My Dear Brother,
With deep regret and sorrow in my heart, I write this epistle to you. This is the first time I am suffering from such a shock, I don’t really know how I shall describe all these tension and trouble that I’ve gone through. And you must also understand that I am not the only one who’s bearing this tragedy, our poor parents, especially our mother had gone through such a big trouble trying to overcome the big mess that you’ve intentionally or unintentionally created.
Well, let me make it very clear to you. I know we come from a family that ‘just survives’ on our own, meaning our parents are living a life of ‘hand to mouth’ like many other people back in the village. I am the eldest and I very well know the pain that our parents are enduring and have already endured to make the three of us a better person in our lives. they are uneducated, that you know very well, and yet they’ve known how important is it for us to be educated and learned, that’s why they’ve brought us where we are today. You also know that we are not so fortunate like many other children who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. And we must accept that it was our fate, it has been pre-destined and there’s nothing much we can do about it.
I have gone through many such hurdles, many trials and tribulations that you also must have gone through and that you are facing at the moment. From my high school days in Chukha through my college days at Kanglung, I’ve suffered the same fate like you. Money was always a problem every time it’s time for us to go to school or college, but you know what? Mom never left us in a situation where we had to drop school or college, she was always there to help and make us presentable to the harsh world outside. She went around day after day, trying to find a solution to the temporary problems, she was always positive and sure about our success one day. She believed that one day the three of us will be able to make them proud, that our success will bring them endless happiness until they die. And you have to remember that as I write these words, tears roll down my eyes.
My Dear Brother, I’ve always had big expectations from you. I know that you are brilliant and that you are going to prove to the world that you are worth it. To be very open, I had hopes and expectations from you until you went to Chukha HSS. But since then, I don’t know what went wrong, I think by then, you’ve chosen to take a different path, I’ve heard that you were into drugs since then and I wasn’t wrong. Since then, you’ve started to forget the person that you are and the family back at home. You’ve started losing interest in the daily chores that we use to do back at home during our short winter and summer holidays. You weren’t like that before, you were the one to initiate any work and people use to appreciate and like what you do at home, and I learnt a lot from you then.
Once you went to Kanglung, you assured me that you’ve stopped doing all these unwanted stuffs and that you’ve really started getting serious with your studies. That made me feel proud and I was confident and sure about what you’ve promised me. I never expected you to fail in your exams but you surprised me when you failed in you 1st or 2nd semester, I didn’t really know the reason behind this, may be you are too much engaged in the temporary pleasures of getting into relationships with girls or you were still lost in the world of drugs. As you read this, please reflect back and see where you went wrong.
I know you are not so small or innocent to understand this. You were born just a year after me and we are almost equals. You must also think and feel the same like me for our family. You know, it’s a collective responsibility. To make them proud and happy in their latter lives is our responsibility. It’s time for us to pay back for what they’ve done for us.
Think twice; reflect on what you have done recently. Your acts have cost us a lot, a lot my dear. I don’t know if you really understand that pain that we’ve gone through. It’s such a disgrace to the family, but I am thinking that, may be this was done through sheer unawareness, or at times I think that this happened because of our misfortune. But again, it’s really hard to bear when misfortunes strike all at once; it’s such a heavy blow to the family.
Now, whatever has happened has come and gone. What’s important now is, to reflect on the things that have gone wrong and amend the scars. It’s never too late for anything, you can begin a fresh life. First complete your studies and find a suitable job. All of us love you so much and we expect you to bring happiness in the family.
Yours always Brother (Chencho Thinley)
That was written earlier when you got into the trouble for the first time. Now, this is what I wrote when you got into the same problem again.
You see brother, there are so many tempting things that life has got to offer to us while we live. There are good things that can brighten and heighten our lives and there are also unwanted stuffs that can ruin and mar our lives. It’s all left for us to choose between the two.
I have had so many friends, who were into drugs while I was in Chukha, but they were all very good human beings, they were kind-hearted, helpful, and supportive and they never use to drag me into their business. I use to join them everywhere while they hang-out; I even tried what they did then. I puffed cigarettes with them, I sniffed dendrite and correction fluids, I drank alcohol, even tried marijuana and cough syrups with them, almost all, but you know what brother, I never tried to make that a routine, I never made it a habit because I knew it would be difficult to stay away from these evils once I get addicted to it.
People say that it’s your friends who spoil you or make you a better person but it’s actually you. Nobody knows you better than yourself, you are the master. I had so many good friends who are into drugs but I chose to stay one step away from them. Even during my college days I enjoyed with them at times, all just for fun, we use to go and drink arra at Khangma but always stayed out of trouble. We sometimes sniffed dendrite in the paddy fields and laugh out loud, these are things we did just for fun and we use to love the moment. But again, I never tried to develop this habit of using such unwanted stuffs regularly.
I presume you never knew anything about drugs until you reached class IX or X, that time you were at home. I am sorry if you love them so much but I must point out this, one driving factor that brought you where you are today is your friend Neten and that bloody IT instructor from whom you learnt nothing but these stuffs. And I always pray these people never succeed in life, they must pay for spoiling you. I hate them so much, so much. For all the people who are responsible for the nemesis, I hate you all like hell!
We actually have a large family, but during times of trouble, nobody even bothers to ask about your whereabouts. They are not trying to ignore you but they are tired of telling you. May be they’ve lost their hopes but I still have great expectation from you, I know one day you shall rise and stand straight, one day my brother shall declare himself free from all the evils that surrounds you. We are just three of us, we have to do something before it’s too late. Brother, don’t you think about our parents sometimes? Look at them, poor Appa and Aie, our dad is such an innocent human being, he’s happy all the time and he has no worries. He was born this way and there’s no way we can change him. You also know very well. Do you remember how he used to love you then? I was mom’s cheche and you were dad’s cheche.
Mom was strict then, that’s how we reached where we are right now. She whipped us to go to school, I remember she once tied a rope around me and took me to school thinking that I would escape on the way. I have so much to thank her for educating me; don’t you also owe the same gratitude to her? I think you too owe her a lot, indeed all three of us. Today, I tell my friends, had our mother not been so strict and attentive, we would be farming in the village.
What’s done cannot be undone, now you should change yourself. Leave aside what you have already done; think about your future and think of lending a helping hand to our poor parents. Their expectation is very minimal, I know that very well. They don’t expect us to give everything we get to them; they just wanted us to be presentable in front of other people, they just expect us to succeed in our lives and be a better human being, that’s it. So, my dear brother, I hope you understood what I am trying to tell you.
These are words of kindness from your only brother.
Cheers to our family!