Monday, 12 October 2015

Tshe thar – Let to live Forever

A lone goat roam around on the football ground, running playfully with a few early raisers who have come to practice football, perhaps being inspired by the ongoing world cup qualifiers football match. The goat is owned by none and being only one of its kind; it is not much of a nuisance to the community.
The tshe thar goat in the middle of the road

The goat was saved from the butcher’s knife by one lady and provided ‘tshe thar’ – meaning that the goat will not be harmed or butchered by anyone until it kicks the bucket on its own. Right now it is healthy and young therefore, requires no one to take care of it. Other than not having species of its kind to play with there is abundance of grasses and bushes growing around, which he seems not interested to eat at all at the moment.

The myth has it that if you save a life of any animals like fish, chicken, yak, goat, etc. one would accumulate good merit and also elongate one’s own life. This Buddhist belief seems to be known by the people across the border, especially, those who sell fish. During auspicious days people rush to the market to save the life of the fish and the fish sellers keep the live fish ready to be sold to the Bhutanese at a higher price. The fishes are bought and dumped in the river with no guarantee of them being caught again. The demerits of the fishermen converted to the merits of the savers. The business of saving and, letting them be saved had already formed a cycle leading to brisk business.

I pity the animals being killed but I do not try to interfere because of the fact that, it is us the humans, who eats them. The same people who do ‘tshe thar’ are seen rushing to buy pork during losars, if not for themselves, for the guest who may be visiting them. The point is that if people do not buy and eat meat; the animals will not be killed, as simple as that. The flamboyant act of ‘tshe thar’ would become redundant just like that. But then who can forgo sikam, yaksha kam, masha and most recently roasted chicken and drumsticks. We can ‘tshe thar’ some less tasty animals like cat fish in lieu of the ones that is delicious to our taste buds.

In similar but in far expensive manner, the heads of cows and yaks are saved from being severed from their body, saving the animal’s life (and denying meat to the meat lovers). The highlander who came to sell yak’s meat goes away without his hand being stained with blood but with same amount of cash. The yak that would have ended his happiness or sufferings with one stroke of a knife had to go some place and wander about until death. It is not known whether they liked it to be cared and looked after or not, but after ‘tshe thar’ they sort of become wild-domesticated animals.

Being vegetarian is the best form of saving lives of the animals. Silent and not so pretentious,vegetarian around the world needs to be appreciated for their contribution to ‘tshe thar’. I am not against non vegetarians; it is but natural to consume (each other) in the animal world. Once a man told me that all carnivorous animals lap water like dog and all herbivorous animals suck it up like horse. We, humans neither lap nor suck the water, so we are complicated - omnivorous.  

In the mean time, I heard of a boy nicknamed 'tshethar' without his knowledge. The boy is young, healthy and smart but he does nothing and stays either at home watching TV or roams around without any work. The father of the boy had known about the nickname but his anger did little to erase the nickname. And until the time the boy mend his ways the name would remain as appropriate.