|Then I Saw Her Face by Ngawang Phuntsho|
I started reading with the light one, “Then I Saw Her Face”, written by Ngawang Phuntsho. He has a Bachelor Degree in English Literature from Sherubtse College and currently works at NGO READ Bhutan as Development Officer. Other than this book, he is also the author of “The Cuckoo and the Pigeon: A collection of folktales from Bhutan”, and a Bhutanese blogger who blogs regularly on social issues. You can read his blog here. Other than that, he also often contributes his writing to Writers Association of Bhutan (WAB) website here.
I knew him only a month (through Facebook) before we finally met up. I had heard about him from the other blogger’s friends. They told me that he was a humble and modest guy, helpful and very good person. He even personally gave the book to me, the day after we met at the Blogger’s meeting in DYS Harmony Village in Thimphu. Read about our meeting here.
We met for a first time not during blogger’s meeting though hehe.. When I was in Thimphu’s bus station (waiting for our bus to Gelephu to depart), I saw him walking past and carrying goods. That time I was sitting inside my bus. When Riku came, I told him that I saw Ngawang, but I was unsure if it was really him. Then he walked and carried the goods again for the second time. Riku saw him and told me that it was really him. Riku then walked towards him and not long after that, both of them came to the bus where I sat, and we started to introduce ourselves to each other. That was how I met Ngawang for the very first time :)
We met again for the third time only a day after the Blogger’s meeting, which was also my last day spent in Thimphu. He fetched me in Changangkha Lhakhang (after I’d done with my prayer) and he drove me to town. I told him that I wanted to buy some Bhutanese handmade gifts/souvenirs to bring back to Singapore. Despite a very hot sun he was patiently walking, accompanying me through the whole stretch of road where Bhutanese handicrafts were sold (opposite of Taj Mahal Hotel). He was also helping me to bargain the price with the seller hehe…
|Dreams Quote :)|
While shopping, he shared with me his future dreams and aspirations, which were to continue further study, to have a stable source of income by opening shop run by his wife, so that he can fully concentrate to help Bhutanese who are poor and in needs (especially those who stay in rural and isolated area of Bhutan) – by bridging those who has more and who doesn’t have anything at all. It is truly inspiring Ngawang!! Hope you can fulfill your dreams and wishes soon!! Wish you all the best from me :)
Once I bought what I needed, he dropped me in front of the Druk Hotel and that was when we met for the last time. At the same time, he gave me this book, and other two children books, meant for my son to read. Thank you Ngawang for the books, especially for your time and hospitality given although it was only a short time! I appreciate it very much :)
I finished reading his book weeks ago; however, I wasn’t good at reviewing book. So I would only give whatever impression that I had after reading the book.
“Then I Saw Her Face” was a collection of 28 short stories related to Bhutanese way of life. I was exciting when reading it as I wanted to know what kind of story that the author would write and share to the readers and what kind of ending he gave in each story. Sometimes I was expecting the unexpected to come. It was thrilling for me hehe…
It was my first time to read the Bhutanese short stories compiled in a book, reminding me of my teenager’s time when I used to read Indonesian’s short stories, mostly from magazine. Somehow, I was expecting what kind of stories that related to Bhutanese cultures that made it special and different from other part of the world’s cultures’ and beliefs’ stories.
It was short but refreshing. While some stories carried a lesson to learn – True Gift, some described different type of experience faced by people there in the story – The Call of Nature. Some was funny too – Philanthropists. It brought you to Bhutan atmospheres for a while, imagining if you were there and experienced the story yourself there.
Overall, it was good writing Ngawang!!! Hope you can continue writing and bring more fresh stories for Bhutanese and us (overseas readers) to read :)