Wednesday, 28 March 2018
“There is no point in interviewing me as I won’t make any sensational headlines,” I said listening care freely to her introduction. It was an early morning. She knocked the door and chased away my sleep. She wore gloomy and tired mask deserving empathy to her proposal even from the great public figure and from me, I thought should at any cost be positive. The extra pounds borne in her belly displayed her dedication in her profession. The protruded abdomen gained more sympathy from me as if I had painful pregnancy experience.
“I couldn’t make an appointment earlier and I thought you might have gone back. Everything was an abrupt. My husband wanted me to interview you and he assures the significance of your message in the Kuensel. I requested column for it to our designer.”
She gave me smile which cannot be read as fake smile thought to be available in journalistic trend. She was determined and taken pain to find me. She narrated me number of motels she enquired. Finally, she found me in Hotel AB, room no. 32. I was amazed to see beautiful like her making into my room early morning. I was rather encouraged to be gentle. She got ample trust in her eyes.
What if somebody lecherous had been in my shoe? Had not he forced himself to have his heartiest breakfast for she was so beautiful promising all the nourishment for lustrous man? Had he not be published as criminal rather than an interviewee? My lunatic imagination and senseless thoughts were ceased when she started taking out the weapons of her profession. She took out digital voice recorder, notepad and pen.
“So, I am assuming you are ready to respond me,” she said arranging her equipments.
Sometimes, I feel the God is on my side. The night before she approached me was tedious and even facebook didn’t play role to wipe out the boredom. I logged out from the site and started googling randomly. I don’t know how I googled the art of good interviewee and interviewer. There was an article titled ‘Student Media’ by North Carolina State University. The idea they shared was overwhelming. I read the vital ingredients required to be an interviewee and an interviewer. Of course, to be an interviewee for news papers demand less preparation and are comfortable to manage.
“Okay, this is my first interview and moreover, I feel like this is dream. For your insistence, I’m at your service,’ I said trying to be confident. Internally my heart started throbbing for unknown reason. The body temperature seemed increasing. I started feeling thud in my chest. For me being in feminine atmosphere other than my mom is the most difficult thing. I took long breath and adjusted myself on the bed. She was sitting on the chair in front of me.
“Let us start then, it’s okay and take your own time and inform me if you need break in between,” she said softly and readied herself with pen and notepad.
She clicked button in digital voice recorder. That was the day I had to return back to my resident after a week-long conference in Thimphu.
THE INTERVIEW BEGUN:
She: What do you think that made MoA (Ministry of Agriculture) invite you in the Annual Agriculture Conference this year?
Me: It has been all time difficult for me to say what might have made another factor so. But as you are giving me an open ended question, let me assume few things what might have brought me here. Perhaps, MoA might have felt that I am the first person in Bhutan operating farming company. Perhaps, they might have expected me to state problems and future aspects of agriculture in Bhutan as I am the full time farmer. (I didn’t know how far I convinced her but I tried)
She: You have completed class twelve with good aggregates and yet you have chosen to be a farmer which is very uncommon in our youth today. How can you interpret your status being different from general trend of students in Bhutan?
Me: I am not sure how I am different in this sense. Yet the profession I am in is what I have chosen and I don’t have other factors either to be blamed or praised. I have decided this in the winter while I was waiting for the result of my 12th standard. Many of my mates were busy praying to invisible God for His mercy and all their prayers centered for their good result, jobs and higher studies. On other side, I was reading statics of agriculture in Bhutan and was astonished to see our production level. All we consume almost are imported from India. How long this trend shall extend if we fail to work into it? When will we proudly call ourselves as self-reliant citizens if we depend on our farmers whose idea is not more than subsistence farming? All these made me to study situation and tried making my own job.
She: As you have reported in the conference that your company ‘Tashi Farming Enterprise’ generates about ngultrum 6 million per year, what in your opinion do you think makes you one of the top most earner in Agriculture sectors in Bhutan?
Me: It’s the record in the country as of now but it’s not guarantee to remain as the best income if our young generation comes up with better ideas in Agriculture. There are greater chances for people who feel pity on themselves. Parents, elders and I, in particular, feel pity upon seeing young people carrying their worthless results and certificates in neat files and paying bootless visits to offices looking for job. Why job should all the time form government? Why can’t they be boss of one’s own chosen path? Why are they indulging themselves in mischievous acts putting job and its difficulty in obtaining blame?
After making that statement, I doubted myself whether I observed the ethics of an interviewee I read last night. The bold remark in the ‘Student Media’ appeared before me. ‘Tailor the news to suit your audience.’ I wasn’t sure of its suitability. I feared I might have tailored my message in a way that it may further add fuel to frustrations of thousand job seekers. Yet that was not the thing I should have cared. After all, I was making the right statement as per my heart and little thoughts beyond horizons. I thought I wouldn’t be hurt to see 99% of people against me if my message could make changes in the minds of another 1%.
She: ‘Self-reliant’ is one of the important goals in Bhutan. In your view, how do you think Bhutan can be self reliant country?
Me: I don’t have adequate knowledge on economical areas. Let me share my views on agricultural self reliant. Today, with our farmer practicing subsistence farming are able to produce for themselves and seldom little more to sell. On other hand, over the decades we have seen and we are still seeing people migrating from rural to urban areas. The people in cities are increasing at an alarming rate and we need to produce sufficient to feed this growing population. The trucks importing tones of vegetables from border towns to feed this population is creating dismal scene for those who wanted our nation to be agriculturally independent. Those vegetables are often chemically raised that poses many health hazards. The nutritive values are often lost when perishable vegetables are transported for long days. They often use chemicals in order to increase shelf life of otherwise fast perishing vegetables which are hazardous.
So, in my view I feel, to stand ourselves agriculturally self-reliant, we need:
a) Young educated people to take up farming. They are trusted to improve our products in all sectors.
b) Farmers must be supported as usual by government.
c) Government should come up with pragmatic decisions and programs and…….
Ek ErK….Ek….it was cold morning and I started hiccupping. She promptly pressed button in her recorder and I had grabbed water bottle instantly.
‘Oh, you must be cold.’ She said and gently pulled quilt over me. Her soft touch over my back gave the feeling of mother, sister, friends or whatever you say’s touch. It was only my mom who must have patted me at back out of love. Other than that I don’t have many occasions to recollect the touch by woman. That felt like I had been waiting for such touch since long time ago. To say about gentleness, she had the gentlest hands. To describe her kindness, it may not be wrong to say that I found her very kind hearted at first instant.
“Do you need some time to rest?” she consoled my ill time hiccup.
“No. It’s okay. I can proceed further,” I responded with the feelings that said me not to stop looking at her lips when she asks me questions. Another part said me that she is married and soon will be mom. That evoked my thoughts to be positive.
She seemed familiar to me. She had eyes I felt I had watched without blinking for an hour. On other hand, she was acting like she knew me. I tried recollecting somebody I lost long time back.
‘Let’s continue,” she interrupted my thoughts. I gave her normal nod without a word. Later I realized that nodding wasn’t suitable for somebody who is learned journalist.
“I think you shared almost all I need and moreover, I read about your story in the paper. So I shall conclude with last question.” She said. I was partly interviewed last time by one of the reporters of Kuensel. He had my detail through my comrades and my dedicated workers of the company.
“It’s up to you ma’m. I wouldn’t mind if you go further also,” I wanted to give her confident to approach me at any place and time. I was afraid that she might read my romantic feelings and stop seeing me in future if she had to. My feelings were something I wanted to stop in front of her and also was something that I couldn’t stop it. It came to me uninvited. She wasn’t dressed up so hot igniting me. It wasn’t sort of sexual desire but it was a feeling hard to explain. It had no proper beginning and I was afraid that it may not have concrete ending either.
She: “Finally, please leave messages for thousands of youngsters like you who are perplexed and confused of what to do for their living.”
Her last question from one angle was sweetest added by her soft tone. But from another angle, I thought it to be the hardest. Am I eligible to keep messages for those youngsters whom majority was brought up in techno savvy society? When I found mobile for the first time, they knew how to compose messages. When I heard the miracle of internet, they had accounts in facebook, hi5, penpalworld, person.com and so on.
Yet, I thought to take a bull by its horn. She shouldn’t have asked me messages in national paper had I been of no use. Moreover, with lump in my throat, thoughts of another thousands youngsters brought up like me came to me swiftly. That made me bold. With that unreliable boldness, I kept the following messages:
Me:“Never believe that you are worthless. Don’t be disheartened if you fail in job interviews. Think that you are above the ground for the God knew and sent you to play your part to complete this world. Try to read every matter positively. Maintain good attitudes for it is the most precious ingredient of your career. Be somebody good.”
I gave nod signaling the conclusion of my message. She gave click to her voice recorder. Interview was over. I was interviewed for the first time in my life by a woman. I thought if an interviewer is like her I wouldn’t hesitate being interviewed in coming days.
“Madam, could I ask you one thing?” I said as she arranged her weapons to leave me which she never knew that sad gloomy darkness would fill my room. Anyhow, that wasn’t concern of her.
“Please go ahead,” she said with a yawn. I thought she must be hungry. Given the choice, I thought I would like to order hot sandwiches for us. But I sensed her haste.
“Why your husband assures the significance of my message in our national paper?”
Later I regretted over asking silly question. Who the hell says that wife should know what his husband thinks? No wife is wise enough to say what his husband thinks. Mentality of human was something hard to describe for all the psychologists and psychoanalysts of world and it shall be. However, that question brought gentle smile on her which made me feel the strength of silly questions sometimes is huge.
“Hmm… I am sorry I didn’t ask him either. Yet, he told me that you are somebody who can be treated as an example for our youth. I felt like he is fan of you. He used to always love hardworking people. May be that is what he wanted to be but couldn’t practically be.”
There she added her soft giggles for which even physicists would love to draw frequency graph.
Tring…..tring…..tring…..tring…..tring. My mobile started ringing. That infuriated me. Upon seeing the caller, it rather was fuel adding to my irritation. Singye, my loyal and dedicated marketing officer, who never takes risks used to call me in every mater. I thought of making it busy but she said me to go ahead. I got the feeling that she would spare little more time for me.
As the caller is my village mate, we spoke our native dialect, Sharchop. The matter wasn’t so serious. It was one of my transporting DCMs, punctured on the way to Thimphu. I asked him to arrange anyhow within shelf life of vegetables to reach the market. I asked him to maintain proper bills for reimbursements.
“I bet you are from Pemagatshel. Right?” she said as my talk over phone ended.
It has never been hard for rest of the Bhutanese to know our origin. We have particular tone and words which are unique. That has been our identification mark for so long. Even when my people speak Dzongkha, our national language, they put in our dialect’s tone and it ends up overall seeming like Sharchop only.
‘Aye Sam’ in my language can be literally translated as ‘three of us.’ But our people use ‘Aye Sam’ to describe any number of people. This is typical example in particular.
“Yeah, I am. I know, you made it out from my accent.” I gave hoarse and high frequented laugh resembling the bleats of an old goat.
“You know, my husband is also from Pemagatshel. Identifying Petshelpa is not big question for me.” We laughed in unison as if we were duet singers.
“Really?” I added.
“But he has nobody there and he never visited the place for long. His only father is now with us. He hardly may recognize a soul there by now as he came to Thimphu long time ago.”
That made me to google all people known to me. In my memory I found one matching all the story she narrated. Could he be my only friend back in our village? He must have known me but why was he not approaching me? Or why I am hesitating to look for him?
“Don’t tell me that your husband is Zangpo from Nagtsheri,” I said not with full assurance. The narration matched but Petshel isn’t bounded only to Nagtsheri. There must be so many others who had been so lucky to sleep with my interviewer. Given the choice, I would consider the luckiest man on this entire world as her husband.
“Oh, you are also from Nagtsheri. Wonderful! You must know my husband very well. Yeah, he is Zangpo. He currently works for Bhutan Football Association.”
The formation of lump started in my throat. My nasal cavity started secreting viscous fluid. I felt occurrence of thin fluid layer over my cornea blurring things around me, even the most beautiful thing in front of me.
I wanted to shout at her, ‘you bitch! What more than me you know about Zangpo?’ but I didn’t want to make scene for our first meeting either. Whenever, I remember Zangpo, it reminds me of somebody who had been special for me.
“I was once the best friend of Zangpo. We went to school till class eight together. How is he doing? Where do you all live?” I spoke like I was out of breath.
When I heard Zangpo’s name, many pictures of our past started perplexing my brain. I started remembering our togetherness. A wave of nostalgia overcame my conscience dragging me to all the happy days I shared with Zangpo.
Posted by Chezang at 23:09