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Hand in hand for eternity

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dad's Diary 19 - KICK BACK

He had a single name, Dukpa, which meant that he hailed from Bhutan; 'Druk' was Bhutan and 'pa', man. “That's all you need to identify your existence with,” he once explained to me, “with having or lacking a first name, you never have or lack anything extra.”

Dukpa was employed as a 'sahish', running after the horses hired out for fun riding to the tourists in a Himalayan resort by his employer who owned several of them.

Dukpa was a good horse-man; In fact calling him that was rather crude; a horse-whisperer was much nearer the point. His favorite was an aging mare; Pema, he had lovingly christened her.

His employer hired and fired him almost daily; hired him for his horse-sense, and fired him for his weakness in giving Pema as much food and rest as was possible. The net result was that the mare earned less and ate more. The employer resented this; and, in Dukpa's reckoning, had stooped so low as to declare Pema to be the ugliest one of his whole lot.

Dukpa didn't care one way or the other. But what really brought tears to his eyes was the rapacious employer's caprice of kicking the mare for no reason at all. To make up, he would buy colorful ribbons, show them to  the mare as if to assuage her feelings, and tie them on her mane, telling her in a soothing voice that she would go to heaven, and the employer to hell.

The day came when Dukpa decided that enough was enough. He maneuvered Pema in a particular position, and informed the owner that she could not work with injuries in her hind legs. The disbelieving employer came over to personally inspect the injuries. Dukpa tightened his grip on Pema's mane, and beseeched her, “Now baby, now.”

A snort later, Pema heaved up both the hoofs, equipped with new horse-shoes, with all her might, caught the employer under the ribcage, and threw him on to the concrete wall at the far end of the stable. “And that's what I call an ugly kick,” shouted Dukpa. Pema guffawed for the first time in her life.


The employer was rushed to the hospital with multiple fractures, and Dukpa rushed Pema to safety. He rode Into a pre-arranged Buddhist monastery in a far flung area where the head Lama had agreed to take them in.

Dukpa took the robes and the vow of silence, and slept under the same shade built for Pema, taking care of the mare in her old age. The head Lama approved,  counseling Dukpa that that precisely was his way to salvation. Dukpa fulfilled his assurance to Pema that she would go to  heaven if there was one; the monastery indeed was Pema's heaven.  



  1. What a wonderful story!! How anyone can mistreat animals is beyond me.
    Good for Dukpa and of course Pema!!! I hope they lived to be old and happy with each other!!!

  2. Liked this story! :) Looking forward to more.


  3. Tit for Jim says,I just don't know why people can't understand animals.Great to see Uncle back here..please do write more often.

  4. I enjoyed reading about Dupka and I am assuming that the name Pema has something to do with Pema Chodron!

  5. What a wonderful story! Your dad and you both are great storytellers..Must have a session with both of you soon! Love.

  6. would have loved to see Pema kick the cruel employer...even imagining the sight makes me smile.Thank you Mitr and her talented dad for this post.

  7. What a lovely reading. I love Pem for taking care of Dukpa, serves the employer right for getting a kick!

  8. Loved that story very much :) Found Dukpa and Pema to be likable characters and was rooting for them with much passion. Hope they find much happiness in the monastery!!

  9. Karma, baby, karma! There is a Heaven and I know God loves Pema just as much as Dukpa.

    Lovely, lovely story!

    Blessings, dear!

  10. thats a beautiful narration...

  11. that was kind of a scary and violent story. i wish dukpa could have stole the mare away in the night without attacking the owner. i guess revenge is the name of the game :-(

  12. @Jim- is beyond me as well. I am sure theirs was a happy story : )

    @Padmavini - and you shall get many more ...

    @Alpana - tit for tat is the apt expression. Thanks for all the encouragement!

    @Savira - : )) Well Chodron probably wouldn't have done something so literal. But now that you mention it - LOL

    @Sonia - yes would love that!

    @Sulekha - I would too. Thank you for coming by.

    @Rimly - : ))) well you get what you ask for, I think.

    @David - I am sure they did : )

    @Martha - thank you so much for your kind words. Much much encouraged by them and your coming by.

    @Deeps - glad you liked it! Thank you!

    @Linda - you are not that dangerous after all : )). I like that he got that kick but I must admit you live in a higher ground where I aspire to be one day : ))

  13. Terrific story with a great ending. The boss got what he deserved as did Dukpa and Pema. I'm sure Pema loved Dukpa with all her heart for saving her and giving her such a wonderful old age.

  14. @Mari - I was missing you around here! Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts. They mirror mine : )

  15. Every horse has its day huh? Lucky Pema!! :) Loved the story...

  16. I am thrilled that the poor horse kicked the nasty owner. But I did notice that it was planned and prompted by Dupka. It goes to show you that animals are not vengeful, people are. A great ending!

  17. @Suerae - great observation! Though I really wish in cases like this animals knew how to be vengeful... Thank you so much for your comment.

  18. Wow talk about a fascinating story great narration!

  19. @N'na thank you! So glad you liked the story : )