We made it to Kalimpong just in time for the meeting with local Tibetans. It was straight to the Mani Hall the moment we arrived in Kalimpong. The people of Kalimpong have something that I think Tibetans in Exile can follow. We normally talk about unity but what they have is actual unity. They have about 10 different Kyidus and Tsokpas but they elect one individual to be the head of the organization and whatever they decide, they do it together after having discussions and debates. At the end of all the debates and discussions, they reach a consensus together and it has nothing to do with Cholka or Cholug which was very surprising and was like a breath of fresh air.
It was great to see the huge support TNT la has in Kalimpong and also at the same time Kalsang la had a great time in Kalimpong as he was visting his Childhood home after almost four decades. So it was a walk down memory lane for him.
We were put up in one of the oldest hotels in Kalimpong called Gompa’s Hotel and it has some history behind it. This hotel belongs to Sonam la, the grandson of a personal staff of the 13th Dalai Lama who had stayed behind when the 13th Dalai Lama visited India in the early 1900’s and had also produced a Tibetan – Hindi Dictionary and we saw the original copy of it which was in tatters but his grandson is trying to preserve it and he was able to find out more about his Grandfather through Tashi Tsering la of Amye Machen Institute.
The grandson invited all of us to breakfast and narrated to us his family history and turned the breakfast into a history lesson.