Monday, May 30, 2011

Lest we forget her

They say she's been accursed in this samsaric world. “Aiee!” villagers moan each time they pass by her, “the fate had dealt brutally with Tshomo.” They say in her youth she had been very beautiful. Today she is virtually metamorphosed into an unkempt lean, pale, ghostly gray. Abandoned and despised, Tshomo confines herself in an estranged tiny hut. They say she is mad now, without compassion or soul. They say she can never retrieve to be a human again. But every villager (a remote gewog in Trashigang) knows what had brought about such an unexpected turn in her life.
It was way back in 1994, early March, a day on which the temperature has risen, fetching the year’s first true warm. A Hon’ble lyonpo was visiting her village on a special occasion of inaugurating the newly established primary school. Entire locals were cheerful then, that they were having their own school; moreover, the burden of sending their children to faraway schools has been answered.  

Chadi, an extravagant preparation though, was arranged. As tradition would have it, the rustic villagers adorned themselves in best attires, children dressed in fresh uniform, the school footpath carpeted with glittering pine needles, an overgenerous lunch prepared and cultural program readied. The locals also arranged a guesthouse for the lyonpo. 

The lyonpo arrived majestically, his bald head shimmered against the beastly hot sun. All day he was in striking smile, happy that the locals had arranged chadi so well, happy that he was welcomed so impressively. He appreciated all! That’s what he had in his two-hour long mighty speech. 

The cultural program was over, the massive lunch served and all returned home. School headmaster and Gup escorted the “impressed” lyonpo to the Guesthouse. As soon as they reached there, the highly honored guest spurred into volcanic anger. Gup and Headmaster rocketed inside the room and courteously bowed in front of him. The impatient lyonpo shouted, “Chadi, chadi, chadi! This is what you could arrange for me?”

Both were stung speechless, confused though. Gup nudged ahead and explained, “Hon’ble Lyonpo la, we did everything in our power to arrange the best chadi for you. But we don’t understand what chadi you mean la?” 

“Girl! Where’s the girl arranged for me tonight?” the lyonpo screamed unhesitatingly and barked orders, “Find one right away. Else you two will lose your jobs.” Oh Good Heaven, girl has become as urgent as an ambulance for him that night.  

Two of them set off to search for a girl. There’s a woman in mid-twenties, unmarried, whom the entire locality declared “lose woman”. They went to her house but she was out of the station. Very unlucky! They patrolled whole village hunting for girl, but no girl consented to come along (some married, few menstruating and several off to cow herding).  

Finally, they reached a hut where an aging woman and her beautiful daughter stayed. The two desperate hunters, scared of losing their promising jobs, approached the old woman and asked for her daughter. The old woman couldn’t deny the chief of her village and the village headmaster. The girl, Tshomo, was in her sweet sixteen, a slim-hipped beauty and was shy, so courteous. Angey agreed to send her daughter but on one considerable condition: “No one should notice my daughter going to or returning from the guesthouse…and no one should know this,” the Angey demanded.

When darkness came, where there was no moon, when clouds hid stars and when the homes of her neighbors on the hill laid serenely sleeping, they took Tshomo to the guesthouse, her face superbly veiled under a black shawl. 

She was stationed in the lyonpo’s room. A couple of minutes later, the door creaked open. The lyonpo lumbered into the room like a monstrous big, black bear. He looked diabolically hostile and desperado. She gasped. God mercy! He was a man of her father’s age.

He marched beside her, in the bed, his eyes feasted upon her. Lustfully. He started fondling her with his hateful hand as he came closer to her, sweaty, smothering, and terrifying in stark juxtaposition to her fragranced goddess-like body.

She stayed feared, clung to her shawl and fought unparalleled ferocity to break away from the savagery old man. But he massively marshaled his forceful odyssey of exploring a young village girl. He ripped off her clothes, tore apart her tender legs, climbed above her and sucked her. He sucked her and sucked her until he growled in absolute satisfaction.  

Alas! She cried in real, exceptionally violent pain. Tearful, she buried her face in her crossed arms, lied on the bed, frozen to the spot, paralyzed with pain, fear and shock. She cried and cried in a mournful display, patently hopeless situation.  

The lyonpo pushed Nu 500 note in her hands which was a little consolation to her. Before the dawn, Gup and headmaster escorted her back to her hut, to her aging mother. 

Next mid-morning, the lyonpo left the village in glorious triumph. But before that in a blaze of gratitude he rewarded the headmaster by giving him transfer, which villagers discovered later as a promotion. The Gup got a new thram of three acre of shashing (dry land).  

But for poor Tshomo, since then her beautiful life abruptly demolished. Her secret outed, her flaw exposed in an unforgiving way. The whole village knew her secret; her morale was really bottom low. Nobody wanted to marry her. “She is a slut!” whispered the villagers. She could neither fight for her rights but swallowed all the humiliation in silence. 

Her past, the harrowing experience lurked persistently in her mind. A sense of shame and inerasable humiliation persisted, deep and abiding. She stayed alone weakening and grieving day after day, her heart started sinking so fast with desolation, weariness and rage.  

A cool evening it was. The Moon silhouetted the entire village valley in silver when Tshomo heard an eerie, frightening noise. Suddenly her heart was chilled to ice. It was a savagery call. It was the moment when she gave up the hope of life altogether, she surrendered to confinement of madness. Oh, what has happened that night had changed her life completely. 

P.S. Special thanks to Amrith Bdr Subba, MoE for narrating this tragic story to me.

5 comments:

  1. Hearing the story makes me pretty muchly the sickest. Not only taking their life but torturing them and making them feel worthless. Even sicker are the men who were in involved in this...is this really how disgusting some people are?

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  2. How sad, if I were the one who heard the story i won't hesitate a moment to write the name of the lyenpo, the Gup and headmaster- I assume that at least the headmaster would be alive today.

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  3. Wow Rikku Sir, this is so Bhutanese and so real.
    The manners of some people claiming themselves to be Mangups, Gups, Chummis,Dzongdas and in this case even a head teacher, in the remote villages are really disgusting-too bad-unforgivable. Thanks for sharing the story.

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  4. Such things were not uncommon in the remote villages until some years ago. I have heard from a reliable source that at one time a civil servant let his wife bed with his boss since he couldn't find a girl for his boss who was on tour... very disgusting.
    And Thanks Rikku for sharing this story...may the people responsible for the crime rot in this life and here after

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  5. hope the three people involved burn in hell

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