Just come to my mind My thoughts will scratch out your face Just open your mouth My silence will smash your jaws — Vasko Popa
Frozen ink, assumed images, vanishing hopes and withering paints on his brushes — exile is an ordeal. Tenzing Rigdol typifies today’s displaced the dislocated people roaming in the space of others. He was born in Nepal, grew up in India and lives in the US. Along this peripatetic life of a refugee in search of his roots, he has found words and paints as his tools. In this collection Rigdol opens his box full of questions, confusing answers, strange turns, anger and desperation. When pain and resentments begin to overflow like crumpled papers from a waste bin, his words dance in agony.
Pour me a glass full. Light me a cigarette. Sing to me our anthem. Let my tears Tame my phantom.
Never having seen Tibet, which hides beyond the great Himalayan Mountains and is being endlessly tormented by the marching boots of the occupying forces, the young man’s love for his country grows. Some may say this love is notional, imaginary, romantic or just emotional. But the blood that runs in him is the same blood that ran in Songtsen Gampo and Lang Dharma, and the voice that sings these words is the same voice that nomads sing in the northern grassland of the land of snow. These are not rhetoric but chants of an estranged son.
Heaven soaked in honey Is far less seductive to me Than you My beloved country.
But when he comes out of such blissful chants and into a world of reality, he knows that the “beloved country” is stolen by an alien force. And hence he tunes into another gear. Words must reflect the actuality of his dislocation. In a desert storm I lost my home. All that I owned Were swiftly blown.
At times he hears the warrior songs of Gear’s generals, spears raised in the blue sky and the hoofs of their horse pounding on the frozen rivers of his native land. Snorting of the galloping stallions and the voice of Cesar commanding his general invoke a different spirit in the poet. Words must necessarily echo the passion within the poet’s heart.
Bang! Bang! Into the gullies of Lassa Two bombs explode. One flares a Chinese flag That ends in a clustered smoke.
The other one blasts Mao’s portrait Scattering it into the crowd.
The angst felt by Tenzing Rigdol is the same torment felt by anyone who faces such similar obstacles in life. The need to let out the pressure is urgent. Such furious passions in Rigor’s heart bubble in the hearts of exiled youth as resonated by another diasporas poet-activist.
Jam a bullet I do not think from the tin shell I leap for that thrilling 2-second life and die with the dead. I am the life you left behind. — Tenzin Tsundue
Still another writer living in the far corner of California writes.
At dawn, when beyond the New Mexico plains The sun shimmers with its first rays Into the blue, three fighter jets take off Screaming Rangzen into the void of Now
— Topden Tsering
Vasko Popa, the Serbian poet, in “Give Me Back my Rags”, too shouts this — loud and clear.
Get out of my living abyss Of the bare father-tree within me Get out of my bursting head Get out just get out
Rigdol’s poems give a piquant sense of loss and hope, estrangement and meeting and above all, a dear drive to survive all odds. He writes with the passion, determination and strength of a wild yak. The result is this bindle of verses reflecting his youthful love for Tibet. His words are clear and his ideas abundant. May this be the first child from his marriage with ‘WORDS.”
Item Code: NAD454 Author: Tenzing Rigdol Cover: Paperback Edition: 2008 Publisher: Tibet Writes ISBN: 819041741X Size: 7.5 inch X 5.0 inch Pages: 73 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 94 gms
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