|My Father is more than Hero|
As the year progressed, such news kept on coming and going. I thought that, the media in Bhutan are into competition in covering those fiery and quaky incidents. There were times that I took those news nothing more than a cock crowing at regular interval of time in a day.
But in the vie hours of 25th Jan 2011, I woke up to a thundering cock; - the incessant ring from my phone. It was my sister at the other end. She broke the news that broke my heart apart. without any hesitation she told me that there was a fire disaster back home and that every thing in the shed including the 14 precious calves were burnt to death.
14 yak calves dead in the fire ? That was too much for me to believe.
The moment later, I found my self speeding to Thimphu to console my mom and dad who at the time were actually on a break with my sister.
No sooner did I enter the room, then I saw my inconsolable mom and dad grieving at the lost. I saw their eyes swollen and redden by gushing tears. They even couldn't stand on their own feet. Teary eyes everywhere (in the room) made the atmosphere all the more dismal and tragic.
I took a brotherly stand and decided to reach my mom and dad home so that they can at least see those surviving ones. From there, It was a the longest and heaviest journey back home. My father never said a word and my mother cried all the way. We finally reached home at1030 pm to be only greeted by a group of equally grieving siblings. My father could barely walk and had to assist him. That was the first time I saw tears in my father's eyes.
The next day, I did my own inspection and found out that there were skeletons of calves and burnt woods scattered everywhere. 4 surviving calves were very well treated by the veterinary doctors of Bumthang. The damages and losses were all recorded and reports were duly submitted to His Majesty's Secretariat's office in Bumthang. Not only that. I also saw the people in village prompt enough in showing their solidarity. They all turned up and consoled my parents. For ordinary people, it was a loss of only animals and not human, but for my parents it was far more than that. For them, it was like loosing 14 loved kids in fire at a time.
Raising yaks and herding them was my family's ancestral tradition and my aging father has stood firm and strong against any idea of giving up that tradition. We herded yaks only for milk, butter and cheese and not for yaksha. His love for yak knew no bound and he proudly compared each individual yak to his ten children. Sometimes, when he doesn't feel good about his kids, he would say that his yaks are more sensible than his kids. such is the love and care my father have towards his herd of yak. A small herd was our family' s identity and pride. Today it can be fittingly called as the "backbone of my family's economy" for many reasons.
As a caring child, I have always envisioned a happy and peace full days for my parents. Even though they resented the idea, I remember luring my parents to sell off all the yaks, not out of my dislike for my family's tradition but herding yaks in the mountains took heavy tool on my parents health. I also remember my parents saying that their yaks are all like their kids, - like us. To them they were like priceless jewels.
Today I pray for the eternal peace for my 14 siblings who lost their lives in the hellish fire.