In an interesting venture of Motorola Moto G promotions that invites Letter to India, features a Tibetan girl, Tenzin Tsomo’s heart touching Thank You India letter. The letter has so perfectly accounted the common emotions of Tibetans born in exile. The letter is published in The Quint and the excerpt is below:
I am a child of this land, yet I don’t belong here. I am sorry I feel this way but that is the truth. Long ago, my grandparents left Tibet and came to India. As refugees, they lived in poverty at a road construction site in Manali and as they built new roads, they also built a new life out of broken dreams.
My mother was born in a small jhuggi at that very road construction site and my father was from Tibet. I don’t remember if my parents ever told me that I didn’t belong to India, but I remember them telling me I was a Tibetan. They never told me as a child that I was a refugee, but I kind of figured that out myself when I was the odd one out at the Sunrise pre-school in Ghaziabad. Or maybe, I was just really smart.
Anyway, I never felt alienated as a child. That dreadful feeling is something which grew bigger in my heart as I grew older. A sense of alienation is not a good feeling to have, especially when you are in a room full of people. And if that ‘room full of people’ turns out to be a country of 1.252 billion Indians…then you can do the math. ”
Growing up, I was taught to be thankful to India and Indians for letting us stay here. When I joined a boarding school for Tibetans in Dharamsala, I was told that eventually we are all going back to Tibet…after we have defeated the Chinese (obviously).
It might be difficult for some people to understand why I, like many Tibetans, feel alienated when we lead a remarkably good life in India. Believe me, sometimes, it is difficult even for me explain it, despite feeling it too often and too strongly.
But please don’t mistake my sense of alienation as a sign of ingratitude. I don’t look Indian at all and I don’t follow cricket…so that makes me very un-Indian, I suppose. But the fact that I am torn between feeling ‘not at home’ when I am ‘already home’ proves that I am bound to India by blood and soul.
I am not trying to patronise you – just like I don’t patronise my own parents. I am opening up to you after two decades of silence, hoping that you’ll understand if I feel like a stranger in your home, even after everything that you have done for me. You have not only been a kind host to our people but you are also our godparent. And if I take part in protests, demanding a free Tibet…remember that my country is dying, remember that I am in pain, remember that I really need to go home and it is crucial that you understand.
PS Next time that a Chinese leader visits India, please don’t arrest me when I haven’t even started protesting yet. At least, let me tell you my bit of the story!
Dear India, Thank you.