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SOMETHING MORE THAN DRUK WANGYAL

31 Dec 2008 Author Tse
I am a journalist; the best part about my job is I get to meet people from all walks of life. I have done a lot of articles for my paper but for the first time I am proud of one particular article.
The article was about Tshewang Dema, a 65 year old woman who walked all the way from Thimphu to Trashiyangtse.
Bhutan did create history with the whole democratic process but this woman created a bigger history by making an extra effort to caste her vote.
Today, the 31st of December, 2008, she will be awarded a special award by the CICCC for Media and Democracy.
A well deserved award!
Of course her story did come out in my paper but this article is a story within a story, the other side of the story. My part of the story and my interview with her.
It was then March 22nd, 2008, two days before the big day of Bhutanese democracy. I had gone to interview the PDP candidate and since the day was a media black out day he suggested I did an article on this woman who has walked the Thimphu-Trashiyangtse highway in just 14 days.
I jumped on the opportunity, it was a beautiful article, and perhaps the best article I will ever write.
So I followed the PDP candidate to meet her on the way, the news was she had reached Chazam. We drove along the Trashiyangtse-Trashigang highway and didn’t find her there. We waited and waited and waited.
We were then told she had already reached her village. By then it was almost two in the afternoon without lunch yet. I decided to go see her immediately.
On the way I met my brother who works for BBS and a Sr. Reporter from Kuensel. My heart skipped a beat. I was disappointed thinking they knew about her. I cursed! (Trust me I am just being a good reporter)
I later found out they had no idea about it and they had come to drop a friend. I sighed!
We drove till the road end!
Tshewang Dema, I was told lived in Pandang. We met some villagers and asked them where Pandang was. They told us it was just a few minutes walk.
My driver, Jan a man from Denmark who was following me for a documentary and his guide, we walked as fast as we could.
We came to a small village and asked some villagers if we were at Pandang. They said it was another few minutes we will be there.
By the time we reached the village before Pandang it was already 3:30 and we were hungry. So we asked a woman she could cook for us if we paid her. She agreed and we didn’t even have to pay. (So much for a stranger eh)
In another hour we started walking again and took not a few minutes but another hour to get to Pandang.
We asked around for her and finally reached her brother’s house and there was my woman, standing at the door.
I was panting and so were Jan and the other two. Imagine this woman walked 14 days and she looks totally fine and we walked for a few hours and we were almost dying.
By the time we found her it was already 4:30. We quickly got down to business and I started interviewing her over a cup of nice hot tea.
I scribbled as fast as I could on my note pad. Nodding, smiling, awed and feeling a pinch in my heart as she told me her story.
After the interview we took the chance to take pictures with her. “I am taking a picture with history,” said Jan with a big smile on his face.
At around six in the evening we started our journey back. As I walked, I smiled and walked so fast because I just wanted to get back and write the story. I was so excited. I thought about my lead, I spoke to myself.
Ah! She was a beautiful story!
While on the way walking back, it became dark and started to rain. Jan covered his huge video camera with a borrowed plastic. But we didn’t bother covering ourselves, we were both thinking of the story we were taking back with us.
I enjoyed the rain fall on my face as I kept reworking on my lead in my head.
Today as the award is announced at the CICCC ground, I am gonna watch it on TV and truly smile to myself!
Ah! What a perfect New Year gift!
Happy New Year to all of you!

15 responses to “SOMETHING MORE THAN DRUK WANGYAL”

  1. sangay tenzin says:

    Aiii… so nice of you to have got her story and now we are happy to know that she is being rewarded. It was one great feat! Hope her one precious vote is valued by whoever got it.

    I guess there was also a boy with her. What about him?

  2. 5457 says:

    I remember reading this story and seeing her pic as well. Nice.

    So did she really receive the special award last night? Couldn't watch tv as I had a book to finish. I went to the CICCC ground at midnight and there weren't many guys there.  Pretty cold I guess.

    But hope you all had a Wonderful New Year celebration!

  3. Tshering Chuki says:

    Nopkin: When I went to see her I wanted to interview the boy too, but then he had gone to the next village and like i mentioned we got there very late…so I couldnt mention about him…He was just 12 yrs old

    5457: Yes she did get an award last nite…it was handed over to ECB who will hand it over to her through the Dzongda!

  4. Rubiks Champion says:

    Tse,

       Am glad that you made a difference! It is because of unseen heros (?) like you that some unseen people are brought to light. Thats a job well done! keep it up!

    Now a personal question or perhaps a request! Since you are a reporter, I am quite sure you have some history books ready :) (Hope I am not making a false assumption). So will you mind if you can see who was the Trongsa Penlop during 1837-1837 era? I am reading a small booklet (a travel journel actually) by William Griffith and he mentions about arriving at Trongsa when the penlops were handling the power over. However, he does not givethe names, so I realy want to know about it. I will really appreciate it.

    [Note: this request is for anyone who happens to read this. Common! Please don't ignore it. :) ]

  5. Rubiks Champion says:

    Man! My head!!!!!  The years are 1837-1838. Thanks.

  6. Tshering Chuki says:

    Rubiks…I went through the history books…even the personal copy of the unedited history text books…no names mentioned…Our research officers are on a holiday today or else I could have asked them…

    Is it ok if I get you the information tomm?

  7. Rubiks Champion says:

    Yea  yea!  sure…  It's  perfectly  fine. As long as i get the names, I am very good. I have so many questions but i will ask people later with a article. I hope I can get some help.

  8. Tshering Chuki says:

    Questions? Do you ask many questions when you read something? Because if you do then I think you take a helluva lot of time to complete even a page!

  9. Rubiks Champion says:

    Hmm  Rubiks  is  still  waiting  for  the  answer. hehhe…  anyone?  I  will  really  appreciate it.

  10. Tshering Chuki says:

    Rubiks…asked the research officers in BT..no one cud ind the name. Sorry!

  11. 5457 says:

    Tshongpon Norbu Zangpo. Dear rubiks please make do with this name for the time being. I have been trying all this time too but missed it too.

    A big wonder Michael Aris missed that part. Lemme crosscheck once again.

  12. kuenza says:

    Rubiks, I tried too, but couldn't get it. We will be uploading the biographies of the kings soon online. I hope you will be able to get the information from there. You sound urgent.

  13. Rubiks Champion says:

    Thank you Aum Tshering and Aum Kuenza, You guys are beautiful and kind  

  14. Tshering Chuki says:

    Rubiks…I dont think there is a name mentioned at all…I spoke to my dad (he did a lot of research or the Bhutanese history books while he was still in the service)….Mindu…he said there were no names.

  15. Rubiks Champion says:

    Kuenza,

         I have been looking for the publications of CBS for the last few weeks. I am always greeted by "Monarchy: 0 chapters" :)   I hope the publication will be online soon.

    Tse,

         Thank you. I know I can always count on some Bhutanese. You are one of them :) THank you for the effort you have put in.

    5457,

          Crosscheck till you find one :)  Tshongpon Norbu Zangpo sounds good too. I used to sing and dance that song whenever i get drunk back home :)

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