Indian writer releases debut novel on Tibetan nationality crisis [Updated]
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 26: An Indian writer has released a fiction-novel in English titled ‘Mountains to Manhattan’, a book about life and culture of Tibetans in India and Tibetan nationality crisis.
‘Mountains to Manhattan’ is a fiction about the Tibetan nationality crisis, Pinakie Kansabanik says about his debut novel.
Kansabanik was brought up in Siliguri in Darjeeling district of West Bangal and the hill town is home to a large number of Tibetans living in the scattered Tibetan community.
“So at a very young age I was in the middle of the Tibetan culture and I fell in love with the culture. I stayed there for more than a year but the Tibetan people and the culture always influenced me. Later, I visited several times at the Tibetan Refugee Camp in Darjeeling and my inquisitiveness started growing. I became more aware of the Tibetan plight of being a refugee and their dilemma. Out of curiosity, I started reading all that I could read about the Tibetans and my research went in deep to know more about them,” Kansabanik told Tibet Express as he narrated about his first encounter with Tibetans and their issue.
During his research, he found that there is not a single fiction written about the Tibetan Nationality Crisis in English, the writer said. “So I decided to write one. Through a fiction you can reach the mass audience easily and tell serious issues in a lighter tone,” he added.
When enquired about his book, ‘Mountains to Manhattan’, this is what Kansabanik has to say: “The protagonist of the novel is a young adult female who realises the predicament of her status when she sets out to achieve her dream like any other young adult in India. That turns out to be the turning point of her life. She embarks upon a journey, the unknown in search of her identity. And in the world of gender stratifications, she stumbles upon her other identities of being a wife, daughter, sister and also as an employee.”
The book revolves around the life of a young Tibetan girl named Tenzin Lhamo who was born in India. Like many Tibetan refugees in India and across the world, Tenzin’s mother had crossed borders from Tibet with her family when she was just a year old. As Tenzin grows up in refugee camps, she gradually learns about her country, Tibet from her granny and learns about the political climate in Tibet from her school. Once she starts a living, the unavoidable fate of a refugee hits her and her identity crisis begins.
“The book also tells about the Gyagkar Khampas (Indian Tibetans), secret Tibetan paramilitary force – Establishment 22, IC & RC and etc,” Kansabanik added.
Pinakie Kansabanik, a passionate writer about people and culture, released his debut novel, ‘Mountains to Manhattan’ on July 23, 2017 at The Citadel Lounge, Eldeco Green Meadows, Sector Pi, Greater Noida.