Song of Namo Yangkyi Wangmo

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Lu ala lamo ala len

Lu thala lamo thala len

Sa dhi yi sa ngo ma shen na

khawa ghangchen jong yin

Nga da nga ngo ma shen na

nga namo Yangkyi Wangmo yin

In countries west, I hear the holy book speaks of you and your sin. How could you not resist an apple sister?  It wasn’t as if you were tempted with a feast! If I talk about you in my village, the women will surely laugh at me. Even cross-eyed Dhetso, who lives atop Phari and sired six bastards from wandering neighbors, wouldn’t have understood your fate.

In this land of snow, meat and barley, no women would risk the wrath of gods for a lowly fruit! To think your karmic energy still claims the daughters of your clan though times have changed and they are told to eat an apple everyday! What happened sister? What became of your life and where did you travel? The others talk about you but I want to know. There must be more… I live with men.

During chu sum jhi weh kag (the thirteen year) my father took me on a pilgrimage to Lho. I saw the tiny cave where our ancestors met. I climbed the steps of Aemalung and stayed the night at Samye. I wearied my soul enroute to dusty Sheldrak and in Lhamo Lhatso desperately searched for a vision. Yet for all the prayers, in the end I was married to my khyib-dung escapade.

You must know not all daughters on earth are created equal. Some are small ponds, others are lakes and few are the vast sea. My features put to shame the banks of a dry river and my hands suffered every winter’s frost. With every child birth youth became a fluttering dream and this losar my chupa remained unchanged.

Back in the year of the snake, I caught him with another woman. She ran in shame and slid outside our ba. I caught a glimpse of her flowing hair and knew I’ve lost the battle. Still roused in anger, taunted by dying hope and pride, I screamed and lunged at him. He slammed me on the floor and covered my mouth. I struggled with all my strength.

That night old mother came to comfort me. She said this is the way of the world and the will of Gods. Some things never change unless you travel the ascetic’s path. Pons from obscure valleys will have a lofty place but from the empress Trimalo Triteng to you Yangkyi Wangmo, women will remain hidden. Silence binds us in an eternal knot. Accept and live in peace.

Since then sister, he returned home. I tend the nor and keep the tea warm on our stove. The first dawn light opens my eyes and in the night the sounds of a sleeping house rests my head. I wipe my children’s tears telling them stories of bygone heroes, even those that often talk of women’s evil designs. But I know better now and remain quiet, like you did. Why ruin a perfect fairy tale?

Yet sometimes demons breed insidious thoughts. If I was a bard, I’ll sing of women who were not consorts of saints or wives of kings. Why should beauty and perfection become our bane? Sing of women born on ordinary days, the lifetimes spent in household toil, tending babies, men and yaks. Oh sister! I should stop before people start to whisper namo Yangkyi Wangmo has horns on her head!

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6 responses »

  1. Powerful emotions and thoughts expressed here.
    Strong piece of issue writing. A good read.
    ps. If you are interested in posting a link/video to music that expresses your connection with earth/nature on One Earth for All at my blogcasa, you are very welcome to do so. Anyone else interested is also welcom.

  2. Enjoyed reading your piece. Very eloquently expressed. However what I want to know is: what is Drugmo? Does it stand for Bhutanese woman? Are you a Bhutanese woman? Thanks.

    • I am not a Bhutanese woman. My blog’s name is derived from the Tibetan legendary King Gesar’s wife Sengcham Drugmo. I feel that in Drugmo’s characterization and her life story there can be found many parallels with the trials and tribulations of being born a woman.

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