About this project:
Lama Mani Books intent is not to rehash folk tales or Buddhist stories but instead tell stories of here and now. Consequently, our first two titles are part of a series we call ‘Meyul’, a Tibetan word that has no English equivalent but best describes the place that’s not one’s home. The books were designed to introduce life in exile, and describe how people lived and worked while keeping up their identity. Our first stop was the old age home, or gyenso khang as it’s called, at Doeguling refugee camp, Mundgod. It’s the first old age home set up in exile, whose residents have all journeyed from Tibet half a century ago. We were struck by the serenity and the hope of the people who had contended with so much. No one complained to us and we were met with a ready smile on every visit. From this came the story of Dorje’s Holiday at the Gyenso Khang. For our second title, we chose the most visible section of the Tibetan community, the sweater sellers. I didn’t meet Dorje, the sweater seller again but seeing the Tibetan sweater sellers dressed in their chubas and sitting in their stalls on the crowded Indian pavements, I couldn’t help but feel they must long for home sometime. And hence the story of Dolma Visits the City.
Dorje’s Holiday at the Gyenso Khang
One of the things we eventually decided to take up was publishing of children’s books. We found that in Tibet there were storytellers who went from place to place with their scrolls of thangkas, narrating the grand old epics. They were the Lama Manis of Tibet. We also found that the Tibetan epic of Gesar Ling is the world’s last living epic, the Iliad of the East as some call it. With such a tradition of storytelling, and such a vast cultural history to draw from, we set up Lama Mani Books, our tribute to the storyteller and our contribution to the community.
In the hilly areas of Mundgod in Karnataka, is the Tibetan refugee camp of Doeguling. One summer, Dorje accompanies his grandfather to Mundgod. At Doeguling, while Popo-la looks for his friend, Dorje explores the old age home and finds a few surprises.
Written with the intent to introduce children to life in exile, this book takes the reader to the first Tibetan old age home in India, set up at the Doeguling refugee camp, Mundgod.
Copyright © 2009 Lama Mani Books
Text: Aravinda Anantharaman
Illustration: Chime Tashi
Design & Layout: Lobsang and Jangchup Lingpa
Copyediting: Swathi Kantamani
Published by Tenzin Jangchup Lingpa on behalf of Lama Mani Books
Note: While this story is set among real places and people, the protagonist and the situations she finds herself in are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
This publication has been made possible by a Take Off grant from The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (www.furhhdl.org)