Monday, June 24, 2013

A love letter to Thimphu

Dear Thimphu,

I know that you would be surprised to receive this letter from me. I’m writing it to put down my heart’s content for you, in this epistle. And how wonderful it’s to write a letter to someone I love the most! Oh, this feeling of conveying my thoughts to you is simply amazing. It feels so good to sit here in my room, pick up a pen, like this, and to put down my feelings into words, for you.  

I love you, my dear Thimphu! I am brilliantly lost in your mighty bosom. There are many people who talk all bad about you. They say you are “playful”, of “loose morale”, “materialistic”, “crowded”, “expensive” and “cold”. But I don’t care what people have to say. I love you, unashamedly.

Moreover, I always think that I’m in love with the right one. I love you because you care for me, protect me; and above all, love me. I love you that you make me feel comfortable, safe and happy.

Ours is love at first sight. On my part, at least. When I first saw you, I fell in love with you. It was way back in 1999. I had, then, boarded a bus from Gelephu for the school vacation and met you here for the first time.

I tell you that it was the most natural thing in the world when I fell in love with you. I didn’t have to think about or make any choices about. You were a transparent beauty with a pure, sweet and graceful physique.

It’s only since 2008 (after my graduation from the Sherubtse College) that we started seeing each other seriously. After a couple of years, our love jumped into next level, automatically. Without any apprehension, I gave away myself to you and tied this sacred conjugal knot of living with you, for ever. I found a job here.

In the last six years, our love has bloomed into this beautiful memory. Often, I’ve been whisked away on romantic dates, way above Sangaygang and the Buddha Point. We walked hand-in-hand, under the silver lining of a full moon. And you kissed me, on my lips, by that gentle evening breeze. From there, how we admired your stature at night. Ah, at night, you look overwhelmingly beautiful - all adorned with lights, sparkling gloriously.

And you rode me in posh cars, and we stuffed with five-star dinners and shopping in the town. On weekend nights, we stayed bar-hopping, dance partying, and going wild. Sometimes, we stretched out flat drunk in the streets like a pig; other times, made a casual love. I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but all true.

Quite aside from that, I chanced to meet a group of people here who care passionately about books and writing. I’m astonished to have found them, with whom I share same preoccupation and experiences of life. And their wisdoms and literary talents make me gasp.

Every year you treat me with four exciting seasons. You burst into bloom in spring, and how we admire it on notice things walk. Of all, I love peach bloom the most. In autumn, you transform into richly yellow and red vale. And it brings an increased blueness and depth to the sky. Our cheeks turn red with an early chill. We dress in woolen clothes and boots and mufflers and we cuddle all day at home. The valley blanketed in snow during winter is incredibly beautiful and we danced joyfully outside playing snow.   

Needless to say, but let me tell you because I feel I ought to. When I travel to other places or abroad, I get so lonely and start missing you terribly, as if we are physically joined somewhere. I miss your warmth, your skin’s perfume, your breath. And If I had to leave you, by chance, I don’t know how to relate to others. Even I don’t know what it meant to love someone else.

Now spring already gave way to summer and these days, you have been treating me with incessant raining. This evening, too, cold rain was falling silently. When it’s raining like this, it feels as if you and I were the only ones in the world. It feeds my mood, warm, intimate. I begin to wish the rain would keep on falling so that two of us could stay together, like this, happily ever after.

Yours love ever Riku

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Writing to remember, to be remembered

I want to remember. Yes, this particular incident that had happened way back in 1993. It was all inspired by my little sister, Chunku. I was, then, 10. Chunku was just three. And I’m writing this post to remember this beautiful moment. To relive. To cherish. To become inspired, happy.

We were, then, taking a refuge in a remote place called Tingtibi in Zhemgang. For the five difficult years. 1990 to 1994. By the way, the upsurge of anti-national problems in 1990 had demolished our homes in Gelephu. And more precisely, we were under constant attacks.    

All due to good fortune, my father had got a caretaker’s job at an orange orchard in Tingtibi. There, we had built a small hut and called it our new home. However, life was not easy. My father’s income was not enough to feed the entire family, 25 of us. Poverty ensnared us. We had to survive on wild foods, animals and fishing in the rivers.

We were 11 siblings. Plus two mothers. And my father. Three of my siblings had to drop out from their schools due to the political turmoil and poverty. However, my parents still enrolled me in a primary school in Tingtibi.

I started going to school at the age of 10 only. From 1993. And the incident that I want to remember happened in that year’s summer.

It was one morning. I was readying myself for the school. Chunku, my little sister, marched towards me and gave me Nu 2. She had bright eyes, long hair, graceful limbs and fair skin.

And she made a gentle request, “Acho, please buy me balloons with this money.”

She would get three balloons for Nu 1. Altogether, two ngultrums could fetch her six balloons. I agreed to buy her balloons.

I pushed inside the pouch of my gho a geometric box, aluminum plate and mug. And I started running towards my school. But I had a friend to accompany all time. He was Tommy, my pet dog, red and huge.

My school was about three hours walking from my house. Everyday, Tommy and I had to run into deep woods, cliffs and a few river streams. Also, we had to climb over a mountain, cross a highway road and enter a small town. And then we would reach the school.

My classroom was a bago, without any proper school structure. Its walls were raw woods. The tables and writing tables were long wooden planks. And an old blackboard kept in front of the classroom. You could hear and see all that was happening outside.

Even Tommy would take advantage of my classroom. Always, he would sneak into the classroom, crawl next to me and spend all day with me.  

Tingtibi Town was right between my school and the house. It had a handful of shops (grocery, post office, wireless centre, canteen, and garment store). That’s all. We called it a town. For it’s a town. For us, at least.

After the school hours, that day, Tommy and I went around the town looking for balloons for Chunku. But ultimately, it’s the handgun that we bought, black one. Not balloons. Very cruel of me, though.

As we returned home that afternoon, my sister was anxiously waiting for us. More apparently, for her balloons. I took her in our house’s corner. As I placed the handgun in her tender hands, I tried convincing her playing with the handgun. I taught her how to operate and play with it - how to pull and release the trigger. And how I explained her it was more fun than playing with balloons.

But each blast from the gun only brought a fright and panic in her. She held the pistol, apathetically, and watched it for a while. She, meanwhile, was starting to look bored. Then, she asked for her balloons.

Eventually I confessed, “I used your money buying this gun.” Her eyes glazed over, away from the gun, away from me. One big tear spilled from her right eye, rolled down her cheek. She heaved for a while; then, oh, she cried loud, heartbreakingly.

This gave me a strange and sad feeling. Guilt and regrets engulfed me. I spread my arms around her shoulders, held her close, and assured her, “I will get your balloons tomorrow. I promise!”

The next day, after the school, I went back to the shop and requested the shopkeeper that I wanted to return the pistol and take balloons. And I took balloons not worth of 2, but 5 ngultrums.

I got a dozen of colourful balloons. I diligently folded those balloons in my geometric box and ran for home, all joyful. And Tommy came running after me, wagging his tail.

My sister was already at the gate, all excitedly waiting for me to bring her balloons. As soon as she saw me, she darted towards me, all in smiles. Because this time she knew I had brought her balloons. She opened her hands and asked, “My balloons!”

I made her wait until I changed my clothes. Then, I opened the geometric box and showed her balloons - all in different bright colours. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I can’t bring myself to put it right into words. It’s a beautiful glittering smile, grateful, and proud.

Before long, we strolled way down in the open ground on a valley. It’s a quiet valley and the pleasant breeze caressed the green grass as it blew over the valley. All attractive dragon flies were flitting around us. And the sun, sitting from the mountaintop, was shining with almost unwavering clarity.

It was in this magical valley that we played with our balloons. We pumped air into balloons and let them float in the air. And I could see my little sister, crying in joy - giggling and laughing. She looked like an absolute angel, with a kind of pure, sweet and transparent beauty.

When the balloons twirled down, slowly, we again punched them up. This time they soared - high, higher joining flying birds and white clouds. As we played, as the balloons disappeared in the blue sky, we discovered the place around us a different one. We had become happier. 
It has been already 20 years now. Today Chunku attends a management institute in Thimphu. Above all, I’m writing this story for her, to let her know what she did unto me two decades back. Oh, I’m crying as I’m writing this story. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

I’m adjusting to change

I’ve been trying hard. Indeed, trying real hard to update my blog. But I couldn’t.  I’m so disheartened – literally. This blog has remained barren for almost one month now. 

I open it now and then. And it feeds my mind. Frustrated. Sad. It, too, brings tears in my eyes. The truth is that one of my friends has borrowed my laptop for a few months. Coz he needs it more urgently than me.

And these days, I’ve been relentlessly trying hard writing stories in my office desktop computer. I always stay late evening after office hours desperately hoping to write stories. But I cannot.

Even on weekends, I run to my office hoping this time I can write. I stand in front of my PC, lost, like a scarecrow. Nothing comes out. Not even a sentence. No creativity being born in me, no words coming. Only a knot air of stark emptiness fills in my mind. Perhaps this post of insignificance says all about the emptiness that I have in me.

I turn sad. I become angry. But I don’t give up. Because I love writing and I can never part from it. Then, immediately I rush back home and frantically scribble on my note book. This, too, begets no result.

Oh, I cannot write stories anywhere else - except at my home, in my laptop. It’s so strange. Even to me, though. I’ve realized this today; yes, only right now. By the way, it talks a lot about me: my disposition; the type of person I am.

I was really a kind of person holding-onto-a-thing-and-never-let-it-go. I disliked change. Because it’s very difficult for me to let things go and readjust myself to the change. I never thought before that I was so used to writing at home and in my laptop. And writing elsewhere was difficult for me.

But my friend who has borrowed my PC has taught me a good lesson. That we live in a world of transition. That we change. That everything around us transit. Whatever we’re holding onto, we just have to let them go and learn to readjust. After all, growing up means letting go, isn’t it?

Right now, here, in front of my office desktop computer, I wrote this post. Yes, I’m adjusting to change now. I am learning to write blog stories from here. Ah, I feel good now!

Pic courtesy: google