While many things might have changed and many of those I may have forgotten but still I cannot forget Meme Pema Wangda who lived nearby the temple near the great stupa of Chorten Kora in Trashi Yangtse in eastern Bhutan.
Meme Pema Wangda, to me is an iconic legend of Trashi yangtse. He was by then 40 to 45 years old, that’s long time ago during the year 2000. I am not sure if he still lives there but by then this man was and had unique characters, in Trashi yangtse Chorten kora, who used to break the day with the prayer “Omme Ha Hung Benza Guru Padme Sidhi Hung………………………..”, even before the cocks perceived the breaking of the nights into the early morning
None to call as his family he was lived by the alms that he collected form few houses around Chorten Kora and circumbulating the big stupa whole day filling the air with prayers. To many early riser he was their alarm clock and reminded of the divinity and temporal of human life.
Lived in southern Bhutan before for couple of years as an army, he curses of his act of how he had beaten and threatened the people there, he even complains the affect of paralysis of his legs and hands are some of sorcery played by the people there. Left by the family and when he digs back his history, he brings out a blur memory of having a son and his wife who have left him years before.
Living near the Chorten beside the main temple, Meme Pema Wangda had some few pet dogs around him, which he fed and talked to them. Even the dogs shared days with Meme and circumbulated the chorten.
During the day, he would sit with some elderly people who have come to circumbulate the stupa and what’s funny is that he still used to tease those eldely ladies pulling their kiras up and even teased the school girls, who were accustomed to the habits of Meme, although the words were ugly of sex but they always loved joking with him with relevant replies.
What good have I noticed in meme is that he has finally resorted to truth as his final remedy. He has taken a place near chorten so he is always reminded of GOD & GOOD and he could offer prayers. His loud and unique voice floods the valley every morning with prayers. Dressed in old gho and a walking stick, his hands were just enough to raise his begging pot and his legs could only support to stand and walk haphazardly.
On auspicious days we find him busy helping in temple in whatever little possible ways he could, sweeping around temples and clearing waters that turned the prayer wheels or clearing the prayer flags for the cloth to fling freely in the air.
And his only desire, to rest his breath with prayers and calling the GURU for the benefits of all beings. Ask if he could be cremated, he asks it to leave for the worms to feed on or offer into the river for fish to take.