We And You
Your Recent History
Tsampa – Nutrition That Keeps Tibet Going.
Blessings Of A Cold Tibetan Morning.
Forsaken Still We Remain. Deliver Us We Plead.
A Prayer From A Tibetan Heart.
Neither Here Nor There.
Punctuating Reality
Tibetans Searching …
Tibetan Culture In Five Easy Steps
The Basis Of Tibetan Culture.
Hoping For Miracles.
Another Tenth March
Stateless Tibetans Protesting …
A Pithy Tibetan Saying Goes …
Within The Mind Of The Colonist.
Genuine Human Beings.
May This Delightful Home Fulfill Your Every Wish.
Praying For Snow In The Kullu Valley.
Voices Of The Marginalized
Two Contrasting Visions
An Offer
Unaware Of Interdependence …
23rd. May 2000
23rd. May 1951
Time Stands Still …
We Are Outnumbered.
Gandhi. Simple And Compassionate.
March 2001. The Final Solution Scheduled.
The Final Solution.
Golmud To Lhasa.
The End Of A Millennial Year.
Unrestrained Reality
Forgotten Tibetan Resonances
Interdependence. Reality Unmasked.
Life’s Essences Laid Bare.
The Continuity Of Life
Precious Interdependence

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

We And You

As history dawned our ancestors ascended
Bewitched by the marvels of the lofty plateau
And inebriated by the blue skies and rarified air.
Acclimatized to the heights they settled in Tibet.
In similar fashion, your early human predecessors
Roamed the low-lying empty plains and hills,
Forests and caves and the ocean’s edge.
Enchanted. Sheltered. Secure. They settled in China.

Grazing and hunting our wild forbears survived.
Around Kailash our primeval civilization centred.
Yarlung valley and its fertile environs, soon
Bred grand designs and unity in a martial race.
Meanwhile your Shang and Chou cultural rumblings
Led to Chin unification and the Great wall defences.
Three centuries of the Tang epoch flourished.
You truly felt the Middle Kingdom had no equal.

Yet in military campaigns we terrorized your existence.
Then sense and treaties prevailed. Buddha’s words
Gave us new direction. We succumbed to non-violence.
We scattered. Searching Truth’s essence we lived on.
Within your Wall you delighted in the worldly arts –
Your civilization’s genius. Philosophy too blossomed.
Tang gave way to Sung.Then Mongols and Manchus ravaged.
Tormented you with the scourge of foreign oppression.

We awoke to the 20th. century. Startled. Uncertain.
Lost in time. Confused by your sinister intrigues.
Complacent. Isolated. Our world view unacceptable.
Our dreams died. Since ’49  you scripted our nightmares.
For you the the century ushered in continued colonial abuse,
A fragmented country, anarchy and everyday terror.
Mao and his mad colleagues, your cunning saviors then
Created visions.Subjected you to cycles of repression.

Today our people fettered. Monasteries. Faith shattered.
Our culture denied – spoils of China’s patriotic insanity.
Yet visions. Hopes reappear. We continue to smile
Offering the world our treasures – our Buddhist heritage.
Today, your people. Your leaders. Appearances changing.
But within. Secretive. Inhuman. Patriotic zeal lives on.
Your history replete with cycles of violence and fear.
Is that all you offer the world? When will you change?

We are the oppressed. You the oppressors revelling.
We are the subjects. You slave masters – triumphant colonists.
Yet remember. The torturer too is an abject subject.
We object your violence. You remain unapologetic. Barbaric.
We pray for humanity. You display your inhumanity.
We’re in tune with the future. You still rot within.
We dream of free tomorrow. Change. Freedom is your nightmare.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Your Recent History

The nineteenth century saw
Only strife, famine and  war.
And Manchu oppression reigned
On your people. It was sad.

The twentieth century began
With Chang Kai-shek and company
And imperialists giving a hand,
Emptying your nation’s pride and coffers.

Then came a bunch of homemade,
Hard-boiled Chinese nuts.
They fed your country awhile
And then created famine and disaster.

They claimed the world
Of their distorted imaginations
And you subservient people
Shed your blood killing and conquering.

When your emperor’s power waned
Mao set your empire on fire.
With the Cultural Revolution
Stalin and Hitler were surpassed.

Mao and his cronies, big and small.
Most experienced an awful end.
Today his disciples, double dealing devils
Still cling to power, unaware of the costs.

The world’s most barbaric rulers.
The earth’s most subservient population.
A lost civilization without values.
The Chinese empire, doesn’t impress a Tibetan.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tsampa – Nutrition That Keeps Tibet Going

When hunters first trekked the Tibetan heights,
They rarely stayed any length of time.
As time went by, nomadic tribes arrived.
Next barley grew. Agriculture thrived.
Barley. Nutrition that has Tibet sowing.
Tsampa. Nutrition that keeps Tibet going.

Barley. The cereal that grows on high.
Withstands the rugged Tibetan seasons.
Stuff that contains minerals and vitamins,
And proteinaceous matter in blessed amounts.
Barley. Nutrition that has Tibet sowing.
Tsampa. Nutrition that keeps Tibet going.

Since prehistory upto the present times
’Tis barley that’s supported kings and queens,
Bronzed nomads and sedentary farmers,
Nobility and commoners. Each and every one.
Barley. Nutrition that has Tibet sowing.
Tsampa. Nutrition that keeps Tibet going.

Barley first roasted and then ground
Produces a flavour unique. Is ready to eat.
Dried powder alone or with sugar and cheese.
A solid meal. Liquid paste or bubbling broth.
Barley. Nutrition that Tibetan hunger extinguishes.
Tsampa. Nutrition that Tibet distinguishes.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blessings Of A Cold Tibetan Morning.

How refreshing to wake up in the morning
Inhaling crispy, cold draughts that ascend
One’s nostrils and descend the air passages
Expanding lungs – the rejuvenating breath of life.

How reassuring to return to another day
Midst murmurs of humans vocalising prayers
And reciting mantras – speech essence of the Deities.
Enlightened ones in the form of sounds.

How energizing to prostrate with humility
To the Buddhas. Awakened perfected beings.
The Dharma that frees all, from conditioned suffering.
The Sangha – friendly aids along the path.

How enervating to pleasantly sips hot bowls
Of salted, buttered Tibetan tea that warms
Our cold hands and then our empty innards.
Meanwhile satisfying the desires of our taste-buds.

How delicious and filling a bowl of nourishing tsampa
Mixed with dry, crackling powdered cheese
And a touch of sweetening. Unique Tibetan breakfast.
A  staple that’s truly convenient to prepare.

How blue and profoundly clear the sky above.
How compassionate the sun spreading its love.
Peace and joy written large on Tibetan faces.
Only freedom’s absence mars the delightful morning scene.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Forsaken Still We Remain. Deliver Us We Plead.

All-powerful protectors and guardian deities
Of our sacred haunts, hearth and people.
Full five decades you’ve abandoned us.
Forsaken still we remain. Deliver we  plead.

In the early years, it must have been
The foul putrid stench, crimson blood and gore.
Our polluted land that kept you away.
But it was the enemy’s violence and savagery.

In the next decade, it must have been
The absence of prayers and propitiatory offerings.
Forgive your people on the desecrated plateau.
On pain of death the Chinese forbade it all.

In the seventies, it must have been
The meagre and disarrayed offerings
That dissuaded you. But the maruaders had earlier
Robbed and striped us naked of all our possessions.

In the eighties, it must have been
Our confused and muddled rites and rituals
That annoyed you. But our learned had left
Or died. Chinese presence had unnerved the rest.

These days, I am sure it must be
The ruined landscape that displeases you.
The denuded forests. The brazen mining.
The swarming hordes of Chinese colonial settlers.

Whatever it be, if you mighty beings
Hasten not to befriend us once again.
To right wrongs. To mete out justice.
Else your people will another lost civilization become.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Prayer From A Tibetan Heart.

Sitting cross-legged and cosily in winter
Amidst my offerings of light, incense and water.
Chanting prayers without concentration,
My distracted mind wanders to my homeland.

Withered old folks fumbling with rosaries
And turning creaking prayer wheels in Kham.
A congregation of villagers gaily attired
Propitiating deities on hill-tops in Amdo.

A sea of contended pilgrims circumambulating
The holy of  holies in the hallowed Jokhang.
Nomads joyfully prostrating around sacred Kailash,
The primeval precincts of  our ancient civilization.

What unites these scenes of unworldly activity?
What do they desire? What do they pray for?
’Tis only freedom, within and without, they hanker after.
That’s the essence. Sum total of Tibetan lives.

Thus fierce and fearless, beneficent Guardian deities.
Dharma protectors of the pristine Tibetan world.
Masters with freedom of thought and action.
Grant us release from the Chinese yoke and delusions.

Unite us Tibetans in spirit and actions.
Grant fearlessness to face our present predicament.
Spontaneously bring out the best in us.
Grant us perseverance and Independence.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Neither Here Nor There.

And the entire long night
Snow fell in heaps.

An early morning walk.
What a blessed sight
Nature displayed.

Snow covered landscape.
Pure white dust
For miles without end.

Free of external distractions
And my mind’s delusions
My predicament beomes clear.

A Tibetan poet
Writing in English
Bereft of an audience.

Neither here abroad
Nor there at home.
A refugee in exile.

A stateless people
In a world
Divided into nation states.

Affirming Interdependence
On a planet
Ruled by the power of violence.

Tibetans of one blood,
Our culture and philosophy
Are second to none.

If only we’d care
To understand their import.
Conduct ourselves accordingly.

Causality. Interdependence.
Pure views – the swift path.
Faultless. Perfect. Matchless.

We’re masters of our fates.
Our enemies teach us our faults.
We really have the power within.

Gyalwa Rinpoche
May your inspired presence
Free us of worldly dharmas.

Gesar of Ling
Grant us courage to struggle
Whatever the odds.

Dharma protectors
Free us of impure views.
Unite us as a nation.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Punctuating Reality

The powers that be,
the Security Council,
the U.N. and World Bank
and governments
of nation states
by their silence
have thus “ . ”
spelt out and punctuated
Tibet’s reality today.

A fullstop
enclosed by
two inverted commas –
Tibetan reality
from their point of view.

Tibet and Tibetans
don’t really exist.
We are a dispensible,
historical entity,
devoid of practical
economic ramifications,
quietly playing out
our logical end.

But we Tibetans
are humans too.
We don’t view
events this way.
We do exist.
We will resist.
The end is yet to be.
We will script
our own destiny.

Half a century
of Chinese madness
and the world’s
callous acquiescence
aren’t indicators
of an irreversible fullstop.

Instead, I’d say
events in Tibet
can be symbolised
by a comma.
At most, a semicolon –
just a short break
in Tibet’s long history.

In point of fact,
it just might be
an exclamation mark
to wake Tibetans up.
Or even a literal
question mark,
asking the world
where it’s heading
and what it’s values are?

Friends. Humans.
We’re in
the 21st century.
Would you agree?
All humans wish
and have a right
to freedom.
Do you still agree?

Isn’t that reality?

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tibetans Searching …

Tibetans searching
For the meaning of life
In Dollars, fleeing India
In droves for the land
Of unheard-of-dreams.

A few, I’m sure
Will reap a bountiful
Harvest of greenbacks,
Deeper interests
And broader views.

The rest I guess
Will in time realise
That Dollars and life,
Both are just hard work.
No more. No less.

Westerners searching
For the meaning of life
In the Dharma sublime,
Ancient lineages
And Tibetan lamas.

A rare one I’m sure
Will reap a bountiful
Harvest of realizations,
Pass on the accomplishments
Of our perfected heroes.

The rest I guess
Will in time realise
Dharma and life
Both are just hard work.
No more. No less.

Some Tibetans I pray
Will realise the Dollar craze
Just fritters away
The Tibetan meaning of life –
Our quest for freedom.

Published in: on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment