ナムギャル寺院にて、私もマニ車を回して朝のお祈りをする

 I joined the morning prayers spinning the mani prayer wheels at Namgyal Monastery.


3月7日
 一昨日までのデリーで喉を痛め、旅の疲れや緊張からか具合がいまひとつ。力をつけるために昼食をとる。給仕をしてくれた可憐な女性とおしゃべりした。20代中頃だろうか、つややかな黒髪が美しい。彼女は10年前にチベットから亡命してきたそうだ。両親は亡命を助けるガイドにお金を払い、当時14歳の彼女をたった一人で亡命させたのだと言う。彼女はほかの7人の子どもたちとともにヒマラヤを歩いて越えてきたのだ。

「家族と離れて独りで暮らすのは寂しいけれど、ダライ・ラマ猊下の近くに住み、チベット人としての教育を受けられるから、私は幸せです」と力強く言った。彼女の両親は、大事な一人娘と一生会えないことを覚悟のうえで、決断したのだろう。聞きながら私が涙をポロポロ流すと彼女も涙ぐみ、ふたりで泣いた。ダラムサラには、命がけで亡命してきた彼女のようなチベット難民が大勢いる。

 午後3時、猊下のメディア担当秘書と打ち合わせ。質問事項を見せてチェックを受けている間、緊張が高まる。だが、私が年月を重ねて十分に準備をしてきたことを次第に理解し、丁寧に助言してくれた。夜は時差、旅の疲れ、そして極度の不安と緊張から、一睡もできず。


March 7

I got a sore throat in Delhi where I was until the day before yesterday. I still feel a bit under the weather perhaps because I am tired from the traveling. I continue to be nervous. I had lunch to get some sustenance. I talked with a sweet woman who waited on me. Maybe in her mid- twenties, her silky black hair was beautiful. She told me that she fled Tibet 10 years ago. Her parents paid a guide that helped her cross into India on her own at the age of 14. She walked across the Himalayas with seven other children. “I do feel lonely living alone, away from my parents, but I’m happy because I can live near HHDL and get an education as a Tibetan,” she said to me emphatically. Her parents must have made the decision to let her go knowing fully well that they would never be able to see their precious daughter again. Tears started trickling down my face, and she got teary as well. We cried together. There are many Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala who, like her, fled Tibet putting their own lives in danger.

At 3:00 PM I had a meeting with HHDL’s media secretary. I became increasingly tense as he checked the questions I had prepared. Gradually, however, he understood that I had spent years preparing myself for this occasion, and graciously provided me with thoughtful advice. I could not get any sleep at night due to the jet lag, travel fatigue and extreme anxiety.




PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF RIMA FUJITA

私がデザインした「結核ゼロキャンペーン」のロゴ

The logo for the Zero Tuberculosis campaign that I designed.


3月8日
 体調を崩してしまった。謁見前になんということ。焦燥感が募る。ダラムサラのデレク病院の院長にメールを出す。2時間後、ソナムさんという医師が往診に来てくれた。初対面だったが「私はあなたのことをずっと知っていますよ」と言って、診察してくれた。

 昨年私は、ニューヨーク在住のチベット人医師である友人に頼まれ、デレク病院の「結核ゼロキャンペーン」のロゴをボランティアでデザインした。世界一の結核研究所として知られるジョンズ・ホプキンス大学とのコラボレーションで、インドに住むチベット人の子どもたちの結核撲滅キャンペーンのためだ。また数年前、結核予防の教育絵本『TB AWARE』を作り、1万部を配布した。それで、デレク病院のスタッフたちは私のことを知っていてくれたのだ。

 ドクター・ソナムは「精神的な疲れでしょう。猊下にインタビューするのですから、緊張して当たり前です。リラックスしてポジティブに考えてください」といたわってくれた。私は恥ずかしくなった。彼もつらい体験をして、この地に来た難民のはずだ。彼らにとって神のような存在であり精神的支柱でもある猊下とふたりきりで謁見したこともおそらくないはずだ。そんな彼が何の苦労もなく育った私に「ポジティブに考えてください」と言ってくれている。なんたることか。さらに彼は、息を切らしながら急な山道を往復して、薬を買ってきてくれた。診察代を払おうとすると、絶対に受け取らないと首を振る。ほほえみながら「あなたが私たちにしてくれたことに対しての、小さなお礼です」。


March 8

I got sick. How could this happen just before the audience!? I felt so frustrated. I wrote an email to the Director of the Delek Hospital of Dharmsala, and two hours later, a doctor named Sonam came to check on me at my hotel. It was the first time we met, but he said, “I have known you for a long time” as he examined me. Last year, I was asked by a friend of mine - a Tibetan doctor - to create a logo for Delek Hospital’s Zero Tuberculosis campaign, and I designed it as a volunteer. This was a campaign that was run in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, renowned as the world’s best research center of tuberculosis, to eradicate the disease among Tibetan children living in India. A few years ago I had also made an educational picture book about tuberculosis prevention entitled TB AWARE and 10,000 copies were distributed to Tibetans in India. That is why the staff of Delek Hospital knew about me.

Doctor Sonam tried to allay my anxiety by telling me, “It’s all in your head. It’s totally natural to get nervous because you are interviewing HHDL. It’s not surprising that you are tense. Try to relax and think positively.” I felt so embarrassed. He too must have been a refugee who went through unspeakable hardships to reach Dharamsala. He also probably never had the opportunity to speak alone with HHDL, his spiritual pillar and god-like presence. Despite all this, he offers me, someone who grew up with no particular struggles, the kind encouragement to “think positively.” How shameful to make him say this to me. He even went back and forth over the steep hill to buy medicine for me, losing his breath in the process. When I tried to pay the consultation fee he shook his head saying that he would never accept it. He smiled at me and said, “It’s a small gesture of gratitude for what you’ve done for us.”