First of all, I must confess that during my school days, I think my life was similar to that of a street beggar because I never had the luxury of wearing even nice cloths. The only difference could be that I didn’t have to worry about my daily meals since I was studying in a boarding school where food and hostel facilities are provided free by the government. Otherwise, I was absolutely penniless with no reliable source of support particularly after my father got paralyzed in November 1990. So till I was in grade 6, I could never afford to wear even underwear inside my Gho. However, as long as I didn’t slip off or climb up somewhere, I was safe in my Gho because people never noticed what I was wearing inside. But whenever teachers took us outside to study in the sun especially during cold months, I had to be really careful while sitting down on the ground. I would usually choose to sit at the back to ensure that people from across the rows didn’t see what they were not supposed to see. haha!
In 1992, the annual Sports Day of Khaling Primary School was approaching and since the visually impaired students were also included in the event, we were required to take part in at least one activity. I was studying in grade 3 then. I chose to participate in the wheelbarrow-race category not realizing that it was a challenging game especially for someone wearing no underwear inside the Gho. It requires you to run on your hands with both your legs held up by your partner at his hips and that too was with the school-uniform on. Soon, we were summoned to the play-ground for practice. The actual event was still a few days away.
There was a girl in my class whom I had loved so much. (You can read more about her here). She was also with me at the ground. My partner was a tall low-vision guy named Dawa Tashi. As we lined up for the practice, my partner lifted both my legs up and held them at hips while I stood on my hands deeply worried if my Gho slips down over me. I always tried to maintain the right angle between my head and my legs to help my Gho remain at the same place because I didn’t have underwear inside. When the whistle blew, we started running. I tried to run as fast as I could to maintain the safe angle and there was my girl cheering me up. “Run faster, Amrith!” she kept shouting beside me as I raced across the ground. On the other hand, my friend was pushing me hard from behind and I was already having tough time keeping my pace with him. “You are about to win!” my girl continued. But just then, one of my hands fell into a small pothole on the ground and got stuck while my friend continued to push me hard from behind. As a result, my legs went steeply high up in the air making me first stand on my head and then topple down on the ground. In the process, my Gho had completely rolled over me exposing the entire lower part of my body to the public. I tried to get up as fast as I could but when I got up, my girl was nowhere to be found. I called her name but there was no response. She had run away. I was so embarrassed for several days but fortunately, she never brought up that topic when we met afterwards. I was angry with my friend and even grumbled at him, but he would keep laughing every time I talked to him about this incident. That was one funny as well as embarrassing moment of my childhood days.