Consider; leaving your homeland at a tender age of ten...consider; staying away from your parents for fifteen years...consider; working hard and being able to enter one of the most reputed institution of our country in the midst of numerous adversities.....
It's certainly a tough consideration.
Lhakpa Tsering; a student of Madras School of Social Work has lived it.
This young,soft spoken Tibetian from MSSW is my class mate and just in a span of four weeks he has become one of the most loved friend in our class.
I had a conversation with Lhakpa regarding his past,present and his promising future.
Saikat: Brother; how would you like to introduce yourself to my dear readers?
Lhakpa: I am a Tibetian and have been staying in India for the past 15 years.
Saikat: What are the simmilarities in Tibet and India?
Lhakpa: I feel culturally it's simmilar especially because both the countries believe in non violence and have deep spiritual awareness.
Saikat: From your childhood memories what aspects of Tibet do you miss the most?
Lhakpa:Well!! I miss everything about Tibet and feel deeply emotional about what the country offered me during my childhood.What I brought along with me in India was the Tibetian values I learnt there. In Tibet; the bonding between friends and families is of greatest importance. We love fostering relationships with abundance of love and mutual respect.Values ,spirituality and relationships are much more important to us than money or material gains.
Saikat: Do you regret the fact that you left Tibet?
Lhakpa: I regret leaving Tibet as it's really tough to leave one' s motherland and to stay away from parents at the age of 10 years. But I do not regret coming to India as the country has supported us and I have developed great friendship with Indian people. The education which I have recieved here has also been great.
Saikat: How difficult was it for you to leave Tibet?
Lhakpa: At the age of 10 years; it was tough to recognize the events happening around me.I just listened to my parents and followed their instructions. Being away from parents was the toughest part. As a kid; I used to wonder why are they telling me to go away from them. It must have been equally tough for them too.Later; I realised why they decided to do so.It was also difficult to adjust with the climatic change and food initially.
Saikat: Since; you are talking about food; I am tempted to ask which dish you liked the most in Tibet?
Lhakpa: Definately; the momos but even now I do enjoy eating them in a Tibetian restaurant near Loyola College.
Saikat: We should go there during a weekend. Anyways; Now that you have joined one of the best institution of our country; where do you see yourself in the future?
Lhakpa: I would like to work in India but my dream is to have a Training and Development company in Tibet. I want to focus on Institutional training and when the corporate culture in Tibet grows and prospers; I would also get into Corporate Training.
Saikat: What is your vision for Tibet?
Lhakpa: I want it to be like Switzerland. It's already blessed with great scenic beauty. I want it to be a favourite tourist destination and a strong economy.It should be called the 'Switzerland of Asia'.
Saikat: What is your message to the Tibetian youth?
Lhakpa: Excel in whatever you choose to do in your life and always have a firm belief in non violence and mutual respect. Be the perfect ambassador of Tibet by always keeping the Tibetian values in your mind and heart.
Saikat:Please tell me more about Tibetian Values?
Lhakpa: I personally believe that it signifies mutual respect, non violence,courage and excellence.
Saikat: What's your message to the Tibetian youth in India?
Lhakpa: Please embrace the oppurtunities to learn every day. Education has a lot to offer so be educated and share your learning with others. Always remember that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Saikat: Tell us about your experience in India?
Lhakpa: It's been very good but I really miss my parents a lot. Indians have been very supportive and I have Indian friends who are lovely. Especially; my experience in Trichy[he did his graduation there] has been fantastic.
Saikat: If this is your last day in India and you get a platform to bid goodbye to everyone; What would you say?
Lhakpa: You guys are rocking!!!!! This country will remain close to my heart forever.
Saikat: And if you meet your parents today; what would you tell them?
Lhakpa: [ He appears emotional] Don't worry about me. I am happy!!! but I miss you all.....
Saikat: Do you have a message for His Holiness; Dalai Lama?
Lhakpa: Thanks for the efforts to keep the Tibetian Identity deep in our heart and soul. I admire and respect your message for peace in the entire world.
Saikat: What's your message for the Chineese people?
Lhakpa: We love and respect you but we want to live as Tibetians.
Saikat: What's your message to the Chineese Govt?
Lhakpa: Please; let us live and prosper as Tibetians. We keenly look forward to foster a healthy relationship of mutual respect and love.
Saikat: What are your views on the current Olympics at Beijing?
Lhakpa: I support and respect the spirit of Olympic Games. But I also want the Chineese Govt to have greater respect for Human Rights.
Saikat: Finally; If you get married to an Indian girl then will you take her to Tibet or remain in India?
Lhakpa: [Smiles] I guess I will speak to her and if she is keen to visit Tibet then I would surely take her but I am completely sure that I will take my kids to Tibet and show them it's beauty and culture.