Norbu Jamtsho, a class ten student from Pema Gatshel has so much to teach us in his short novel Lights in the Darkness. It’s not a story of various fantasies that we can expect from a writer of his age. It’s a candidly heart-wrenching story of him.
He has lost his father when he was at primary school. His mother has left to different place with another man. The responsibilities to look after cows, keep the fire in kitchen burning and most importantly to parent his younger siblings fell on him. We can say that life indeed has forced him to grow ahead of his biological clock’s time.
We are lucky by many measures. You’ll realize reading his struggles frankly expressed in the book. He also has a message that no parents should go their separate ways if they at all care about lives of their children.
He considers education as the only means that will take him out of the darkness. So he keeps his dream high and studies well. So his life is like a war between household work pressures and his dream to succeed in studies. This book is all about how he survived every bits of it.
I was awed by the way he looks life despite being impeded by many problems even at the age when many of us will be in the days of innocence not knowing what life has for us. Our children must read this. They should be made to realize life won’t be fair for all. They should be taught to respect what their parents give because that might be all their parents have.
More than anything, our children should learn to realize how lucky they are to have plenty of time to do useful things when getting time even to flip few pages of a book is a victory for many of their unfortunate brothers and sisters like Norbu.
So I think this 77 paged novel deserves to be read by you, your spouse, your children, your younger siblings and coming generation people who you care. I cannot say that this book will make you, your spouse, siblings and children intelligent. However, I can say it will spark something good.
Moreover it’ll be the only help you are rendering to this young Bhutanese writer Norbu Jamtsho to pursue the dream he has for himself as well as for his three younger siblings.