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Day 36: Dharamsala and McLeodganj

Michael Palin - HimalayaHe it is who has calculated my incarnation prospects. As reincarnation is one of the basic beliefs of Buddhism (the Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the last Dalai Lama, who was a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama before that, and so on), it helps to know what your chances are. There are six realms in which you can end up. God, Demi-God and Human Being are all good and Animal, Hell and Bad Spirits all less good.

With a certain amount of apprehension I open my chart, which is headed with my Tibetan birthdate, the 1st day of the 3rd month of Water-Sheep year. With mixed feelings (mainly of relief) I read on. 'You were likely to be an elephant in your previous life, but you are going to be born as a daughter of a rich family in the West.'

Basil finds this particularly funny and is convinced that I'll be reincarnated as one of John Cleese's grandchildren.

The rest of the chart has mixed news. I'm told I 'believe in honesty and logic feeling, not emotion' and 'never indulge in meaningless gossips and talks'. That doesn't sound right.

Blue, red and white are my lucky colours (which presumably means I can support Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United at the same time). Thursday is my worst day, Fridays and Mondays my best and my marriage has been 'disheartening'. How can I tell Helen this after
38 years?

Phurbu Tsering is sincere, friendly and speaks excellent English, and clearly believes in the truth of what he's found in my chart. He takes me to one side as we leave and urges me to be particularly careful this year. He sees change and a crisis ahead. As I'm about to spend the next two months crossing the highest mountain range on earth, this is not exactly what I need to hear.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 36: Dharamsala and McLeodganj
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: McLeodganj
  • Book page no: 82

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