Like many of my contemporaries from Shingkhar, I grew up being called as Brokpa. Roughly translating it to English, it means nomad, yak herder or highlander. True to that name tag, we lived in highland and depended on yaks for our livelihood. We loved those animals and we cherished our moments with them. But there was something, that I still couldn't agree with when people referred to me as Brokpa. I simply hated it.
I used to hate it even when people called me 'Brokpa' with lots of love and affection. I disagreed and defended my stand. It may sound one and the same thing but to anyone who called me "Brokpa' I told them that 'all brokpas are highlanders but not all the highlanders are 'Brokpas'. But people still insisted that all yak herders are 'Brokpas'
I hated it more, when the caller was none other than my uncle. My uncle used to be a teacher, but in the field of nicknaming his students, he must have surely outdone many Rimpoches’. In fact it was my very own uncle who tagged me and my peers with that name. Since he was my (our) teacher, protesting against him was not a prospect, but internally, I always questioned him and told him that he (was) is more 'Brokpa' than all of us combined.
Now that my dad has sold off all the yaks, I can finally say that I am not brokpa anymore. But sadly with this, I now feel an aching sense of loss. It is a loss beyond my description. It is my exotic brokpa entity that I am now losing.