A 590 paged novel written by a first timer Bhutanese author Doji Dhratyul, Escapades Awakenings is a uniquely written book about the Bhutanese life styles in the remote village and the life styles in the present generation. The novel which spans over three generations portrays how the rural girls in a remote village of Zhemgang are exploited by the town/city dwellers or the civil servants (Dashos) in particular. The book surely disseminates the knowledge of women’s fate in rural villages, where most of the present Bhutanese urban generation hardly has the knowledge of it.
Some of the common Bhutanese phrases for culture, tradition, religion and languages are also used frequently with the phrases explanation, which in fact gives truly a Bhutanese insight. The book revolves around the women’s rural lifestyle, tragedies, urban lifestyles, culture, religion and traditions and little thrill. It also emphasizes on how the rural people were used as porters for the visiting officials, where even young girls are burdened with heavy luggage.
It gives the picture of how a rural girl was exploited by a high ranking government official, which eventually has led to the birth of a fatherless daughter; it was an unofficial kind of gesture to impress the high ranking visiting officials by fulfilling their needs. It’s always the women who had suffered in the end.
The official never had the knowledge that he has a daughter but even if he knows perhaps there’s nothing he would have done. So in a case, after some years later, the same official visited their village again, where he was offered a young girl, Thruebab but the girl being a first timer in such cases managed to escape for good. She later learned from her mother that the visiting official was her father!
Her mother was in complete bliss, when she learned that her daughter has escaped from an unlawful activity. Their family never had a man except a young baby boy, younger brother of Thuebab, born from a local Casanova with whom Thruebab’s mother had planned to marry. But unfortunately, he left the world soon.
It has become a custom in their village that whenever any high ranking officials visit their village, the village head or representatives arranges some tolls to fulfill the official’s needs. So in fact, the village representative or head manages by hook or crook to get some young girls to entertain the officials, they carry a notion that if they fail to impress the officials, they wouldn’t bring in much development in their village.
Thruebab managed to reach Thimphu with her first love, but she got cheated too, since her lover was a married man with children. She gave birth to a daughter from her first love. After some years working in Thimphu, Thruebab becomes one of the richest persons in the country by owning a large company and she educated her daughter at the States. Which later Thruebab hands over the company to her MBA graduate daughter and thereafter Thruebab had planned to get into religious practice with her old primary teacher, Chencho at Aja Nye, Mongar. Thruebab studied till primary level at her village, where her teacher had fallen in love with her mother, but it was an unsuccessful story. Hence, the teacher got into Buddhist practice which was soon followed by his student Thruebab.
The book also touches some aspects of Bhutan’s transition to constitutional democracy from Monarchy and some references into the future. The author took around six years to complete this amazing fiction novel, which also has some facts in it. Some of the incidences mentioned in the book had gone lots of changes and some of the incidences or traditions are on the verge of endangerment. It is worth reading the book especially for those who are interested in knowing the happenings of the rural life in far-flung tiny village although some incidences/traditions continue to be practiced even in our present days.
The book costs Nu. 600.00 only.
The book costs Nu. 600.00 only.
NB: It’s just my personal review/opinion. No Proof Read