Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Walk in a Different Shoe

Kiba, that’s what everyone calls her. It is a summon to which her head averts automatically and her ears spring up in response. An utter contradiction to the literal meaning of her name, her life was a journey on the path of turmoil implacable.

The person who contributed to her paternal genes was the one who had romance with her mom for a brisk span of a night. It was so easy a task for him to walk away then. She neither had a glance nor heard about his whereabouts. Her mother was not in a position to deny her seizure at the door of her grandmother’s slavery either. And so she was left alone to gear about in her life, to face the world throwing the word bastard at her face.

She served well under the post she held. She was fed with instructions innumerable. She was made to do all the household chores, scolded for not being able to keep pace with her works as being instructed. At times, she was told to walk in a way that her pace resembles a spring attached to her shoe soles. A little time lag in her doings will have her squeezed to tears.

The threat to let her go starved to bed and school had her overwhelmed to prioritize household chores. The need to do her homework or the idea to flip a page open never did strike her. Her days at school were fogged by fear and embarrassment that became a daily routine. The frequency and the intensity with which she had to bear the punishments dimmed her enthusiasm to pursue further.

She worked at her grandparent’s house with not even a freedom to fill her belly. She worked for years without even a single penny accumulating in her pocket. All she did was endure the treacherous life. She listened to the incessant words that stung her heart with poison until the level became intolerable.

She even resorted to terminate her being of existence. Many attempts of her in doing so were barred by her sister, the only source of her hope. But there was nothing much her sister could do than to share a few words of positivism blended with sobs. They were distanced by barrier so lofty for her sister was studying abroad.

To her urge to flee to a far flung place, her sister erected a supportive frame, on which she mounted immediately. This was the only solution her sister could assert at the moment. And so she walked the frozen path of her life in search of warmth to bask henceforth. She strolled for days in search of a place that could fit her in, a place that could provide solace to her, and a place where her well being will be taken care of, if the same her bloodlines denied to.

To her delight, she found a place which was comparatively better. Though working in a guest house was not an easy one, she spotted the indigestible words that would have crammed her ear canal missing at her new place. She was cautious and worked hard enough not to let the proprietor discover any faulty operations in her doings.

But no sooner was she plagued by an ailment. The throbbing pain was excruciating to the extent of sending her back home. She had to return at the cost of her being greeted by rage burning in the eyes of her grandmother. An astrologer routed her illness to be the repercussion of wrath expressed by the local deity for abandoning the place at her will, and that no treatment shall ebb her pain.

To her life laced with sorrows and depression; to her grievance unshaken; to her path undulated and frozen; to her agony unleashed; what can we do? Can we at least take a brisk walk in her shoes and convey our benevolent sympathy? Or can we let our eyelids to droop momentarily in mumbling a few prayers for her well being?