Our Parting Brought More Joy than Our Meeting

Presently, I am enjoying my isolation peacefully here in a small abandoned room next to my staff block. Every morning, I enjoy the pleasure of seeing the whole valley below with its hue and colour, especially when the valley gets draped gradually by our ever generous sun. Mere sending my eyes into this picturesque landscape dissolves all the sadness and worries like a soothing balm for my aching heart. Well romantic poets like Wordsworth and frost were right when they said “Nature brings unconditional happiness!”. The evening illuminates the entire valley when the houses light their bulbs one by one.  Evening is also the time when the children from my block come out of their houses and produce enough commotion until they think they get enough of their daily dose of entertainment and physical exercise. In between these two moments, is long lonely day time. Entire day, I keep myself busy doing so many things like praying, reading, editing, networking, eating, drinking, listening, sleeping and what’s not!  Positive messages of encouragement come from loved ones and colleagues; my daughters keep serving me healthy food. But I must stay indoors and aloof. And then, like every beginning has its end, just like any other typical rural country side, this entire valley gets wrapped up in deathly silence except for the regular barking of the dogs and the sound of few lorries plying. And that is when I lay my head on my pillow and started journeying into a yet another world burying alive all the events of the day. This monotonous routine is what I have to follow for the next seven days as a mandatory Covid-19 protocol especially when you come from so-called red zone areas like Delhi.

Past few months were quite busy months for me and my family. We all (my small family) had to travel to Delhi on alternate basis and each time, as usual we had to undergo mandatory one-week quarantine at house of peace and dialogue. My mother, who is aged 88 had to undergo surgery. And my elder sister was there by her side 24/7. In fact, they had been staying like man and shadow all these years. Everything was good until my mother’s sole caretaker, my sister became weak and got sick probably because of too much responsibilities. That was when I had to take an emergency leave from my school and landed in Delhi for their timely rescue. My prompt decision was right. Acha, my sister was on the brink of her desperation. Believe it or not, it was my first time I ever broke down within seeing my sister, who used to be lively and jolly, looking weak n lost; the hostel looking like a deserted warehouse because of the renovation going on and on top of that my mother lying in her bed looking even weaker and more pathetic than sister. In spite of her poor constitution, having seen me arrived, she mustered lots of courage to get up to welcome me. I hugged her but it was like I was hugging not my mother but a skeletal. The environment at home was cold and dismal. I pretended to be strong and unperturbed but deep within, I was crying like a small child. That moment I realized and thanked God that I came on the right time. I made up my mind to get them back on the track as fast as I could. And the countdown began.

In the midst of all these Covid-19 cases soaring high especially in Delhi and the forever extending lockdown, the life was quite tough but not as tough as to break me down physically and emotionally. I asked myself, if I broke down then who would take care of my mother and sister. I always tried to be strong and prayed to almighty for the strength and power. There were colleagues of my sister who had been with us through thick and thin and for whom our family is forever grateful. Choephel la, a family friend and a colleague of my sister came into our life like a Christian soul. Without his support, things would have turned bad. Prayers, support and love coming from our family also gave me strength to my already energy deprived body. Another first time in my life had I realized that I could do so many work! Yes, I did everything I could to help my mom and sister regain their health.I became a cook, Dhobi, janitor, son, husband, father, brother and all these roles I was able to discharge satisfactorily. In this way, I had stayed in Delhi for little more than 2 weeks like a novice soldier undergoing a strict life training. A body conscious would have rejoiced having shed few weights! That didn’t bring any joy. What brought me joy was the sight of my loved ones convalescing and regaining the glow on their faces. Acha(sister) tested negative finally on 20th May which meant she could once again take care of our mother. And when I reached a point where I could say “Yes, they are OK”, I decided to return to my school where I had other engagements as well. Both my sister and Amala consented and I am back here nursing my hot cup of green tea and scribbling my feelings here randomly. Contrarily our parting became happier than our meeting.

I realise that it is important to accept when the life unfolds. You should accept graciously the misfortunes like the way you accept the blessings. Nothing is permanent, time heals everything. So, have patience and be positive during your negative time. I did that too and let my mom and sis follow too. And that has made all the difference.

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Have a firm belief in yourself; you will achieve your dreams

 What if I said, “We will achieve whatever we aspire for in our life?” Isn’t this a very good then? Because that is what we all want eventually and that is the reason why we are all working so hard. 

Some of us want to be rich; some of us want to be famous; some of us want to travel here and there or to faraway places; some of us want to become something specific, achieve something great: the list goes on. Even now, you probably have your own aspirations and dreams and that is why you are studying hard, isn’t it? But do you actually believe that you can achieve what you want, like this? 

The truth is, you probably do not believe you can, just like anybody else! We all have negative beliefs, limiting beliefs, and later become very sceptical; we probably lose faith, even if we utilise well all the capacities the God has given us. Do you know why? 

It is because, basically, our thoughts are negatively driven. If you don’t believe, try this right now. Pause. Reflect on how many thoughts have come into your mind over the last few hours. See how many of those were positive, and how many of those were negative. Definitely, you will have had more negative thoughts, unless you are a special person. And whether you believe or not, it is this doubt or negativity that eventually stops you from achieving your aspirations. You may no longer have the firm faith in your dreams that we had in innocence when we were small. 

Do you remember the kind of faith we had in our parents when we were kids? There wasn’t a single doubt; we were not sceptical about our parents. When our parents said jump, we would jump blindly, knowing our parents would catch us. You must be able to remember many such trusting incidents from your own life. Now, as we grow up, that faith has gradually diminished because of our experiences and surroundings. That is why we tend to be very sceptical and even cynical about everything. Even if somebody is saying good things to you, you tend to doubt the intention of the other person. It is even worse if the other person says bad things about you. So, these negative thoughts from a sceptical mind (and even our own negative beliefs formed early) may stop us from achieving our aspirations or dreams. 

Most of the successful people in this world held a firm belief that they could with effort achieve whatever they aspired to in their life. They are very affirmative about this fundamentally, and that is why they achieve it all. Of course, working hard is important. But as far as working hard is concerned, most people work hard in their lives in their own capacity. So, this is same for all, whether you are successful or not. Thus, the only difference is, our thoughts, our beliefs and our sceptical nature. If you can change your thoughts from being sceptical to perfect faith in yourself, you may be able to see the magic work for you. 

There is a book I read recently, entitled, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. In this book, she talks about ‘the secret’ everybody is looking for. And guess what, the secret is so simple that people don’t believe it can be real. Sometimes, we tend to disbelieve simple things, isn’t this true? We tend to believe when something is very difficult and majestic. So, the author was saying that whatever we want in our life is already here in this world, waiting for us to pick it up. But the problem is, we are not able to attract that result towards us. Why is this? She says we are not creating a good, firm picture of what we want in our life, in our mind. Thus there is goal for no attraction to manifest to. We are creating in our mind the pictures of things we don’t want. So, how can we possibly get the things we want! The mental picture we have in our mind (from our negative beliefs about ourselves) does not match the thing we want in our life. If the mental picture we have in our mind is vivid, strong and free from doubt, we should be able to attract the thing we want. To explain it in simple terms, if you want to become a great doctor, just create a great picture of yourself as a great doctor in your mind and have a firm belief and a childlike faith. The law of attraction will attract and make it true. 

So, that is the philosophy of The Secret. We can make it happen. Thus, have a firm belief in yourself, and be clear about your goals, and you will find ways to achieve what you desire in your life. If you want to be successful in your life, you can become successful. Please try it.

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4th July 2020, our Independence Day?

Today is 4th July and Americans are celebrating today as their Independence Day. Usually, there used to be lots of celebration and public gathering all over some designated place but I wonder how that pomp and gaiety celebration would be due to this pandemic. Anyways, I remember celebrating 4th July once in Iowa State with my host family in the year 2010. Well, most of the nations have their own Independence Day and they celebrate their day with great pomp and show. I just wish our day come soon at least in my lifetime. I am very optimistic about this keeping in view the recent boycott movement towards Communist China by the world nation. In the meantime, for us Tibetans, His Holiness’ 85th birthday is round the corner and there was online preparation going on in full swing. We recently had our Amala’s Gayton celebrated online. This year was totally different. 

Tomorrow is Zamling Chesang and I got a WhatsApp message in my COVID-19 group that there would be incense burning ceremony at school Gompa at 8 am. I noted it down and shared the announcement in my block WhatsApp group. My morning routine went normal as usual. I also prepared a sumptuous lunch for all three of us. After lunch, apart from working on my presentation, there wasn’t much serious work I was involved in. So, I was browsing my mobile and suddenly saw a youtube link on my messenger. Having found it was from my reliable friend, I click the link and suddenly saw myself fully engrossed in the movie titled Tashi.

One of my friends shared this movie. The moment I got this link, I just clicked the link because I was hooked on by its title. Well, I really enjoyed watching the movie. It was a little more than 1 and a half hour but I completed the whole movie waiting for the moment where the word “Tashi” would fit in the movie. It was a really nice movie that carried a strong message of love, sacrifice, and family bonding. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. As soon as I finished watching, I shared the link on my Facebook page. Such a simple movie can be made on an important day to day life topics without having to pour lots of budgets. 

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Thank You Amala Jetsun Pema La

Ama Jetsun Pema la, respectfully and affectionately called ‘Amala’ by thousands of orphans, semi-orphans and underprivileged children like myself who had their physical and emotional needs met and fulfilled during those critical times in our refugee history, is no less than a figure to be worshipped, not least by me and my family. I have personally been an undeniable ward of TCV right from my early childhood until I started working back in TCV as a full-fledged staff member.

My brother who worked at the time and still works in TCV got me admitted into the school back in the early eighties because of [my poor family background/our struggling family situation]. This was a great relief for my caring parents who had three more children to look after. I was able to complete my entire education without having to pay for anything. I am a successful teacher and a father now.

Today, when I look back at my life, Amala and TCV have played a very significant role. When I got married, I knew that my life partner had also been brought up and supported by Amala and TCV until she was able to stand on her own feet. Now, our three children are receiving the same love and care from TCV.

Just like us, there are thousands of people all across the globe who were once affected, strengthened and educated by TCV. Behind this iconic institution stood our great Amala, assisted by so many devoted and committed staff members. And today, on this auspicious occasion of TCV’s 60th Anniversary, from many continents, thousands of alumni are sending messages of support and paying tribute to TCV and Amala in their own ways. Our beloved Amala occupies a very special place in everyone’s heart.

Tibetan Children’s Village School (TCV) began in 1960 with a small group of young children looked after by a few dedicated staff members under the kind blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his two sisters, and today it still fulfills the parental and educational needs of thousands of young children. To date, more than fifty thousand children have been educated by TCV, and today these children are contributing back to the society as a whole, and our Tibetan society, in a wide range of ways, according to their own capacity.

Today, TCV is celebrating this incredible 60th anniversary and it is a very proud moment for all members of TCV, and especially Ama Jetsun Pema la, and grateful acknowledgment for her unwavering support and leadership. For the welfare of the Tibetan children, early in the difficult and tumultuous days of exile, she took on the huge responsibility of carrying forward the noble legacy of her elder sister, the late Tsering Dolma la. Had it not been for Amala’s sound vision, common sense and strong leadership, together with the treasured help from sponsors and dedicated staff members, TCV would not have survived all these times and challenges, and would not be standing as gracefully as it is now, 60 years later.

Because of her selfless sacrifices and unwavering dedication to the education of our most vulnerable children, and to the welfare of the struggling people in our community in general, she has been consequently been showered with myriads of well-deserved awards from various countries and organizations. Among the many, two are the ‘Mother of Tibet’ award from our own Tibetan Parliament in Exile in 1995, and the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India in 2018.

Last but not the least, I feel privileged here to express in these words the extensive love and gratitude we all feel towards our one and only Amala, TCV staff members, sponsors and well-wishers on this special occasion of the 60th anniversary of this great family.

Long-life to all and long live this treasured, beloved family.

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