July 13, 2012

Beside pen and paper

‘I felt my strength when I experienced the pain’. I was on my summer break and had to be in my village for a week or two. Usually, I used to free at other times. However, this time it was different. Mom and dad had decided to go for religious ceremony and they were out for two weeks. My sister, my granny, and I were left home. My granny has already knocked octogenarian stage and she is helpless to stand on her own. As a helper, two of us stayed behind her. Her personality is peculiar and she is very choosy kind of person, despite her age. She gets cooked up without proper reasons. If meals were not served on time, she would refuse to take it. Television has to be put on accurately on time. If not, she starts to feel bore, as if she had spent her young days in city. Two of us are prohibited to go out and even if we do so, the need to seek permission is necessary. It has become compulsory for two of us, to be with her from dawn until dusk.

Frequently, there arises water problem and it needs constant maintenance for continuous flow. At least, one member from each household has to go for woola (labor tax). As there was nobody to represent from our side, I volunteered to go. The woola was scheduled next day. I got up late, the next morning and I even could not carry packed lunch. There were 12 of us and we walked nearly for 11 km to reach to the work point. At around 11am, we were there. The tshogpa measured the distance to be dug and allocated the respective areas. The work was to pave the drain for the pipe. Others were given 200ft to pave the drain and for me, it was comparatively less. I started working, initially with zest but as I continued working, I was very exhausted. I then, went to one of my friend and had his packed lunch satisfactorily. Then, I came back to my working place and started digging again. The area was filled with stones and I had tough time segregating them. Blisters started forming on my palm and it was hard for me to continue the remaining parts.

I did not even complete half of the task. I made up my mind to leave but with the notice from concerned people. Others were struggling and they were able to do it successfully. I made my way to friends place and dozed there for an hour. When I woke up, it was dark and I was not brave enough to make it towards home. Therefore, I sorted refuge at his place. Still, my share is left undone and I hope to complete it at the earliest possible.

What awakened my mind was the hardship faced by those people, residing in the countryside. For fortunate like you and I, every moment in life is comfortable and everything is within our reach. But, what about those innocents leading austere lives, sweating in sun and getting drenched in the rain. They do not have time like us to text on the phone, watch television, and play video games and so on. All they have is drudgery and hard-earned lives. When time permits, wake up to life’s calling and go beyond the horizon and think wisely. So that, we do not remain ousted from the fundamentals of what is called life.

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