Somewhere I Lost My Losar

Somewhere along the path, I
lost it, don’t know where or when.

It wasn’t a one-fine-day incident.
As I grew up it just got left behind,
very slowly, and I didn’t go back for it.
It was there when as a kid I used to wait
for the annual momo dinner,
when we lined up for gifts that came
wrapped in newspapers in our
refugee school, it was there when
we all gained a year together, before
birthdays were cakes and candles.

Somewhere along the path, I
lost it, don’t know where or when.

When new clothes started to feel
stiff and firecrackers frightening, when
our jailed heroes ate in pig sties there,
or were dead, heads smashed
against the wall as we danced
to Bollywood numbers here,
when the boarding school and uniforms
took care of our daily needs, when
family meant just good friends,
sometime when Losar started to mean
a new year, few sacred routines,
somehow, I lost my Losar.

Somewhere along the path, I
lost it, don’t know where or when.

Colleged in seaside city, when it was
still Bombay, sister’s family on pilgrimage,
uncle in Varanasi, mother grazing cows
in South India, still need to report
to Dharamsala police, couldn’t get train tickets,
too risky to try waiting list, and it’s
three days, including return journey
it’s one week. Even if I go,
other siblings may not find the time. Adjusting
timings, it’s been 20 years without a Losar.

Somewhere along the path, I
lost it, don’t know where or when.

Losar is when we the juveniles and bastards
call home, across the Himalayas and cry
into the wire. Losar is some plastic flowers
and a momo party. And then in 2008
when our people rode horses, shouting “Freedom”
against rattling machine guns, when they
died like flies in the Olympics’ spectacle,
we shaved our heads bald and threatened
to die by fasting, but failed. I
couldn’t die, it’s forbidden by law.

Somewhere along the path, I
lost it, don’t know where or when.
Somewhere, I lost my Losar.

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There are 6 comments for “Somewhere I Lost My Losar”

  1. “We shaved our heads bald and threatened
    to die by fasting, but failed …”

    This line indeed really is coherent with our society … we vow to do something yet we are always lured back into lethargic, apathy and sluggishness … we all have this burning will to do something about but we keep postponing … it may seem harsh or bitter to swallow but that’s what is reality … hats off to you, Tsundue lak …

  2. Dear Tenzin,
    I am Arpita Chatterjee and i live in Kolkata. I have lived long in Nepal, Mussoorie, Gangtok, and in other Himalayan towns, hence my love for Tibetan Language, Culture, and Religion. I know a bit of the language though not enough. I read your “Somewhere I Lost My Losar” and some of your other poems and was moved and overwhelmed. I would be grateful if you could send me some of your Tibetan poems along with their translations. I would love to read more of them.
    Thanking you,
    Arpita Chatterjee

  3. i used to read Tsundue la’s poem from long back like when i was 15 or 16 but never understood what he meant but now as i grow up i started to feel the pain he have and all other Tibetans feel …
    Thank u so much my soul brother … i am looking forward to seek his advice …

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