June 16, 2005

The Long Lost Brothers-part I

The first time I saw them I was struck with their similarity.

‘Hi, I am Nima Sir, and I am from Haa. I kill people . . .’

That was how he introduced himself to me the first time we met. I was doubled with laughter, and couldn’t listen to the rest of his talk in his typical western accent.

And he is Sherab Tenzin. We call him Clever Fox. He is from Morong.’

Where is Morong?’ I managed to ask.

Samdrup Jongkhar

We were in room # 47. PTC block, befriending each other after reaching a strange place. Indeed Samtse was strange to us.

Are you brothers?’ I asked.

How did you guess?’ Sherab said, as he was glared at by Nima.

Well, you look similar . . . and you stay together.’ I replied, cautiously hoping that I hadn’t touched some emotional strings.

I think we can trust him’, ST Fox said, turning to Nima Sir.

Trust me with what?’ I was suddenly drawn in the mysterious atmosphere that they were creating.

Turning to me Nima said, ‘Okay, the truth is we are brothers, and you are the only soul who knows it, other than us.

How? The question must have showed in my face, because he waved a hand and said, ‘This is something on which I have no wish to talk about. Look, I think you meant no harm when you asked this question, but don’t you think you are invading our privacy?’

That surely shut me up, for the moment. But I was drawn to the strange pair, the brothers; one from the east, the other from the west. My interest was aroused in that pair and I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I asked other friends of them but I didn’t get any clue. I joined their group, and soon we were eating from the same plate.

But whenever I brought out the topic of their brotherhood, their reluctance to speak on this subject would silence me. Thus I spent a lot of time trying to dig out their history.

I asked Karma Dorji, their mate from Chukha, but even he seemed clueless on this relationship. I asked Ugyen Thinley, who denied everything, as he had been Fox’s mate from the primary schools. I started to dig deeper, going through their albums and there I unlocked the secret.

It had all started when a certain Kuenzang Tenzin from Haa had gone to neighboring India on a pilgrimage where he had come across a beauty from eastern Bhutan. She was there with her husband Tashi Wangdi who was a businessman. Kuenzang and Tashi had become fast friends, sharing the same interests of archery. Then something had happened that had shocked the others. They had suddenly become archenemies and nobody knew the reason.

(to be continued . . . . .)