If a husband had to treat his wife a lavish wedding and honeymoon, then I’m failing already. If he had to gift his bride rich jewelry, then I’ve stumbled. For neither had I treated my wife wedding and honeymoon, nor any jewelry.
The traditions of the family I was raised have it though. However, it was largely my wife’s effort to shun it. She had reiterated in a firm tone, “They are not necessary. How we take on this marriage and life matters.”
So one fine afternoon, I offered her this proposition - if we could visit my village to celebrate our union with family members. She agreed instantly.
In a couple of weeks, after that, we rode to Gelephu. It’s a full day journey from Thimphu; plus my village is two more hours walk from Gelephu town.
This visit was my wife’s first time to Chuzagang. All along the journey, she wondered about my village and family members.
She appeared delighted when I told her that my parents still live in the village and practise traditional farming. But it amusingly shocked her when she heard from me that my father married two wives and has 11 children.
|Some of my family members|
“Oh goodness! Two wives. 11 children,” she reacted intensely in a can’t-believe gesture. For hers a small family of three.
Then she made her statement clear, rather laughingly, “I hope you wouldn’t follow your father and marry another woman.”
Well, that time Chuzagang was blessed with a soft and gentle weather. During the noon, the hot sun fairly pricked us; however, other time it was pleasant. Only my family members gathered for the occasion. We are 47 and four generations living together.
My wife was literally blown away, and she asked me again and again for sureness, “Are you sure these are all your family members?”
Meanwhile, as was customary, I took around my wife and introduced my parents, siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces to her. To the end, I saw her struggling as she tried recollecting the person and their names.
Then, she whispered in my ear, “I can only remember your parents. Rest…I am confused. Too many. All alike. He-he.”
Towards the evening, I took my wife out to see our farmland, cattle and crops. Anyone visiting my village would be awed by its vast plane, stunning patterns of rice fields and magnificent sunset.
As we walked around, I explained to her that this is the place where I had spent my entire childhood. I grew up playing with other village kids, working in the fields and looking after cows and sheep.
My childhood was hard, she knew it. Every morning, before I would go to school, I helped my father plough the field. After the school, too, I would work in the farm.
By the way, the village’s children had a strange attitude. All of them wanted to get married and settle down at young age, or to study up to sixth grade and join either police or driving. But I think I was different. I had a dream of acquiring degree certificate, to work as a civil servant, travel and know the world’s wisdoms. Ultimately, I soared away from the village.
Here I was again, in my 31, back in my own village. I have fulfilled all of my childhood dreams – attended college, joined civil service, and travelled several countries. Moreover, I got married.
And here, I was not only reminiscing about my childhood memories, but walking with my wife and creating memories too. Of course, I was writing a fresh chapter of my life, this time my wife along.