Is it really necessary?

[Editor's note: This is probably the first time in recent decades that a Tibetan has penned an article by personifying herself as one of the family members of a Tibetan self-immolator, who torched him-self aflame in protest against the Chinese government. This article truly projects the feelings of agony and loss at an individual level while acknowledging the sacrifice as an act of heroic and novel for the cause of one’s nation.]

Tenzin Samten
Yes, you have done a great thing for our country. You are a patriot now! You have been my hero, the one and only guardian of our children and now you have died a hero of our country. The whole country has mourned for your death. The praises are everywhere, people you could not have imagined are now writing songs for your remembrance. Your pictures are made portraits and people worship you!

I once dreamt of your success and fame, yet now that you have both, I am left with no words of appreciation and rejoice. Trying to join strangers who worship you, I feel choked, with tears welling up inside and engulfed by the deepest of sorrows.

Pardon me for not joining the song of appreciation, for me being a simple woman of family and responsibility; I am still awed at your decision.

I am wondering; did you ever think of us? Did you think of your three lovely daughters who always await your return from town? Did you ever think of my love and how will I be without you? Or should I believe that you have left us for a greater cause or should I think that you have given up on life by taking the opportunity that suits the scenario. My head is bursting with questions for I am not aware of the severity of the situation where sacrifice of life is a gesture of love for one’s country and protest against others. For all I have known is farming and bringing up my family.

I still wish that I am having a bad dream. I am sorry that I am not able to understand and join you if you have a different explanation. You might have known that and decided your fate, mine too and for our daughters as well!

I might never get an answer but I will die wondering how you couldnot have shared with us your biggest decision for all we had was you.

Now that they say, you are not the only one, but there are many heroes of Tibet. What about us? We had only you!

I will wait for the day I can understand your act of sacrifice. I long to join others and praise you like them, but I am too naive to understand the complexity of politics.  I believe life is for once and that is precious.

Words remainunstated,
Questions remain unreciprocated,

One thing is done forever;

My love is lost forever.

NOTE—Tenzin Samten, the writer of the article is a senior college graduate, working with the international web portal

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  1. An eye opener - well written, my condolences always with the family members of the Tibetans who died in the fire flames in protest against the Beijing government---Free Tibet

  2. Literature product- totally imaginative but well personified GOOD JOB

  3. Even if they can't sacrifice their lives like the ones who did, at least should have the courage and patriotism to appreciate the sacrifice

  4. samten, very touching piece. please keep writing. u got it in you.
    urs genla Dolma Yangzm

  5. Thank you Genla for the encouragement.. I will definitely try to write more.

    1. Bravo Samten, love it for how the conflict is bared there simple and direct.:--tayang

  6. Genlak, you also can contribute articles, we know you are a good writer, not just a science expert --Please write for us some times!

  7. very well and lucid written samten lak. keep writing. god bless

  8. It is a pretty good write up and it does a good job in trying to personify the family members that are left behind to struggle with what they have left. Actually, I am more impressed with the reception of the article by the Tibetans here; treating it only as a point of view and not as an attack on the self-immolators themselves. That is highly commendable. There is no one who is not in awe with the sacrifices that were made and the tormenting process that goes into initiating the finality of the act itself. I view it as a way to also celebrate the sufferings of the family members who are left behind after all the public accolades have finished reverberating across the distant mountains and a gentle reminder for all of us that we also need to take care of those who are now left with a huge hole in their hearts. Kudos to the writer and the audience alike. I will now take a piece of the cake and retreat behind this curtain of internet. Good night.