Karma KG

“I was 6 when I visited Bodhgaya and saw a group of monks playing with tiny cars. I was mesmerised and started telling my parents I wanted to be a monk. Coincidentally it was written in my ketsi that mishap would befall either my mother or me if we continued to live together, so they sent me to Dharamshala. I still laugh thinking of my silly reason. My teachers were strict, which I hated at the time, but so much of who I am now is because of their guidance. I was also introduced to Bollywood and Hollywood then, and I’ve loved movies ever since.

When I was 16 I left monk-hood. It was the most confusing stage of my life. My best friend was a translator and invited me to go with him to New York City. I got there in 1998 and started work at an ice cream store. I could barely understand English, but I survived. By now I’ve done every job in New York. Following advice from a senior from my school, I enrolled in language school and did my GED. I started college in 2008 to learn how to build websites. I switched my major to filmmaking because I couldn’t see myself in IT. Right before graduating, my friend told me about a Japanese restaurant for sale that I decided to buy to make money so I could make movies.

My partner and I bought the restaurant for $93,000. Everything was new to me. It went well at first but sadly by 2015 I had lost a few hundred thousand dollars to the restaurant. The most devastating day of my life was when I decided to shut it down. By then I had about $300,000 in debt. That night I thought a million times about the people I owed money to, so the next day I went looking for a job. I was working 12 hours a day 6 days a week. I started driving with Uber in 2016, which helped me breathe a little. I made music videos in my free time to keep up with videography and editing. Hopefully one day I will make at least one feature film.

My years were wasted paying for a decision I made when I was young, but I learned some beautiful lessons. I learned how not to give up, to be alone, and to deal with different people. To know my real friends, to help people in need, to be grounded, and above all, to be balanced in this precious life.”

#HumansofThimphu #Humans #Thimphu


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