Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fishermen's lesson

He’s lying cold and breathless. There was the petrified look on Dorji and Wangchuk was taken aback into dead jolt. Sonam lied speechless. The sun was passing out. Dusk was already there, and the terror in these men’s face is far from being concealed. Sonam was as good as dead person. There was uproar, and the confused ones didn’t really have anything in their heart than fear. The river commanded their fear with rippling and splashing. Winds stopped flowing harsh. Men couldnot tell the difference between sweat and the water stains.  Mud and sands have drenched the lifeless man.

“What do we do now?” Dorji was crying. He couldn’t just imagine his poor wife and their children suffering at the pity of poverty, and he is not there to answer their struggle. It was just terrifying.

“....Police?” Tshewang was stammering. “There is no other choice left than to report to the police?” Wangchuk couldn’t imagine his father and even himself getting behind the bar for being in a same company of a person who went missing by drowning in roaring river. Actually being able to see his uncle Sonam getting drowned  with the fishing net just as he turned around to see his father who was throwing the net few distance away from him, it was dreadful experience for a boy of his age to have been the sore witness. It just was enough to clip his un-preconditioned thoughts with worrisome incident. They gathered with pale numbness in the nerve, the once warm and pleasing experience of fishing dried up to be caught in sheer panic. What in the heaven these two men and a kid going to say to the police about what just happened? What in the heaven, they are going to explain to Sonam’s wife and his three little children? How in the heaven they are going to make it better to put away from getting it worse for their family? It was simply scary. They don’t just have the answer for it.
Dorji threw the net several times into the deep waterlog. They couldn’t fish out Sonam. Rain has started to become heavy. Soon, rivers going to swell.  And that would mean that they could even land up without being able to find out the body.

“Are you sure, boy, that you saw him here?” The sweats have broken down on Dorji’s face. Sometimes terror comes in a very promising package. They were asked to get a fish by a rich hotelier. The lucrative offer by then never meant any sort of danger but good money to support the family. What could be more fascinating than fishing and getting paid? And for fishing, Dorji was expert not to mention his families survived mostly in his fishing adventure than in money he earned from his regular job at furniture workshop.

“Ye...ah...yeah...i...sa..sa...saw him taking out his hand waving at the direction towards .....to...wards.........towards...me when getting drowned”.

Tshewang too joined in throwing the net. No, they couldn’t fish out him.

“Do you know we were lucky on that rainy evening?” Tshewang was crying with Dorji in the hotel. They meet up after eight years after that particular event. “If not for the good fortunes of our children we would be behind the bars right now”, Dorji replied with sense of respite. 

“How could that foolish Sonam meet up with such ridiculous event?” he was smiling with fright. “He just didn’t drown himself but also our whole life.”

But fate gave these fishermen another chance in life. They were made to learn their mistakes. They got weathered brutally though.

After few minutes later, Sonam spread out dead from the shallow part of the river bank. He was stretched. The body has become pale. Fists clenched, jaws locked hard, and his hair has taken full of sands on the head. After taking him out, they pressed his belly, they pumped in the air, there was no sign of waking up. With nearly lost, the bewildered men gathered few sticks of dried pine branches and started piercing in between the teeth. They were too feeble just like these men who gave up their little sense of firm state to the claws of fear. Circumstances began to draw more closely towards the end. Night was falling on. Darkness would soon close the dusk.  Sticks could not stick to their try.

“What do we do now?” Tshewang was crying harder like a defeated warrior. They weren’t least a warrior. But everyman born is a warrior born. Battles are obvious events in life. Even before one is up to close with, another comes up front. And all man could do is to believe in the wars he wage.

“We try out with a dagger?” Dorji was helpless. It has to be the last thing to resort to.
There he was, Sonam finally breathes out. The dagger pierce in between the teeth and he finally gushes out the whole air out. Gum loses on, locks are broken now, fists let its clench, and they rubbed his hands. Man is back from the clutches of death.

Tenzin was shouting from the toilet. He was inquiring about the fishing net lying near the toilet.

“I threw it. It is of no use to me now”, Dorji was relieved as he replied to his old friend Tenzin. His children were playing in the garden infront of his house.  


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