I remember getting a star badge when I was eight,
in a ‘Roof of the world’ relate.
My Naive heart couldn’t grasp the severity then,
‘The Stopover‘ has given a chance to express
Why, pray tell, its people are Roofless?
Land of meditation, monasteries and Buddhist serenity,
Their unique nation, culture and religious identity,
Imperiled by the Chinese dictum.
A small story I want to share, with you
About a Pu-gu Yeshe of five years and his Po-la Dorjee Gephel of Gansu.
//* pu- gu —child, po-la — grandfather*//
Dorgee gaze over The Maijishan Mountain, reminiscing.
Yashe repeated “Po-la, Pola were we always this poor and sad?”
Po-la’s mind drifted down the memory lane of Lhasa,
Of the time before, smiling
He replied “My dear child, our world was a fairy tale kingdom,
Ample of ‘four treasures’ day and night,
//* four treasures—- tsampa, butter tea, beef and mutton, noodles.*//
Our fields were flourished, festivals were chromatic,
Singing wearing silk laughing, dancing Guoxie, Duixie and Zhuoxie.”
//*Guoxie (circle dance), Duixie (tap dance), Zhuoxie (drum dance)*//
Yashe stare in awe, he can’t fathom such gaiety
Curiosity burnt like a meteor in his eyes,
Dorgee’s face lit up,
“We used to dive in the free sky,
Play on the grounds of the divine monasteries,
The monasteries, whose pillars were richly carved,
Walls covered with frescoes alive with our history,
Our culture, our ritual, teachings of the lord,
Our prayer wheels and flags, delicate resinous scent of incense,
Meditation atmosphere making you content,
And in the midst of all this, in the light of eternal lamp,
Golden magnificent The Blessed lord Buddha statue
Of unheard dimensions,
And Abbots and lamas to guide us through,
But that woeful year changed it all.”
//*woeful year- 1950 when China took over Tibet*//
Anguish shadowing his eyes,
as Dorgee remembered those atrocious days when
They tortured Yashe’s parents to death,
“Many of us departed, keeping faith in the rest of us.
His holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessings,
Peace and benevolence,
Iridescent inner power and wisdom
Are still our strong traits.
We may be poor dear child but here”, he pointed his heart
“We have hope which matters the most.”
A knock came with a hushed shout,
“hurry,they are coming, hurry…they…”
Dorgee removed something Red from hada in haste
//*hada– a white woven scarf which symbolizes purity and loyalty*//
Giving it to the child in faith
They can torture us, oppress us, kill us
But they can never break us.
I have arranged a safe passage for you,
to a safer place, where you can be yourself,
a monk you always wanted to be,
save our heritage, continue our legacy,
take this, His holiness The Dalai lama’s picture, it will guide you, keep you safe.
Our national flag, with the pair of snow-lions,
symbolize the victory of the spiritual and secular rule.
Always remember, Dark dusk yields to the bright dawn
bringing the Golden era back with this new millennium.
After 12 years:
Yashe, sitting on the hills of Dharamsala in his red robe,
Gazing the rising sun with glassy eyes,
conjuring the past.
Praying for his parents, pola’s, his people’s departed soul,
Praying for his country’s freedom,
Promising to return to his land
Waving his flag, picture of his holiness.
Image courtesy- Google images
Inspiration: “The Tibetan Wheel of Wisdom”– first story from the book ‘The Stopover” (A photo-fiction book).
Read My review of The Stopover HERE