Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yushu Earthquake

I received an early morning call from a friend asking me to check if Minam Rinpoche is OK. I called and called and with each failed call, I trembled. I knew that with the earthquake, telecommunication will be disrupted but my fingers kept pressing the call sign on the mobile. I did not give up, I persisted. Through my muddled mind a little spark emerged. I searched for Rinpoche's Xining center and with splattering and very broken Chinese I bombarded Yang Lau Sir with loads of questions and I only needed him to tell me Rinpoche is OK. In that moment I found myself understanding the Chinese language - that Rinpoche is safe in Chengdu. I broke down, I wept, I sobbed, I cried.

Half an hour later I was on the line with Rinpoche. He informed that he is actually in Shanghai and not Chengdu (anywhere it does not matter). He is making arrangement to go back to Yushu tomorrow and is not sure if it can be done as flights are fully booked and the airport in Yushu is not passable to traffic. Two members of his family perished. Other than that he has no other news of anyone else or his library or monastery.

I launched a "Yushu Earthquake Fund" on Facebook. The response I got was really immense. People across the globe who did not even know I existed before came forward with words of kindness and in monetary contributions. Throughout the whole day I was a little fragile. The faces of the Tibetan people in Yushu, the scenic town embraced by mountains all round, the Yak Square where Tibetan men and women gather to sell their wares and for the daily gossips were video played in my mind. Children with rosy red cheeks and 'dragon' mucus running down their nostrils. Tashi Deleks filled the air. Will it be the same again when I next visit?

For names of contributors please go to Norling Library

1 comment:

Marcus said...

All will be well even then we each do our part, no matter how small.