“From wanting to have an iPhone 3 to being capable to buy an iPhone 12, I have come fairly far. I am 24 years of age. It has been quite a ride yet it feels like just yesterday that my mom made me keep both my hands on my head so she could make my gho and send me to school with a serious note, “Be home by 6.” School was great. It was mesmerizing. From being the only one in class who hadn’t visited Jaigaon to representing the country at the IAAF running championship at Moscow (Russia), High School holds very fond memories.

I was relatively good at studies but beyond professional in DMA (Daily Mischievous Activities). Some believe that this was the secret behind my endurance that got me into the championship. I ran a lot; ran into trouble, ran towards the birthday student for extra candy, and ran from my Dzongkha Lopen for misspelling ‘ta’. That’s not my fault- in Dzongkha, ta, taa, and tak (horse, look and tiger) all looked the same to me. My dad used to say that even shoes made of alloy wouldn’t suffice me. I agreed as my annual consumption of school shoes was 3-4 pairs. I was friendly and found conversations with anyone at all. I was nicknamed ‘the chatterbox’. People felt my presence wherever I went because of my never ending talks and dry jokes.

In college, I captained the football team to a few glories, went to the jam-session in slippers, got ragging in the name of briefing, did ragging in the name of briefing, and had koka picnics during the exam week. Somehow, I managed to graduate with good marks. After college, I got selected in the National football squad. I remember buying the national team fan jersey and going to their matches. So to have my own team jersey in 2019 was an incredibly overwhelming moment. I also play for a football club.

The greatest moment of my football life was my debut match at Bangabandhu National Stadium (Bangladesh). I was subbed in during the last 20 minutes, we were losing 4-1. I stepped onto the field, my country’s name and flag on my chest, a moment I had been waiting for for so long. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and prayed. There I was, tense but gradually getting into the game, making a few sloppy mistakes and yet embracing the greatest day of my footballing life. At the end, I was content. But I also wanted to improve. We have a lot of competition in the squad. Everyone is always going beyond their comfort zones to excel in every possible way. I have always looked up to the senior players- they are supportive and the passion, love and positive energy they have for the game brings us all together. When I play with them, I understand what it means to be able to play for your country. I dreamt of everything I have now for a long time. I will always be grateful to the people who helped me get here. My college coach, my former club TFC, my current club HQUFC, my parents, my sisters and my girlfriend.

Smile often, be humble and treat everyone with kindness. Try to make people happy in any way you can. Make lots of memories, embrace change, talk less during lectures, appreciate nature – blend in with the smell of the soil and the sound of the calm rivers, feel that cold breeze and catch that falling leaf. Remember to take rest and appreciate the good things in life. Appreciate the little time you get to spend with your parents. Compliment your sister and brother often. Be there for the people who matter. Be happy with everything and every moment because we never know when we would have to say goodbye to the glory of life.”

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