Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Night When Her Cell Beeped

She was trying to escape the gregarious chase by a group of naked monks. The notorious boys caught the glimpse of her being a loner. They, who were finding solace against the scorching sun in the chilly meandering river, winding their way up and down, started their wild chase the moment they spotted her.

 Sensing the danger approaching her faster than what she presumed it to be, she tried running with all her might. In spite of her every effort to run away, she was horrified to know that the distance between them kept reducing every time she glanced back.

Turning a deaf ear to the incessant calls and the comments, she picked up her pace. She tried not to let the words hamper her pace but it hammered her. She wished if the unforgiving words could make a clean exit through her other ear as cleanly as it made its entry from the other. But the cruel words kept on regurgitating and reverberating in her mind. It sank to her heart with such a penetrating power that it has left an irrevocable trail. She felt her leg muscles contract with an involuntary jerk.

She was soaked in her own perspiration, the beads clinging to every hair of hers. The copious secretion from her tear glands trickled spontaneously. The moment when she felt a firm grip was when she sensed the whole universe collapsing on her with sheer cold-blooded mode. She closed her eyes and the last thing she remembered was her landing on the rugged terrain beneath with a thud.

The constant beep and the vibrating tremor of her cell awakened her to the delightful world of reality. It was only 2 a.m. in the morning and she was stunned as to who could be calling her in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, she was grateful to whoever the caller may be. For she was elevated from her childhood incident projected into a hysterical nightmare, she felt indebted to the caller.

Upon tapping on the green button of her cell, she had to confront a call from an unknown number, from an unknown man with an unleashed identity. Every attempt of her to put an end to the conversation was his effort to prolong it.

Seconds ticked to pile into minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days and then to months. The pages of their love story were wiped away by time and a year elapsed by with the same routine.

However, she was oblivious of the mythological force that dragged her into the situation. She was talking to a man whom she have never seen in her life, hailing from a place which she haven’t yet been to, trusting the words of a stranger, doing God only knew what he was up to and his intentions.

The more she thought about it, the more she felt happy, worried and at times it had her eyes welled up with tears. She was plunged into a mixed feeling of confusion, joy, apprehensiveness and rueful moans.

A day dawned on the long-awaited encounter of the two love-birds. The moment when they stood face to face was when she felt the blood rushing to her face, and her heart racing at the fastest pace. To her eyes, he looked flawless and as serene as the immaculate white lab coat encasing almost half his body.

First, it was the way in which he framed and ushered each of the syllables through his lips, second was his physique and the third thing was his profession that let her to accumulate more and more feelings down the profile of her love.

Their second encounter was a time out together for a walk. The next time when he asked her to join him for a movie together, she refused for an unkempt reason. However, she went along with a female friend of hers. To her utter astonishment, she found him seated right in front of her. The guilt, which then started to mount in her, commanded her to be ignorant of his presence.

But what can avert the vision of a destined eye? No sooner did he take a seat on her right side, swinging back and fro in bliss on the cozy seat beneath. With her cold fingers intertwined in between his warm ones and his consistent gaze, she couldn't really pay heed to the characters displayed on the screen.

Soon they were out of the theater. She trailed behind him with him leading the path. At that instant, she received a call from her brother telling her that he is on his way to pick her up. Just then, her accomplice tried to rummage each and every pocket in search of his cell. He rushed back to the theater and returned with his face as pale as a lost child.

The instantaneous honking of a car jogged her memory that it was time for her to leave. As she turned towards the car and stepped forward reluctantly, he muttered, “Babe, wait for my call. I will get a new cell soon. Don’t forget me. I love you”.

 The period aftermath seemed so still and empty without a word from him. Every minute, she was dying to hear his voice. All her hopes and dreams were shattered into the empty sky above. She waited day and night until the last tinge of hope faded from her.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Twist in the Road

Yoesel, a young girl in her late teens was pursuing her high schooling. As her name indicates, she was indeed a source of radiance whose sheen would outcast darkness that lay on the path ahead. Not only is she physically equipped to attract as many as that gain a glimpse of her, but her moral etiquette enshrined in her being of existence outwitted every being’s morality. Neither was anyone in par with her level of understanding, depth of knowledge and intelligence.

It wasn't long before her graduation from high school that she had to face the turmoil of her bloodline being partitioned. It was like her flesh being torn apart when her parents had their separate ways. She lost her identity for the genes that dominated her, the combination of alleles of both of them lost their identity and significance. She was lost in the seclusion of her demoralized being.

For an instant, she wished she wasn't ushered to this world in the first place. Had this been the case, neither the pain inflicted on her would have agonized her. The pain of being deflowered by the hands that raised her was intolerable. Neither did the incessant drops from her eyes ebb the mental turbulence soaring in her.

Her existence in the world of delusion took a heavy toll on her well being. The initial urge and the determination to ascend higher in her life took an abrupt descend. She lost her focus in life. Nothing good happened to her than she being rewarded with loads of humiliation, remorse and hatred that consumed her at the end of each day.

With her mother gone away, her home was nothing more than a deserted land. It was unimaginable and even more nerve-wrecking, having to bear the consequence of an unkempt tragedy.  It became more of an abandoned house that haunted her day in and out. She felt left out a chick in her nest with never a hope of her mother returning with the picked grains.

The tragedy had the visionary outline of good and bad blurred for her. For the first time in her life, she found herself indulging in things which she never even thought she will be a part of. She found solace to her mental agony with substances she hasn't even seen before. At the cost of her being intoxicated, she opted for it in an attempt to alleviate herself to a state of bliss. It remained the only trick that killed the envying rage in her upon spotting her friends with their parents or talks of them being encased by the web of parental love and care.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hymn to My Lord

The myna’s feathery mane;
my beloved’s gentle swing.

The stars’ speckled sparkle,
my lord’s placid grin.

The firmament’s boundless stretch;
my aficionado’s endless wisdom.

The moon’s flawless sheen;
my lover’s ravishing face.

The moor’s bounty inhabitants;
my lord’s unbounded wits.

The sky lark’s swift ascend;
my lord’s relentless aspiration.

The nightingale’s impeccable tone;
my lover’s soothing hum.

The heaven’s eternal bliss;
The aura of your presence.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Art of Weaving Yatha

Yatha- a traditional, hand- made fabric stemming mostly from the small hamlets of Bumthang valley is an art worth learning and practicing. On the finely arranged rows of blue, black or sometimes white background lays the patterns embedded. The designs of sketchy admixture of colours find its place in between the queues of intricate threads (base material) that supports them.

Yatha for sofa cover -the last row & the first 2 rows of woolen dhenkheb...
The so called base material is outstretched on its four-legged stand (local name:Thrithag). It has a provision of a jut each on the two legs on one of the sides. This in turn supports the wooden plank, forming a kind of bench for the weaver.

The yarn to be passed through the base material is coiled on a cylindrical stick, by its way meandering up and down the stick until it reaches a reasonably thick girth. Each glide of it through the base material will have to be followed by a corresponding shift in the position of leg on the stepping stand. The right and the left leg take its alternate turns to tap on the four stands.

An amateur weaver will have to look intently to ensure that the right one is being tapped upon. However, for the well experienced ones, the expertise with which they accomplish the same is like an automated machine.

For every two horizontal runs the yarn undertakes amid the vertical rows of base material, the colorful designs will have to be worked out simultaneously. This is followed by a firm thud with the help of a hand loom. It presses, interlocks and stiffens the fabric in place. All these steps in a successive manner mend the fabric into the shape it ought to be and for the purpose it’s meant to be.

It is beyond a tinge of doubt that the way in which it adorns the sofa, the divan and even the seats inside luxurious cars is exquisite. It can be a substitute for bed sheets, locally known as Dhenkheb. The fact that it finds a place of pride gliding upon the shoulder of some of the youngsters is also quite thrilling. Is it a revival of the age-old tradition?

More than anything, the Yatha Jackets bestow protection against the freezing winter breeze. It is neither astonishing to see that it has launched an eye-catchy appeal in the fashion industry. Indeed, it’s a pride of unique identity that the Bhutanese fashion industry can cling upon.

All in all, it is an art to be learnt, a pride to be beholden, a tradition to be practiced, preserved and ultimately ushered to the forthcoming generations.

Yatha Jacket- the one my mother wove to adorn herself.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The One That Dispels Obscurity

The sun emanated its tender rays.
It rather peeped through the cumulus clouds.
For guilt and shyness has plagued it,
For depriving the earthly beings of its warmth,
And for not being able to dispel the darkness.

Some beings longed for its warmth,
Some for radiance that brightened the world,
Some simply hoped for it to dry their damp clothes,
Farmers yelled for their crops were soaked,
A few longed to enjoy the beauty associated with it.
Yet some questioned its existence.

But now that it made its presence prominent,
Its omnipresence known by all,
On the 10th day of its obscurity and absence;
Many a faces lit up into smile,
Their hearts lightened a bit by bit with its emergence,
The butterflies started hovering around,
Birds started chirping their soothing tunes,
As they started swaying from a tree to another.
Hoppers initiated their leap from a leaf to a twig.
People flung back to their respective works,
And crammed the streets and workplaces.

Oh Mr. Sun! Only your absence made us realize,
Your true essence and worth in the lives of earthly beings.
So never take a day off in lighting the world,
And we owe you for dispelling the obscurity of our mundane lives.