I had admired the personalities of various finest men of the centuries in books and movies. Not that they were genius but because of their daring comeback from the downfalls of life and touching plethora of lives.
Since our exit from apes many centuries back, some emerged extraordinary even though they were not ordinary at birth. Yet, they played significant role and left behind immortal legacy to which the world saluted. Some were left visually impaired at some point in life; however they continued to inspire unimpaired ones and unremittingly lived for the cause of the others.
Today, I see a gifted figure whose personality and deeds resemble those of what I have admired in books and seen in movies. Surprisingly, a pure manifestation of what the charismatic leaders of past had done once upon a time, which is too scant to find in normal beings.
Mr. Sangay Tala, who is currently on royal patronage as music teacher in Zhemgang Lower Secondary School is one such species of man celebrated for his skill in traditional musical instruments.
Hailing from a far-flung place of Zhemgang, the 32 year old NID graduate was not born sightless. Like many of us, he was filled with ordinary hopes and dreams until the age of ten.
He recalls vividly how on that stormy evening, some possessed sort of strange mania lurked inside him and cursed to grieve for rest of the time. As if like portent of ill fate was to befall, he succumbed to illness that same night, inflicting pain with bouts of vomiting.
What was going to come next worried everybody at home.
Since his parents were pious and ignorant of modern approaches, they solely relied on local rituals for his recovery. It was only when their home remedy failed to improve his health that they took him to the district hospital.
The condition was critical and needed immediate attention. He was then referred to national hospital.
Being a direct descendant of financially unsound family, his parents couldn’t afford to send him for further treatment. Gradually, the condition aggravated and his dreams of life dipped into the abyss of madness only to await the eternal darkness thereafter.
“In retrospect, had the treatment been early, he could have retrieved his lost vision” says the young man with big smile on his face.
After leaving visually challenged at very young age, Sangay was unable to continue his studies and like a fly in forgotten tea, lived handicapped for nearly ten years.
Realizing that he has purpose to serve and family to tend, he set out on looking for means to battle his nightmare. Rarely anybody had any idea on the existence of blind school; let alone its name and location because hardly the family went out of their territory.
Despite remaining insulated from urban access, Sangay developed strong taste for music and found every day joy in listening to music. By then, the sophomore college goer Druptho Zangmo was already hitting eastern part of Bhutan with her debut single “Tabu cholay mawa” (impermanence) themed on loss of her vision, was overthrowing almost every sharchop songs of the time.
Later when he came to know that the eastern amateur celebrity was visionless and a produce of NID, he decided to embark on his maiden journey to khaling to rekindle his bleak hope. Thanks to her.
At twenty two, he felt revived once again, and it was there that his despondent instincts were awakened, all over to restart the long lost voyage.
There he studied among children’s who were aged in between five to six, which he told was huge embarrassment for adult like him. By then, he was fertile enough to produce his own or father those in the class, had not destiny betrayed him.
First few days of sudden distance had him plunged in surging thoughts of wilderness in which he longed for that serene green field spilled with herds of cows. Shortly, he got adapted and the institute served as the home away from home.
In pursuit of his destination, he was subjected to the brutalities of the reality and in the test of time, soon he dreamed of rainbows and butterflies which were yet to come as surprise package.
Since he went till class two in public school, he was proficient in alphabets and immediately got promoted to first grade. He did well in conducts and got famed for excelling in studies. With loads of challenges, he completed his education fruitfully. But he had miles to ply before he could reach the final destination.
Undaunted in the face of shattered dreams, he was all set to confront the way ahead. Through tenacious grip, he managed to get into his first job as a novice musician that served his belly abundantly. It was during this job he revisited the institution again to see if he can give back anything to which once he gulped ocean of wisdom freely.
Of course not in cash, he donated a set of instruments brought about by accumulation of his salary, for wellbeing of ones like him in future.
His next area of work was in Druk star as a full timer musician. Prior to current job, he worked for a renowned private resort conquering the interest of many foreigners leaving them at tears often, with his story of life fine-tuned by his traditional guitar.
During his tenure there, he exhibited the crown of loyalty and dedication in his service. Noted as a singer, several of his songs went viral and were mostly cherished by elderly folks since his genre was mostly of indigenous origin.
Soon on account of awful plight, he was granted support under royal patronage to mainly sustain our traditional instruments and age old songs in a fragile world of cultural dilution.
By the grace of royals and some luck left in store, Sangay could find decent job under ministry of education as music instructor and commits to work selflessly with great gusto.
Leafing through his miserable story, both tears and joys welled up in my eyes. Tears because life didn’t do justice, Joy because he had indomitable spirit to rise no matter how rude life battered him.
Above all, he is a strong believer in destiny and ever since his impairment at tender age; he has been happy with life and a caring wife and two lovely kids in the upbringing.
With so much of battles, he is finally up on his own foot with self-reliant job in hand and handsome salary to handle his family. He firmly pledges to serve the country and do wonders in others live.
How far he has sailed and what he has achieved till date is the testimony of his turmoil in the vicious circle of karma and unshaken faith in a murky oasis of hope.
I would not be what I am today if I were not blind and perhaps even dead if I were not blinded, Concludes the extraordinary man.
NOTE: The refined version is given to the owner of the story, who will be shortly leaving to japan with my write up.....