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One That Got Away

Dasho Doley embarked on a tour to his native village from his office in Capital. He drove his finest limousine till the road could take him and resuming the journey; he rode on a healthiest and strongest donkey. Soon after he entered the gate erected at the entrance of the village, he was escorted by a line of village girls, with a melody of ‘Tashi Lebey’

"He barely realized that it’s his 25 years memories coming back"

Before actually retiring for the day, among the sweetest melodies poured forth by the dancers around the camp fire, supposed to be entertainment treat for a special and highly esteemed village guest, he thought of a man, who is supposed to be a village Gup. He was in front of the queue to offer him the welcome dhar. His familiar face, speech and the man himself left him wondering where he could have met him. He barely realized that it’s his 25 years memories coming back.

The same man reappeared with a tray, with glassful champagne. He asked him to share the seat, next to him.
‘So…..Asha Gup, how is everything?’
‘Everything is fine la Dasho’
‘What challenges do you confront as a Gup?
‘Of all, it’s the lack of basic skill of reading and writing, that really hinders my profession as a Gup la’. He answered with his head low with respect.
‘Why didn’t you study in your younger age?’

"And to this connection, the last of all I could remember from these 25 years is my best friend"  

My parents were rich and had everything except the education, which they never felt the need of it. My parents were very stupid that they never realized that the wealth can exhaust. And to this connection, the last of all I could remember from these 25 years is my best friend whose parents were very poor. In the jungle, herding cattle together, we used to share all our best time, playing, eating packed lunch and most exciting of all, foretelling each other’s destiny. I always said that he has a bright future, that he would hold an important and reputable government post.

"The only community school in this village ran short of students"  

During my time, there were hardly any children going to school. The only community school in this village ran short of students and was nearly closed down by the government. Few, studying there were the children of those, who could not nag enough to retain their children home on the ground of helping hand in the farm.

As it did every year, that year too, the Head teacher of the school came making round of the village looking for prospective children with old enough for enrollment. Both my friend and I were caught and enrolled for the school and were supposed to attend school from that year.

"So, here I am, as a Gup"  

Here my parents’ wealth proved a punishment for me. My parents had enough to bribe the head teacher. So, I am here as a Gup. My friend didn’t share the better luck, as it atleast seemed and landed up in school. After his completion of school from the village, I never heard of him.

The dances have come to an end and the dinner was served. ‘So, are you Dorji? I am your childhood friend Doley,’ said Dasho and shared the dinner together this time.


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