One day you think you want to be 18 and suddenly you’re 16 and the next time you wake up you are 19! Words like infinity sound vain and irrational when i think about the next few decades i will survive as a strong human being on planet Earth,after a while there comes a time when you become weak-both in mind and body, so weak that you forget what you say most of the time. But as long as you are alive, looks matter the most: A beautiful body and face or as i would like to put with out hurting anyones feeling, ‘Pleasing looks,’ are what matters the most. This is true because even when an old man starts preparing to die if its in the west in his nursing room or in Bhutan in his/her child’s house, you still see some where in him that he was once a beautiful young lad, either in the curved lines of his forehead or the unflinching smile and the kind of man for whom one would create feelings of desire and lust.
I have been thinking about death lately. Death always seemed natural to me and it reminds me of the story of ,’Lord Buddha and the women who lost her son,’ in this story, the women almost turns mad and is not being abel to accept the idea that she lost her only baby; the baby who would have turned 5 after few years, who would have gone out to marry a girl of his choice or someone from outside, the baby who would have troubled her most of the times and to whom she would refer to as,’My son.’ But that doesn’t happen and she turns to the Buddha for help and all the Buddha had to say was to bring an oil from any household in which none have died. At the end of the story, this task seems impossible and enlightened the women moves on with her life.
I used to meet an old women everyday when i stopped at my resting spot some 24 kms away from Thimphu, she looked like she was in her late 80’s. At first sight she looks very confident and unlike most sad old people she looks like she strives for more everyday. Four times in a row we met each other as she lived in the valley across the river, when we first met each other we exchanged smiles and only after that came to the conclusion that while i didn’t speak her language (sharchopka) she didn’t speak dzongkha. Initially i had no idea this would be much of a headache because i never planned on being her friend and like wise. But like the saying goes,’Some of the most beautiful things in life are unplanned,’ and of course ,”Natural!” This old lady touched my soul with kindness and if you ask me how? i will say whenever we met she would give me her lunch, a packet of biscuit which will cost you about nu 5 from town and 10 in the villages. I must say to have a friend in the 21st century who doesn’t own a mobile and doesn’t have a Facebook account came as a surprise to me. The real questions i have asked myself are, why was she so kind to me? I know this idea seems like betrayal and there is excruciating pain because being treated with love and kindness should never return with dark thoughts if not with gratitude. i say this because i know what it feels like to not be regarded when you once put in your good intentions or just be it intentions at all.
It’s been exactly 6 weeks since i last saw her. When we met on monday’s she would ask me i had holidays since she thought i was studying and some where i was trying to put the idea that i wasn’t a delinquent who would skip schools to ride bikes but the idea of me being on a 6 month holiday seemed impossible to explain to her so most of the time i just said,’Yes.’ But not all was lost, i understood when she said she lost her husband a long time ago and since love is the most important thing in this world, i was the one who asked her about her spouse and now i feel sorry that she went through that few minutes of excruciating pain to tell me that he was dead- meaning he was gone for good, may be in the land of light or may be in the land of darkness. Some where she seemed delighted to tell me or at least tell someone that, the man she once married to, to whom she lost her virginity hopefully and now have kids grown up to be man and women again continuing the cycle of love and life is no more. One time she was sick, she caught the seasonal flu and her cough was bad and standing there,there was nothing i could do but ask her to drink her water stored in a pepsi bottle which looked like it had been used too many times in the name of being recycled.