Essay Preview: English Honors
Report this essay
In 1998, I am six years old and I am in second grade at TCV Day School, Dharamsala. My parents have gone off on a holiday for two months. When I am at the bus station, I dont cry. On the way back from Mcleod to home, I experience a strange emptiness for the first time. I am with Acha and Ani. We dont talk. At school, I learn the phrase “I miss you” from a new student. I realized my strange emptiness was missing my parents.
That year, Momo, Aku and Ani looks after me but mostly Aku. The girl who knew “I miss you” before everyone takes an interest in me. Her father is in Taiwan and she says he is the third most important person in Taiwan. I like her stories. She invites me to her birthday party and says I absolutely must must come. I am dying to go. I ask Aku during lunch. We are eating black dal and rice. He says no because it is too far. I stop eating, lie on the bed and stage my child in tantrum protest. At some point, he picks me from the back and puts me back on a sitting position. Not gently. In force and yells, “eat the food.” I am too shocked to cry. I eat my food. He is a good cook. Acha is there but I dont remember what she is doing. My best friend tells me the next day that the birthday party wasnt particularly brilliant. It makes me feel a little better.
In 1998, an old janitor at Thaekcholing monastery, a small building 15 minutes down from my school where me and my best friend sometimes play goes to Delhi. There is a big hunger strike that few Tibetans are staging. Every day at home, grandma is talking about the hunger strike. Everyone looks so thin. Then suddenly, the janitor, who turned out to be a man called Thupten Ngodup goes to the location of the hunger strike because the Indian police is forcing people to stop the strike. He puts gasoline on his body and set himself on fire. The next thing I know, the whole town of Dharamsala experience a nationalistic rage. He is the first martyr I know. Me and my best friend shed tears. We dont have school the day his corpse was brought back to our hometown. We go to Tsuklhakhang, Dalai Lamas temple and pray for him. Everyone is crying. I cry a lot too. Everyone shouts, ” Pawo Thupten Ngodup, Gey Gyur Chik” (Long live Martyr Thupten Ngodup). I also shout with them. At home, me and my sister practice this slogan. We jump from one bed to another bed in our living room. Amidst the jumping, we discover that it is funny to use the names of people we know as we shout. So we went, “Pamo Tenzin Dolma, Gey Gyur Chik”, “Pawo Phurbu Dhondup, Gey Gyur Chik” and burst into fits of laughter.
In 1998, while Momo, Acha and I are at home, we receive a phone call saying that my father might have been in a deadly accident. His driver had passed away. Momo is on the phone. Her lips