Two friends are walking, arms in arms. And they are singing this song, ‘come friend, come here, let us go together.’
I am still feeling as if I want to rush over to a friend and give her a hug for no reason at all. I am feeling so lively and inspired, so full of energy that I could run a mile and not get tired. I wish there was a better word I knew that would describe exactly how I’m feeling right now.
Tshoki and I are the guests at the Changzamtok School. They have this storytelling programme. They have called parents to come and tell stories to students. The principal introduces herself with an exuberance of energy that catches you and puts you in her track. I can’t help smiling. I’m smiling as I watch the students buzz around. The noises fill you up and you are in a completely different world. Class PP students come together to take the table to the other end of the corner like an army of ants. I am smiling all along. I know I have been their age once upon a time. But I see one difference. These children are not shy. They are ever so ready to come forward and do anything. They greet their teachers looking right into their eyes. They look at Tshoki and me and shout, 'Good afternoon madam.” We smile and greet them back.
I am only supposed to be an observer but as I sit with these children, I can’t help wanting to tell them stories. So I go to the front, become their entertainer for a while: and there I go, narrating stories of ‘Bumo Sing Sing Yangdonma’ and another story I heard from Khenpo Jangsem Tashi about the virtue of having a kind heart. I stand in front of them, looking straight into the eyes of each student—and I enjoy this gap I can keep them holding their breath, waiting for another word I would say. It is like you are walking on a single rope stretched between two tall buildings. I like building the suspense as they watch me. And it is such a big joy to see them sit there in such big attention as if what I’m gonna say is going to change their life forever.
And now, I itch to be a teacher. We come back talking at the highest pitch about what a big, jolly, inexpressible experience it is.