15 September 2009

On My Brother Tenzin's Birthday...

We are unfortunate no more, we can celebrate birthdays now. There were times we thought birthday celebration was a luxury. I didn't even know my birthday until I was in high school; I did some maths then and found it out approximately. I have been in many of our cousins' birthday parties envying the lavish expenses and the gifts, but my birthday was often forgotten. I was never wished nor gifted on my birthday, which made me cry on every birthday I let go in hostels.
Today is your birthday; probably you did some maths too. You used to tell me that your birthday falls on 15th August; anyway it doesn't matter when. It has to be a day in the year which reminds us that a year has passed by. You took sweets for your friends in school and as you give them, greetings will rain on you. That's when you will realize how important you are. In hostel, I would hardly have money but I made sure I save enough to purchase a packet of sweet just to get some friends to greet me, for no one would otherwise remember.
This is the first years in our lives we have been together for the whole year. Thus we are together on my birthday and yours too for the first time. This inspires me to write a few lines in my online diary hoping you would learn about it some day. There are many things about you that I share with my friends, which I want to write here knowing someday you would read like a piece of legend.
 When you were born I was already eight and away from home. We were together only during the winters but to my surprise you could remember all the detail account from our childhood. You could remember many things from my childhood that I can't and that makes me feel that you have a better brain than mine.
You were a boy born with a stone in your hand. I wonder how you have done but so many neighbors came banging on our door because you have stoned their children. It is hard to keep track of you unless you cried. You roar when you cried drawing my attention and me. I have fought for you hundreds of times regardless of your faults.
But I still remember the day I fought a big guy who tossed me left and right, you were just about four and Samtey could be eight. When you knew I was losing you ran home crying with Samtey. By then I was crying too and still fighting with dozens of men watching in pleasure. I thought I was going to be killed if I don't run away, but my pride as a fighter held me back. Just then the two of you appeared, Samtey was with a kitchen knife and you were holding a spoon. The two of you were too tiny to scare him away but I felt so secure though I lost that fight.
Tenzin, people in our village hated you as much as they hated me. We have been naughty beyond limits and have been the don of playground in our own times, unlike Samtey who was good all along. During my reign of the playground I didn't cause damage to myself so much as you did to yourself during your rule. You fell from the veranda countless times, you fell from roof of the gate twice, and in both these incidents you bled so much causing lot of damage to your face. But the most damage was done when you jumped from one wall to another of a ruined house. You missed your step and hit your mouth on the other wall breaking four teeth along with the gum. We found two of your broken teeth from inside of your swollen lips. You looked very ugly and cute then. Your lips never regained it actual shape nor your tiny teeth. The four teeth in front were replaced by two big ugly teeth. That was no the end, I know you remember why your ring finger has that odd form; you have sliced it into two. After stitching the shape looked funny, I thought it would come back to normal with time but where? It really looks like a phallus.
Thank god you grew up so fast, a few more years and you would have distorted whole your physical form.
One thing that made me a better Acho is a story from our childhood too. You and Samten are home and I was away in hostel. When I return home on vacations two of you would always have something to give me, a new shirt or a sock or a pen that someone had given you. When I ask why you did not use them yourselves, you would say it doesn't matter to you in village and that I should have it since I go amidst new people in new places. I know how seldom we get to own new things in our childhood but two of you were always happy wearing the rags as long as I am well dressed. I still wonder how big a heart god has put into your tiny chests.
Now you are growing pimples and must be worried about it. It will disappear over time, don’t worry. But over time you have changed too; the hyperactive Tenzin is lost into a silent loner. I am worried you are missing the brighter side of boyhood. The intelligent Tenzin is lost into a careless and dull boy who gives excuses for failing in multiple subjects. I remember how you would solve mathematical problems from you finger tips and the smelly toes shown from you torn socks. Change is good but you have choices, be objective about the road you choose.
You quite well know me, I haven’t been the best of students either but I have always known my responsibility as brother and as a son. Though a young boy, I have seen appreciation in your eyes when I walked home with a TV set bought from my little apprentice salary, I have heard how you praised me to your friends when I brought how new sets of plates and mugs from my temporary job wages. Those were the times I struggled along with thousands in the job market; in such times people lose their nerve and do drugs and drink and try to be happy. But I always remembered you all at home and kept myself intact.
When people of my age were wasting their youth in drugs I was working in a construction of a bridge as a labor, and when they were still wasting their life I was choosing new clothes for you. Life paid me well for my dedication and now I am a teacher with a respectable life.
Now you are about that age and today on your birthday I am writing you this note just to let you know that you will never have to work for a construction site nor you should worry about buying any thing for home because I have made it all set. All you have to do now is to know that your life is a gift and prepare yourself enough to be capable of cherishing it. Make us proud by being the best that you are capable of. I will be the happiest man when I see you lead a comfortable life.


  1. Wow, that's wonderful. I am about to weep now. And even as I type these lines, my fingers are numb. Your words are too powerful. I hope your brother grows up to be a wonderful brother after you.

    My belated good wishes to your brother and tell him how fortunate a fellow he is.

  2. The love for your younger siblings is something one can only speak in actions, not in words.

    I can feel yours though, I mean through this article. Keep the spirit on.

  3. Hi passu, where can i get in touch with u? (as in please write to me, i have a favour to ask you. di.patrick.pi@gmail.com)

  4. hi sir
    that was truely an amazing piece....
    it brought tears into my eyes....
    every sibling would be lucky enough to have a brother like you.....
    may you be blessed more than now.....be happy always sir...you deserve all of it..

  5. Dear Sir,
    I really appreciate your writing, and the way you pen down your utmost feelings. Hope, your brother would have cherished your heartfelt wishes...


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