.Stop the bus! Stop the bus! ” It is full moon. I have been in Mc Leod for more than a month. I really do not want to leave but it is time. I board the bus with many other people who are now friends. Buses have a narcotic effect on me. I always sleep. The roads no longer scare me. When the rough, hollow sound of a crash happened I did not fully comprehend. I just hear people screaming “Stop the bus! There was an accident”. It takes a while for all of us to comprehend. Someone crashed into us. Someone in the back is unconscious and bleeding. There is a turmoil, windows had exploded. Some young girls come shaking forward ” We need an ambulance”. Israelis move back, they start shouting orders. We need scissors, tissue etc. I also hear the gentle voice of a Canadian inviting the victim to stay, to come back. I cannot look, i do not move I do not want to move out or back. I am just quite amazed by how life is fragile, and how in any circumstance people unite to go beyond themselves to help. I remember my Indian friends telling us not to leave in a a full moon. The moon now shines brightly through the window when we still do not understand the dimensions of our accident.
The Tibetans in the seats next to me seem less impressed. I ponder whether life and death is more natural to them. My thoughts wonder back to Dorjee and Tashi, my Tibetan friends in Mc Leod. Tashi who was a monk for 15 years asks me before i leave to write a message to feature on the table of the restaurant he serves in. I do and lift the table to put under the glass. He follows me removes it and puts on another place. The place where he eats everyday. “I will miss you everyday you know!” I am moved I have tears in my eyes. My friendship with Dorjee is that of jokes in the breakfast. He is not that fluent in English and I understand through time his parents are sick and need his help. Dorjee, who I wrote about before, escaped Tibet as a political refugee. We could never really understand what happened under his smiley eyes. He told me the story of his escape, the two months walking in mountains, about the two children he found crying alone on the way and brought with him. He cant be that old and now he takes care of two children. When we climbed the mountain and he sang mountain up and down collecting the trash tourists left behind I developed this love for Dorjee. This kind of affectionate feeling you have for people who seem so good that they dont seem to feature in the fiction of reality. Couple days ago he was able to contact a friend in Tibet. This friend was able to reach his family. His family is illiterate, and so only now after 4 years did Dorjee hear his 4 sisters and one brother had gotten married. He was so happy, but a happiness that does not explode or modifies too much his natural smile. The following day he is able to talk to to his friend again. This time to find out his father had passed away two years ago. It is so incomprehensible to me the whole notion that I do not know what to say. Dorjee ‘s eyes change a bit, but he keeps that smile in his face. I wonder what is it that goes behind that smile. I wonder but do not want to intrude. I do not fully comprehend. We all love Dorjee, his kindness is truly inspiring.
“Let me kiss you, open your mouth” The canadian voice brings me back to the bus. I look the Tibetans and know fully well that face expressions dont truly translate what people feel. I hear the Canadian voice, of the girl of pink hair who to me right now embodies love. She is a typical new age person. She is there under a man she does not know trying to keep his mind with us. The Israelis use all they learn in the army. I who hate the army find that once in my life I actually was happy to have someone who was a combatant with us. It does not matter to them blood is everywhere, that there is a gash in the head of this till now unknown man. All it matters is that all of us now in the bus can hear he is choking in blood. We all want him to live. As the moon goes away the ambulance arrives. The man is carried out and the girl in pink hair goes with him to hospital. The rest of us stay in a mid nightmare, dream state. The day starts to rise. Outside a Canadian takes the guitar of the man who is now in hospital and starts to sing. We all seat by the road in silence. Somehow united by this tragic event. It could have been much worse is all I think about. The day is beautiful. It always puzzles me how life and death, beauty and tragedy just coexist. And as I seat on that road listening to the music I am able to understand a bit more the smile of Dorjee and Tashi. It is a smile of those who have truly embodied impermanence and compassion. It is not that the feelings that makes most of us cry and shout don’t exist on them. It s more like this awareness that we must keep going and with a song and a smile in the face it is easier to give the next step.