In Bhutan, we generally believe that there is the right time for everything. If that hour of destiny does not strike, nothing will happen even if the situation pushes you to the furthest edge of your life. But if the right time has come, nothing can stop you from facing the reality no matter how bitter it might be. I think because of this belief, we can cope even with the loss of our loved ones quite easily. If we are not destined to die at that particular hour, even death seems to forget its purpose. I have faced a couple of situations where I could have been either injured or even killed. People may call it a luck but I believe that the right time for me to die had not come then. Following are a few episodes of my life during which luck was in my favour.
Coinciding with the Tshechu holidays in Thimphu, the Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) had organized a workshop in Bumthang to develop its five-year strategic plan. As I have been an active member of the Association, I was invited to be part of the workshop held from 24-26 September 2015. We had hired a Bolero truck for our entire journey to and from Bumthang. As we started our journey on 23rd September, I was worried about the road conditions on the way, because just a few days back, a taxi had slipped off the road between Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa killing five passengers. The road between Thimphu and Wangdue Phodrang was fine although there were some minor obstacles on the way due to the ongoing road-widening activities. But the conditions began to get worse after crossing Wangdue Phodrang.
It still freezes my nerves whenever I think of those accidents which I have narrowly escaped during my school days. As a child, I guess I was quite restless and adventurous because I still remember being always curious about everything my hands landed on. I would keep exploring things around me until I got some clues what they were and I was not afraid to put my hands into almost anything to explore what was beneath or inside. One day when I was living with my late father in Gai Khure, above Rinchending, I still remember putting my fingers deep into a small hole I had discovered in the ground while playing until I found some small eggs. I didn’t know they were frog’s eggs until I broke one of them and placed it on the top of a flat rock. There was a premature little frog which instantly died after being heated by the scorching sun. I was able to see at that time though. When I told this to my father, he scolded me for risking myself from the bites of poisonous creatures like snakes and centipedes. But I still continued to explore whatever I saw and whatever my hands reached for. When I was in the village, I and my late sister often used to go to the river to take bath and try to catch fish. During such times, I used to put my hands deep underneath huge rocks in the murky water and take out dangerous crabs with my bare hands without being hurt by them. However, my inborn talents to catch crabs finally came to a stop after a small soft-bodied crab pinched me on the finger so hard that I even cried. That was the most terrible and painful experience I ever had, and I instantly stopped catching crabs, but I still continued my adventures in other areas. I used to catch all types of spiders, tease the swarms of beetles in their nests, learn to be a sharp shooter by stoning red-headed lizards peeping out from behind trees at the distance and indulge in many other mischievous and often risky activities. But all that happened before I lost my sight.