“She disciplined her memory to give up counting her losses. She gave her suffering one name: exile.” Opening her A Home in Tibet
(2013), Tsering Wangmo Dhompa unveils the inescapable torture that time, remembrance and even hope became, for her mother, and a whole people. “My mother,” she adds, “My mother did not return home during her lifetime.” In Old Norse, heimr
was the residence
, the home
, but also, the world
. Homeless, world-less. Suddenly, the stories of generations get stuck in time. Without a space, without a world, this is what a people permanently risks: meandering only in memories, with their concerns whirling helplessly, like a destination-less exodus, calling in solely on the shrinking islands of exile lands. So, why is this memory not reaching at least our minds, as 28 March was, in 1959, the date of the dissolution of the Government of Tibet by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China? Caught in-between politico-religious plays, Tibet would fall prey to an era too familiar with wide-scale displacements, not so different perhaps from those of South Asia or the Middle East, a decade before. But, as peoples stay apart, and as we prefer chatting of economic capacities than of the project of genuine multi-cultural cohabitations, histories indeed become just memories. A people remains in a hospitable land for ten, twenty, fifty years. There, in a few hilly towns; there, in one or two colonies of our big cities. Segregated, still, until memories fade, and perhaps soon, die. As LILA Inter-actions looks up north, and looks around, to recall and remember the question of Tibet in India this week, Abanti Bhattacharya
addresses the passivity imposed upon Tibet in the realm of geopolitics, caught between the interests and anxieties of its two giant neighbours: China, and India. Agneya Singh
keeps the flame alive, and shining, celebrating the force of resistance of the Tibetan struggle in India, even as it suffers from a lack of leadership, and accountability. He reflects on the arts as possibly the needed new space for the metamorphosis of this energy, to continue transforming memories into change.
On the fast track, still, there are moments when an intimation or two arrive to remind us of how human language is closely involved in the design of our physical world. And one remembers some of the earliest narratives on nature, various creation myths from diverse communities. When did our language give rise to a gap in communication between the human world and the rest of nature’s creations? When did a radical opposition come in between our knowledge
and our creativity
as they figure in our universities, affecting our very mindsets? It seems it is no longer the Word that is first, but words. The words of our languages, deaf to one another. Today, the words of science should limit themselves to the knowledge born of objective observation, while those of poetry would not dare step out of the subjective beautification of emotions. It is long back, indeed, that poetry was wedded to science, and the couple has since seemingly fallen into a Platonic love-hate companionship, through the tempests and the deserts of those slow centuries. But the most familiar and once cherished symbols of our skies, sun and moon, reveal their dance, still, and align, like a few words becoming sentence and perhaps verse. Here is our chance to revive the youthful passion of the old couple. As the celestial event of a total solar eclipse meets the World Poetry Day in our calendars, scientist Gauhar Raza
walks the memory lane, and tries to spot how the simultaneous growth of his two passions could only reveal their deep intimacy. Writer George Szirtes
resorts to his quill, no, his keyboard, to muse over the new romance of the poet with science’s dearest offspring: technology. As techne
gets smaller and smaller, inserting itself in our spaces and times, making becomes naming. New doors open for language and creation, but new challenges, too.