When I was a kid, my dad used to be the person in charge of organizing all the Montreal Tours for Tibetan Monks visiting Canada. About 2-3 times every year, I’d have a group of about 12 monks sleeping in my basement. Then about 10 years ago, they converted an old Tiki Sun restaurant on Chemin Chambly in Longueuil to become the Manjushri Temple. My parents/uncles/aunts/cousins and I all helped in the whole renovation of the restaurant into the temple. So we know the monks who stay there very well and visit them several times a year. Now, the Dalai Lama was about to tour in Montreal to give a few talks, and was asked by the monk from Manjushri to come visit. It wasn’t a big conference or anything, but it was still packed with people, press and security. I was asked by our local monk to come take photographs on behalf of the temple, since the only other photographers allowed were press photographers. So I got my fancy credential badge thingy. Turns out I still had a hard time with security letting me stay, and I didn’t know until the car arrived where I’d be standing to take pictures.
That’s my grandma, waiting outside with flowers.
So anyway the Dalai Lama arrived and the press photographers unleashed their inner aggressive paparazzi bulldogs and were all over the place, pushing people, standing in the way and being disrespectful and super intrusive. I ended up getting this single shot as he walked in the temple.
Funnily enough, this isn't the first time I see him. When I was a little kid my cousins and I were part of the welcoming ceremony when he came to give a talk. I had a basket and would throw flower petals on the carpet in front of where he walked.