Monday, July 2, 2012

...and the chorten weeps silently in the cold night

Amidst the wind singing the glory of nature as it swayed over the meandering cheerful river, prayers flags, those tattered and torn danced to the song of wind. Their fluttering often shook the old wooden pole on which they were hoisted. Yet, merry was all over the hill. Faraway, the basking yellow ray is disappearing behind the white peaks, and Chorten, in its miserable ruin was weeping silently. 
Prayers flags in their old frayed self gathered to ask, “What’s the matter?”
Only a commanding wind made the weeping of old Chorten noisier, however.
“There were times, when whole village was built around me,” Chorten begin to recite his old faded memory, “in fact my friends were also revered important that they were held above everything and worshiped as a seat of sacredness.”
“But people still come and worship you. What’s bothering you with that sadness?” in a roaring wind, one of the swaying prayer flags comforted his old compatriot.
“These are few, who wear red robes and wrinkles on their faces. There used to be a time when I used to be rich with sacred relics inside me, and once in a month, on a day which would be followed by a full moon, whole village would come and offer prayers led by venerable beings. I used to rejoice in merry.”
The wind has now ushered the strong cold hail storms. Prayer flags shivered strongly as the shredded cloth pieces fluttered even stronger.
“I have had the opportunities in my life to know many of your predecessors,” Chorten now felt the pain of prayer flags as well, “Once pompous and colorful ancestors of yours withstood even stronger winds than this. They were always singing something or the other, only when there was a strong sunshine, they felt alone as people stayed inside the house. There were no soul to circumambulate”.
“Even being glamorous is also short lived,” one of the prayer flags stuttered, “We succumb to our age earlier than you.”
“...which is a good thing. At least the fire burns your ruined body!” Chorten sighed, “I don’t even have the luxury of it. I am left to the merry of tourists visiting the place. Ruins excite them.”
“Within my ruined parts, history is captured,” folks unfortunately takes pride. “But the history is nothing if sacredness has evaporated long into the fading time. History needs memories to be alive”
“I was vandalized couple of times; my prized possessions were taken out and were never returned back. Earlier people panicked and rebuilt me again, but with roads invading the villages, rich folks have cloned me with alien materials. Stones engraved with holy lines, people worshiped them, but now alien materials have also overtaken their places in the folks’ mind. Folks used to flock here and camp their journeys through me, and happily I offered them the shelter, and now even the ones who come purposely to visit me go back with few clicks and snaps.”
“I was built over a place where a great lama once subdued the deity. I have ever since tried my every bit of self indulgence to repay the faith of the great lama and the villagers by peacefully blending with the landscape”.
Every little thing that exists on the earth is vulnerable to the change and succumbs sadly to the new urge of ours. History is lost in a change and we let it be. Our biggest strength lies in your cultural identity and these chortens form a bigger part of our cultural landscapes. It forms the image of our place and reminds us of our religion.  

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