|Mr. Karma Tashi, the player of the year 2009-2010|
Just like our national dress, our national game has also indeed evolved a great deal. So called the national game of Bhutan was once played using a humble materials like Bamboo, a birds feather and locally available bow strings. Today those things are fast starting to become yet another myth. In years to come, a thing bamboo bow and bamboo arrow will just become a thing past gone forever.
Having said that, I have my own story to tell as an archer, The last game I played was in the fall of 1995. Believe me. I was a sharp shooter then,(like Karma Tashi). I have even recorded hitting dobjis (I am serious). But sadly that zeal did not last long. During our three day game, one of my friend, with whom I shared my bow, broke it off on the very first day by over pulling. It took my father, a week to give it a final touch and it was just a matter of second before it was damaged beyond repair! I lacked words to shun him for his outrageous action.
It was by far, one of the most painful moments in my life. In following days, I could neither hit the target nor shoot my arrows properly.Those were the 2 most embarrassing days in my life because I was not only considered jazee, (person who failed to hit even once) but also lost interest in the game worthy of being called a gentlemen' game. I promised to myself that I will never ever play the game again in my life.
True to my words and promise, Today I am neither an archery protagonist nor an archery antagonist. I prefer watching someone play than playing myself. I have many other reasons to restrict myself from the game too. The obvious one is the cost factor that is followed by a huge post acquisition cost. The second reason may sound naive but my wife doesn't fancy man playing archery. (ask her the reasons)
Of course, things have changed. People today have the option and luxury of going for an unbreakable bows like shoot through, defender, reflex, ultra elite, contender elite, carbon matrix, mathew and Bow-tech along with high quality aluminum arrows like super slim, black arrow and camo arrow. You name it and the market has it for you.
Yesterday morning, I caught up with my friend, (Karma Tashi in the picture) who is currently the best and most sought after archer in our country. When I asked him about his feelings for the game, he had no words to describe and went blank. After carefully examining my words he smiled at me and said its not only fun but can actually be used as a important social tool too. He said the game has given him everything, including society, friendship and love. "What more can i expect form it?" he said.
With this he also shared his concern to me. He said that, there are so many people buying those expensive bows and arrows. "If not properly handled and regulated, those are as dangerous as fire arms. It can be used in many ways" he said. Karma also told me that, with ever increasing number of poachers and wild life poaching in our country, this is his great concern, because in the west people use those for hunting down animals.