I learned yesterday in the Times of India that Tenzin Tsundue's book, Kora, a series of poems and stories, will be transformed into a play by Quasar Thakore Padamsee. The play will be done in English, which will secure a larger audience for the questions that Tsundue and Padamsee will address. Central among these questions, according to Padamsee, is a very simple one: "What happens when words aren't enough?"
It's a natural question for the Tibetans.
For Westerners, it is often difficult to know precisely how the Tibetan struggle is faring. Our news agencies are largely oblivious to it because China has become the world's factory in many ways, and we are their customers, whose silence is purchased with Chinese-made goods. And unless we happen to be in regular contact with Tibetans who will talk about these issues with us, we are left to put together our impressions from the scattered reports we gather from the various media sources that we do trust.
That Tsundue and Padamsee are working together on this project should bring another and necessary perspective to the complex issues that Tibetans face every day, both in exile and in Tibet. Art opens avenues of conversation that politics must, by definition, avoid. My only fear is that I won't get to see it.
Let us hope that it will be taped and made available to the larger English-speaking audience. And thanks to Tsundue and Padamsee, for their continual efforts and good work.