What can you say of a pint-sized girl: all of 23 years of age - one who has dug in her heels resolutely - unimpressed that thousands her age are headed out to Australia - with sparkles of hope in their eyes and monumental dreams drumming against theirs chests - of making tons and tons of $$ and living out lives of luxury and riches.
A spirited girl from remote Zhemgang village of Panbang
To honor her indomitable spirit, I donated to her 10 brand new books in my collection - free of cost - to be sold at prices of her choosing. It is hoped that she would continue to do the Khenpas proud.
This diminutive Khengpa girl from remote Panbang is a package of nerves. I am truly impressed with this unputdownable bundle of spirit. She moves lithely across footpaths strewn with pebbles and stones and mud, with a bag slung over her back and bearing a bundle of assortment of books in her delicate arms. She has a purpose - to sell a book - for a commission. She is not limited by a fixed destination: the whole wide world is her turf!
But I am convinced that in the hands of the likes of her lie the knitting needles that will eventually knit together the tapestry of Bhutan’s hopes and dreams. She is a different breed of Bhutanese youth - a doer - not a dreamer.
Ms. Dorji Lhamo was introduced to me by a friend one Saturday morning at the Kaja Throm in Thimphu. Few days later I invited her to sit with me over a cup of coffee and tell me her story. Her story was remarkably simple: a drop-out at Class XII she tried her hands at baby-sitting, working as a house-maid, working the sales counters and even at construction sites. At the end of trying all sorts of odd jobs, she realized that none of them suited her - not necessarily the remuneration she got paid - but at the pace at which she was paid.
Then one day she hit on the idea of selling books for some select Bhutanese authors - at a commission. She has been at it for the past close to one year ever since. The earning is nothing to write back home about - but it gave her enough to keep her afloat in a dignified manner - with a tidy sum left over to send back home in Panbang - to help out her siblings and relatives.
Dorji Lhamo is a walking bookstore. If she is not traipsing the streets of Thimphu, she is uploading books to her Facebook page from where people can order an assortment of books - for hand delivery. Her FaceBook address: Dorji and her Walking Library.