Saturday, April 02, 2011

I do have fond memories of Burung School

I had never thought that someday my passion about understanding Sikkim would have followers and well-wishers across the globe. Just before writing this article I had received an email from Volker from France wondering about my fascination for bringing out things about Sikkim no one ever had given a thought. I was looking for an information with him regarding a person named Robert Godet, a Frenchman who was a writer, photographer, an adventure lover and a family friend to the Royal family of Sikkim who had made several flights to Sikkim in his own small two-seater airplane in the 50s, probably making him the first person to fly across the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim. 
Sometimes my friends call me a wanderer; since I visit different places looking for lost pieces of Sikkim’s past. Sometimes it’s the oral documentation while on few other occasions it’s the materials I get around that keeps me silent. Since last one decade I had been at Singtam, my hometown and doing my own research on Sikkim History but this time around I have moved to a new place with a hope that my work would get a new charter of life and I could continue do what I am expected the most by my readers.

Last week was an eventful one for me; I got my transferred from Burung Primary School now Burung JHS to my new destination Upper Dalapchand Secondary School and in between I had my first television interview aired at Nayuma TV. I am happy to be at Dalapchand, a half hour drive from Rongli Bazaar the place that is the home of Sikkim’s first Post Office, now forgotten in wheel of time.

Just the day I joined at Upper Dalapchand SS, I was told by my new staffs that the name Dalapchand means a flat rock where the travelers heading for Tibet prior since late 1880s would stop to take a rest and to my surprise I could see that rock from the school balcony. I could not hide my smile when I was shown a small path that led to the bamboo bushes and I was told that it was a mule path that had stopped after 1960s.  I feel I am at home and I am sure I shall enjoy my staying out here. But I too cannot forget my staying at Burung, my first posting as a primary school teacher.

After spending six initial years of my teaching life at Burung JHS as a primary teacher I had my share of experience at Burung. It is now more of a memory to be part of Burung School family where I have learnt about different walks of life. I have many unforgettable moments with my students and with my fellow staffs in my staying at Burung. We were eight staffs; Headmaster NT Bhutia followed by other teachers Uttam Shivakoti, Kamal Sharma, M B Tamang, Ganga Hamal, Savitra Dahal, Indira Rizaal and myself.

Among the teaching staffs I am thankful for Burung for giving me an opportunity to come across a friend like Indira Rizaal. She was always a source of encouragement for my work and would read every published article of mine and she did not hesitate to ask if she did not understand anything.  

Still fresh in my mind is making my students participate at State level dancing competition at Nachyo Babari. Those students who had never been to Gangtok and their cultural performances that were limited to school functions performed in front of celebrities like Uttam Pradhan, Kamal Rai and Pema Tsedun and with a packed audience at SDF Bhawan. Thou we did not make any further progress but the joy of my dancer student were enough to make me happy and I felt myself that I have succeeded. I did arrange educational tours for students to Gangtok and Science Centre, Namli in successive years. 

From much memorable moments I have is the football tournament I took my school students at Chuja School and we lost handsomely with nine goals to nil. Our school did not have any playground but I have seen those boys playing football at roads nearby. I wanted them to participate and have fun; I always believe it is important to participate while a win or a loss is always part of a game. 

I have always lived my life at the smile and joy of my students and I am happy I was one of their close friends, someone with whom they did not hesitate to speak off their minds.