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Flashes of Memories (A Letter to Sonam Phuntsho, Zebrangsa,Pemagatshel)

Dear Sonam Phuntsho,

Hope you are well. I do not know where you are and what you are doing. As I am back to my hometown in India on retirement, I am reminiscing about my highly rewarded life and beautiful experiences with you all students in Bhutan. Of all the opportunities I had got to serve you students, my Little Buddhas, in  my eleven years at Nangkor Higher Secondary, Pemagatshel, GIVING YOU A LONG BATH on a Wednesday with my own hands in my bathroom in the GIRLS HOSTEL has been the most elevating and enriching and rewarding experience. It was in 1997 when Nangkor School was at its infancy and you were in Class PP or Class I, a day scholar student. You were afflicted with scabies very badly. Your whole body was full of wounds and pus. You had been suffering so much. The treatment from the hospital had worked little as you had not been able to maintain your personal hygiene. I was then the Health Incharge of the School, appointed by the Headmaster, Mr. Sonam Wangyel, the present Dasho Dzongda of Lhuentse.
I was Health Club coordinator as well. Every Wednesday, Club day, during club hours, giving bath to the under privileged students of Class PP and Class I with the help of the senior girls was one of my health service activities. Your sister, Ugyen Peldon was then in Class VII. One Wednesday I found your condition was the worst of all other children. So I took the responsibility to wash you with my own hands with a hope and thought that regular good bath for a week may heal you, while I left the other children to the care of the senior girls to wash them. I took you to my quarter in the girls hostel. When I removed your clothes and took you into my bathroom, you were lost. I scrubbed and washed your entire body for about half an hour. Your body was smeared with pus and blood. You cried: Acha…cha! Acha…cha! I felt pity for you but completed the bath cruelly for your recovery. After the bath I dried your body with a piece of clean cloth. Then I applied the yellow ointment, perhaps called Nitrofurazone all over your body. Next I told my wife to serve lunch. You ate the meal so heartily and understood that I was doing good to you. Thereafter, I called your sister Ugyen Peldon to my room and advised her to give you bath daily and apply the ointment. I also instructed her to produce you to me before the morning assembly everyday because I wanted to check whether she had done as I directed or not. Your caring and loving sister Ugyen Peldon had done the job so well that within a week you r scabies were gone and gradually you became one of the healthiest and smartest boy. You became so good in mathematics. Perhaps I was your class teacher when you were in Class VIII along with Sonam Phuntsho, Tandin Gyeltshen and others. I heard that you had graduated from Sherubtse College.Congratulations! I am proud of your success. May God bless you. You must not forget about the loving support and service you received from your sister Ugyen Peldon. You should always do something good for her. I want to know where and how she is. Take good care of your parents who have done so much for you. Always bear in mind the great message of Cicero who said: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but also the mother of all virtues.” 


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