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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Face a Story.

Trial Examination began today in my school. One of the most boring aspects of being a teacher for me is doing the exam duty. It is three hours of doing nothing. One has to be vigilant and show presence of mind so that the students don't copy. Ironically the most difficult thing to do is to do nothing but just sit or stand in a room for three hours.

I thought about things I could do and tried them this morning as I was doing my duty. I tried breathing exercise. It didn't last. There were frequent interruptions for extra answer scripts and other things. Then, I started reading stories in the faces. This was far more interesting than the other things I could do being in the predicament that I was in.  Each face accentuated stories to me. They told stories and kept my imagination busy and away from the time that was slugging by.

Out of the many faces, my attention dwelled on one particular face. It was a pretty face. It was fair and the beautiful large eyes in them flickered as they wandered from the question paper to the answer script. What made me halt at this face was a scar below the cheek bone. As my eyes coordinated with my imagination I began my story.

Before the girl was born her parents were told by the village astrologer that they should build a stupa for the serpent God near their house because the girl was a serpent princess. If the parents could do that, the girl would grow into a beautiful maiden. She would bring prosperity to the house she was born to. The family was poor but the father was determined to do that for his unborn daughter and the family. He worked hard and saved every penny. Finally he had accumulated enough money to construct the stupa. When everything was ready his mother passed away.

The hard earned money had to be used in performing the funeral rites of the grandmother and the due date was closing in. The father consulted the astrologer to find out if there was another way the Serpent Gods could be appeased. The astrologer brought forth a solution. It appeared in the astrologer's finding that if the family could without fail offer pure cow milk every morning to the dark rock above the house, then the future of the girl and the family will be untainted. This the family had to do for 13 mornings without fail. The astrologer also advised the father to offer the milk in a silver cup before the first light of day touched the rock. The black rock was revered as the gateway to the world of the Serpent Gods. The family had no sufficient cups for themselves let alone a silver cup for the Gods.

The father gave up his hopes and when he was about to completely dismiss the possibility of acquiring a silver cup, he had a dream. In the dream the King of the Serpent Gods appeared, he was angry with the father but ordained a task that would result in the acquiring of a silver cup. The father was told to head north from his village that night. He was not to consult or tell anyone where he was going. When he reached the hillock shaped like a serpent he was to wait for the last star to fade into the morning light. With a mirror he had to trap the light from the last fading star and shine it on the hillock. A light would shine back and he should quickly run to the light and cover it with a toray (piece of cloth).  He was specifically told not to peep into his toray until he reached his alter room. Right after the dream the father proceeded to do exactly what he was told. He covered the light with his toray and hurried home. He raced with the sun's rays to enter his house, as he was told that if he failed to enter his alter room before the first rays of the sun touched his house, the light would turn into dust and lose its power to change into the silver cup.  As he neared his house he felt relived as there was plenty of time. He slowed his pace as he was panting. There was a small stream near his house and as he hopped on the cold rocks to cross the stream he slipped on his last footing and fell face down on the hard ground. The toray fell and rolled out onto the ground. He quickly grabbed it. He rolled it back into a bun. He ran into his house. Before his alter he slowly unrolled it. His heart was now beating like the ceremonial ritual drums. Fast and pacing evenly like it was never going to stop. When he finished unfurling the toray a white light dissipated leaving a small silver cup on the wooden table. It glowed with pure silver light dazzling his eyes. As he held the cup in his shaking hands tenderly he didn't fail to notice a crack on its side.

For the next 13 mornings as instructed by the astrologer he offered milk before the black rock.
On the 14th morning the mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl. As the infant smiled her first smile, the smile was shadowed by a scar below the right cheek. Had it not been for the scar the girl would have had the most beautiful face in the land. However, as foretold, the family prospered, their cows multiplied, every venture fruited success. They became the richest family in the land.


As I ended my story I smiled at the girl. I didn't ask how she got her scar, may be I should next time I come across her.    


  1. I do Agree.... yesterday I had six hours duty!! I cursed exam committee thousand times, Unlike you, I don't have tat imaginative mind, Nicely written... next duty time, lemme try to form such stories to keep me occupied!!
    liked your story, keep posting!!

  2. Ha haha ....Thanks Rinchen, though we are in the same school you always take the time to read my post and comment. Your words are always valued.

  3. Sir, within three hours, if you can come with such wonderful story, i guess with more time and imaginations, surely gonna be a bhutan's chetan bhagat. i liked it la.
    I came to know about sir's blog thorough passu sir's blog post and since then following you.
    The way you all write simply inspires me. keep writing and keep inspiring la.
    (feed me

  4. Thank you Pema, your words deeply humbled me and inspires me to continue imagining and writing. Thank You very much.