Thursday, November 1, 2012

A lot like love

I’ve skipped my evening tea, gave up walk, ignored phone calls, sacrificed my favorite TV shows, and missed the sunset seen from my room. And here, in my little room, I keep writing this post, all happy. It’s all about one of the most beautiful episodes of my life, my little life I had lived 13 years back.

It was in 1999. So to say. I was, then, studying in Class VII at Yebilaptsa MSS, a remote boarding school in Zhemgang. I’ll tell you…it’s all so sweet, so short, and unassumingly strange.

I was a good boy. Disciplined. Excellent in studies. Also, active in extra-curricular activities. Ahem, I had earned many admirers amongst school girls. Seriously, he-he. Many times, uh, I received letters from them, even from the school’s hottest girls. I was a charming, cool, and damn-less, they would say.  

But I had no idea of what love is. I was, more tellingly, too young to understand love and being in a relationship. I had felt that there’s no such feeling called love. Not in this world. Ever. At least, not for me. My priority was to excel in studies and do well in life.

Well, I had a close friend of mine. Yeah, a girl. She, I dare say, was a fair, gorgeous and smart girl. I’d spend my time, mostly, with her. During intervals, we’d always meet and talk, in fact, nothing significant in particular. But we’d just love to do that.

We’d help each other in our homework, assignments. Just before exams and on our birthdays, we’d exchange cards and gifts. She’d share her parcels (packaged foods or groceries) with me. During the mealtimes, she would bring me ezey.
In the evenings, after our class, we’d walk by the school gardens. Hand-in-hand. Occasionally, she’d pluck marigold and give it to me. A few times, she had surprised me with red roses. But no, no, we’re good friends only…yes, yes, very close friends.

And I’m just going to very candid and honest. Ermm…when I fell sick I’d write her letters talking about my health and my hunger for meeting her again. So badly. I used to experience an empty feeling in her absence. So you guess now. Is it love? But I had felt that there was never any feelings for her. She was only a close friend. Nothing more.

Our annual exams was just one week to come. It’s early November, and this time of year in Zhemgang was particularly elusive as days getting bewitchingly shorter and shorter, and colder and colder. Students were seen busy preparing for the exams. Some were busy exchanging wishing cards. Others were just excited to go home for the long winter vacation.
It’s this time, one icy morning, two of us were summoned in the principal’s office. As soon as we entered his office, he barked at us, “Are you two lovers?” I went blank; stood there, flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to react. A strict disciplinarian, he was a voice of god, never to be questioned or challenged.

He told me to bend down. Then, he ruthlessly smacked on my back with a cane stick. 13 times, I still remember. My breath stopped, literally, and I was dead for a moment. He warned me, “If I again hear or see you two together, I will expel you out of this school!’

As I left his office, I heard another eerie and frightening noise of brutal smacking. It was followed by an agonizing sharp cry. Alas, she was on the receiving end.

Our beautiful friendship was lost in a single explosive moment. After that damaging experience, we never met. Exams came and over, yet we didn’t meet. We packed our luggage to go home for vacation, yet we daren’t meet. It was a draconian and unfair farewell, I must say.

I never met her in my life as I had so fervently hoped and desired. I tried to trace her whereabouts, but all in vain. She had completely disappeared out of my life for the last 13 years.

But a little over month before, I met her. Yes, here in Thimphu. You never know how excited I’ve become. I took her in a cozy restaurant to treat her cup of coffee. More than that, I wanted to talk to her. First shock: She is married and has a kid. Damn!

As we kept sipping on hot coffee, we asked and talked about our personal life, our family and career. Then, our conversation tuned into our childhood. We reminisced and talked about it for so long, for hours. It appeared as if we wanted, so badly, to turn back hands of time and start our life together all over again.

Our coffee over and as we moved out from the restaurant, she told me this. Second shock: “If you had proposed me that time, I would certainly accept you!” And I replied her, “Had you been still single today, I’d come to you with a marriage proposal!”

Instantly, she choked up, the tears finding her. Her tears mixed with the black mascara and foundation on her face. As I watched her, I realized something. I had tears too. They were there, in my eyes. And I’m not sure why. My tears surprised me. I tried to lift my head up, with the hope that I could prevent it from flowing down my cheeks. I couldn’t.
Finally, I let the tears plummet down my cheeks. But this crying, bursting out tears was so freeing, so relieving. And this reminded me one important aspect of life. Letting go! Like the tears flowing down, in life we’ve to let go some people or forget our past even though how beautiful or reverberating they appear. Life is, after all, the end of one era, the beginning of another. 

Photo courtesy:


  1. A very interesting post filled with lots of deep feelings from the heart. I could relate to what you went through and literally see you guys breaking down helplessly under the weight of emotions after 13 years of complete disappearance from each other's life. It is said that things didn't happen at the right time and in the mean time, she lost you and you lost her. I am very sure if she writes, she would have already written equally touching post. I would love to hear the story from you personally. :D I am coming to Thimphu very soon. I could see you writing a novel based on this story. Won't you, Rikku? Really enjoyed going through the post though it's a sad story. Thanks for putting up such a wonderful post! Keep writing. :)

  2. Sad* she would also have*

  3. Beautifuly written riku... :(

  4. I like reading your articles, Please write more often. hehehe.

  5. Very Beautiful!
    Sadly and interestingly One stick on your back dragged you two a year apart!!! Why not you made more beautiful by showing the photos of you two together? It would have add more charm!
    Enjoyed reading it; keep inspiring us by writing such articles la.

  6. Thank you all for your wonderful words. Inspired! A wonderful weekend!!!

  7. I have to say it, it really touched me. Well written.

  8. Beautifully written. Interesting post.

  9. Interesting! Fantabulously Amazing!
    I am quite smitten by your memories of 13 years ago. No matter how hard your student life was at that time, you still have a precious memory to share with us.
    Cheers to this present life. :D

  10. I envy your writing sir,,,wish i had a heart like you and like your hands that write beautiful lines....Thank you for sharing with us....a side of you so nice to hear of.....Keep writing and keep inspiring us to write more...Enjoyed Endlessly....

  11. thanks for sharing.