The Talisman of Good Fortune and Other Stories from Rural Bhutan is a collection of nine short stories based on rural traditions and beliefs which takes the reader through the lives of lay people in Bhutan.The stories introduce the uncanny worlds of the Poision Givers, demonic spirits (The Devilish Inheritance), sorceresrs (The Avenger’s Return), and the mysterious beings the author names The Clandestine Foes. Presented in highly entertaining and throught-provoking fashion, these stories offer a marvellous insight into the most uncanny aspects of Bhutanese society and cosmology.
The short story Talisman Of Good Fortune has been made into a local feature film titled Golden Cup-The Legacy In 2007, while the story “Samphal’s Pride and Woes” has been included in high school curriculum by the Ministry Of Edcation in Bhutan since 2005. “The culture, beliefs, and social norms of rural Bhutan are projected vibrantly in The Talisman Of Good Fortune and Other Stories From Rural Bhutan... Depending the layman’s life and social charisma and vices...”-KUNSEL
Rinzin Rinzin was born on October 24, 1969 to humble weaver’s family in he remote village of Kurtoe Goenpakap (Goenkar) in Lhuentse, Eastern Bhutan. He started his early education as a Gomchen (lay mark) at the age of four in his own village. At age seven he served as his family’s cow herder. It was during those early years in his village that he was introduced to the rural Bhutanesse beliefs, traditions,norms and ways of life.
In 1978, he and his younger sister Sonam Wangmo were among the first children of his village to attend school and take up Western system of education. He studied in various schools in eastern, southern, and western Bhutan, and after completing higher secondary school, he did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Agriculture (Animal Production/Nutrition) at the Central Luzon State University,Republic of the Philippines,and the University of Melbourne, Australia,respectively.
He started his career as a Lecturer in 1997 at the then natural Resources Training Institute (now College of Natural Resources), Lobesa, Thimpu. As a public servent (July 1997-March 2013), Rinzin Rinzin served as a Lecturer, Researcg Program Officer, Programme Director and Member of Parliament (National Council of the Parliament of Bhutan). Currently, he is an Independent Consultant, an occasional writer and a student pursuing higher studies.
Rinzin Rinzin is married to Kezang Wangmo, a businesswoman from Phagidung, Lhuentse, who runs her businesses in Bumthing. They have three sons and a daughter. Rinzin Rinzin also has a son form his first wife.
He wrote The Talismanof Good Fortune and Other Stories Rural Bhutan while on winter breakin Melnourne in 2001. He is also the author of four illustrated Children’s books based on Bhutanese folk tales.
Ever since I ws a child, I have always been fascinated by the eerie tales about Du Ginmee (Poision Givers, Soendreu (Evil Spirit of the Living), and the Nyenpa Tangmee (The one who casts evil spells on others).Kurtoe Goenpakap, my birthplace, like many other places in Bhutan, is a place where people have strong beliefs about the existence of such parnormal things. People who conduct rituals to neutralize the effects of such things are quite common in both rural and urban Bhutan. To directly or indirectly accuse or ostracize those who are believed to possess such supernatural powes of making a person sick and or ending a person’s life is quite normal. I have been a witness to such rituals on various occasions during my early childhood in Kurtoe and elsewhere Furhermore, at the age of six, I was myself treated by shaman, late Pao Kezang, for having apparently taken poison from a Poison Giver. Therefore, as a child, I was afraid to be anywhere near those people who were believed to ne either a Du Ginmee or a Nyen Tangmee or those who had the Soendrey in them.
However, the subjects of such nature have always intrigued and confused me, giving rise to many unanswered questions in my mind. As a scholar of applied science, I sometimes fine such paranormal things highly irrational. At the same time, as part of a rural.
Bhutanese family and who lived in Bumthang where people belive in paranormal activities as much as my fellow village folks do, the paranormal never fails to fascinate me. However, I cannot help but feel sorry particularly for those who are believed to be Du Ginmee or to have Soendrey (I will not attempt to reason why, but leave it to the reader to make his or her own judgement!). The Talisman of Good Fortune,The Devilish Inheritance, and The Avenger’s Return are stories that resolve around such subjects.
It is said that there are different spirits of all kinds who ate believed to harm us in equally different ways. Bhutanese people believe that even some of our own guardian deities harm us, if we have angered Him or Her in any way or have failed to appease Him or Her. Such beliefs and traditions have been a part of my life and inspired me to superficially touch on them in The Clandestine Foes.
My village folks’ efforts to sustain goodwill and to live in harmony with one another and the environment are typical of a lay Buddhist’s life. In New leagacy for a Village, I have tried to present just a small part of such perseverance of goodwill.
My mother once told me that the presence of responsible man in one’s family is necessity as far as the family’s social status is concerned, especially in rural Bhutan. Maybe in some distant villages it is still so much more than in modern Bhutanese or Western families. In Wild Mushrooms for Mother and Samphel’s Pride and Woes, I have made modest attempt to relate my own experiences in this field and present the reader with a vivid picture of my mother’s many other rural Bhutanese women’s beliefs. I must, however, caution you that this has no bearing to my being a man whatsoever.
We often encounter people with the different kinds of obsessions in their lives; the degree of an obsession varies makredly person to person. I am no differently from them. Nevertheless, I often wonder how far one’s obsessions can go. Apa Nadola’s Obsessions is a results of my own amazement at such obsessions in life.
Life in Kurtoe in particular and rural Bhutan in general has changed very quickly during the last twenty-five years or so. Sadly enough, I have not had the pleasure of witnessing the changes that took place in Goenpakap, since I have been away at Thimpu and elsewhere since 1981. I hear from my parents and my village folks that Goenpakap wears a different look now. Therefore, I feel that if I should visit my village tomorrow,it will not be the way I have always remembered it. As much I like to bask in the sunshine of modern Bhutan, I think I will always miss good old Goenpakap of the early 1970s. Maymay Wamla’s Umbrella is a line to the Goenpakap of my childhood days.
I have written these stories based on my personal experiences with the widely believed and talked about (but least written) side of rural Bhutanese life. However, it was not my intention to pass judgement on any of the beliefs and events presented in my stories.
Furthermore, although most of the events presented in my stories reflect true happenings in rural Bhutanese society, all the names of persons and places in the stories are fictional. Happy reading!
|The Talisman of good fortune||1|
|New legacy for a village||33|
|Wild mushrooms for mother||55|
|Apa Nadola's obession||75|
|The devilish inheritance||87|
|Maymay Wamla's umbrella||99|
|Sample's pride and woes||111|
|The avenger's return||119|
|The clandestine foes||145|
Item Code: NAO809 Author: Rinzin Rinzin Cover: Paperback Edition: 2014 Publisher: Eco Himal Alpi Orientali ISBN: 9993661902 Language: English Size: 8.0 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 170 (7 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 192 gms