For quite some time, I wondered dimly whether I have really stepped inside Sherubtse, “The Peak of Learning”, as we were so fond of calling it. Dark clouds stumbled in and were moving steadily, in an eerie manner, around the college campus. There were no streetlights, not a single soul. All seemed dark, misty and forlorn.
That’s how my college welcomed me after eight years. But maybe my college was too excited to see me after so many years and she was only expressing her emotions in the form of dark clouds. Just maybe she was feeling dark and lonesome without me.
In the meantime, it began to rain. Nice and hard. I quickly ran towards the academic block where I had studied and took shelter there. I sat there gazing at the falling rain; ah, it felt like Kanglung was crying, showering its tears in happiness.
After about half an hour, the rain stopped and gradually the dark clouds were drawn away as if summoned by the heaven’s magic wand. Then suddenly the day fetched the sunlight, brightening the valley, college.
So everything appeared bright. Even the heavy emotions lurking persistently in my heart were washed away too. I felt freeing, blissful, and then I walked around the campus gently, with care.
Tall and beautiful, Sherubtse still wears its persistence grace. Except for a few new buildings, everything remains same - the jumbo gate, hostels, academic blocks and library. All this constitute their oldness and glory.
The first person I met was a college staff and Lopoen Tenzin (Chorzang) who used to teach us Drig-Lam-Nam-Zhag followed by a handful of gardeners who were humbly toiling in the flower gardens. Then I spotted a group of students walking leisurely to their classroom. And then many other students appeared.
|With a supporting staff|
They are young, innocent and tender. Girls of this land generally are tall, slim and beautiful. They wear high heels, and have maintained their hair long, straightened and well-perfumed.
Boys are, mostly, decent and smart. Their gho are well-ironed and their shoes polished, always shining. They speak in accented English - perhaps idolizing the Rock Stars. And no wonder, in ramp-walk style, they walk.
On my walking, I overheard their conversations. And it has caught my attention instantaneously, with some familiarities. Oh, they still practise those terminologies we used to speak.
“That girl is mercy hot.”
“Heavy asom juice.”
In fact, these are the commonest words spoken in the land and only its inhabitants could speak and understand. Everything about these young students reminded me of my young age. I used to be like them, exactly, and I used to do the same stuff.
Kanglung is a place where the music strongly rules - be it blues, country songs, hard metal, and rock and roll. The students still sing Don William’s “Desperately”, Eagles’ “Hotel California” and Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply”.
There aren’t any DJs, there aren’t any studios, yet everybody sings quite well in this place and it has bred the best of Bhutanese singers like Ugyen Panday and Marinsa.
Being in Kanglung is timelessness, at least for me. If you don’t believe me, look at the college’s clock tower. It gives you the same time the year round.
To add on timelessness, a boy would patiently wait for months (or even years) for his dream girl to accept his proposal. And he would wait for hours outside her hostel - out in the cold, monsoon rain and scorching sun - just to take her out for a date or dinner.
|My classmates in Yongphula, picture taken in 2005|
Every building, corner, playground, footpath and park evoked fond memories, mostly good ones. Some bounced vividly on my mind, others remained vague. It seemed like I was reading a book that I had read long time back.
I recalled many more, and I was quite surprised that I can still remember them with strange clarity. Of blind date and romance, of football tournaments, of midnight “blux” porn show, of asom juice, of cruel ragging and picnic in Yonphula.
At that particular moment, it seemed like everything came to a stop. Ant this feeling was just beautiful, I loved it.
Who says we cannot stop the hands of time and relive in our past? Who says same thing cannot happen twice?