Friday, August 16, 2013

My first night-out

In the other room, my brothers got into conversations, as the dusk gradually crept in. They talked about their ‘night hunting’ experiences. It was in 1980s, when I was a young school boy. I was not even fifteen then. Those days, night hunting was common among rural folks. Hearing their experiences I was getting tempted to venture it myself too. But as a young undersized boy, the thought of it was enough to make me shy and uneasy.

Acho Jigme promised to guide me and my cousin out that night. Probably, he had already sensed our temptations. "I'll take you to our neighbours place," he said. Our neighbours place was barely twenty-five meters adjacent to our house that stood at the corner facing south. "There are two girls, you know that," he began to draw up strategies for us. His hands pointing through our kitchen window, he showed us the direction, "They occupy the store room, while parents prefer to remain warm in the kitchen near the hearth."

"One of you should carefully tip toe to the main door and lock it from outside so that you do not create any unusual scenes should any mishap occur," he continued, "Meanwhile, one of you could mount on the wall of storeroom to prepare your entry through the window, ..."

Three of us sneaked out after everyone in the house fell asleep. Midway to our neighbour's house, "I have to attend to nature's call, you can go now," Acho Jigme stopped. "Do as I say! and no flashlights please," he went back.

As we reached the house, my cousin preferred to mount first. I went to lock the main door as instructed by Acho Jigme. By then my cousin had already opened the window shutters halfway through. The soft beams of setting moon was enough to guide us through.

I followed him up the wall. Before, he put in his head, I managed to take hold onto that window too.

Our knees trembling from the excitements, we were readying ourselves to fit in carefully when suddenly, a strong beam of flashlight surprised us.

Down came my cousin crushing over me. He fell down and I went sliding over the wall, badly scratching my right leg.   With no words to share, we surrendered ourselves - my cousin limped as I pulled home my right leg.

At home, as we opened the door, "Was it successful" he burst out into a huge laughter. But we had no mood to share the laughter with him that night, instead we went to our bed straight away.

Lying on the bed, I thought "If it weren't for Acho Jigme's prank, we would be dating the girls already. And, my first night out was an encounter with Acho Jigme's prank!

Acho Jigme was my first cousin who wouldn't talk much. We used to call him Ajime. He was better known for his hard work, dedication and the strong determination in doing whatever task he was assigned. When other brothers went to school, he was left behind herding the cattle and helping parents at home. And I still remember that he had one regret in his life, of having not gone to school along with other brothers. However, he had managed to learn ABCs, 123... and Ka Kha Ga Ngas... through his own initiative even before I started my school. I loved him so much that, I would often go to live with him in the forests along with cattle, during my vacations. I used to enjoy his company even if he never talked.

Unfortunately, in early 1990s a severe disease of unknown nature took away his life at a very young age. 

Let this anecdote be a fond remembrance and a tribute to your exemplary personality that you portrayed to us. I shall always remember you. 

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