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Home > Poems > The Tibetan in Mumbai

The Tibetan in Mumbai

Wednesday 26 December 2007, by Tenzin Tsundue

The Tibetan in Mumbai
is not a foreigner.

He is a cook
at a Chinese takeaway.
They think he is Chinese
run away from Beijing.

He sells sweaters in summer
in the shade of the Parel Bridge.
They think he is some retired Bahadur.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
abuses in Bambaya Hindi,
with a slight Tibetan accent
and during vocabulary emergencies
he naturally runs into Tibetan.
That’s when the Parsis laugh.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
likes to flip through the MID-DAY,
loves FM, but doesn’t expect
a Tibetan song.

He catches the bus at a signal,
jumps into a running train,
walks into a long dark gully
and nestles in his kholi.

He gets angry
when they laugh at him
’ching-chong-ping-pong’.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
is now tired,
wants some sleep and a dream.
On the 11pm Virar Fast,
he goes to the Himalayas.
The 8.05am Fast Local
brings him back to Churchgate
into the Metro: a New Empire.

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