‘Not Tibet anymore, but an occupied Chinese Tibet’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/not-tibet-anymore-but-an-occupied-chinese-tibet-4998832/

‘Not Tibet anymore, but an occupied Chinese Tibet’

Tsundue says, “I am a freedom activist, story teller, writer and poet who travels, tells stories and writes poems based on those experiences. Whatever I have written till now are based on real incidents and experiences only.”

Tibetan poet Tenzin Tsundue in Chandigarh
Poet Tenzin Tsundue at Coveda in Sector 18, Chandigarh. (Express: Sahil Walia)

A GET-TOGETHER was held at Coveda, at New Public School, Sector 18, on Sunday. A number of writers, poets, artists and lovers of literature took part in Shab-e-Furqat (Night of Separation). Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan freedom fighter, writer and poet, was among the key speakers.

“Pull your ceiling halfway down and you can create a mezzanine for me…” says Tsundue about his experiences in Mumbai before reciting the poem, Proposal. About the poem, he says, “Can I stay at your home? Proposal is a humble hope and request to get a place to stay is to create some spaces in all those houses I visit everyday.”

Tsundue says, “I am a freedom activist, story teller, writer and poet who travels, tells stories and writes poems based on those experiences. Whatever I have written till now are based on real incidents and experiences only.”

When it rains in Dharamshala, another poem of Tsundue, reminds him of those days when his rented tin roof, built during the Raj era, used to get flooded during the rain. His wet bed and papers remainds him of forgotten memories of those days in prison. Tsundue says the room is now owned by a Kashmiri family who cannot return to Kashmir.

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Reciting Exile House, the Tiebtan desires a house of his own, in his country, where he could grow grass on the roof and have climbing vines.

“In 1997, during my college days, I visited Tibet for the first time. It was totally different from what I imagined in books, stories. All signboards were in Chinese. It was not Tibet anymore, but an occupied Chinese Tibet. We are living in Indian refugee camps for the last 57 years. At least I dream of dying in free Tibet,” sighs Tsundue.

What does the red bandana on his forehead symbolie? “This bandana keeps reminding me of the pledge I took years before for a free Tibet. I did not marry for this fight. I believe marriage binds one to family and children. I want to live and die for my Tibet. I write my observations and experiences in the form of stories and books and sell them. This is my only source of income. The earning helps me to travel. The more I travel, more experiences I get.”

“As the year is ending, there should be some get-together to make things delightful. So, we decided to organise this musical Shab-e-Furqat for our artist friends, poets and literature lovers,” says Chandigarh-based Amy Singh, chief organiser of the event.