Sons in exile : Kashish Parpiani

Kashish Parpiani is a foreign policy researcher based in Mumbai, India. His research interests include US-India bilateral ties and US foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region. Kashish has served in varied research capacities at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore; the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India; and the Americas (AMS) Division at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India.

India – The Von Ngari Monastery, Manali currently shelters 12 kids ranging from young eight year olds to adolescent 19 year olds. Over a brief period of five days, while documenting their lives, I followed them, stalked them, sneaked into their class rooms, laughed with them and watched them at play; and all of this, through my viewfinder. I could relate to them, as it’s not been a very long time since I stepped out of my ‘hunky dory kid’ phase. But here’s what struck me hard about them: Lobsang Thekchok, 15, told me about how it was getting difficult for his father, a daily wageworker to even arrange for a decent meal. Feeding a family of five, his father had no option but to ‘give up’ at least one child to a monastery. Thekchok was the eldest of the lot and he agreed to relieve his father of one mouth to feed. Today, it’s been almost six years since he last saw his family. What is worrisome here is that, Lobsang is not the only one. Another 11 kids had a similar story to narrate. Also, the Von Ngari monastery is the smallest of the several monasteries in India. Others shelter a minimum of 50-55 such children. We must realise that we’re talking about the 4th-5th generation here, and it’s high time these ‘little refugees in exile’ get back what they deserve i.e their home.   Written and photographed by: Kashish Parpiani

Related Posts

John Vink: ‘The photographer is not a hero’

Cambodia- Based out of Cambodia for the past 13 years, Belgium born photojournalist John Vink, member of the prestigious Magnum …

Helio Leon Purple Room

Helio Leon: “The Purple Room” – Reliving Istanbul Memories

Turkey –                               THIS STORY CONTAINS …

David Favrod: GAIJIN

Japan –  GAIJIN – Japanese word meaning the foreigner. My name is David Takashi Favrod. I was born on the …

Anne De Gelas: L’amoureuse

Belgium – An (almost) perfect day – 4th April 2010 Max comes to wake us up quite early, he’s there …

Takeshi Ishikawa: HIJRAS – The Third Gender of India

THIS STORY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT In Indian society, it is said that when a hermaphrodite baby is born in an …

Manik Katyal on Thomas Mailaender “The Night Climbers of Cambridge”

United Kingdom – With an elegant black velvet cover, ‘The Night Climbers of Cambridge’ is an enthralling collaboration between London …

Erik Kessels: “From the moment I saw Moises by Mariela Sancari, I fell in love.”

Mexico –  Many artists return to themes like love, birth, and death in their works. The best give these universals …

Bertien Van Manen: Moonshine

USA –  Spanning almost three decades, ‘Moonshine’ published by MACK, is a portrait of the American Appalachian folk, a mythologised …

Intifada in Kashmir : Sami Siva

India – At the time of partition in 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh was forced to seek India’s …