Thursday, March 22, 2012

So yesterday

I always try to press ahead-not to retrospect too often. But yesterday, well, while dusting off my closet, I came across a photo that set me back with reminiscences. This photo contains so much of an intense emotion, overwhelming passion and innocence that I’ve never realized before. It made me cry, really cry. And today, I cannot help, but share this with you.

This photograph was taken in 2005. I was a first year student. At Sherubtse College in Kanglung. I was, then, young-young in everything. Even in love. My girlfriend, sad though, was not there in Kanglung (she was studying in Punakha). There’s over 500 miles between us. And now you must be wondering how I had maintained contact with her. Those days, Kanglung had no access to internet, therefore, no e-mail. No mobile network, so no Short Message Services and phone calls.

But every fortnight, on the college notice board, notification from the Kanglung Post Office would read,
Riku Dhan Subba,
First Year, BA (Hons) English
Sherubtse College, Kanglung.

Please, visit the post office to collect your registered letter.

My class forgotten, I’d dart off to the post office. A gorgeous lady, the postmaster, would be sitting in her office. Each time she would make me to sign on a long thick register book. As she would handover an envelope to me, she smiled at me, beautifully.

On the envelope was my name and address. And you just can’t imagine how excited I’d be to receive a letter, my name on it. I’d recognize the handwriting. Ah, it’s my dearest one, my girlfriend’s handwriting! Those letters from my girlfriend were so much to me. More than the monthly money order I used to receive from my father. I’d carefully keep the letter inside pouch of my gho and cherish reading it when I reach home.

Sometimes, letters in my pocket, I used to stroll way above Khangma where the fertile rice and maize fields, fed by water channels, lay luminous for acres and acres. Farmers, rustic, their heads padded with green leaves, curving sickles in their hands, wearing faded kira and gho would be working in fields. And I’d sit down under a handsome tree, unfold the letters hastily but cautiously to avoid damage of envelope and letter inside. Anticipation, thrill, surprise and excitement all would crush into me-which would make me amazed and tearful, all at once. I’d read it once, twice…even a dozen times, until the glare of the sun was sucked out of the day.

In the evening, I’d sprint way down to the Kissing Point. Flock of seabirds would be flying back from somewhere in the east towards their habitats, towards the setting sun, beyond the horizon, beyond those crimson clouds. Against cool evening breeze, I’d walk alone-all in her thoughts-as the stars would begin to switch on one by one and the richly milky moon would come out beautiful.
I’d nestle at the Kissing Point. The play of truck lights, at night, seen from that point would be always mesmeric. Oh, one would feel his/her mind spiraling out, Milky Way style. In a while, the highway would be swarmed with scores of college couples walking hand-in-hand, often misbehaving in public-kissing, hugging and catching and snatching each other’s fingers. And how I’d wish my togetherness with my girlfriend when I could chance to spot shooting stars! So, that way, I had lived on hope. 

Back in my room, again, I’d open and read her letters. Sometimes I used to find rose, petals and her photographs. I used to smile, laugh, even cry and do all sorts of tossing around in my bed while reading letters. In her letters, I could even find her scent. I could feel her when I touched the words on her letters. In each word, I could see a glimpse of the spontaneous flow of her soul and heart. And how sweet, her letters had always stirred up very raw feelings in me-my heart meltdown, my eyes tearful!  

However, it’s never easy to maintain a distant relationship in Kanglung. It’s a couple-driven society. You’re tempted, coaxed, ragged or even dragged into blind dates; then, into unlikely relationship. But nothing did thwart my love, faith for my girlfriend.

And it’s always exciting to go around Upper Market, Lower Market and Post Office buying envelopes and stamps. But, ugh, there always was threat as wicked and venomous seniors would unleash mayhem on us (fresher), anytime. They’d walk straddling in an ungainly waddle swaying from side to side, high on ganja and arra. It was the test of love, though. Temptation. Wicked seniors. All.
I’d spend scores of time choosing the colour of paper to write on and ink to write with. And I’d always write in best words and best handwriting. In a crazed hope, I’d wait for her reply. In each reply, I still remember, how happy I used to be when she appreciated my letters. It’s a motivation to write better in my next letter and improve my handwriting as well.

Good gracious, this is the sheer blessing of writing letter. Today, even after eight years, when I retrospect about writing those letters, it evokes such a delicious nostalgia and happiness.  It makes me cry, really cry and long for those days-pure and noble.         


  1. Nice one sir. Loved reading it. Though you were miles apart, you had a great time through exchange of letters and doses of love transmitted through them. So, the story has ended or is it still on? Just curious. By the way, Spring Season seems to be making you romantic with all the beautiful pictures and posts you have been posting of late. keep going. :)

  2. This is one of the most heart throbbing post I have ever read so far. Rikku Sir, just be happy that you had such a good time back then and you a tale to tell and share to your friends.

    A thought capturing moment!

  3. I would openly call it a tear-breaking post. It brings tears because wind of temptations blows up and down my spinal cord and it interpreted in the form of tear...lovely post...loved it!!

  4. Thank you so much, both of you!

  5. lhakpa dorji sherpaMarch 22, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    so yesterday was the day with your lovely girl.....yeah. heart touching da,,,, i enjoy reading.. it is lovely.

  6. its lovely...(Mr. Anti-feminist, for watever reason :P)
    i dont know how u manage to write so much that happened a long time back.
    u got a very interesting grasp on ur past.
    was fun though.

  7. Remind me of my past time too......
    Went to post office, bought stamps, put it on the envelope, and put the envelope into the letterbox.... What a memory.......