|old man in lower market, Thinphu|
A Socialist Beggar
This article was written long time back when we were send for mock reporting during the Journalism course from the media house I am working today.
A loner and a chronic bachelor, Dorji, 84-year- old is originally from Lingzhi. Wearing a green check gho, with a blue coat stays near the main traffic of Thimphu city begging for money with some good motive.
It was astonishing for me to know that the amount collected after staying in heat for a longer duration would be contributed in Lhakhangs and guendeys. It was awe for me to give him Nu 5 only.
Hence I added twenty more as a contribution for his splendid deed.
As pedestrian adds some money on his Khadim shoe cartoon box, he smiles and thanks them with a prostrating posture.
Begging has become his way of life. “Aftermath of begging; surviving on others hard earned money might have bad repercussion, therefore, I contribute most of the amount collected for religious ceremony in Phajoding,” he said.
He visits Phajoding once in a month; coinciding with a auspicious day, just to contribute the amount he collects. He feels it as a practice of dharma, by contributing that begged amount for religious purposes; since human with love and compassion only contribute.
Quenching his thirst by a bottle of coke, he said that he came to Phajoding when he was 14 and his life was similar to a monk. His life was similar to those who were in the retreat center, in a room like a small cell, filled with incense smell and brightened up with lit butter lamp.
His parents died long time back and he had been staying with his nephew in Phajoding, who died four years back due to lungs failure since then he had been a loner. He lacked smile on his face, face which was basked under sun; crafted with lots of tanned wrinkles.
He spends his night in some alley of lower market, which at times is very difficult for him to sleep; due to cold winter breeze. “But I am fine today since a stranger gave me his coat, gho and a pair of shoe,” he said. He said that with his new attire he can at least resist the cold winter.
Soon, he will go to Tshaluney; as an aid from Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, where he will chant baza guru and Mani till his last breathe.
However he said that he had never thought of wearing that red robe like other monks. For him practicing Buddhism doesn’t mean to wear that red robe and be in Lhakhangs or dratshangs forever. He prefers to have pure mind and soul.
For now I can say he is a socialist beggar.
To be continued…