Saturday, 13 February 2016

Prompt Impromptu Speech

Magnificent facade of a gorgeous temple made of wooden frame and cloth and the flag of two countries fluttering in the lazy breeze together side by side symbolizing the friendship and brotherhood of the two nations. People from both countries gathered around the fabulous make shit stage, eagerly waiting for the opening of the Mala at Rangapani in Assam - India by the BIFA (Bhutan India Friendship Association).

I happened to pass by and scrutinize the gathering. The BIFA secretary, with whom I was acquainted, forced me to stay back and join the celebration. As ad hoc as my visit was the program there seems so too. I was welcomed with the traditional offering of scarf (like that of ‘khadar’ but the colour and the materials were different) and made me stand with the honorable guests.

The chief guest delivered his speech then the Dungpa spoke and out of blue the mike was shoved towards me to speak something. Unprepared as I was, I cleared my throat and spoke, impromptu…..

‘I am really glad that the organizing committee is kind enough to extend their invitation for me even when I just happened to drop by accidentally.

‘Thimphu and Delhi are best of friends but what is important is the people to people friendship in the bordering towns. Friendly countries with unfriendly people serve little purpose and the friendship does not last long. But in our case the friendship in the grass root level is evident from this very fete day and during the market days in your locality. Most of the Bhutanese wait for the market days and come to buy goods from here. Most of them even know the exact days on which Simla, Lwkhi and Daudara bazaar is laid.

‘We need the Indian sellers as much as Indian requires our buyer. We value the people to people friendship so much. When the mela was cancelled last year due to some reason, people of Nganglam were equally disheartened. And when the preparations for the mela this year were going on, the people of Bhutan were more eager and happy than the Indians. This is the sure sign of us being friendly and feeling secure in each other’s company.

‘When vehicle accidents happen, unlike other places, no one gets beaten up by the mob; we are human beings and human beings can talk and on top of that accidents just happen and it is never intentional. We are glad that most of the problems are gets sorted out smoothly and peacefully.   

‘Nothing can serve the purpose more, to strengthen the people to people relation than this mela organized by the BIFA. The people will throng the mela due to the confidence that they will not be maimed or harmed, therefore the trust will be built stronger.

‘When I travel from other location to Nganglam, the moment I reach Patsala, I feel at home. It shows the amount of faith and trust I have towards the neighborhood and its people. Assamese and Bodos are amazing people and nothing can change that feelings once you deal with them. There were stories of Bhutanese referred to as ‘Gonger’ having ‘shazi’ (friends) and keeping the relation for generations. This had proved that we clicked as a friend and brothers…………’

Before I could conclude my speech and about to become passionate about the relation between the Assamese and the Bhutanese, there was a hitch in the mike and music started playing. I waited for it to stop but it wasn't stopping instead the noise became louder like that of a feedback that happens with the mike. I searched for the button to switch off the mike and the mike suddenly became flat in my hands it was my obedient cell phone sounding the alarm for me to wake up and go for PT in the morning.