Having read the first two books of Monu Tamang (The Joy of Beautiful Dreams & Chronicle of a Love Foretold), I had an urge to read his next publication. It burnt me equally as him on seeing one of his Facebook posts earlier this year about the book manuscripts being lost to some burglar along with his laptop. Like many others, I made sincere silent prayers of its recovery. I know for a writer it would weigh heavier in heart to have lost 100 words of manuscripts than physical objects worth Nu.1000 or so.
The editorial duo Ngawang Phuntsho sir and Benu seems to me an unbeatable literary mammoth in partner. The former is a pro Bhutanese blogger and a writer whom I have been following since last couple of years ago. I still owe him immense gratitude for sharing (with me) one of his published articles on traditional knowledge of environmental conservation. One of the finest CNR alumni Mr.Benu is a wealthy literary personal who never turns down anyone seeking help from him in literary circle. Besides editorial assistance I am greatly indebted to him for his advices and guidance.
Narrated in first person’s point of view, the story revolves around fate and fortune of Sonam Yangki. Abandoned to death right after birth in cold November, a child would have found no way of survival had it not been for her grandmother’s rescue. The protagonist struggles through thick and thins of life right from her childhood. Upon severe physical and emotional abuses from guardians and employers, she runs away only to get clutched into the jaws of next living devil.
From street Doma seller to hotel dish washer, from Dasho’s housemaid to night pub singer, she knocked every opportunity to get knockout the very next time. Throughout the story, readers can seldom find her parents (guardians) in sober state battered to unconsciousness by liquor day and night alike. Despite all these upheavals in her life, she portrays the strength and power of a youth to fight and survive rather than resorting to the life’s end. The story reads painful to the extent of her parents mortgaging her for some amount to one inhumane army officer.
Life is an enveloped letter. Nobody knows what life has in store for us in times to come. Sonam meets with a gentleman by the name Tshering whom she ties her knot of eternity. Their love story defines fate, faith, trust and determination against all odds along the way. In order to make ends meet they venture into several business and eventually runs tourist lodge at last.
Their long genuine prayers and wishes are answered when gifted with their son Golu. However, he is suffering from Cerebral Palsy which does not allow him to develop mentally and physically in par with other children of his age. As the smile of brilliant sun illuminates Golu’s face, Sonam gives biggest motherly smile to her son and closes the door as she exits to her duty.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. Though Cerebral Palsy can be defined, having Cerebral Palsy does not define the person that has the condition (CerebralPalsy.org).
Why should we read this Novel?
Sonam’s bravery through her struggle portrays strength and power of the youth to fight against all those odds in life. This teaches the readers to have determination and optimism amidst thick and thins of life rather than resorting to unhealthy habits and finding life’s end.
Prevalence of social issues like child labour, rape, assaults and battery are depicted through her stories which as a reader we must always be conscious about it. There are many victims suffering such cases under the perpetrators escaping the surveillance of existing law and order of the humanity.
Venturing into different business, Sonam and Tshering endures several losses before getting well established. They fall many times before holding their heads high, persevering through hard times show entrepreneurial and risk taking attitude.
Last but nonetheless, acceptance of the child with special need and social stigma against such patients are well drawn through Golu’s situation. We must learn from the protagonist how supportive she is to her child with special need. With increase in such cases among new born, discrimination and social ostracism from family and friends may happen. Thus, it sensitize in subtle words to avoid such discrepancies.
Grab a copy from the nearest bookstore and enjoy the reading.