…my memories of Ana Tshomo are very vague and lukewarm. The first time I met her was sometimes in early 1980s when I was still in my boyhood chasing sparrows and catching tadpoles. She used to come to my house with my late aunty during weekends and spend the time with my family.
As I learnt much later, Ana Tshomo was from Pema Gatshel. She was my late aunty, Deki’s best friend. While my aunty succumbed to head injuries in an accident, Ana Tshomo continued to visit my family even after she finished her Junior High School in Damphu and High School in Sarpang. Then she went on to study at Sherubtse College and got herself a fine job. Since she came from far away , very far during those times when communication and transports were limited to wireless , bus and letters, she made home with my family. My parents were able to help her complete her university degree and it was all that mattered to her. After she got her job, she set her own sail and like Odysseus; she went on to explore her life. And also like Odysseus, she had no contact with my family. Interestingly, Odysseus returns home after twenty years in Homer’s epic “ Odyssey” but we never crossed our paths with Ana Tshomo even when Bhutan is such a small place to be for over two and half decades. It is such a long time in an age like ours when we are all wired everywhere with net and mobile phone. Off and on, my mother talked of her and even when she was not within our sight, Ana Tshomo’s name became a part of “family idiom” for gratitude not matched. She sounded hurt, angry and cold. Like any other people, my mother expected at least a missed call as we always say. It had become our way of life to be screamed at with her name sometimes when we forget to call our mother on long tour or when we are out of station.
But we were in for surprise yesterday. Apa had to do overtime in his office, so we were late home. When we reached home, we realized that Ana Tshomo had made her appearances. She was gleaming with smile when we first met our eyes. I didn’t recognize her. I was looking at Apa’s reaction. He only said, “ Did you lose your way?”
She was silent. She just hung her head and didn’t have word. I guess Apa had read her face so he didn’t ask her anything that time. He just went to his room, changed himself into pyjama and sat for dinner as we all waited. As always, menu on the dinner was “rebelliously unappetizing” but we had someone home to behave for. I went to the fridge, got myself some green chilly and salt to cheat my tongue. As I sat down to eat, Ana Tshomo’s long hands had already reached my chilly and salt. I looked at her and she was smiling. There could not be better way of meeting someone again than sharing something. It no longer matters what took her long time to come. She has come, even if it is for a brief moment, and I guess thats the greatest consolation for my parents. For now, she plans to stay here for few days. then maybe she will vanish again.
...During my university days, one of my professors told me the story of an eagle. It is said that the eagle lives for over 70 years. But during its 40 th year, it has to make some hard decisions. Its long and flexible talons can no longer grab its prey. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent. Its old, aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: either to die or go through a painful process of change which lasts for over six months. The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountaintop and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out. Then the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back. Then it will pluck out its talons The talons are what an eagle uses to catch food. To pluck them out would not only be extremely difficult and painful, but would also take away their ability to provide food for themselves. When it's new
When one of the FCB staff told me that the management had called staff meeting asking them not to write anything in bhutanliterature.blogspot.com, I had a mixed feeling of both sadness and happiness. I was sad because people would be left in darkness if the people no longer commented and the suppression of any unethical would be taken to new heights. The comments passed on by many staff in my blog updated staff and others across the world about what was happening in FCB and how staff digested it. In absence of grievance redressal or whistleblower policy in FCB, the erstwhile FCB management was on wild elephant rampage, and as a result, the staff had no choice but to vent their frustrations through my blog. They needed a channel to pass on the message to the management that not all things are tolerated and the world outside needed to know that something was not going right in FCB. I think their messages, even if it was in its crudest form and language, have been delivered and rem