Friday, August 26, 2011

How much do you know about them?

8/26/11
How much do you know about them?
At 2 to 3, I am teaching a group of monks, nuns and few lay man and woman. They are in the beginner level. For the past few days, we have been doing a series of different conversation mainly teaching them how to introduce them self and their friends. It took me around three weeks to give them a clear idea.
The reasons why they learn English is vary based on their dreams and goals. There are few monks and nuns who want to go back to Tibet and want to teach the fellow members. Some of them, want to bring more awareness about Tibet by meeting different individuals, some of them are planning to go to foreign countries to earn money so that they can financially support the rest of the family in Tibet.

Whatever the reason may be, today, the class work is to discuss in pairs to know each other and have to do a presentation at the last minute. There were around 19 students, and including me, it is 20. So, i paired up with one of the nun students at my class. She has to ask about me and i have to ask about her.
She started her questions with hesitation. The words were coming out slowly as I being the teacher and her being the student, there is usually the nature of shyness. It took around 5 minutes for me to answer all of her questions as most of them were really simple like name, age, pet, favorite food and so on.
It was my turn and i don't mean to make her blank, i started with simple questions as she did. Then I asked her how did she come to India? There, without any word, she simply started crying. She left me blank as i have no idea what to do next. She tried to utter but her dry throat blocked it for a while. I asked to come with me in the office so that we have some privacy. Rest of the class became silent.
We came to office; I closed the rest of the students in the class room along with a volunteer. I hand her tissue to dry her tears and a bottle of water to feel her refreshed. And i waited her for almost 25 minutes to dry her tears and say something.
Genla, (teacher).... She said... and she started giving her answer for my question.
Actually, I don't want to come to India. I want to be with my family in Tibet. Yes, my family doesn't have a separate bedrooms or living rooms. We don't have rest room in our house; we have to walk 15 minutes way to get there. We all sleep together and eat together. It is not a luxurious life that i had in Tibet but i was happy. I have smile on my face and also do my family. I have a mother, grandmother, a father and one younger brother. My parents decided to send me to India when I was 16.
Leaving them behind was something that i have never dreamed in my life as i have dreamed my life with my family. But somehow, being under Chinese pressure and without having much opportunity, i had to listen to my family and leave them far behind. That time, i didn't know whether i will make it to India or not but i moved myself towards the so called, "dream land".
I walked across the forest, mountains, high Himalaya's , in snow and grass land but have no idea which direction I was going as all i need to do is follow the guide that we hired. We had a group of 30 people that time. We ran shortage of food, many people got sick on the way and one young girl, who was 14 got disappeared! There was nothing that we can do as since it happened in the border, there were many Chinese patrols hunting down the Tibetans, thus the time was precious. We walked like a wolf in the night and slept like an owl during day time. It took me 3 and half months to get here in Dharamsala. And i never ever want to face this journey again in my life as that was really the hell on the earth! On my way to India, the hatred towards Chinese people, Chinese government and everything about china grew so huge that I want to kill them right in my hand!
But things changed when I met Dalai Lama. I heard so many things about him while I was in Tibet and we also do have one of his pictures in my home but it always face backwards and in front it was replaced with a Buddha of compassion. One of my hobbies was to look at his picture and imagine all those magic's in the fairy tale. He was there in front of me and I didn't dare to look at him. I was crying as I was happy that i had the opportunity to have an audience with him and i am sad that my parents will never have this opportunity. All he said was, "it is alright no matter what happened and no matter how much difficulty that you went through while coming over here. Just take it as a other side of life and never build hatred towards Chinese as many of them don't mean to do that but under certain circumstances, they have to. They are similar like us who desires for a peaceful and happy life". I was freed with joy and love. I was freed with satisfaction and felt lucky to make this journey.
Yet, I lost my grandmother a year ago and just few days back, my mother passed away because of some illness. I am so sad that I am not able to see her face again since i left Tibet in the year of 2002. And her mouth became shut and tears started rolling down her cheeks, me....... I became stunt and speechless. Tears were about to fall down from my eyes but I kept it in as this is not time to cry but to put myself together. I just gave her a hug as I was not sure what I am supposed to do. Somehow, within me, spoke.... "It is alright, life is like this. Everyone has to die and we have to accept the fact. Your mother wants you to be a good nun and your are doing your best, this is the most important thing."
We both became silence and deep within, she became the energizer for my work. I promised myself that I will give my best for what I am doing.

Now, going back to the topic, "How much do you know about them?" I know a lot. And i want to share it with you.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your all kinds of support. Let us make this world a better place.

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