The homeland of the estranged and distressed Tibetans segregated all over the world keeps a strength in its heart to keep it up as a country, though lost in history and hopes to relive once in a future. Its citizens whom to be termed global citizens now have fairy tales to ruminate their past glory and they dare to traverse difficult paths to preserve their unique culture and identity, not withstanding where or how they live.
St. Albert’s College, Ernakulam, yesterday was blessed to listen to the nostalgic memories of Tibet from poetess Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, a Tibetan in exile. She is the first Tibetan female poet to publish in English. She recited many poems from one of the old classrooms of St. Albert’s college, standing in front of the picture of the Dalai Lama on the wall. The poems spelled out expectations, dreams, emotions and hopes of an exiled life, forced to pursue.
Snow topped ground,
The only assurance we have eased,
It will melt…
Tibet was a place known to the students of St. Albert’s College from History text book only till then. Yesterday they experienced the beauty, warmth of Tibet from a wounded Tibetan mind. The feelings had been flowing from her so powerful. It was Friends of Tibet organization that arranged this program “Melting Boundaries: Poetry on Tibet” for St. Albert’s College, Ernakulam, in association with the English department of the college.
Tsering is a teacher at the University of California, Santacruz and she is pursuing a PhD in Literature too there. Having grown up in India and Nepal, she brings a rich cultural texture to her writings, evident in her first full-length book, A Home In Tibet (Penguin), that was released recently. Celebrating homecoming, it’s as much a tribute to her mother who raised her after fleeing Tibet in 1959 as the homeland has been her home no more.
Her greatest wish for life is to have a go back to her motherland. ”Of course that will be the beautiful moment in my life. She says and adds, “my childhood was in Dharamshala in India and Kathmandu in Nepal along with many Tibetan communities and from my mother I knew about Tibet and the life of Tibetans. She learned to talk and read Tibetan language, but not know how to write. So she started her poems and short stories in English.
“I have come to India many times. But, this is the first time, I got the opportunity to have a conversation with students. It is indeed a great experience to me. If any chance in the future, I would definitely make a further visit here. India is blessed with great poets and writers. But it is a sad thing that I could not get the opportunity to meet Malayalam poets, yet”.
She is in the literary world, from her 12 years. Her first book ”Rules Of The House” had got reader’s attention. She is fluent in several languages and dialects, including Hindi, and Nepali. Through innovative structures and schemas, her poetry articulates the nostalgia of displaced Tibetans, recording the memories of elders in Tibetan communities.
Tsering presented her poems titled ‘Aas’, ‘Rememberance’, ‘First Listen’, ‘ The Water Song’, ‘Exile an investigation to struggle’, etc. in front of the students in Albert’s. She found out time to talk with students. ” I have no such belief that all my dreams come true, through writing. I consider my literary works as a link. The opinions and suggestions from readers are my gift. Now I am in my new work”. Tsering opens up her mind.
As a part of her research, Tsering will be in India till December. Easwar Anand, an Indian poet and Tibet activist too participated in the function. He is active with Friends of Tibet. He presented poems titled ‘If I Die’, ‘Story Of A Nation’, ‘Wake Up Oh People’, ‘White Tibet’, ‘Flames Of Truth’ etc.
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