The world’s a scary place to dwell in
Overwhelming human kindness tagged with self purpose
They are either the sheep or the wolf in sheep’s clothing
The sheep boasts of their honesty and the wolf, their intellect

From the dumps to the dive, my ama wanted of me
“Commit-o-phobes are fools and you ain’t no fool” she said
She lent me her words of wisdom, descending from her roots
And gave me a tall order of straightening up

“Sorry ama, I couldn’t be your son
I am me; a free soul in a free flight to anywhere
But where you want me.
I am your son and yet not your son!

Do you remember the time, my dear aging mother
When tied to the apple tree, I begged mercy
And you raised your brows mighty as you hit me
With a bucket of cold water in the dead of the winter?

I cried with sorrows abyss but you were too busy
Busy laying the straight path for me…
You didn’t care a fig for my bruised inside
You wanted a wolf out of me

My sister and I are the leaves, and you the tree
Individuals in our own rights; you did not let me be
She was the perfect and I, a barred mockery
But ama, I cannot be who I am not!

I was twenty when I met that girl
She was a vase carved out of glass; Fragile and beautiful
But she was a pretender ama
She was another you!

And when that devil called me the mama’s boy
I smashed his skull and left him with enough breath
His allies chained me and barred me; a commit-o-phobes home
But you needn’t worry ama. I finally feel safe.”

This poem was published in kuzuzangpo website in 2008. This was inspired by somebody I know who was always compared to his siblings and he was naturally tagged the family's "black sheep" for falling out of line. All methods that were supposed remedies were tried on him - both brutal and gentle, simply in the hope that he would turn into one of them - the good pack.  It was unacceptable that he was different and in that process, perhaps he lost his right to his individuality. It has been four years since I wrote this piece, and in that span of time, he's halfway aligned into being another one of them. At the time of writing this, my thoughts were based on rebuttal of denying the right and the freedom to grow as an individual. But now I have changed my mind - individuality is necessary but is it always absolutely necessary? Every child must be allowed to grow into the person that his character leads him to. However, when a child hints on treading the path to destruction, parents and siblings must find ways to lead him through a better path, even at the cost of his natural persona. It then becomes individuality versus the better human being. And it is my belief that no matter how we appear or behave, at the very basic being of us, is a seed of goodness that can be nurtured.  
5 Responses
  1. I remembering posting " Identity Crisis" in my blog about a year ago. Somewhere along the forked road, we are asking parallel question of individual identity.


  2. Corrigendum

    It should have been..." I remember posting"


  3. Kinga Choden Says:

    Hi Aue Tshering,

    If I have read it, I certainly have a failing memory. Identity crisis - I think we all face it in varied proportions throughout our lives - as children when we are discovering ourselves, as adults when our lives get entwined with others' and identities sometimes tend to merge, migrate etc and perhaps as elders when when we define ourselves by what we have done so far. But the unlucky few face it to the point that it alters their lives....


  4. So you believe that the problem of identity is just temporary phenomenon which will pass away with time?


  5. Kinga Choden Says:

    Hi Aue Tshering,

    No I do not think that the problem of identity is a temporary phenomenon...as you do, I also believe it is a lifelong struggle.

    According to Lhawang Ugyel's Ted talk show, Bhutanese are rated very low on the individualism front. We are groomed as we are perceived to be and by what is wanted out of us. However, this is a changing trend. People now realize their own needs and rights. But the path to individuality is not without perils and when a person is stuck, that's when help is needed, either from family members or in our modern times, from a professional. THat is all I meant :)




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