Monday, 21 December 2009

It happened to me.

As a child I've read so many "It happened to me" in Tinkles. Now as i enter the adulthood, I've had various types of taste in my life. Today's "It happened to me" was sour with a twinge of bitterness yet delicious like that of little raw mangoes before summer.

I was sleeping for most of the time in the class today. As I squinted up from my table, the professor was teaching about the different types of forces involved in building construction and was asking for someone to help him demonstrate it. On seeing me on a battle with mighty sleep, he beckoned me on the stage. Once on the stage, my hands were fully stretched, each of them representing different beams on the column when someone from the back shouted, "Kinzang your long is out" followed by a roar of laughter among those students from where the sound came. Obviously they were joking, so I smiled back at them. The professor continued explaining as he turned and twisted my hands like a proud mechanic working on an old car. "Watch out your long", this time somewhere from middle and more laughter. I tried to frown but it was hard to miss the humour. These guys, in the past few weeks, were more interested in learning my mother language more than the lessons in the class. All most all of them are handy with few words like long, thu, jadaa … and so on. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not obscene but they are. And it would be unfair if I cannot do them a little favour when many of them are involved in arranging my date with a lovely brown-eyed blonde in our class.

I was beginning to feel the ache on the joints as a high pitched sound came from somewhere, "Hey, your long". "your long, your long", few more followed. This time everybody in the class was laughing with me except our short chubby professor. "Is everything all right", he announced and continued twisting my hands and legs like a yoga master without waiting for the student's response. I couldn't help but be proud of myself for being able to be the cause of their laughter and perhaps their happiness. I waved at the girls on the first row.

When the professor finished his lecturing, I must have been tired but I was all smiling. Today everybody laughed with me, I thought. As I walked down the hall I winked at few girls when a Chinese boy on the side tugged on my shirt and whispered, "Kinzang your zipper" pointing between my thigh. I felt the pang of helplessness at the bottom of my stomach as I gently bent down to discover that my zipper was all this time open. My white underwear could have camouflaged any colour but the black school pant. All this time they weren't laughing WITH me but they were literally laughing AT me. All this time they were shouting, "long, long" but not "zipper" just to, as I learnt later, save my embarrassment from the professor. But the damage was done already. Two rows in front, my brown-eyed blonde was giggling behind her hands.

I quickly excused myself to the toilet and zipped my pant. Much harder than necessary.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Phawphaw meymey

This is a story of my best friend and neighbor. He is 74 years old now, if I can remember it correctly. This morning I was calling my mom and she said he is nearby and wanted to meet me. No sooner did he take the receiver than he began to laugh heartily as he spoke, “Owe khotsa phaw phaw zakpa ma phi na…” and continued laughing. I was waiting for his laugh to cease when the line was interrupted. I know, even as I write this, he is still laughing.

I’ve always envied the way he could laugh. He has this special gift of laughing. He would take in the huge gulp of air, stretch the muscles over his wrinkled face towards the ear, expose bit of his doma tainted tooth and then laugh out until his lung run short of air. I’ve wished, if only every man on the earth can laugh like him.

I‘ve never cared to ask his real name. He was known more as Meymey Phawphaw among the children. I was no adult then. My parents used to smile understandingly at each other, every time I mentioned the word “Meymey Phawphaw”. I thought they liked it. So I used to compose a song and sing to them:

Meymey phawphaw yusung khuwa sa khorey,
Abi phawphaw rokthey gi buwa sa khorey.

I would sing this all day long until my mother shot a cold angry look on me.

He used to visit our house frequently. He would say my mother makes the best ara in the village. My mother was always flattered. What she didn’t know was that he said this to every household he went to drink ara. But he had a small sugarcane garden in front of his house and two big mango trees in the backyard that gave a big yellow fruits in the summer. So there was no reason I shouldn’t be his friend. As the time went by, he had grown very fond of me and I found myself feeling close to this old man. He would make bow and arrow for me and together we used to go to play in the open field below our house. He would teach me how to play damnyen and make me sing shonna shona hang shona…. . In turn I would teach him how to play carom board. “Songo gatpu gisho othen philey ani”, he used to say every time he scored in the pocket.

Unlike most of the other old people, he would never tell the fairytales. He used to talk about how brave he was as a young in the army. He would tell me how successful he was in seducing women. He asked me once if I’ve ever slept with girls. “Only two”, I lied. He laughed out loud and said, “When I was 16 years old as you, I’ve slept with seven women from Yurung and two from Chimung and Chongshing Borang each.” He is from Yurung in Pema Gatshel. Then suddenly he became unusually serious and spoke in lowered voice, “Tha gotcho khotsa, oma lona zemu ga phawphaw philey lamey. Yamlang zasu phaw phaw dasery philey kheley. Dakpa kam pecha sho tsa degni lampey kheyley na”. It was then I realized the meaning of Phawphaw and the reason why my loving mom would give me that cold angry look.

I completed my Higher Secondary and was going abroad for further studies. When I told him this he gently stroked his gray beard and sighed, “Don’t become a bad boy”. I understood his definition of bad boy. He must have heard about the students going abroad and getting into drugs. Getting into fight and being killed or never returning home. He suggested me why I don't represent our constituency in the upcoming election that he and the whole village folk would have full support on me. It was funny but I wouldn’t laugh at my friend’s innocence. I explained him about the requirement of minimum degree certificate to join politics.

A night before I left, I went to see him but he wasn’t at home. His abi told me he went to Yurung to visit his one and only grandson from his previous wife on Tuesday last week. That was the day after I told him I was leaving abroad for further study.

Friday, 20 November 2009


At the age of 72, you may expect meymey Korla to be around the cool shed of Changmey Gonpa counting the prayer beads. But you also may not like to see this old man to starve to death. His wife, abi Dowa has died 4 years ago. They had no children.

By late afternoon he would be seen by the bank of Gamri with his old fishing rod. His nephew had bought for him from Samdrup Jongkhar when he came to attend the abi dowa’s funeral. One such afternoon he was caught by a Forest Ranger. The Forest Ranger explained him the liability of legal action for fishing. The Forest Ranger asked meymey Korla to come to his office to discuss the penalty.

The next day, the old man walked all the way up to the gewog office. He spoke gently as he placed his, as old as him, jola on the table, “Lopon you know, due to the freezing temperature outside, fish usually don’t come out from the rock in the morning. But today I was lucky. I managed with one”.

He reached out for his jola and took out approximately a foot long fish which had not even breathed its last. “I thought I would offer this to u as seycha (an offer made to ask for forgiveness)”

How can a lopon reject an old man’s offer?


If only she could see the tears in my eyes,
If only she could feel my fragile heart,
If only she could understand how I feel about her,
It only she could turn back to see I’m dying for her,
If only she could feel the depth of my heart,
If only an angel could take the message.

The time would stop by to marvel bond of love,
The birds would fly by to drop down the flowers,
The buds would bloom into a beautiful rose,
The bees would sing the song of love,
The wind would gently whisper words of love,
And the butterfly would fly out of the cocoon.

Then the pain of love would dissolve into the sand,
And the world will watch us love till the end.

Friday, 13 November 2009

love in dreams

I’m in love with a girl. In fact I was in love ever since I saw her. But It wasn’t until I realized that the joy of beauty last forever. John Keats couldn’t have said anything truer. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She has one of those glistening brown eyes whose glance makes my heart stop beating for a while. Her nose is perfectly curved and underneath is her little rosebud mouth almost revealing her glistening white teeth. She has this same sweet smile all the time. Probably she is not capable of crying, of being sad or of being angry. As she speaks, her voice is filled with music. But ah! It is her heart-so soft and gentle that makes me close my eyes and do nothing but think of her.

This is lovely evening in the woods. For rose is sign of love, I find the most beautiful rose in this world, kneel in front of her and whisper, “I love you so much.” She smiles, takes the rose with one hand and gives me her other hand. I take her hand in mine as I gently draw her towards me, our face almost touching. I draw her closer. She blushes as I touch her crimson lips with mine. I kiss her, touch her, caress her and let myself float into the world I’ve never been.

But alas! This is just a dream and no love is as sweet as in dream. I just want to hold her tight in my arms and never let go. But it would mean a dream come true. A dream becoming reality. And Realities are not always sweet as in dreams. Often, realities are harsh and brutal. And I don’t want this to happen to her. Perhaps she must be a bird made to fly about freely in the sky, bringing joy to everyone who sees her. I simply cannot cage her just because I need her and that I’m selfish. So I’ll let her fly across the vast blue sky in perfect harmony and anybody who sees her pass by would say, “Here goes an angel.”

Someday, as she flies over the far-off cities, someone would lay a trap and she would be caged forever. I won’t regret it for I’ll be losing something I never possessed. At least I loved her and I let her go. After all, future will be all-together a different story-may be her version of “love in reality”.

Gambling with an old woman

Once an old woman with a bag walked into the bank and said she wanted to deposit her three million money. The clerk at the counter saw it was quite a huge sum of money. So an old woman was directly sent to the manager. The Manager instantly grew suspicious and asked an old women,

“Oh! grandma from where do you bring this huge sum of money”.

“I won a gambling”, she answered nonchalantly.

“So, what is that, you gamble”

“It’s nothing uncommon”, said an old woman as she drew her bag closer to her, “so wanna know young man? We can have one if you wish. I bet you one lakh, tomorrow morning before nine o’clock in the morning your testes will change the shape into square”.

The manager cannot help out a laugh,” hahaha…you must be joking”.

“No I mean it. Don’t you see Grandma has an amount of three million?” she said opening the bag she brought and made the manager to have it a glance. The Manager thought there could be no way his testes would turn into square, so he gladly accepted the bet. They made an appointment to meet the very next day at the same place at 9 o’clock sharp.

Almost Throughout the night he couldn’t sleep well as he checked his testes time and again. The next day he woke up and fumbled for the last time to see if his testes are still oval in shape. He smiled as he went to the office anticipating the victory.

The old woman, this time, has come with one another man. The Manager asked,”good morning, grandma. Who is that with you today”. “oh…he ‘s a lawyer, grandma has lots of money, so I brought him with me”, she answered.

“Whatever! old woman, I’m sorry I think you lost the bet”, He said as he pulled down his trousers and called her to check it out herself. So she walked up and felt the testes, “ah… of course it is still in oval shape, grandma is lost”, she admitted but without the twinge of loss in her accent. At that moment the manager saw that the lawyer was banging his head heavily on the wall in his office. So he said, “ you see grandma, what’s your lawyer doing?”.

“Oh! That”, she said, “I think it’s because he lost the bet too. I said I would fumble the testes of the Bank Manager in his office. He wouldn’t believe me so I bet him two lakhs for this………”

A story on full moonlight

May be I've never encountered greater romance in my life.

Last night I got a call from my old high school friend. Her voice was as sweet as usual. We talked of how difficult it is to be in foreign land. She said she missed me so much. I laughed.

Suddenly she asked me, "Do you see the moon?”

I went over to the window. "Yea, I do," I answered, surprised.

"I see it too," she said, nearly inaudible. I thought she was crying.

I was about to say, "so what?” when I slowly went back through the memory lane and remembered how she would compare me to the moon. I remembered how she used to call me ‘yongba’ as she arranged my gong (a white scarf worn with gho). I remembered how she would run to me after evening prayer and whisper in my ear, “goodnight dear”. I remembered how we used to steal glances during the morning assembly. I would smile. She was a wonderful friend.

She once told me that her boyfriend never gave time for her. It never bothered me. In fact I never cared. After all it was their love story. But why does it bother me today?

“Happy valentine day Kinzang”, she said finally.

I looked up in the sky. It was a bright full moon night. Why would the valentine day be on full moon night if it wasn't for a reason.

“Bye”, she hung up.

“Happy valentine day Pema”, I whispered.