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WHO WERE THEY KIDDING?

Young girls forget that they are going to age and soon, they will have to leave their cover. Looks is nothing but a façade. “Looks is a bonus”, I heard people say. And, it is true, but there is no one who is so ugly that it may doom her life. And they forget that one day they are going to become old and frail too.

I was in Punakha around a week back. I happened to go for Punakha Dromchhe though my purpose there was different. I was there among the many people gathered to witness His Holiness Jekhyenpo perform the historical ritual of throwing oranges (as a supposed ‘norb’). Everyone gathered was solemn and men swam into the river to get them, for they were blessed.

Across the river sat an old woman. I guessed she was around 75 years old. As she sighted His Holiness, she stood and prostrated. She didn’t mind the hard ground, though she was old and frail. Having prostrated she sat and then prayed in a long, enlightening tune. I was so touched that I even felt tears in my eyes. But there were girls sitting behind her, who mocked her. When the old woman was in deep silent prayer, they mocked her, asking to sing again. For them, it was a song. Who were they kidding? They didn’t realize the meaning of prayers, or its powers.

I think I should tell you here of another incident. I was in the bus coming to Thimphu from Phuentsholing a year back. There were girls at the back, who talked to the point of shouting. There was that man who was around 60 years old. They teased him and made fun. They teased him about things that they should have known were not to be talked at equals with men much elder to them. I know they were having a nice time, but was the man enjoying? I found it harsh for them to make fun of a man who had not treaded into their territory. May be it is just me who gets sensitive over small things like that. But, tell me, don’t you think it is something young people have to learn? I don’t think it is something you need to learn; you feel it inside. Those you do it are those who ignore their inner voice.

I feel like I complained a lot. In fact, I was trying to share just what kinda society we are breeding now. I feel more attached to the people who have aged and seen harsher part of life than those who have grown in the glass house and not known the meaning of what life is.



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