Friday, June 6, 2014
She empties the bottle in a gulp as usual as the tears well up in her eyes. Who would have thought that the girl who was so cheerful would be burdened with such heavy emotions? It was only in this place that she could cry her heart out; the trees would listen to her problems without judging her. As the alcohol slowly dissolves in her blood stream she recollects the past that torments her frequently. The feeling of guilt and sadness envelopes her already heavy heart as the bottle empties. She stares at her wrist full of scars and after a moment she swiftly takes the blade across her numb wrist. The blood oozes out and for a split second she forgets about all the depressing thoughts as her mind gets diverted to the physical pain.
“You know why I cut? Because it’s a distraction; for one moment I don’t feel all the pain, the loss, the hurt. All I feel is that razor going into my skin, the blood dripping down my wrist. I don’t think about the way people talk about me behind my back. I don’t think about how a burden I am to my parents and my broken dreams. As the pain insides gets worse and worse I have to make the pain outside worse and worse. It’s all about control. I can’t control the pain on the inside so I get to control it on the outside” Tshering blurts out with teary eyes.
She fakes a smile and laughs like a normal person but no one would sense her far away expression in her eyes. She dies everyday inside as the future nears, the future that she had never imagined. “I never wanted to come here at Sherubtse. My dream was to be an engineer. My parents had great expectations from me as I was a bright student from the kindergarten. I know my parents are still disheartened with me and the guilt that I let them down never fails to make me live me in peace” she added. Her life is all messed up and the worst thing is that the road that she chose was never the one that she had fancied as a child. She wishes she had never grown up; a feeble wish as the harsh realities of the world crushes her down. She avoids the calls from her parents as she feels guilty for not fulfilling their expectations, to get scholarship to a renowned university. “I know my parents love me and it kills me that I can never return back the care that they have given to me. I feel sorry for them that they got the worst daughter in the world” she breaks down as the guilt haunts her.
Staring into darkness for almost an hour she clears her tear stained face and gets up with a fake smile. She pulls down her long sleeves to cover the blood stained wrist and regaining her balance, she follows the path back to her hostel. With a blank mind she stares back at the place that sheltered her with a promising thought to come back again.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Life is composed of insignificant moments and it is those mischievous risks that we take in our life that makes it worthwhile. Only by taking risks we can explore the qualities concealed deep within us. Our lives are governed by the rules and we sacrifice our means of pleasure by the fear of its consequences. I am not convincing to break the rules but we should break free from the control of the rules. We should not simply stand on the edge of the cliff for the fear of dying; take a jump and only then will you notice the sprouting of the wings on your back which will land you to safety. You get to experience and feel the environment rather than viewing it from the top and wondering your whole life what lies at the bottom.
It was on Saturday when I was studying class twelve as a boarding student in Jigme Sherubling Higher Secondary School. The rules are usually strict like in any other schools and especially for girls; they are not allowed to loiter around in the academic buildings except during their study hours. The shutter of the girls’ hostel should be closed after the dinner. Usually the dinner on Saturday is carried out a little earlier. As usual the food served in the mess did not succeed in satisfying our hunger. It was the usual mundane dinner consisting of rice that smelled of the smoke from the kitchen and curry consisting of potato and spinach; a bad combination since you never know which unlucky person may get the fat worms that had used the leaf of the spinach as a camouflage. So praying not to be the one to receive that worm in our plate we took only a little share leaving our belly still rumbling. It was the days like this that we terribly missed the dumplings and the hot noodles that we took on our outing which was only once in fourteen days. To add on our misery there was no school canteen to substitute the missed dinners.
The rumbling of our stomachs prompted us to go in search of the noodles. While some were totally broke like us, others could not part away with their limited stocks. My mind was playing slide show of Aum Dema’s delicious dumplings and soon it became unbearable. I could do anything at that moment to satisfy the urge.
“Let’s bunk” Y.C who was one of our group friends suggested. I gladly accepted her proposal and soon we were joined by Kinley and Chimi who were equally famished. Karma however declined fearing to be caught though she volunteered to open the shutter for us when we came back. We were at advantage since being a senior we could get access to the keys easily from the councilors. The four of us ventured outside when the other students were busy engrossed over the television in the hallway. As an extra precaution we dressed up in pants and shirts so we could be taken for outsiders instead of boarding students. We sneaked out from the back door and Kinley who knew a secret path by the river led us.
Like a soldier sneaking into the enemy’s camp we struggled to pass through the barbed wire that probably marked our school area. At a distance we could hear the gushing of the stream that denoted the pathway to our mission camp. We only needed to reach that stream and then we could follow it downwards towards the bazaar. However the road towards success is never easy. The area had become slippery due to the continuous rain for the past few days. It was indeed hard to create our own road through shrubs and bushes that remained undisturbed by the living souls. I was the one to create a path and check its reliability. On one such occasion I was checking if the area was fit to be walked upon when I slipped and my arms fell into the cluster of nettle plants. I gasped out in pain as my arms throbbed from the sting accompanied by the laughter of my friends. I put on my flip-flop back and to my agony found out that the strap had come off. Cursing my luck I carried the flip-flop in my hand and walked barefoot.
Walking swiftly we reached the stream infested with thirsty bloodsuckers. Those black invertebrate populated the entire stream waiting eagerly for its host.
“I am not going to donate my blood to them” Chimi cried out and refused to cross the stream. I was also freaked out by those leeches but there was no other way for us to get to the market without crossing that stream. The sight of them sent chills down my spine and made my heart pound harder. Thinking about those delicious dumplings, I closed my eyes and quickly ran across the stream. On reaching the other end I shrieked out as my eyes fell on two leeches that had attached on my leg. Kinley came to my rescue as she was the only one who wasn't afraid of leeches. Same followed with the others as they heaved a sigh of relief after Kinley took off the leeches.
We took the narrow trail upward which lead to a little village above the market. Following the stream downwards was out of question as we didn't want to encounter with those bloodsuckers again. The trail was opposite to the science lab and we could directly see some hardworking students studying enthusiastically. Kinley put on her hood and the two of us quickly passed through that area. We were spotted by some and they started calling and teasing us. Chimi and YC were afraid of being caught and refused to cross that area. After too much of beckoning and pursuing did they finally agree to come. Finally it was a walk downhill and following my footsteps YC slipped and one of her slipper also gave way. It was our turn to laugh at her.
We reached the market trying to ignore the weird glances from the people around since YC and I was walking barefoot with slippers each on our hand. Chimi and Kinley were fighting hard to hold in their laughter. Despite the troubles our mission had accomplished. We entered into Aum Dema’s restaurant with a triumphant smile and the tempting aroma of our reward wafting through every corner of the restaurant. We were so much into the scrumptious dumplings that we didn't notice the other visitors entering into the restaurant.
“Kinley what are you doing here?” our principal’s wife inquired. We nearly choked on our food. Well we got caught and were sure that we would receive a dreadful punishment for breaking the rules. But luck did favor us as Kinley and YC was a relative to our principal. She assured she would not report the matter to the principal but told us to quickly get to the hostel. It was nearly dark after we finished eating and packed some for our friends waiting in the hostel. YC borrowed a pair of slippers from her friend and I was wearing my slipper and the other spare slipper of YC.
We followed the trail back to hostel losing our way once. Since it was dark and the only light was from the mobile in Kinley’s hand, she nearly took us to the dining hall where the teachers were having a farewell party. Quickly finding the right way we reached the barbed wire and called Karma to keep the back door open. Some students were still near the television and no one noticed us getting inside. It wasn't simply us to have fulfilled our wish; the wishes of those leeches were also fulfilled. They had had a feast on our blood as they easily dropped when we went to wash our feet. After getting comfortable in our bed we started to narrate our little adventure to Karma and the other friends.The four of us took the jump and on the way we realized about ourselves. We are courageous enough to take risks as long as the result on the other end is worth our action. We conquered our own fears and the result at the bottom of the cliff is really astonishing. It will remain as one of a memorable incident in my life, a constant reminder of my bravery.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
The sun was setting in the western horizon as the melancholy breeze engulfed the remaining warmth left by the sun. People were already besides their Bhukharis comfortable with its cozy warmth. The cold seemed to have forced the insects to take refuge in a warmer shelter as the evening was dead silent. The fallen leaves rustled from the little breeze that motioned from his tensed walking feet. Closing his eyes, Drukdra inhaled deeply the cold October air as the battling thoughts running wildly in his mind ceased. The frowns seemed to disappear magically for a second as the same old air took its effect. Slowly his fingers stroked the wristband on his left hand as the past memories rushed tangling his thoughts. With a swift movement, he opened his eyes to the view of football ground, his paradise as he used to tell his friends. The large green football pitch was still the same to be greeted by the victorious players. The only difference was that he was greeted with a melancholy anxiety and he felt like a complete stranger as he stood in his so called paradise.
The cold seemed to gnaw at his back as he painfully stretched. He was a tall, dark and usually an enthusiastic and an optimistic guy. It would be bitter to say that only at the age of eighteen, he was faced with a huge obstacle to be overcome. Treading through the rough pebbled pathway and showing his frustration on the deserted empty soda can, he tried to erase the painful memories. He reminded himself that it was just a bad dream and wished to wake up soon. But somewhere he was sure that it was impossible and that he had to be brave enough to accept the truth.
“Where had you been? We had been so worried about you” his mother asked concernedly from across the kitchen.
“Sorry mom went outside to take in some fresh air” he answered apologetically. He could smell the delicious aroma of emadatshi wafting through every corner of the house. On quickly glancing around the sitting room, he saw his father engrossed in some of his paper works and his fourteen year old brother struck near the television.
“Next time inform us if you need to go outside” his father added taking his eyes off the papers.
“Yeah sure dad” he answered trying to avoid the extra attention they were showering on him.
“You just reached here on time. Dinner is ready” his mother announced setting out the table. He noticed that her mother had taken special care to prepare his favorite curry. However his favorite curry could not help in diverting his mind from the disturbing thoughts. They circled around the television and silently ate their dinner. The blaring sound from the television broke the awkward silence. The advertisement on the television gave way to the heated match between the Barcelona and Manchester United.
“Put off the television!!!” his father scolded his brother to which he quickly acted on his instinct.
“It’s ok Dad, let him watch the match” Drukdra uttered. “I am already done with the dinner. I’ll be going to my room now” He pushed away the half full plate as he fought vigorously to suppress the surge of sadness with a forced smile.
“Goodnight son. Time heals everything so don’t be too harsh on yourself” his father patted encouragingly on his back. Drukdra dragged himself into his bedroom and tiredly lay on the bed. He gazed at his wristband and let the memories unfold freely. It was the wristband with the word Barcelona engraved on it. The symbol of victory as his coach had gifted him for being an exceptional player.
“I am sure you can easily make it to the national team and make us all proud one day” the coach had said when he had handed him his lucky charm. Drukdra idolized Messi and his fellow mates even hailed him the 2nd Messi as he won every match that he played in.
The memories unraveled once again before his very eyes. It was a sunny day with nothing unusual. The day was perfect as it should be with the students going about with their endless chatters and the birds chirping in the distance. Drukdra was as expected in the football ground practicing for the upcoming annual District match. The scorching sun made his shirt soak in wet but it did not dampen the stamina he had for the game. The ball presented itself before him and using all his skills he passed it to his other friend near the opposite post but his strength overtook it and down the ball went landing right into a pothole in the road. There was a disappointing sigh from the few eager audiences as the ball missed the post.
“I’ll fetch it” he volunteered and right at the moment when his hand came in contact with the ball a speeding truck zoomed by.
“Watch out!!!” his friends shouted but it was too late to reach his destination as his leg caught under the rumbling tires. He could hear the crunching of his bones and his own excruciating scream. Everything blacked out and he felt terrible hands of death tugging him.
“Thank god he is alive” he could hear faint whispers and the fading footsteps. He felt so weak and felt insurmountable difficulty to even open his eyes as if climbing the Mount Everest. He inhaled the sharp smell of medicine and he could somehow guarantee that he was alive. Gathering all his strength he opened his eyes to be greeted by the white walls of the ICU. He tried to get himself off the metal bed but his leg didn’t obey him. It felt heavy and the searing pain shot up his whole body. The painkiller was wearing out and he found the pain impossible to be dealt with.
“Lost in your thoughts again?” his brother intervened bringing him back to the reality.
“No. was just wondering about some useless things” he shrugged his shoulders creating space for his brother to hop in. His brother adjusted himself and within seconds was already deep in sleep. He closed his eyes but the sleep seemed to have abandoned him. His mind visited the past incident again. He could still feel the anguish when the doctor had informed him of his condition.
“I’m sorry; we did everything possible but could not save your leg. You were in critical condition and concentrated only on saving your life. Even though we replaced your leg with an artificial metal leg, I’m afraid you can no longer play.” The doctor had informed him calmly.
He cried himself to sleep for weeks. The doctor did save his life but ironically he was already dead inside. He was only a moving body. Letting go of the only ambition that he had worked towards from his childhood was indeed tough.
“Why did you even save my life if I was to lead a miserable life” he cursed god every time his glance fell on his legs. His wings were broken and he knew he was trapped forever on the ground.
It was after the harsh accident that watching football was prohibited in the house. For the first two weeks every time he saw the match on the television he broke down into tears. His parents took extra care to divert his mind from the harsh reality of his life. It was almost a month now and he still could not move on from his past. It kept lingering and obstructed his future. He was a topic of gossip in the school too. Except for his few true friends, others mimicked him as the ‘Metal legged’. The sight of the football ground drained him of his happiness as he realized he could no longer play. With the flashbacks playing on his mind he slowly drifted away to sleep.
Drukdra woke up to the warm rays of sunlight streaming through the curtains. As usual he dressed himself for the school and quickly grabbed some bread for the breakfast. On the way he met a cute child. His curly hair and the round big eyes instantly caught his attention. But something wasn’t definitely right. The child was crying all alone on a lawn with his leg drawn forward. On a closer glance he saw that the child was bleeding and his knees were bruised. Drukdra quickly went over to his aid. After cleaning the bruise, he used his spare band-Aid.
“Thank you doctor uncle; I can no longer feel the pain now” the four years old child thanked him with a broad smile on his face.
“No dear I am not a doctor” he laughed touched by the thankful voice of the child
“Hey you are smiling. Thought you had forgotten how to do so” his friends commented happily.
“Yeah, I rescued a child today or more importantly that child came to my rescue. Who cares if I cannot play? I still got my brain to create a new future. I am going to mend my wings, go up in the sky, open my wings and fly more freely and higher than anyone has. The child gave me the courage to dust myself off and get back on my feet and take off once again.” “I am going to be a doctor!!!” he smiled victoriously
“Wow that’s our buddy. Cheers to the new found ambition” they shouted uniformly. Even though only a month was left for the board exam, he didn’t lose hope. With no games to distract him, he concentrated only on his studies. While others were drooling over the addicting match on the television, he was studying the texts ardently. He was brave enough to turn his weakest point into his most benefitting point. Every time his mates called him the ‘metal legged’, he studied vigorously to avoid quarrelling with them. The books became his best friend and his grades shot up shocking his teachers and his classmates.
The most awaited time for Drukdra came when the results for the class twelve board exam was about to be announced. He already lost his first dream, he did not dare to let it happen the second time. Anxiety got hold of him and even the food was tasteless as it seemed to get struck on his throat. Sitting on the sofa with his back bend forward, he tried to control his shaking hands which supported his tensed head. His cell phone beeped and with a swift motion he picked up his cell. The caller ID showed it was his dad and knowing the reason for the call his heart skipped a beat.
“Congrats son you have made me proud” his father announced barely able to hold the excitement. “You stood second from overall science stream”
Tears of happiness welled up in his eyes as he realized his hard work has paid off. His dream of being a doctor was only a few steps ahead of him. What if he could not make up to the national football team? He still could treat the patient who had lost hope and provide them with a reason to be alive. He was going to pursue MBBS in a renowned college in Sri Lanka. He thanked and kissed the lucky charm on his left hand. He was a winner once again.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The cold mist slowly seeps through the thin opening of the cracked glass as I rub my hand against the other arm to add a spark of warmth to my soul. My gaze wanders out of the window to the view of the blanketed college campus as the fog embraces the structures on its way. The voice of the lecturer grows fainter and slowly diminishes as I engross myself to the magical showcase of the nature.
“Hey you wanna come with us?” our CR asks with a little tug on my Tego trying to gain my attention
“Huh??? Were you saying something?” I ask confusedly trying to gather my thoughts back from the captivating view. On quickly glancing at the time, almost an hour had passed and the class had already ended without my knowledge.
“Didn't you listen to my announcement? We are going for picnic tomorrow to Pangthang” He added somewhat irritated realizing I hadn't paid heed to his announcement.
“Yeah she is also going with us” my friend added before I opened my mouth to refuse.
“Come on you should learn to enjoy” she whispered with an encouraging wink and dashed out of the class on seeing my forehead break into a frown.
On reaching my room, I made myself comfortable in my blankets with a cup of coffee by my side. To distract my mind from the conflicting thoughts and the melancholy drizzling of the rain, I flipped across some pages of a novel only to give up after a few seconds. With a sigh I logged into the Facebook to be greeted with the blinking of the message. I opened it to find none other than a long message which my boyfriend had written to me. Lately we had been fighting a lot for an unknown reason and somehow the string of love seemed to have broken. My friend was right. The distance proved to be a hindrance to our relationship and with the passing of days it only grew much worse. The letter read:
Two days gone without you in my life and the matter with this heart is becoming worst. Things were wonderful; I loved every moment I had spent with you. The hunger in my heart longing desperately for you but sometimes it turned out in anger or in sadness ultimately hurting you. But believe me after showing you my anger when I checked the messages again, it used to hurt me more. Guess you would have already forgotten about that since it is of no more value to you now. I never kept the hurtful words that you uttered in your anger in my heart. I don’t know how but I could somehow dissolve it miraculously maybe because my love for you was greater than the petty matters. I had always feared that I may lose you because of my anger and indeed it turned into a harsh reality.
Ummm…..I had always feared this moment. The moment when both of us would turn into a complete stranger; even if I happen to meet you I won’t have the guts to look at you and walk away as if I never knew you. I don’t know if I am to blame the fate or myself for being me but I think it wasn't fair enough for my heart….
I never wanted to love before...Yeah I had crush on you from long time ago but I had no guts to confess it to you…I didn't possess the strength to face you then and unfortunately my love remained unrequited when you went away in class 11….I thought I would not meet you again so I stopped the thought of loving and concentrated only on having fun…But fortunately or unfortunately you came into my life again and my joy knew no bounds. I could not resist staying away from you as my dreams were complete then….I left all my bad habits and changed myself into a new person so you could like me but was unaware that I was heading into a marsh to be trapped there forever.
To tell the truth I never knew a man like me could ever love someone so much……I never realized….I never….I feel completely incomplete without you….I lose rhythm in my writing…I am losing myself….Guess I better stop my writing here. Can’t write more now…
I sniffled as cold tears started rolling down my cheeks. I felt a sharp pang of sadness and regret embracing my heart as I cried myself to sleep.
“Please not to that place… please” I prayed silently but god didn't seem to favor my wish. Our CR had chosen the same place as the picnic spot which brought back the memories that I was trying to erase. The swishing of the pine trees whispered the distant laughter that we shared and the memories all of a sudden started playing flashbacks through my mind. The laughter of my classmates sent a deep melancholy feeling in my heart. The thoughts that I was trying to suppress welled up to the surface as I fought vigorously not to break down into tears. I realized I did a wrong thing by breaking up with him and making him go through hell but I didn't have a choice. The fact that I never loved him as much as he loved me always made me feel guilty. It was better to make him suffer once than to hurt him every day. Rather than making him waste his love on a girl who could not return back the same amount of love, it was better to let him go to find a better girl who would give her full heart to him. For some strange reason I felt I wasn't fortunate enough to receive his immense love. The distance and the usual fights somehow warned me to let go of him.
The sky began to clear after the continuous rainy days and for a briefest second as I sat on his favorite spot among the pine trees, I felt his presence with me and I captured that blissful feeling which would always be reminisced till eternity. A broad smile crossed across my face as I let those beautiful memories of us run through my mind.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
“The modern girls are really unimaginable. I wonder what joy they get by ruining their natural hair colour” a middle aged woman comments as I walk past her followed by the disapproving glance from the others in company with her.
“Yalama!!! Chilip!!!” the small children giggle among themselves when they happen to fall their gaze upon my new bright reddish hair colour. It wasn’t my first time experiencing such reaction from the others. Almost like a habit, I was now used to such criticisms and it was better to let them comment to their satisfaction.
Few months back my friend and I were randomly glancing through the sample pictures on the online shopping website searching for a particular dress to order and the instant my eyes fell on that particular photo, I was intrigued by the bright glowing hair of an unknown model. Filled with renewed enthusiasm the two of us went to parlour the next day to come out few hours later with a stunning new look. It was then that my “Barbie” days as my friends have nicknamed me began and the more I looked at myself in the mirror, the more I could not take my eyes off from my hair colour despite the insulting comments of others.
However others did not share the same fondness to my new fascination. I was unaware that I was still living in a society where most of the people are uncivilized and are bothersome about the actions of others. The gruesome looks from the elders as if they have come across a thief were enough to turn off my mood. Even while going out for a dinner to a relative’s house, I had to secure my hair into a tight bun and conceal it cautiously so as not to let my hair loose and reveal the colour.
Even though considered by others to be immature, my ‘barbie’ days are bright and colorful. I do not regret my action and for those who still despise my hair, a wild hair colour does not define a character of a person!!!! Life is an adventure and it should be experimented often with new things and that’s what I did J