About my parents and how I became Thangka painter:

My name is Tseten Dorjee was given by Jamyang Khentse Chhoe kyi Lodroe, and also Thinlay Gyatso, Parents told me that Thinlay Gyatso was given me by Ganden Thri Rinpoche( due to of my illness in my childhood) and was born in the year 1960 at the town called Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. My both parents are from Tibet, my father (Tsonponla) is from eastern part of Tibet called Dagyab and was son of a Tantric master with dreadlocks called Tari lama (Real name is Lama Lhawang) who used to stay in the mountains most of his life, and my mother belongs to the Tsang province called Rimbung, my parents left Tibet for pilgrims to India and when they wanted to return back, it was too late, chinese occupied Tibet, since then my father did some business and was going well ,he helped many escaped Tibetan people in Darjeeling gave food and shelter,

After some years he got food poisoned in the place called Sonada. And became very weak, seeing this my mother spent all of their money for his treatment such as performing big ceremonial offerings plus doctor's medications, finally he was cured and again they worked very hard to live, worked as the porter and rickshaw puller (two wheeler pulled by a person for public transportation), slowly they made it and having good life, and they bought horses to make business it was going well, unfortunately the sudden flood appeared and everything was swept away, cleaned once again but the Government Officers of that time were very friendly and kind, so they helped with some money to start the new business.

My father started some other business and this also went well enough for few years but again part of the town was caught by fire including our home in 1971, that was really big fire I have seen this disaster, I was 11 years old just watching our home is in big flame...tears..tears..nothing else,..

Nothing left …

And some of my parent's relatives and friends donated and helped us to find a place to live again, my parents were really fed up and felt like giving it up with the life.. but seeing their children (us) they have to try again to think about our future, so they worked again as before but not so successful as before this time they managed earn very limited.

In 1974 my father found I'm good and interested in drawings and paintings so he asked me whether I want to learn something about Thangka paintings, I said "what is that?" and he showed one sketch of called Wheel of life and told me to draw a copy, and I had no difficulty doing that work, and after I saw a small painting of Vajrapani ( with fire ) I tried to draw looking at it but I could not manage to find out the starting point at all for hours ….seeing this my father asked me" why haven't you not started still?? I told him it's very difficult to find the starting point. and he said "Do you want to learn about this art"? I thought as a hobby.." yes !I love to" and then he took me to an old monk teacher with a white-scarf and LOMA (Bamboo woven basket) full of breads he lived in a small wooden house with a little window, so dark that I could hardly see his face, my father explained about my interest in art and requested his favor to teach,

The monk said ok you may go and leave the child with me so I will test him first, my father became very happy to hear this.. But for me I am not very exited instead I was afraid what is going to happen next?? just after my father left, teacher drew something and gave it to me saying to draw a copy, it was the head of Snow lion. I finished in few minutes and after he gave me some other sketch of a Goddess of Music called PE-LHAMO seems complicated but I drew as it is, and showed this to him, A big smile at his face, when he was looking at it somebody knocked the door and came inside with big frame work stretched painting, Asking teacher about some corrections when they finished the teacher showed him my drawing to that man and he said it is very beautiful Genla (teacher) when did you draw this ?? teacher said" this is not my drawing but this boy drew…" and the man said "Really ??Unbeleiveable!!" and then my teacher told me that I can join from tomorrow and gave me few home works too. So in the morning I help my mother for cleaning fetching water…and washing millets for Tibetan wine to sell for our daily bread, after that I go to School called Central School for Tibetans Darjeeling, at 3:30 the School gets off and I go to learn Thangka painting class just below my School, at 6pm. I'm returning home which is 30 minutes walk, at home again I have to help my mother washing dishes of wines and attend the customers until they leave at late night. I have to clean everything in the house, only then I'll can finish my homework and study…but very tired I can hardly open my eyes, like this we spent years.

One evening in the year 1977 when I was coming home from my school, one person just called me and said your "father has been taken to Hospital suddenly, go quick" Oh my God! what happened? not again" and rushed towards home, I saw my mother was crying and so many people in my house, I said "what happened "? My mother hugged me and cried again and said, "your father fainted suddenly and became unconscious, and I ran towards Hospital that is far as 1 hour 30 minutes walk. And there I saw my father lying in bed senseless, everybody was so silent.

I asked one lady is he going to be fine? she also cried and said "why with this noble person? the God is not fair!! but do not worry everything will be just fine" some pain was inside my throat and chest, tears rolled down my cheeks I just tried to cover my face with my father's blanket trying to stop my crying voice. suddenly somebody held me and took me outside. it just went on like this for few months and doctor said it was stroke good news that he is alive, bad news is he is half paralyzed, need to do exercises. Afterwards we took him home and looked after him with every possible medicine, I use to take him for a walk slowly.. slowly.., and in few years he really improved a lot, he can walk approximately 2 to 3 Kilometers with support and he was very happy.

In the year 1979 few Tibetan people died through sudden stroke due to falling on the ground hearing this news my father got mentally affected that in case he fell he may die too, so he was afraid that he might fell accidentally, I tried to explain him from many ways that nothing will happen because I'm always with him, but no use he stayed in bed counting his beads and for "Om mani padme hum" and his daily prayers,


Some of my experiences in Thangka paintings:

In 1980 I had to leave for south India to paint with my teacher at Gyumed Tantric University, we stayed there for six whole years. In these years we painted many paintings for many great Tibetan Monasteries in exile such as Sera, Drepung, Ganden and Gyumed the most etc…. seeing one of our set of 41 paintings called Ze-Gya -Paksam-thrishing (Past lives of Buddha) each painting's size s are five feet in length, H.H. the Dalai Lama ordered us to work on the mural painting from the first Dalai lama to the fourteenth Dalai Lama, which we started to work in the year 1996 my teacher expired suddenly in between, so I wrote to the office of H.H. the Dalai Lama asking what to do with the left out paintings, he told me to continue the work and I finished it in two years, After completing the paintings I approached personally hoping to have audience but Mr. Lobsang Jinpala (H.H's personnel assistant) told me that it is not possible. In fact I went all the way from Sikkim to Dharamsala leaving behind my ill mother and sick wife, at first I felt sad but in other hand I remembered His Holiness saying many years ago.. "The people who cannot meet me should not disappoint, I'm in them with their faith always, and it is not important to meet me but to listen and do what I say" so I have deep faith that I felt very close to him and returned back home happily.
My first time trip to Germany in 1992:

In the year 1989 I was introduced with 9th. Incarnated lama called H.E. the Dagyab Kyabgon ( L.S. Dagyab Rinpoche /lecturer in Bonn university in Bonn, Germany ) I worked for him on two books on German language and Thangkas. In 1991 he invited me to Germany to give some information and workshop about sacred Tibetan Thangka paintings for one whole year, I was worried about my paralyzed father and I said to my family "how can I leave my father like this, I don't want to go that far" hearing this my father said it is very difficult get this kind of job opportunity, do not worry about me you have served us very well, even when I die you have no regrets and I shall pray for you, do you know that in Dagyab Tibet, it was very difficult in have audience of dagyab Rinpoche, but you have chance to serve him, that's Great! do not refuse going, I was so confused what to do and what not ? and after few days one evening as usual my father asked me to bring an Indian sweet biscuit called KHAJUR usually he eats two, but that evening he ate only one instead of two biscuits and went to sleep, suddenly there was some strange painful sound, when I went to see it was my father's voice, I put on the light and saw my father had a shock and senseless, my mother was crying with me. I called our neighbors, many people came in and said do not make noise.

Suddenly I ran towards doctor, he asked what and when? I explained all, he gave me some pills to give him and said if nothing happened by morning, then I will come and see. He was huffing and puffing all the time, and I thought it is time to show him the photo of H.H. the Dalai Lama and I told him crying do not think about anything except H.H. the Dalai Lama there is nothing to be feared, just try to pray and think of all the Gods and Goddesses you know. All of your children are doing well, so do not worry about anything, and I gave him all the precious water and blessed Tibetan herbal medicines. The Doctor came in the morning and he said he would live up to 6in the morning for the longest. Exactly at 6 in the morning he passed away. As every Tibetan does I made offerings to all the Monasteries and most of the Rinpoches in India.

After finishing all the offerings I went to apply for Visa for Germany, and left for Germany next year 1992 and it was successful year, after that I came back home, and worked for the people, And I'm introduced to the royal princess of Sikkim called Semo Thinlay Ongmo la, through my painting I was asked to paint in the name of her late royal grand daughter, and the princess was impressed to see my works and recommended to many high families here at Gangtok, and became little popular. Even I'm introduced with his royal King's sister-in-law and worked for her painting too and still sometime I work for them.


My first time trip to Tibet:

I have a very good American friend called Marc Gold since 12 years, We lost contact for few years and last year He suddenly appeared in front of me without any information like magic, I, my wife, Marc and his friend called Laura went to see around Gangtok including Rumtek Monastery, there we found a monk who was doing some oracle for some Tibetans, so I asked whether Marc and Laura has anything to ask him, and Laura asked about her job and studies, and Marc asked …how about going to Tibet next year, I said "WHAT?!" He said "YES! ask him" I asked him and he just threw his dice three times and said "VERY AUSPICIOUS and it is Horse Year too if you visit Mount Kailash very good moment to go" I didn't believe it, and Marc said do you want to go with me? So we can help poor and helpless Tibetan living in Tibet that you can be as translator for me too. I said if possible why not? He said we will see, and left for home, everybody was very tired…

Marc and Laura left to U.S.A. and kept our contacts through e-mail. One day he wrote me that our trip is becoming true asking me whether I'm sure about this trip, and I was still not believing and kept on saying … Yes of course! Yes of course! Yes of course! Suddenly he wrote me that we are really going to Tibet in June together with his helping project called 100 Friends so I can be helpful in translating and informed me where to come at Kathmandu Nepal, and then I was thrilled that he was serious, Wow! I'm seeing Tibet my lovely country. And he said you would feel sad, angry and happy. But keep it inside try to control yourself, think about what Buddha and H.H. the Dalai Lama says. But I had no idea what is going to happen. I left for Kathmandu and met Marc, we were very happy to see each other again, when we went to Nepali travel agent they said which passport do you have, I said Indian passport, he said, oh no! This very difficult, they won't give Visa for those who have Indian passport with Tibetan name, I asked are you sure? He said yes! Just few days’ back two people with same description, they could not manage to get the Visa.

Anyway you can still try. So we went to apply, waited for long time and opened their shutter and let us in we were on queue for long, there I saw many Tibetans had bad feeling about them but I think there might be some Tibetans having same feelings like I had but which one ?? very difficult to find out so I decided better not to talk with anyone, there was one high Rinpoche some people were getting blessing from him. At first I wanted to talk with him but my heart says "NO don't talk may be he is on Chinese side? so I didn't care to talk to him. I was just standing in line there I found many Tibetans not getting Visa, in front of me was a Chinese guy with lot of papers in his hand but was refused, he was asking the reason but no response. that officer asked me to give my passport and a form. He spoke to me in Chinese language I said "NO Chinese!…SPEAK ENGLISH..! and then he laughed and said " do you want to go on Monday"?

I said "NO, NO! I'm going on Friday" He laughed again and gave a piece of paper. I showed this to our guide and he said "I don't believe you succeed, you had it congratulations" it's so funny and annoying that I had to ask Chinese to go to my own country.

Travel agency told us that they have to send and receive the fax of permit for Lhasa. After two days later the guide came to us saying that something has gone wrong, when we rushed towards the office they said my name on the fax is cut off, circled with pen and sealed, the guide said this never happened before, looks like they don't like my visit to Tibet, I was so sad that I cannot visit my homeland, it was so depressing and I felt like some Volcano is trying to erupt from my chest. At the same moment Marc held me and said I will also not go if you cannot go…do not worry we can still go to Ladakh or BudhGaya in India and work for 100 friends project there, I was silent… due to sadness…and I said this really Shit !! I had big dream to go to Tibet in fact, there I wanted to pray for my parents and teacher and bring their memories, which they always dreamt to return back to our homeland and it never became true, so I wanted to bring their wishes and prayers it is still glittering in my eyes.

Marc tried his best to recover me from every angle also told me that I have to be happy because if I am stopped, I am one of the person that Chinese are afraid of, I felt something different myself warm and enthusiastic. This gave me some moral support and I suddenly thought of those Tibetans in need of help, Marc and I thought it is very important to go to Tibet with some helping hands, so I said please do not stop due to me, if you can go I'll be happy too. He said are sure about this? I said very sure please Do it. So we decided and finalized on this.

Meanwhile another guide came and said if you want to go to border and try to enter, risk is yours ..do you want to do this? I said "Yes! I want to try." So we went to the border first we had to have exit stamp, suddenly my guide came to me and said you are called by Nepali check post officer, I went with him and saw that I had not put the entry stamp from Indian-Nepal border, so refusing to let me go to Tibet, we argued for long time there finally one of the Sherpa guy helped me talk with them and said to pay 500/- Nepali currency. I agreed to pay and left and we were walking towards the Tibet now about ten minutes walk with all our luggage.

Finally, we saw a bridge called Nepal-China Friendship Bridge..LIARS!!, I felt like erasing the name of China and writing TIBET instead. And we are crossing the bridge Marc and all other foreign people are taking the picture and videos, I really felt like crying and wished if my parents are here with me, I can feel how they will react and they are inside me, seeing through my eyes and telling me," my dear son this is our real country TIBET, we use to tell about, look and feel it's warmth, Go! Kill all the Chinese" and I really felt like I'm together with my parents and Thangka teacher. But nothing will happen through killings. Killing will not change their policy. We have to be patience, One day for sure Tibet will be free. Until that date I'm praying to God that I may take birth in Tibetan family as a H.H's follower to see this moment. No matter how long.

We were forwarding towards the Chinese officers sitting on the chair at other side of the bridge, which I'm seeing for the first time Chinese in their uniform …hate..hate…and hate.., I felt like entering without showing my passport, but I was helpless …the world knows it is not possible, so I had to stay in line and wait for turn, it was my turn. I gave my passport to him, he looks very young like my children in their teen ages. He looked at me carefully and to my passport spoke Chinese I said nothing and stayed still, he said Indowa means (Indian) stamped and gave it to me. After that Marc was very happy to see this and said we succeeded Thinlay, I said Yes!! Slowly, because I felt that I'm watched, so pretended as I was not that exited, In fact I felt like shouting out with all my strength at the border. But I thought it is not wise to do that way.

We went little further and rode in a truck and traveled for 45 minutes and reached a place called Nyalam ( Main check post) ooh! This is really big check post, actually doesn't look like check post but some prison's Gate. Chinese police all over looking very strict and now I had some feeling that here they will create some problem about my entry. There they were checking one by one very strictly, and it was my turn again the Chinese officer in the counter spoke me in their language, I said no Chinese, speak in English! He does not seems very smart, he said "your father name Tibetan, Why?" I said " I don't know whether my father is Tibetan or not but my grand father was Tibetan for sure," he said "Oh! ok..ok.!" and gave me my passport. And some of our groups asked what he said? I explained all and they all laughed and congratulate me,

One guy asked me why Indian passport for Tibetan. Because I hate to be sealed Chinese visa on Tibetan passport to enter Tibet. I will carry the Tibetan passport when we get our freedom. We were waiting for our bus, there I was watching two Tibetans carrying huge load on their back and a Chinese was shouting at them to stop but I think those Tibetans did not hear him, and that Chinese officer came running towards them and kicked one of their ass, whew! This really put me in fire and very sad, I really wished that could go the same way and hit that nasty Chinese. Sometime felt like I'm dreaming, sometime very strange feelings, very difficult to explain it. The bus trip took 5 full days (sometimes 10 hours on the bus). We passed over the Himalayas over some harrowing cliffs but the driver was really good.

From there the bus took us to a place called NYALAM something 5000mtrs? it was cold wind, every body was having altitude sickness such as headache, head circling, vomiting etc.. I didn't know about and ran towards our bus to get my forgotten things and when I ran back I felt very dizzy and could not move, suddenly a man saw me and told me to be careful not to move fast, so I took rest a bit and went very slowly to my room and drank more water. After a while together with Marc we took slow walk outside and saw some Tibetan people working on the road and houses…and some of the children looks so dirty and torn clothes in their own country felt so pity. Marc said "I told you that have to be very strong to see all these.

Next morning departed from there towards Lha-tse , in route we stopped for a break and two old Tibetan ladies came to us with big shy, I asked whether I can take their picture together with me she said no..no.! very similar to my mother actions, and I suddenly I remembered of my late mother and felt very sad and weeping during our travel ( I hope nobody noticed because I was trying to cover myself) Marc was beside me talking to me but I could not answer, just shook my head for couple of hours there was a pain inside my throat.

We reached at a town called Lhatse, our guide told us to stay here for the night, The Hotel without bathroom, every body were so sad to experience without water. Chinese songs everywhere. SOOOoo IRRITATING. We just went by ourselves for dinner to the restaurant, and in the morning we left for Shigatse, we visited Tashi Lhunpo Monastery of H.H. the Panchen Rinpoche, Wow! It's so great monastery and the gate keepers said we have only 1 hour to see the Monastery, so we were in hurry all the time, did not had enough time to see all, on our half way we saw some Chinese troops not letting us enter more temples, for Marc was informed that the meeting hall is wonderful so trying to find out the main meeting hall but Chinese stopped us, through a narrow road we went coincidently we met some monks who were trying to go for prayers inside the meeting hall which is just 10to15 steps away, I asked whether we are allowed to go inside, one of the monk said no police won't allow you.

You can see from out side of the gate, so we just followed the monks to get the view, as soon as we reached the gate, some of our friends tried to take photographs, suddenly some Tibetan guys (seems officers in civil dress) shouted not to stay close to the door way. One Tibetan asked another "did they took photos?" other said "no" and they said "Go away, Go! all of you, you are not allowed to stay here!" and we had no choice but to go down to the way to exit. And at the gate all of us were not satisfied for this visit, so Marc went to the gate keepers to talk about re visiting tomorrow for the same with the same ticket and for the surprise he said yes, and every body's tickets being stamped so we can come again tomorrow morning. And we visited next morning and had very nice visit and every one was happy this time. Just after that moment we left SHIGATSE for GYANGTSE where you can see the biggest stupa in Tibet


Searching for my relatives for the first time in Tibet:

I have been traveling in Tibet with Marc Gold and some of the very good European friends. Marc has been my close friend for the past 12 years. One of the main reasons I'm with him is to find my family that my parent's lost contact with because of the Chinese occupation and to help some poor Tibetans in Tibet as a translator through the helping project called 100 friends founded by Marc Gold.

We have been looking very hard for the past 3 weeks in Tibet with no success, The first I'm informed the name of my late mother's cousin that he is living in front of a temple called some name inside Bakhor area, seems very easy to find out and all the friends wished me good luck in finding, when I went there with Marc and a friend called Yanay from Israel, it was almost too late and all the shops are closed, there was a restaurant slightly open I went inside and the people were watching T.V. I said Tashi -Delek and asked about my destination. Seems nobody knows about it. Came out and walked forward and saw a person trying to close his shop and it seems the only shop keeper left, I tried this man and said,.. NO! Suddenly I saw a mother and a daughter walking on the street and asked her she was very kind women and showed us all the way to the temple and left, I said can you manage to go back to your home at this late hour? She said there will be no problem for us do not worry and left, We thanked her.

And there we saw a temple but closed, beside that we found a small house with small light in it, I knocked that door. Some body responded and asked "what do you want?" and I said I'm from India and looking for my family a person named Lhodenla, and it was a small girl she just came out and helped us knock the door of the Temple, one man came out, she said "Kushola"? that means he is a monk without robe of that Temple. I explained him everything and he took us to a place where many Tibetans are living but no chance at all. There is no such person called Lodenla, suddenly Marc said ask that man in that small shop, we asked the man he said without a proper address is impossible to find out, and he showed us some place to go and ask.

We went there it was so dark, thank God Marc has his torch , I said to Marc and Yanay I feel so sorry to give you both trouble, they said "we shall be happy to help you in finding your family, what are the friends for?". This made my heart feel very happy. And wished myself someday I would be happy to serve them in return, when? I don't know may be after Freedom. Two country is helping me to find my family, isn't that Great international help for the single Tibetan? Thank you my friends, may god bless you and may all the Tibetans be helped like this and get our country back someday no matter how late.

We went to a place where the person told us to go, I was little afraid with the dogs because I was alerted by my late mother long time back that the dogs in Tibet are very dangerous and one should be very careful, once attacked can be killed too. Finally we reached at the place where we were forwarded, and we went inside the gate, There was a small ground surrounded by houses inside, dark and nobody, not even a dog, I thought The Chinese might have eaten them…Merciless Hungry Ghosts!! one window was open so I just gave a call, " Ulo ( Hello)" few times…no respond, one women saw us and closed her window, BANG!! ~*#

We went outside and asked one Tibetan man, he told us to go inside climb up the stairs until we reach third floor, we went inside again and went to the third floor, we found a metal gate locked, through that I saw a drunk man carrying a wine glass, singing in front of some ladies, I called him and asked whether he knows my destiny, Oh yes sounds very familiar person and he called two young boys and told them to show me the place, two Chinese and Tibetan young boys went inside and changed out with their police uniform, Oh boy! I didn't expected this, I really hate to see this but since we asked their help, we had to follow them. I had some feeling that if something negative happens I swear I will finish them off. But I didn't let my friends know this idea. But these two boys seems very friendly and helpful, maybe they were just very curious to know who I'm trying to contact with. They also could not work out so I told my friends that I will try in the daytime tomorrow. They also accepted and we returned back to our Hotel, it was 12: 30 midnight.

Next morning I was introduced to a Tibetan artist working in some press and we became friends and he told me how hard it is for them to live in our own country, I explained him about last night and he said you should not go around that place at night you'll get. In the daytime I went there again to search at the same place three times but no luck…returned sadly, people asked me what happened? My head was down face desperate, I tried to ask most of the people in the way…no..no..no…,
We kept on asking and asking but no luck, for three weeks I was in Lhasa and searched until 3rd. of July and I have to leave Tibet on 13July. I haven't seen Monasteries, I have only 9 days left, so I decided not to waste my days for nothing. made plans to go to Monasteries and met appointment with the Master Thangka painter of Lhasa. And wanted to talk with some young Thangka painters and monks too.

Next morning Marc said he wants to buy some gifts for his sister and sons, we went to Bakhor market, there he saw something interesting thing but could compromised the price, we were about to leave that shop, suddenly Marc said ask these shop owners about your family, I said "it's no use we did several time and I think I've really gave up, I appreciate your help but no more please" He said for the last time, he forced me c'mon go…go…go! And I said ok for the last time, and we went back to that shop and I asked her, she was from Kham ( eastern part of Tibet ) very strong accent and I could hardly understand her language and she also hardly understand me too.

During our conversation there was one lady listening us, and asked me what I was looking for, I explained her all and she said you should not ask people from outside about Lhasa people, what is the name of the person you are looking for I said Lhodenla, we were walking and suddenly she said there is one old person I know, everyone calls him Pala ( father ) many days back I think I heard once somebody calling him Lhodenla but I am not so sure, still we can inquire. So we went on walking further and she said here on the second floor he lives, but first I will ask this shopkeeper living below him. She asked the shopkeeper but he also use to call him Pala (father) and don't know his name. She took us to the door and asked the lady " is your Pala's name Lhodenla? She said yes, and some glow of hope in my face and marc looked very exited with big smile on his face. I still was not that sure and asked them " do you have relatives in India ?" and asked some of their relative's name, Oh God! We are with the right person.

S...U…C…C…E…S…SSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At last! So I found that there is always hope
It's VERY difficult to locate one's family under the circumstances without proper address. We have spent many hours and days following various leads and we always ended up in a dead end. But today, with a lot of luck:

I managed to find my deceased Mother's cousin called Lodenla, a man in his '70's. Marc and I spent a lovely afternoon at his flat with many of his family members located near Barkhor Square in the heart of Lhasa. We were about to go into another dead end, about to be sent to the wrong place when an elderly woman overheard our conversation and walked us to the right place. She smiled and left, Tibetans in Tibet are much friendly and helpful than in India, through this I love my country and the countrymen more than before, Lhodenla told me that one of my relative was here in search of me. I have no idea exactly how, she heard that I was looking for my family. She has spent the last few days walking around Lhasa looking for me, although she had no idea what I looked like and so do I , We were searching each other for few days at the same place, maybe we crossed several times but don't know.

Finally, I succeeded due to my friend Marc, I greet for his kind heart not only for me but to the most needy people in the different part of our world, his project looks small comparing to other big projects, but his heart is greatest among all. And I pray to god that we meet in every life as human being and try to help others no matter how big or small.

Shortly thereafter I heard my uncle that I hoped to see, died five years ago. That was very very sad for me. My Uncle's widow lives in a village 5 hours drive from Lhasa called Rimbung. Somehow, and
Today I also found her. Marc was with me when we met in the street. She was crying. She has two sons in their 20's who are my nephew. I have never met them but I will tomorrow (July 5). Marc is leaving for Cambodia in July 6th Which H.H. the Dalai Lama's birthday too and very auspicious timing to see my real home and families in Tibet and I will spend at least two days there.
"The whole trip to Tibet has been like a dream." I'm really happy. I together with my cousin sister started to go to get hitch-hike in the highway road but one person told us that we are too late for hitch-hiking, so we went to bus station to buy a tickets, luckily we were on right time. It was 5 hours drive to the village, but my eyes were very curious to see all the sceneries in road, it is very dry and rough surrounding, suddenly our bus was stopped. I was the only person from outside of country and I am traveling there without permit at first I thought it may be some police checkpoint, when I looked outside of the window I was wrong it was just a road block no serious problem.

My cousin kept on asking me to eat again and again like some mother asking her son to eat, sometime biscuits, sometime Tibetan dried cheese, sometime Kwatse (small grains of dry fruit). The bus stopped at one place for lunch break. I was not feeling hungry due to excitement, I think, so I said I don't want to eat but my cousin sister not happy and forcing me to eat ..eat..and eat. To keep her happy I drank butter tea about 7 to 8 cups and some biscuits. In 5 hours we reached at one stop and told me to get down in the to place nowhere. We got down and there was two small children and a man to receive us. Kalsang Lhamo my cousin sister said he is one of my cousin brother, I have nothing to say but hugged him instead, he said these two children are my nephews. Oh! Oh!
I tried to hold their hand but they were very shy and trying to run away from me. But we went together towards our village, we walked about an hour and finally reached small village called Rimbung, My Mother's hometown, she use to tell me about this place. During my walk I tried to touch the road and the ground and remembering that this is the place my mother use to play and walk, If we still have freedom then maybe I'm still here in this place. Stones are very colorful I said and my cousin said we have many precious hills here, Chinese are taking away since they came and still now they have some mines in the hills.

We kept on walking suddenly a man came on bicycle carriage with strong wrinkled face. He asked my cousin sister pointing me "is he the one?" She said yes! He said nothing and held my hand shook his head up and down and hugged me for long time and tears on his cheeks, and said "YESSS! You have come through hell to meet the family. I'm very happy," I asked "who are you?" I'm your cousin brother! He said and my eyes filled with tears and I hugged him again very tightly. His clothes with mud and dirt, walked together home, we reach at one place with prayer wheels, took round of it and continued. Now we reached a house called Rhangdoe-Noop ( western family) they said our family use to be a rich family and very big. our family is divided into three houses East family, West family and Dekhang family ( Main house). East house is given to some outsider family. But two of the houses called Rhangdoe-noop (west family) and Dekhang house has still our relatives living.

There I entered a metal gate with the roofless sand wall ( typical Tibetan house I found around villages) without electricity, again went through a tunnel like door and found two donkeys and a cow( very dark) had to climb the wooden stairs about 7or8 steps upwards. And there I met my Uncle's wife called Doenla around 70's, she hugged me, kissed my cheek and cried and cried and cried…and thanked me for visiting them, which they never expected and so surprised to see me. Every after 5to 10 minutes someone is coming with Butter tea, Sweet tea, Milk and Chang (Tibetan hand prepared wine) and trying to offer me but sad thing was I could not eat or drink because I became sick with diarrhea I had to run towards toilet every few minutes.

At first when I asked for toilet, Passang (my cousin brother) showed me one door without lash or lock, tried to lock it with a long stick, and trying to find out where exactly? because it was a empty room with nothing inside, I don't see anything there and tried to search here and there and found a stairway at one corner and I thought "Ah ha! ok ! now I found it" and climbed up, No! it is just the roof, nothing is up there, and returned back downstairs and called my cousin brother asked him where exactly is toilet? He looked at me laughing and took me to the same empty room and showed me three holes and said "HERE! Oh my dear brother. When you are finished you throw some sands to cover it, that's it." I never saw such toilet before,

Every time when some one is coming to meet me makes all of us cry. In the late night a drunk man came in and all of my relatives seems little scared and forcing to offer him some wine, but he refuses to take it, again my relatives forced him to drink, at last he accepted and had some glasses. And asked me some questions, which I answered nicely, I asked, are you one of our family? He said "no, no! but I am a Chinese officers in charge of this place. Do you have camera? You take one picture of me with your mother's cousin brother and send us a copy? because we want to show different generations" and I added "..with new thoughts, isn't it?" but he could not understand me, if he did then he will put me in big problem for sure, I was not afraid but my family have to live there with him so, suddenly I changed the topic and promised to send a copy of their photo. And I sent their photo from Lhasa.

I was tired and feeling sleepy, they showed my bed, I lit the small butter lamp and a incense stick and prayed for H.H. the Dalai Lama's long life prayer, and some usual prayers. Told my relatives to pray for his long life because today is H.H's birthday, very auspicious time for us to meet on this special day. Never forget this important day July the 6th. And we all sat inside our altar rooms and prayed for few hours. My cousin brother seems fond of Chhang (handmade wines), suddenly he said today is our God's birthday and I will drink to celebrate, he then drank..and drank..And drank emptied a big kettle containing of approximately 8to9 liters. Everyone left to sleep it was 15 to 12 midnight, and I was in altar room in my bed trying to sleep, suddenly my aunt Donla and Passang came to me and sat to talk about their sad past, and sometime singing, sometime Joking, sometime dancing and what else…..

Wow! very warm feeling. He has been drinking non stop, and he is wanting to come to India or any country else where but out of Chinese control, and he asked me what to do, I said right now it is very important to look after your old aged mother and children and wife, and your abnormal brothers, we will see what we can do to help you live or how to give education to your children may be out side of Tibet, but I don't know how too? He said it is very difficult for villager's children to study for they have to pay till certain standard like 5 or 6 and if they want to let them study further they have to pay lot. they don't have that much money, even if they manage to send them to school, they are not taught proper subjects for sure, every- body knows that and have to follow as they are told totally brainwashing. They seem extremely poor.

Before we left Nepal it was touch and go as to whether we would even be able to enter Tibet. The Chinese authorities went back and forth numerous times as to whether or not I would be even admitted to Tibet (because I am of Tibetan ethnicity with an Indian passport).
I was really on an emotional roller coaster but in the end they granted it. Even after leaving Nepal there were numerous checkpoints where it seemed doubtful that permission would be granted. But in the end I was able to go.

After a fantastic week in Kathmandu that I have already described, we left for Tibet on Saturday June 15th at 5:30 am. The bus trip took 5 full days (sometimes 10 hours on the bus). We passed over the Himalayas over some harrowing cliffs but the driver was really expert.

We slowly started ascending the Himalayas as we left Kathmandu. The 5-day drive featured some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen, and I've been to a few places in my day. On the way to Lhasa we saw humongous snow-capped mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes. I'm talking about mountains over 20,000 feet high and amazing vistas. We saw nomads with yaks, ancient monasteries, lots of sheep and goats and other animals, really old villages and we went over several passes that are 15-17,000 feet. The first 2.5 days we struggled with altitude sickness to varying degrees (headaches, some vomiting, difficulty sleeping)..it wasn't horrific and we have been fully acclimatized for the last 4 days and we are all feeling quite well.

We went to the city of Shigatse, which is a former capital of Tibet. The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery the seat of the Panchan Lama, whom you may think of as the second most important lama in Tibet. The monastery there is amazing. The art, the temples, the worshipping Tibetans, the meeting halls were all mind blowing. The monastery used to have 4700 monks but now the Chinese only allow about 600 monks. We also went to Gyangtse see the greatest stupa called Kumbum in Tibet and an ancient, beautiful monastery.

We met with nomads along the way and marc played with the toys, masks and especially the singing fish to make them happy. the way they became happy I also felt very happy, but suddenly question arouse inside me, when we leave will they still look like that? Is it possible to make them happy most of their life ? if yes then how, Freedom is the only solution.

We also experienced of the cold, cruel look and feel of the Chinese police and military. Chinese have made Tibet truly a police state, I don't feel like I'm in Lhasa, police everywhere. It's one thing to read about it, it's another thing to see it close up. Chilling. Most of the Tibetans are feeling like emotionally tighten up, they look very happy from outside but when you talk for a long time most of them are very sad from inside, having problem from different angles I found that in them
They stole this our ancient land, clear and simple, about 43 years ago and the death of 1.5 million Tibetans and the accompanying murders and cultural genocide is well documented in the book "Tears of Blood" by Mary Craig. It is a very painful book to read. But it was important for me to have an historical perspective so I knew what I was looking at and what occurred in the recent past.
For example, we went to see Barkor Square the other day in Lhasa, which is a wonderful place where the holiest temple in all of Tibet (Jokhang) is located along with wonderful market stalls and super-friendly local Tibetan merchants. It is also the location of thousands of arrests and a place where many Tibetans have died demonstrating peacefully for freedom.

Here is the face of true fascism:

1. Having a picture of the Dalai Lama is a serious crime.
2. Have a copy of the Tibetan flag is a serious crime.
3. You must have a government permit to travel in most of the country.
4. Any expression of support for an independent Tibet is a serious crime.
5. Many books are forbidden.
6. Various websites that support the Tibetan people are all blocked from here.
7. There is a gulag of terrible prisons where human rights are blatantly disregarded and torture is widely practiced.
8. The culture of Tibetans is being crushed.
9. Children do not learn Tibetan in the schools, they must learn Chinese to progress.
10. All of the opportunities and good jobs go to the Chinese and Tibetans loyal to them.
11. 55% of Tibetan children are SEVERELY malnourished.
12. Tibetan language and history and religion are marginalized or ignored.
13. Foreign organizations that try to help Tibetans find their progress blocked at every turn.

Marc and I found the people of Tibet are the best part of being here. He said he have never met people so warm and loving, they come right up to you and engage you fully. They know that people in the West support them and that means lot to them.

Twelve years ago Marc met my aged parents who have since died. I have always dreamt of coming here with them, so now I'm carrying them in my heart, I can really feel their presence in me. The beauty and majesty of the nature (especially the Himalayas), the incredible warmth and sadness of the Tibetan people and the anger, grief, fear, and shock of the Chinese occupation and genocide has put me on an emotional roller coaster.

TASHI DELEK TO ALL, Thinlay Gyatso

Visited U.S.A,in 2005,2006,2007 and 2008 please go to the link below for 2005: 



Recently I am living in Sikkim and taking care of my Mother in law who 89 years old, and a brother in law learning Thangka art with me.,  and painting for people around the world and Royal family of Sikkim., and local people ..,


Make a Free Website with Yola.