“I was a topper with really good marks in English and Dzongkha. And then, one night after my class 12 trial exams, I lost my house in a fire. I lost my place to study, and my family and I lost our home. The tragedy made me lose sight of my future goals. I stayed at my best friend’s to study for my board exams but couldn’t do well. The fire had been started by a candle that was knocked over by the wind. When the fire started, I ran in to rescue my 2-year-old niece and save my acho’s computer. Just as I stepped out of the house trying to save our TV, a gas cylinder exploded behind me. The firefighters tried to help but their truck ran out of water with the flames still raging on. By the time they refilled their truck, it was too late. Our two storeyed house was completely burned down. My parents passed out right there. They had worked hard to build that house. Apa was in the hospital for a week, and was unable to comprehend what had happened.
The Dzongkhag Kidu office gave us a temporary shelter and some monetary support. Family and people we knew helped us as we tried to rebuild our home. I, too, got a temporary job at a construction site doing manual labour to support the rebuilding. My friends from school came and helped, and even the principal helped coordinate donations. When people help you like that with their hard-earned money, gratitude is too small a word. I gave a speech during the morning assembly at school to let everyone know how thankful we were for their help. The audience got emotional when I told them I’d never imagined something like this would happen to me. They came to console me and show me support.
Because of my class 12 results I didn’t get to the college I’d hoped for. But now, I’m in my final semester in college. My teachers always encouraged me to do what I love and I love writing. I published a novel last year. I gave part of the profit I made from it to my family and used the rest for my college expenditure.”

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