Monday, February 28, 2011

Mem Tak-Tak Pa – The Clever Frog

Hop! Hop! Hop! Jump! Jump! Jump! 

Out came Mem Tak-Tak Pa – the old toad from his small marshy pond. The pond, formed of an accumulation of water that oozed out from the base of a huge old willow tree had few water lilies sprouting out and thick grasses surrounding it. With branches of willow drooping over the pond, it served a perfect home for Mem Tak-Tak Pa. This pond is also a source of livelihood for other wild animals. Creatures like deer, wild pheasants, boars and monkeys often frequented this pond for water. 

An Agent of Trouble

In early 1990s, when the Royal Government of Bhutan initiated rural accessibility of basic services, officials with basic skills on agriculture, livestock and health services were posted in the remote villages as Extension Officers. Mr. Karpo Dendup, a cool tempered official in his early thirties was one of them. He got posted in one of the remote villages of East Bhutan as Livestock Extension Officer. By then he was already married to a young women of his own village– who is also his Serga Mathang. They had a year old son.

The Flea and the Louse

-A Bhutanese version of “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”

“Add fuel to the lamp” reminded my mother as she spun thread out of marijuana barks. Our age old traditional lamp was hardly visible, as small flame on the last piece of pine chip flickered to total darkness. She’d just finished a fascinating story of “Lingshing Rongme – a legendary hunter.” We were so engrossed in her story that we forgot to add pine bits to our lamp. 

To Keep the Lamp Burning

Ms. Sonam Wangchuk

My mother is a great story teller. She has a good stock of it – ranging from love and despair, romance and sex; of kings and queens; greed and misery; of peace and war; of poor and rich; and of might and valor each with befitting moral in the end.