“After my parents’ divorce, my brother dropped out of school and took care of the family. He was a kid himself. Apa had affairs with other women and failed to send us money while Ama kept on drinking. Our lives were not easy and I was too young to understand any of it. My other brother kept studying and went to college; our combined expenditures were hard to meet. Luckily, our uncle considered us his own and fully funded my brother’s studies.

Since 3rd grade, I’ve studied in a boarding school. It was a remote location where we had no electricity or water. Students had to fetch water from the nearest source and we never had enough ration for food. Rice was served only once a day and other times, we had to make do with kharang and drengo. Each one of us had to contribute a certain amount of rations to the school. Our lives went on like this, tiring and difficult. Gradually, I got used to it.

I’d top the school regularly but after the divorce, I started losing interest in my studies. Money was scarce and when I had to go to Gyelposhing for high school, I took up a temporary job to buy my own school stuff. My brother helped me out, even my uncle chipped in. Finally I went to school, happy and proud.

My brother who studied through college became a teacher and started to look after my school expenditure. I wanted to study dentistry but due to my chemistry marks, I couldn’t get a scholarship. Repeating class 12 was out of question since we had no money, and I went to whichever college I qualified for. After my degree, I was given an opportunity to pursue a masters but I rejected it due to the pandemic. I’ve been meaning to repeat RCSC.

Somehow, I’ve had a knack for singing since I was a kid. I’d sing at every possible event and used a Nokia phone to play music while I practiced singing. I’ve recorded 4 songs so far. Not being able to see my parents together affected me a lot as a child but I had the support of my brothers and uncle. They gave me hope and a family to fall back onto.”

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