After long time I am publishing the first chapter of the debut novel that I am trying to write. Hope you all will give me your valuable suggestions.

Just Three Words

Chapter 1
As Tashi wakes up late afternoon, he finds that his heart was crying,

"Lonely was I and lonely am I now,
whatsoever I had before was in dream now I learn ".

It has been more than a fortnight that he was unable to sleep. In the night no matter how hard did he try to sleep but sleep would fail him making the whole night a nightmare for him. He would find himself awake when all the mortals had retired to their Cozy couch after day's exhaustion. He would even feel jealous when in the night, he found his family members in deep slumber. Something was troubling him from the deep inside but what was that; he too couldn't even find it out. Every night he would crawl from his bed to the background terrace and walks there like a ghost searching for something, which he never found. Every night he would feel that his heart has being devoured slowly and slowly by an unknown (he never knew what it was?).

After he opened his tormented eyes, he slipped the curtain from his bed to have a spectacle of the outside world. To his utter despondency, the weather suited his desperate condition. Weather was gloomy and one can't even peep through the fog and mist, which was so dense. He found a lot of resemblance between the foul weather and his wretched condition.

Conquered by his strong imagination, he started reminiscing about his past. In his inward eye, he could vividly see his childhood. How naughty he used to be? bullying the juniors, bunking from the class in order to aboard the local toy train for fun, stealing money from the parents to spend lavishly, smoking and gambling with friends. He could even recall, one incident when instead of going to his school, which was in Darjeeling, he along with his other friends went to Sonada, which was just the opposite direction. They went there just to go for swimming. They have heard from thier friend that there was a nice swimming pool but when they reached there disappointment greeted them. There was no swimming pool the only thing that was there was a water reservoir. Though all of them were disappointed but at last they found consolation when they managed to block the flow of the water from the reservoir and formed small pool where they could quench thier childish thirst for the swimming. It had been just an hour that they were enjoying; the guard of the reservoir turned up and drove them away. On way back home they had wonderful times. They had to walk around 10 km to reach home. During their way back, all of a sudden it started raining very heavily which was a regular feature of the Darjeeling's weather. When Tashi reached home he was thoroughly drenched and had caught cold. He was very very delighted to get cough and cold because getting ill means another day holiday from the school. But, how hard he tried; he couldn't have a glimpse of himself playing with toys. He just wonders?has he played with toys? If yes, then why doesn't it come to his inward eyes, if not then with what he played? As he was traveling in his past, his fancy world was brought to an end by a knocking at his door so harshly. He stepped towards door to greet the intruder. The intruder was his next-door neighbour who had came to inform him that, the landlord has made water available in the tap. It was a daily routine of the landlord to supply drinking water once a day to the tenants. As soon as he got the message he hurriedly took two buckets to the tap. By the time he reached the tap, the tap was full of buckets in queues. So, he had to wait for his turn. When he was waiting for is turn to arrive, again a gust of imagination swooed him away. He started imagining about the water. How in abundance water used to be available just few years back? Every tenant used to have individual water pipes in their kitchen. Now here lay all the tenants in front of the only tap waiting for their turn. All of a sudden, he came back to his self when droplets of cold water wet his hand. Confused, he filled his buckets and returned to his room.

Still half-conscious, he switched on the television set. He was watching, again his imagination retreated him. But this time his imagination led him to another episode of his memorable life. He found himself talking with his mother. His mother was telling him about her past. She was telling she was born in a very remote area named "Singbuk" which comes in Dhokpya community in the Far Eastern region of Nepal. The place was so remote that electricity; transportation and other basic necessities were not available. There were around twenty houses and all the people were nomadic. In order to purchase goods they had to come down to a small market walking three long days. And regarding salt, their father used to get it from a place named "Rihu" in Tibet inlieu of some other things. The only source of livelihood, which all the people in her village had, was taming Yak & Dee (which they call in Tibetan, which means Female Yak). The people used to make ghee* and churpi** they used to go to Rehue in Tibet to exchange for rice and other things. Education was an alien subject at that time.

Eyes numbed with tears she said, at her tender age of six her mother died. After a year, how her father brought a stepmother. But, as compared to others stepmother her was kind and loving. At the age of eight, she along with her elder sister aged ten, was given a huge responsibility by their father to look after ten yaks and thirty Dees. She exclaimed! Those days were the toughest stage in her life. How both of them used to wander from one jungle to another in search of their beast. Especially the monsoon season brought them tremendous amount of miseries. In rain both of them had to go to search for the beast in the evening after they have left the beasts to graze in the forest in the morning. To make the matter worse, leech was there, piercing their tender skin, sucking their blood. Somehow, they used to tolerate the pain as the leech pierced through their skin. But later on the wound which used to give them itching was unbearable. The itching was so unbearable that they used to scratch their feet with their nails making an extra wound. Every night, till midnight they had to make ghee and Churpi, which their father used to come to collect every month. For years and years both the sisters lived in the midst of jungle. On one occasion, while they were searching for the beast in the evening, they had an encounter with Grizzly. Thanks to Almighty, at least they had around eight big dogs (Tibetan breed) as their protector. They were saved, but the Grizzly and three of their dogs were killed in fierce fight. That night, both the sister spent the night crying and hugging each other. After few days of that awesome incident, her elder sister fell sick. There was no one to help them. She thought to go to the village, which would take two days to inform her father. She longed to fetch somebody for help but nobody was there to nourish her elder sister in her absence. So she decided to wait for her father to arrive. Days passed by, weeks passed by but there was not a sign of her father. As she was telling this she burst in cry and with a sigh said, her elder sister died in the early morning in her lap. Whole day she mourned her death. Next day, she set out to inform her father, leaving the corpse alone in the tent. After two days, she returned to the tent fetching her father and other relatives.

Note: * butter
** Hard cheese.

Short story by Wangdi Gyalpo
Read 859 times
Written on 2008-11-03 at 11:32

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