November 27, 2009

Winter’s Tale

The weather was cold and gloomy. I could hear the sound of wind blowing through the Cyprus trees on my backyard and it gave me a spooky feeling like the scene of a horror movie. I was all alone since the rest of the folks have gone to the town for dinner. They wanted me to go but I refused with an excuse of headache. If only they knew the truth. The truth that I had hidden from them for the last two months and will remain within me till my dying day.

I was feeling a little giddy and had gone to see the doctor who was a good friend of mine. He suggested that I undergo some medical examination and I agreed. I was asked to get the report the following day.

I had completed my work in the office and just as I was going out when my cell rang. The caller was the doctor and he wanted to see me immediately. The call had me all worried so I drove to the hospital which was five minutes away. On reaching there I learned that I had just three months to live. I thought that my doctor was kidding but I also knew that doctors don’t kid about death. I don’t remember how but when I came to my sense, I was walking near the Memorial Chorten, my car forgotten in the parking lot. I just remember mumbling to my friend that the truth should not be revealed to anyone, not even a single member of my family. My friend was kind enough to comply with my request and drove me back to my office. That evening, I stayed long hours in the office on the pretext of some work.

The sound of the approaching car brought me back to me present world. Two months have passed since that day. I have swings in mood which sometimes frightens everyone around me. They sometimes wonder what’s wrong with me. Of course everything is wrong with me but I would never reveal that. I don’t want their sympathy and I don’t want them to suffer worrying over me.

I wish I hadn’t known what I knew. I wish I hadn’t gone for that medical checkup. If I hadn't gone to the hospital that day,  my life would have been different and I would have died peacefully unknowingly.

But fate has different ways of bidding us farewell! I now understand that it gave me time to prepare myself for my last days. I see each day differently now and I have just one more month to live. I am constantly under medication, but no one knows the truth except for my doctor. Everyone thinks that the medicines that are prescribed for me is for minor ailment. If only they knew about the tumor in my brain that is killing me everyday taking me closer to death and in a month time they will only have my memories nothing more.  

(This is a fictitious tale based on the writer’s imagination)

November 25, 2009

Of violence and alcohol

I was thinking of what I should write about as I was driving to work this morning. I wanted to write but on what? The question lingered on my mind.

Then, as I passed the market area, I saw a big banner which read “STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – International day for the elimination of violence against women – 25th November 2009” And again as I entered the gate to the place where I work, I was again greeted by posters of the same kind.

I was especially touched by the poster of a small boy holding the drawing which read “Don’t Hit Mom” – when there is violence at home; it is true that the child suffers most. I have seen such things happening in our locality.

There may be various reasons for such violence but I felt that alcohol is one of the key factors contributing to such violence. In our society, alcohol is socially accepted and it is readily available.

No occasion is complete without a cup of ara. The autumn is a festive occasion in Bhutan. It is the time for Lochey /Lhasey (annual puja). The drinks are available in abundance thus we see the increase in violence against women and children.

I appreciate the effort of RENEW to create awareness on violence against women but it is an enormous task and they need the support of every one of us. Let’s all join our hands together and stop violence against women.

(This writing is based on the observation made by the writer and bear no malice to anyone. Just my personal perception)

November 23, 2009

On leaving Pemagatshel

I have been living here for the last 5 years. When I first came here in the autumn of 2004, I was a total stranger here. I still remember the first day that I got here. I had gone to the market which consists of a line of small shops. The people were basking in the sun and staring at us as if we were aliens. I felt very uncomfortable and tugged my husband’s jacket urging him to move faster towards our waiting car.

The quarter arranged for us was in the hospital colony. On the first night, we found that there was no power connection in our quarter but a friendly neighbour (who became a good friend of mine) came with lamps and candles.

The next day I went to report to the office and found out that there weren’t a single soul whom I knew. I got my children admitted in the school and got a week leave to settle down. During the one week, lots of neighbours turned up to help me and I got acquainted with them.

Then the following year I shifted to a private quarter since the health staff were increasing in number and we needed to make room for them.

Later I got my son admitted in the school and the time just flew.

Now after more than five years, I am preparing to bid farewell to the place that I have grown fond of,  and to venture into the life that awaits me in a new place.  We are all looking forward to it but we will miss this place. The place which gave me many memorable moments.

November 22, 2009

The ride on a truck……………

I had been out of station for sometime and was returning home to my kids. My husband and his driver came to reach me when the vehicle we were travelling in broke down. We were stranded on the highway with the dust all around due to the widening of the road. It was quite embarrassing because the travelers were peeping through the windows.

I had already called my kids telling them that I was on my way and they were expecting me home by lunch time. I tired to get lift from some passing vehicle but in vain. After a long wait I saw a truck coming. I wanted to reach my kids at any cost but my husband was reluctant to send me by the truck. At last I won the argument and got into the truck.

I was travelling in a truck after more than a decade. I could not help remembering those truck and bus rides of the bygone days of the 90s when I used to travel to the school with friends.

I have come a long way from those bumpy truck and bus rides to the present day. Of late I hardly remember when I travelled last on a bus. But it is a good experience to take a ride on truck and to recollect those good old days….....

November 13, 2009

My little angles

For the past nine months, I have been engaged with a group of children aged from five to nine. They all come from various socio-economic background and culture. But they have many things in common, their zest to learn, their innocence, their laughter and so on.

The moment I enter the class, they all start with their complaints, “Teacher……….. took my pencil” “Teacher…………… didn’t do his homework”.The list is never ending. But every day I look forward to being with them.

Seeing them makes me forget my headache, stress and worries.Their innocent face and smile brightens up my day.

Now that the year is drawing to an end, I am really going to miss them all.

November 7, 2009


David Frost in Independent(9/16/89) said that “Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.” But I have three at hand. My days are always occupied being a mediator for my kids. Right from the morning till I get into bed.

My son is mild tempered and does not make much fuss about anything and my daughter takes charge of me whenever I am busy. But I have a 5 year old nephew with me who constantly need my attention. I have to keep an eye on him or else he would end up tearing the books, littering around and doing what not.

He has to do everything my son does. If I ask him what he wants while we were in the shop, we would say, “Ata puskin………….”  This imitation sometimes irritates my son very much these days. looking at them makes me wonder how my parents bore all of us (we are eight children), our tantrums and all.

November 5, 2009

Tale of anguish

I had a happy childhood, the best one anyone could wish for. I was the eldest of the three children and an only daughter and the apple of my dad’s eye. Life was just great. But then it took a u-turn when I grew up and met someone of my dreams. We met socially at first and my parents were unaware of it. We belonged to different faith and were aware that our parents would never consent on our relationship. But when u r in love nothing matters. So we decided to elope and we did just that.

My dad was heartbroken when he learned that and pronounced me dead to the family but of course I knew that in time he would forgive me.

In a mean time a daughter was born to me but she survived just a few months. She was born with birth defect. I lost my first born to the cruel hands of the death. I was shattered but life must go on and my husband was a great companion during that time. I slowly forgot the pain of the death of my first born.

In time I had two sons and life was back to normal. My sons were enrolled in a reputed private school and my dad had called me back home. I was forgiven for what I did and they all accepted my husband in the family. Life was good once again. I believed that my share of sorrows was over but the call that fateful afternoon changed everything once again.

My elder son was hit by a car on his way home. The driver, who was driving the car lost control of his wheels and my unfortunate son was the victim. I just heard the word accident and blacked out. I don’t know for how long, but when I came to my sense, there wasn’t even a trace of him, except in my memories.

I was in shock for months and I am still under medication. I am now very scared to let my only surviving son out of my sight. I am wondering whether my life will ever be normal again, whether the fate has many more sorrows in store for me. Is my suffering due to the unhappiness that I had caused to my parents?

(Please note that this is a fictitious tale)