances. Then the AEROFLOT for
It all went well until there was just one too many of those Indian bureaucrazy forms to fill in.
Olle refused. “They have no rights to know this!” he said”, and then started to chat up two young backpacker girls, who joked back, not knowing what he said in Swedish. It was very rude and explicit what he wanted to do when they came on the plane. “Look, you will sit just between us,” the blonde of them said, and he smiled shyly. Then he started another quarrel with the airport official, trying to force his way through the gates without permission.
For a while I tried to reason with him, help him fill in the form, but then the official got really angry, and called for the guards. “You want to go or not?” he said to me.
Oh yes, I desperately wanted to go home, so I left Olle.
“Shouldn’t we really try helping him?” the blonde girl said. “Now he will not get on the plane!”
“You should be glad!” I said, “Not having him sit between you two.”
“But he was just nice and a little drunk!” the brunette said.
“Oh, well.” I said, “You don’t understand Swedish, do you?”
“What did he say?”
“I’d better not translate. Let’s just say, he might have started groping at you …”
Then we were in the international world. Slowly approaching midnight and boarding, for a while I sat in the bar, having a final couple of Kingfisher beers. Then into the last lounge, where we sat waiting one more of the inevitable Indian delays.
young Tibetan looking monk in maroon robes looked at me: “This plane
said with a smile, “I go home in
“So you are a lama now?”
He smiled, “I will home Lama.”
said, “You most probably are Burjat or
searched my memory, who was near the
He smiled, and we made great friends just there. For a while we chatted, and then he started to practice generosity.
I had nothing to give back. He gave me a red thread with the knot made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. Then a monocle-like hologram of a Buddha statue; a small plastic bag filled with seeds, and a woven structure looking like a Native American piece. I tried to say: “Really, this is too much, you can’t give me all this!” But he insisted, and I felt more and more embarrassed. The old Viking code is clear: It is better to be the one who gives than to be the receiver; and deep down I’m still a Viking.
Then he gave me his Tibetan calendar. For a while we looked at it. It was filled with notes, and I said: “I really can’t take this, you need it.”
At last he did agree: “Yes you right. I go Lama, so need.” We exchanged addresses, and chatted on Buddhism for the rest of the time before departure.
morning we said goodbye at the
Then, at home, I asked our local lama Changchub: “I met this monk, going home, giving me all this presents, and I had nothing for him. What should I do?”
“Well,” lama Changchub said, “he really doesn’t expect anything! He was just practicing generosity.”
“Yes, I know,” I said, “but nevertheless, I want to give him something.”
Changcub, who though being Tibetan, grew up in
I did agree; Burjat is cold.
think, like when I came to
Half a year later the maroon padded suit I sent him to his Ulan Ude address came back; the return label saying he had disappeared. I gave the suit to a charity, to extend his generosity.
But if anyone ever meets Zorjito Dorjiev a young Burjat monk who used to live in Ulan Ude, please tell him this story.
In Norwegian. They had understood the rudeness of Olle. Maybe it was more charitable not to help him aboard the plane, after all?