I once handed a short story to my then English teacher and after reading it. “Lobzang, if you write about love, tragedy other subjects that you are interested, it has already been written and written better than you by Shakespeare, Defoe, Dickens etc…Please concentrate on your Dzongkha ability”. This was way back in the spring of 98 when I was in the 9th grade. Shakespeare was familiar to us as we were taught “Merchant of Venice”. What my teacher failed to see was, I knew beyond Shakespeare! Believe it or not, I had done reading Homers “Odyssey” as I was taught Shakespeare at the same time! My school librarian was more of my English teacher than the one that taught me Shakespeare.
Everything has not been written. What one sees through one’s eyes is a different view point. This remark of my teacher didn’t deter my love for writing and I realized this in my formative high schools years that I had stories to tell and I wanted those stories to be told more than anything. Anything!
Although much has been written about human emotions by the great writers of the past, it is absurd to think that there is never a being that sees, loves, hates and experiences like you do even though human emotions are all the same. And there will never be someone exactly like me in thoughts either, to have the undying passion for storytelling or writing it down. And one need not have lived the moment to write it or to see it! Einstein did not have to travel around the world to arrive at E=MC2 and Tagore did not have to visit gods to write his masterpiece, “Gitanjali”.
I read Hemingway mostly and I aspired to the next Hemingway of Bhutan, Oops! This was a little farfetched until another teacher told me during a busy summer in 2004, “Find a subject that you feel for. Care this feeling genuinely with your heart and not with word plays and language, then you will discover your own writing style and when you have found that, no one else on earth has the writing style as that of you”. This was the northern star of my life and I passionately think about these words when I write about anything. Possibly anything!
I, at this point of my life, still aspiring to be a professional writer, think that my words are my emotions and tears above all, and I absolutely know that this message will reach someone sooner or later. I am yet to find my ‘writing style’ and I dream to be a full time writer someday. For all aspiring writers of Bhutan, my stand for your passion to write is simple. Write! Write! Write! I have always believed in the knowledge shared by this great American writer:
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master”