Title: The Silhouette of Truth
Author: Omnath Pokharel
Editors: Ammaraj Joshi & Tara Lal Shrestha
Publication: Discourse Publication, Kathmandu, Nepal, E-mail: [email protected]
© Author’s Brother Rup Pokharel
Managing Unit: Literature Council of Bhutan (LCOB)
ISBN: 978-9937-8436-7-6 (Paperback) 978-9937-8436-8-3 (Hard Bound)
Cover Art: Laxman Bhujel Cover: Pawan Khadagi
Typeset: DP Timsina Pages: 260
‘Thank you, m-o-t-h-e-r. Oh! Ma’am,’ said he, correcting the slip of his tongue, albeit, not a faux pas. Mrs. Sangay Lham heard the word ‘mother’ from a boy for the first time. She felt she owed a lot more to Barun, and for the first time, said, ‘Take care, my son,’ patting softly on his right shoulder. The word ‘mother’, albeit uttered unintentionally, touched Mrs. Sangay Lham’s nerves. ‘I bless you, Barun. May you be an international personality one day,’ said she, patting, once again, on his shoulder like a Good Samaritan.
A month after the ‘September Uprising”, Barun decided to visit the town. He was on his way and that was on 29th of October, 1990. One could hardly see any vehicles plying on the highway that passed through his village. One or two private cars, owned by orange contractors, could be seen plying on the feeder-roads that snaked into different hamlets.
Movement of people was thin; courtesy, the September peaceful revolt for democracy.
Barun walked in an uphill road at a leisurely pace. He had no do-it-at-a-rush work as such.Time was 9 a.m. The day was sunny. Barun could hear the hooting of a car far-off. The sound drew nearer, by degrees, as he sauntered along the road. A car came to a sudden, screeching halt like a singed cat. It was the same ash-colored Hyundai coupe of his English teacher. Mrs. Sangay Lham came out of the car, followed, from the other side, by her daughter, Deki.‘Good Morning, Madam,’ said Barun, doffing the cap from his head. She responded with a ‘Good Morning’ and smiled at him. Deki, without shillyshallying, said ‘Hi Barun’ and smiled too.
‘What an eerie encounter?’ thought Barun. ‘God is fair. God is omnipresent,’ he uttered, thanking the Lord for arranging a parley with his teacher. His happiness knew no bounds. He stood immovable like a setter at the scent of a quail.
‘What are you doing these days?’ She asked, and, ‘and what are your plans for studies?’ resting her back against the car. Barun vividly recalled the peaceful demonstrations of
September last that led to the closure of schools in the southern districts…
‘On that day, ma’am, I found myself lucky. I quickly used the gumption in me; sneaked into the pinewoods and lay doggo, camouflaging myself amidst the foliage and epithetic ferns that covered the grounded boughs and twigs,’said Barun, and took a long breath of relief.
‘I hurried for home at the fall of the dusk,’ said he further, looking around to see if there was any fly on the wall. Deki stood by her mother and looked at Barun with pitiful, and yet, tearful eyes.
‘Madam, your images had gone off from my mind. I don’t know what happened to you on that fateful day. I had never ever imagined that I could get to meet you. By the way, how are you, ma’am? And Deki, what about you? he said, looking at Deki, and smiling at her, trying to hiding the tears in his eyes.
‘Ma’am, I am walking with two loads on my head.’ ‘What do you mean, Barun?’ she asked, interrupting him.She looked flabbergasted. Barun, with a strong will, smiled at her. He felt convinced that he could confide his feelings to her. Her image had been imprinted on the CPU of his head as a person whom he can anchor on.
‘I am happy now for I am freed from punishments like the one I received on the 12th of September, for no lapse of mine. I respect her, ma’am, anyway, for she is a teacher like you. This is the lighter load I carry,’ said he and paused for…