When it rains in Dharamshala

When it rains in Dharamsala
raindrops wear boxing gloves,
thousands of them
come crashing down
and beat my room.
Under its tin roof
my room cries from inside
and wets my bed, my papers.

Sometimes the clever rain comes
from behind my room,
the treacherous walls lift
their heels and allow
a small flood into my room.

I sit on my island-nation bed
and watch my country in flood,
notes on freedom,
memoirs of my prison days,
letters from college friends,
crumbs of bread
and Maggi noodles
rise sprightly to the surface
like a sudden recovery
of a forgotten memory.

Three months of torture,
monsoon in the needle-leafed pines
Himalaya rinsed clean
glistens in the evening sun.
Until the rain calms down
and stops beating my room
I need to console my tin roof
who has been on duty
from the British Raj.
This room has sheltered
many homeless people.

Now captured by mongooses
and mice, lizards and spiders,
and partly rented by me.
A rented room for home
is a humbling existence.
My Kashmiri landlady
at eighty cannot return home.
We often compete for beauty
Kashmir or Tibet.

Every evening,
I return to my rented room;
but I am not going to die this way.
There has got to be
some way out of here.
I cannot cry like my room
I have cried enough
in prisons and
in small moments of despair.

There has got to be
some way out of here.
I cannot cry,
my room is wet enough.

4 thoughts on “When it rains in Dharamshala”

  1. I have a different version of this poem as a xeroxed copy. I believe it is from a visit to Mc Leodganj some years ago as a part of the Spic Macay group. How much more is there to ‘When it rains in Dharamsala’? This is the one with Dega in it.

  2. Phenomenal. A simple idea of rain, often left unexplored by people has been so eloquently articulated. I heard you receite this poem on Ranveer Brar’s show aired on Life Positive (If I am not wrong about the channel). Being a poet and writer (by passion) myself, I can reach out deep into the sensibilities exuded through your words. May your pen be blessed with more blissful writings !

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Tenzin Tsundue writes, speaks, and acts for a Free Tibet