Thursday, July 6, 2017

Our Mother: The undisputed Superhero.

I am posting this so someday my son, nieces and nephews can read and learn about their grandmother. Acknowledge her sacrifices and appreciate a life she had lived as a daughter and have been living as a caring mother and an incredible grandmother!

My maternal grandparents 

Born In 1963 at kandung, Tendu, Samtse to a farming couple Mr. Jainarayan Dhal and Mrs. Krishna Maya Sharma my mother Mrs. Bhanki Maya is second youngest among ten siblings. Six of whom were sisters and four other were brothers.

As she remembers, she was in the company of her mother, father and her youngest brother for a considerable period of time during her young age as her elder sisters and brothers had already moved out on their own. She would often accompany her father herding goats and cow on lonely hills of Kandung while her brother was enrolled in a makeshift hut which functioned as a classroom for his share of education.

My maternal uncle had to be escorted to the hut on a nearby hill where he along with five other children from the valley gathered to learn reading and writing. Mr. Bishnu Bhakta Dhal who had returned from Vindraban, India after completing his studies had volunteered to help children learn Nepali language.
My mother had to escort him to his school early in the morning because he was scared that the tutor would scold if he reports late. The other reason for my mother to escort him was that they often would encounter bear, deer and other wild animals on their way to school.

The family use to live in a two storied wooden house with thatch roofing. During summer season rain and strong wind would often damage the roof forcing them to be under makeshift huts for days. My mother was six years old then when her father decided to migrate his family to Hangay, the present village.

On coming to a new place things didnt change a lot. Till she was eight she continued herding cow, buffalos and goats.

At the age of nine she took up all the household responsibilities and succeeded in convincing her brother to continue his studies. He was very adamant, as my mother remembers, insisting that he would also stay at home. But mother could make his mind to leave for his betterment. He was to leave for Trongsa for his formal education at the age of five.

While other siblings had already settled on their own in places far and wide and at a tender age of nine my mother bravely took care of her parents and also looked after all household chores. Leave alone the herd of cattle to be looked after.

After completing all house chores she would run out with same robustness to look after their cattle along with her father.

By fourteen she started working in fields during paddy cultivation. She would be everywhere extending her helping hand to her fellow villagers. Among many fields and houses, she would be summoned to help my paternal grandparents. Apart from helping in cultivation work in my paternal grandparents field she would also help in their daily chores.  It was during this frequent visit of my mother, then a village girl, to my fathers place that they became acquainted with each other and had expressed their desire to stay together forever.

They got married in May 18th 1978.
My paternal grandmother and my parents  (elder sister and me on ggmothers lab)

For next five months she stayed at her maternal home because Dad had to return to Thimphu to complete his Training at Serbithang Veterinary Training Center.

Along with dad in 1979 she came to Thimphu but stayed less than a year and had to again leave for village.

While at village mother gave birth to our elder sister. Dad visited her and stayed for 13 days after which he had to leave for Thimphu to attend the call of the Nation.

At the age of nineteen, for the final time, she decided to come to Thimphu because it was difficult for her to look after her child and work too. So she left for Thimphu along with kewal uncle who was on his summer vacation.

Maternal grandfather had to sell millets to cover her travel expenses. She was given Nu: 80. The otherwise travel companion who was supposed to be of help vomited profusely, she narrates with a smile on her face.  They reached Thimphu by 10 pm.

At Chubachu mom started growing potatoes, chillies, cabbages and cauliflower. She remembers selling potatoes for Nu: 0.15 per kg, chillies were sold for Nu: 3 per kg and cauliflower for Nu: 0.50 per kg.
In 1981, at Dechencholing (Dharina), the second place of posting of my dad, she engaged herself in cultivation. She specialized in potatoes cultivation.
Father being a vet officer of the Royal Palace, they stayed at Dharina along with other Royal household maids.
My mother was fascinated with the maid who were assigned with specific task. Koma, jeweleries, cow herders. Zoo keeper (deer, reindeer, peacock, fheant takin) , weavers; male and female.

While at dharina. Dad use to often accompany Major Rinzin when ever he played archery.

Clerk Sangay, responsible to the Royal housemaids, use to run a cloth store and use to  be very generous by gifting my dad clothes, pair of shoes, socks and also invited for meals too wherever dad helped him treat his herd of cattle stationed in the wilderness of kabesa.
After one and half years , dad had to go back to vet hospital at chubabchu.
While at Chubachu he was called for duty to treat Gonglan Lham Dorji cow and pet dogs. He was very generous. He would often give him Nu: 5 or nu: 10 with which my mom and dad use to watch Nepali and Bollywood movies screened at the Lugar Theater.

Thus after many movies watched, on a faithful day of 5th May 1983 I was born at the JDWNRH.

Dad came back from Australia after 3 months and mom gave birth to our younger sister in 1986.

In Dec 1986 father got transferred to Paro thus for next 30 years we started our voyage travelling across the Country where ever dad was transferred. Staying at one place for few years and moving on to another.

Along the journey of her life, she never pampered herself. For she was guided by her own mission. A mission to mend us, forge good manners in us and one day enable us all to stand on our own feet.

She took up many odd jobs to not necessarily to meet the expenses of her own family but in her pursuit to give the best in life for her children. She implemented her farming skill in growing vegetables for self-consumption wherever a patch of land was seen around dads office or the office quarters we lived in. Working at a construction site, running a small pan shop on a single wooden table during the weekly mart in Samdrup Jongkhar and of late at our home town too.

She is back in Thimphu again. This time to assist my wife and me while my wife give birth to our first child.
My mother along with my mother in law congratulating each other on arrival of the newest member in the family.

And during the frequent walks ; Whenever we happen to pass the Food Cooperation of Bhutan go-down at Changzamtog, she would narrate one particular incident. Our younger sister was not born yet. She narrates how she carried a load of 50 kg sack of rice on her back, made me sit on the sack and help my elder sister walk holding her hand from changzamtog to Chubachu.

Thats a mother's  life.  A super woman's life. A short biography of a superhuman.

Seeing her work for the  betterment of her family all these years my heart ache to have not being able to thank her. I know i won't be able to thank her enough for she contributed so much, sacrificed so much and her deeds are indeed irreplaceable. Thank you and love you mom.

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