Padma Angmo Emerges as Ladakh’s First Woman Poet in English, Pioneering Sci-Fi Poetry with ‘Ruler of the Sky’ on Climate Grief, Climate Action and Healing
In the serene expanses of Ladakh, a literary luminary is leaving an enduring mark, etching her legacy into the literary history of Ladakh with her debut poetry and prose collection Ruler of the Sky. Padma Angmo, a local trailblazer, has become Ladakh’s inaugural woman poet in English, her literary roots deeply intertwined with the picturesque landscapes of this mesmerizing region. Drawing inspiration from Ladakh’s natural beauty and driven by the shadows of ecological grief, Angmo’s work is a poignant exploration of the human experience.
Padma says, “Ruler of the Sky is about claiming our power back and a message that in the face of overwhelming grief and crises, such as the climate crisis and ongoing conflicts, we possess the inherent strength to bring about true change. Through the power of poetry, my aim is to engage in a profound dialogue about the challenges of our time, igniting inner flames in each of us to take action in our own distinctive ways. This poetry and prose serve as my contribution to climate action.”
Stellar Narratives: ‘Ruler of the Sky’ and the Literary Cosmos
In her genre-bending work, ‘Ruler of the Sky,’ Padma Angmo takes readers on an interstellar journey to a timeless void—Before the Big Bang (Prose)—where a cosmic family—Chaos, Love, Life, and Death—is dreamed into existence by the state of Nothingness. The verses unfold in six parts based on cosmology and philosophy—Big Bang, Equilibrium, Big Crunch, Big Enigma, and Big Freeze. However, what sets her apart is not only the poetic prowess displayed in her verses; it’s the genre she fearlessly navigates—science fiction poetry—with the story of Love personified as collective Humanity.
Heralding a New Ladakhi Literary Era: Padma Angmo’s Environmental and Mental Health Advocacy through Poetry
As an indigenous Ladakhi writer, Padma Angmo utilizes her platform to amplify marginalized voices. She sheds light on the environmental challenges faced by her community and the world, emphasizing the impact of habitat and biodiversity loss. Her commitment to mental health and healing as foundations for resilience and climate action adds layers of depth to her literary endeavours. Angmo says, “Through this book, I intend to invoke the enchanting magic of poetry and empower us to address both internal and external challenges. The book also guides readers on an exploration of inner joy and healing amidst the chaos. ‘Ruler of the Sky’ serves as a poetic reminder that each one of us is the Ruler of the Sky, and our dreams bear great importance. The actions we undertake, no matter how grand or imperfect, possess deep meaning and the potential to accomplish the extraordinary.”
LEDeG hosts official launch of Ruler of the Sky
Padma Angmo’s official book launch event was organized by Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG) at the Grand Dragon Hotel in Leh on Nov 24, 2023. The book was unveiled by Deputy Chairman, LAHDC, Leh, Tsering Angchuk, and Member of Parliament, Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, alongside LEDeG members and other esteemed guests. Padma expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her former school Principal, Eshey Tundup (Executive Director, LEDeG) and her teachers who encouraged her to take poetry seriously. She emphasized the significant role that Eshey Tundup played in her journey to becoming an author today. As she narrated her poem ‘Legacy: An Ode to Ladakh,’ she conveyed a timeless message of unity and the power of every Ladakhi in bringing about positive changes in the face of ecological challenges. She stated, ‘Change is inevitable, and we must all face it together to ensure that those changes are ecologically sound and bring true prosperity to the people and Ladakh without harming the environment.”
Congratulating Padma Angmo on her achievement, Member of Parliament, Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal highlighted the importance of preserving the literary culture, emphasizing that it’s incumbent upon the younger generation to uphold this legacy. He expressed pride in the book’s release, considering it a matter of great honour for Ladakh, expressing hope that she will leave a lasting impact on the global stage.
Deputy Chairman, LAHDC, Leh, Tsering Angchuk commended Padma Angmo and expressed optimism that her book’s release would serve as an inspiration for aspiring writers. He also highlighted dedicated schemes by the Council aimed at supporting emerging writers.
Executive Director, LEDeG, Eshey Tondup (former Principal of Lamdon) expressed immense pride in Padma Angmo, an alumna of Lamdon. He lauded her poetry and prose, centered on ecological grief and climate action. Tondup emphasized the importance of highlighting youth like Padma to inspire others.
About the Author
Padma Angmo graduated from University of Delhi with a Bachelor’s degree in English Honours and is an alumna of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC Delhi). She commenced her career as a Copy Editor/Newsreader (Podcast) at Times Now, Mumbai, and is currently working as a journalist in Ladakh.