February 11, 2010

The tale of the lone figure

As I listened to her tale, I felt that I should write her story for I found it facinating.
Abi Gyanden (her name) was born in a poverty ridden home where there was always shortage of food. Her parents toiled from dawn till dust to feed the nine children. When she was old enough to venture outside her village, she ran away from home to escape hunger. When she first arrived at Tashigang, some one took her in as a maid and gave her food and shelter. She was 9 years old and she served the family until they decided to send her away to their relative in the capital.

The relatives of her first saviour were very kind and treated her like the member of the family. She led a peaceful life until a man came to the house to ask her hand in marriage. After the consent of the family, she was taken as a bride to a very affluent family. She was just thirteen years at that time. The family treated her well since she worked very hard to please everyone in the family. Before she attained 20 years of age, she was the mother of four children. By then her husband had started having numerous affairs and there was always disagreement in the house. She tried to flee form her husband but her in-laws did not permit that since they feared that they might loose their grand children. Her in-laws were very supportive and she enrolled her children in the school. She narrated how her husband once disappeared for more than a year and came back to her when he had exhausted all the money that he had taken from his parents.

She said that she was married legally to a man who did not bear any responsibility towards his family. She also said that she was thankful for her in-laws who stayed with her through thick and thin.

Then she took out something from her tiny sooth ridden bag and showed m. It was a photograph. Looking at it, I assumed that it might have been taken some years back. The faded photograph contained the pictures of laughing faces. On a closer look, I realized that I was staring at the picture of one of my old friend. She pointed at the picture and said that the girl in the picture was her youngest daughter. I gasp, "Yeasel". She looked at me quizzically and asked "How do u know her?" I said we were in the school together once but how could I tell that I knew her story before I even met her. I have heard Yeasel tell her story many a times and now all her memories came flooding after all those years.
I asked her why she stayed here when all her children were settled abroad. She said that she had to come back to the land of her birth because she wanted to die here. I had no response for her words� Hope Yeasel will realize this and come back to her mother sooner�

The Talk with the lone figure

I walked unsteadily, not knowing whether I was doing the right thing or not but I thought on what Gobsmacker wrote "One day when you make your usual walk, you will not find the old lady there...nor you will hear her frail voice chanting "Om Mani padme hung". So don't shy away today....tomorrow you may be too late...."  I decided it was now or never.

I walked hesitantly and sat beside her. She stopped chanting her prayers and looked at me. I took out doma which I had bought especially for her and offered to her. Her wrinkled face broke into a wide smile and she took it and asked me to have one as well which I declined saying that I don't chew it. She gave me another toothless smile as she put the remaining doma inside her sooth ridden tiny bag.

She sat there relishing the taste of her doma as I waited silently for her to finish it. After sometime, she finished chewing and asked me my name. And then began our conversation. She spoke with hefty breath and in between counted her rosary and chanted her prayers. As she narrated her life story, I listened with earnest interest that I even lost the track of time. It was dark as I took her leave that evening and I am looking forward to seeing her next…

February 7, 2010

The lone figure

Every evening as I go for walk, I see a lone figure with a rosary on her hand. She is seen chanting "OM MANI PADME HUNG" and I can see that her devotion is eternal. She always occupies the same bench in the park and she is seen there no matter what time I choose to visit the place. I am inclined to go and share some words with her but I shy away thinking that I might be intruding her sanctuary.
I sometimes occupy the place opposite to her and watch her as she continues with her chanting and prayers.  Her wrinkled face looks very calm and her stooped figure tells me that she might be in her late 70s.
After my usual walk, I find my self thinking about her and wondering where she stays. Her presence in the park every time I am there is so mystifying that I wish to know more about her and  I tell myself that I will talk to her the next day  and...

Towards unknown destination - II

We stayed for few days in the boarder town before travelling to the capital. In the capital, I was met by another cousin who wanted to take me with her.  In the cold February month, I was driven to a completely new place that I haven't even heard about. I had no idea what they wanted of me. At last I mustered some courage and asked what I had to do for her. She said that she wanted me to go to school like the other children of my age. That was best thing that ever happened to me. I started going to the school and I learned fast since I was older than the most of the students in my class.
At the end of the year, I made my benefactor proud by coming up first in the class. I tried my best in every activities carried out in the school and even succeeded in most of them. Then I decided something I regret till this day. I left my benefactor and went with my brother who was working by then. My brother took me to the place where he worked and treated me well but I fell sick constantly due to the unsuitable weather. My performance declined in the school and after a year I went back to my mother.
I continued my studies but my performance was not the same as what it used to be. I managed to pass my grade but I was not satisfied with the results. I knew the hardships my mother was facing to send me to school and I continued to help my mother at home after school to sustain our living because my father was of no help to us. I managed to get through in the high school and continued my studies in a reputed school. Despite my hard work, I did not qualify for Sherubtse and now my future looks bleak as I am looking for some job. My mother is no more there to support me….

Towards unknown destination I

I was the youngest in the family but I was not the favourite of my father. May be that was because I was not his planned baby. He already had a house full of kids from his first wife and I was just another mouth to feed for him. My brothers had learned to adjust with the mistreatment from our half siblings but I was just a child then.
My father thought that he needed someone to herd the cattle for the family and found me fit for the job. At the age of seven, when most of the children my age went to school, I was spending my days with the nature, herding the cattle.
One fine day, I heard that my cousins were coming home for their holidays. I hadn't met any of them since they worked in the capital. I was asked by my mother to get ready to go and see them since they wanted to meet me. I was very excited. We planned to visit them without the knowledge of my father because he didn't like us visiting them. A few days after their arrival to the village, I and my mother went to see them. They all welcomed us with their open hearts and they had a long talk with my mother. I was too small to understand what was going on. From that day, my mother started packing things silently and I felt the urge to ask but I could not. A week after our visit to the cousins place, my mother took me to the market on some pretext. I saw a car waiting and my mother told me to get inside. I saw my cousins inside the car and they drove me away, taking me away from my mother, the only person who cared for me.
That ride in the car was my first ride. I felt the trees moving and nauseous but my cousins assured me that it would be fine after sometime.  It was after many stops on the way that we reached the town. I saw the tall buildings for the first time. The hotel we stayed in was a very huge in comparison to the small hut where I and my mother along with my brothers stayed. (My father had a big palatial house which we hardly visited). After shower, my cousins took me to buy some dress for me. It was all like a dream for me. I was treated like a princess for the first time in my life. They wanted me to dress in pants and shirts which was very new experience to me. It took me sometime to get used to the dress.