My grandfather is one of the few Tulkus we have in our region. He is a monk with few words, and duly does his daily rituals. He enjoys chanting prayers all day long with his musical ritual items. He was not only revered and respected by the people around his locality, but people from a distant district come to see him and regularly seeks his advice and blessings.
He was the one who taught me the Tibetan alphabet. Tibetan script was developed into its present form as early as the 7th century by Thonmi Sambhota, one of the ministers of 33rd King Songtsen Gambo. He was sent to India to learn, and he returned with a Tibetan script based on the Sanskrit script.
My grandfather constantly pushes me to practice my Tibetan calligraphy on a wooden plate. I must have gained a great knowledge in Buddhism and perfectly putting the Tibetan script in different styles if I were lucky enough to stay a little longer under his training and tutoship. But unfortunately, I wasn't lucky enough and had to leave him and others in the same year I left my country. When he is happy, he tells us the tales from the great epic Ling Geser Gyalpo, to which I am fond of listening, and sings the poems in a great rhythm. To my utter surprise and astonishment, he got a permanent bulb-like bump on his head, and he choose not to share how the bump was developed. Out of my curiosity, I often ask him about the same and touches it when he wears a smile on his face. But I wasn't a lucky kid who had the priviledge of understanding all the things they have gone through. Later on, I understood that he was beaten by the Chinese soldiers during the culutral revolution in Tibet that destroyed more than 97% of the monasteries and nunneries and disrobed 93% of the monks and nuns. If I knew about the same when I was with him in Tibet, I would have annoyed him with endless questions.Some of the people whose name still lingers in my mind were Tsering Losar, Sonam Rinchen and Phakpa, etc. Who suffered the same fate under the Chinese repressive policies.
Sadly, my grandfather passed away few years back, and I send him some prayers from the Land of Lord Buddha for a swift rebirth.
* "tulku" is an honorary title given to a recognised reincarnate Lama