Which I assumed to be stars!
When I was a small kid, I used to count the number of spot lights-which I assumed to be stars- in the darkness through my window. Those lights were the headlights of the vehicles running on the roads far away over the hills from my village-Digala, in Zhemgang. And it’s been almost more than a decade, and I believe today if I go back to my village, I would be still counting the number of spotlights (may be more lights this time).
If I visit my village again, sitting at the broken window sill, room lit by a kerosene lamp, and with a bangchag in one hand, I would probably wonder why don’t those vehicles if not stars haven’t reached my grandparent’s house yet? The old rugged traditional stone has now been standing up on the top of hill for decades. The lhakhang commands the creation below. My old grandpa used to make me offer Yoenchhab every morning- that was the most scary routine for me, as a kid, I used to get more terrified to step inside the dark room with so many terrifying masks hanging on its wall. Electricity in the room would have been the blessing. And for that one need those stars on the roads to stretch out at our doorsteps which possibly has been the distant dream.
One of my most memorable moments- which I see these days as one though it didn’t really make my day in those days- was clearing the new pathway to connect our own separate village with whole village. The harsh rainfall in summer resulted in landslide. The pathways were washed away and the calamity even stretched its hand till the jaw of the hill over which my grandparents stayed. If there’s was ever a god repaid for my grandfather’s gracious deeds he involved himself at his old age, then it was stopping the landslide right at the edge of the lhakhang.We worked whole day in clearing a new pathway through the jungle. To remove the boulders, we have had our elder brother. And even for my naive intelligence, I felt a sense of greatness thinking that now people do not need to trouble themselves trying to take the section of old path which has fallen victim to the ill power of nature.
Now with Chamkhar chhu hydro project on roll, I can see my village not just with few stars on the hill, but it will be lit with many. It would mean the roads, the lights, vehicles and most importantly people in the village can improve whole lot in their economy. I remember walking alone in jungle following the meandering pathway which snaked over the brow of hills to the bow of rivers till I reach some village. Now those memories shall always be remembered as past, the future is near with electricity to dispel poverty and roads to connect with development.
Seems like generation behind us won’t have to wonder about stars moving far at the distance about the mountains.
Yoenchhab: Water offering to Gods. Usually its offered in morning.