Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Not to us, not at this time please…
I was waiting for him. He took so long to turn up. But when he did, I could notice the sternness on his face. He was in his finest and intricately woven black gho. A glance at him had let my heart escape a beat. I could sense the depth of whirlpool of turmoil that he was plunged into and the current state of hopeless despair. 
Though it was unusual for him, he failed to hold the secretions from his tear gland this time.

I was rather confused but no more when my olfactory senses detected the intense and encircling smoke and the blazing fire a few distance away from us. We were amidst an area stretched with dry pasture and a way out of our final destination seemed impossible.

“But are we simply going to give up? Leave only the memory and story of a couple engulfed by fire? Let this natural catastrophe put an end to all our hopes and dreams? Please not to us god, not at this time”.

My innate behavior directed me to drag him along and run at the fastest velocity.  And so did I without even uttering a word. Had I raced with the same pace while in school, I would have made a good athlete.

My first mission was accomplished when I found a stream. On account of the stream being small, there were possibilities that the fire may spread easily on the other side. There was the need for a quick decision and an immediate alternative as we could feel the intense heat keeping in pace with us. The rapidity with which the fire was spreading was such that it seemed as if a biodiesel fuel has been sprinkled over.

Then we rented a momentary shelter under a fishery pond nearby. With its wooden structures above, it could not serve us the purpose either.

The next option was to run to a river. My empty stomach reminded the brain of its existence. Even my dehydrated body demanded for its immediate replenishment. My legs were not willing to move any further.  But more than anything else, we felt the necessity to find a safer zone. Somehow, we made it to the river and managed to cross it even.

Gulping several handful of water from the river could provide a momentary relaxation to our totally exhausted body. It fulfilled the requirements of our body to a certain extent though.

An old man accompanied us as we started to move to a little higher elevation. He led us to an abandoned house. We entered the house full of dusts and cobwebs that were woven so intimately and exquisitely over the years.

No sooner did my soul mate saunter out the house than the old cunning man played his witty trick. He came with a hammer and fixed the wooden door firmly with iron nails. After several attempts, I managed to pull the window. I took my right leg out only to be pulled back inside and I landed back with a THUD!

Elated and relieved was I when I was knocked out of my subconscious mind. It was just a nightmare. I was lying on my bed with beads of perspiration on my forehead and my heart bouncing with its fastest beats ever.


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