Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Singing for freedom by Ani Chöying Drolma

Had wanted to read this book immediately after it was published but came to learn that Nepali edition had been subjected to heavy editing to make it palatable to Nepali readership. Now knowing French language couldn’t read its original version. Therefore, as soon as English edition became available in Nepal, I rushed to buy it and sat down to read it and finished reading it almost in one session.

It came as a shock that a father could be so cruel towards one’s own offspring that too a daughter – physically delicate at best. I wonder how one could do so!

When one’s babies/children are hurt, a parent feels immense pain; more in magnitude than the baby perhaps feels. I myself have felt that when I bleed I don’t feel that much pain compared to when my children suffer even a small scratch, I shudder with disproportionate pain. In this backdrop I cannot imagine a parent inflicting so much pain to her/his own offspring, as young as 6 years old.

The author has depicted her father as a tyrant/maniac with malevolent temperament; leading a reader to suspect that the person described is a psychopath.

Monks and nuns are thought to renounce worldly comforts and known to have done so. But after reading this book, it became clear how wrong people have been. Rampant envy/jealousy amongst nuns has been characterized and surprised to see that there is competition even in a monastery; no different from the household of common people. Some nuns are even nasty, spiteful. They also rage and feel anger. It made me wonder where the compassion was!

The author mentions that they are not saints while general public are belaboring under the impression that only saintly people become monks and nuns. Sounds as if most of the nuns have become nuns to escape poverty.

The author also lost her childhood as she had to “mother” her younger siblings.

Knowing that she does keep on jet-setting around the world very frequently I had been very curious as to how did she get her passport? But there is deafening silence about it. If she is using Nepali passport, then it will be surprising as both of her parents are Tibetans – Chinese. It is unimaginable that such a person would get citizenship of Nepal.

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