“Grandpa died when I was 4. 2 years later, Ama left us after a divorce. “Where is T/phu & why did she leave us?” I asked Apa, “It’s a place for better people. We’re middle class & we shouldn’t dream more.” He did all he could to educate & provide for me. But I was bad at remembering my lessons at school. He’d remind me again about being middle class.

Life went on and I realized on top of having a weak memory, I also stammered. If I wanted to be an officer in T/phu, Apa said, I cannot afford to grow up having them. On TV, I saw the tall buildings and I wished again to be in T/phu. Kids at school teased me for my dress, studies and speech disability. It made going to school very hard for me.

To overcome my speech problems, my uncle introduced me to raps. I chanted “Mockingbird by Eminem” like a mantra. Then, I watched videos of Drona & Kezang Dorji, & took an instant liking to their music. They also responded to my text on their social media & gave me tips on singing.

After studying in Samtse, I moved to a new school in Bumthang. Halting at T/phu everytime on the way fascinated me even more to live & follow my dream in the city. Learning raps and recording had a huge improvement on my speech. Slowly, I started writing songs about my parents and it’d get me emotional. Once, I even reproduced a track from a music studio for my school concert.

When I couldn’t qualify for government school, Apa asked me to quit music & writing songs completely. As a young kid, I was sad but realised slowly that he was right. I studied harder in the new school & made a lot of good friends too. Yet, I hadn’t given up on music. Every minute was an enjoyment when I learnt to balance music with my studies.

Music helped me overcome my painful memories. I was no longer bullied but rather respected. Performance in school has also improved a lot & now, my parents’ divorce has nothing on me. Apa love-reacted to my video on FB- a moment I always wanted to see. Life is good but still I gotta work hard to get a job. In life, problems are a constant- just be strong, face them, & move on. It has more to offer than what our eyes can see.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

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