“I am resigning from Bhutan Broadcasting Service. I am going to do Royal Institute of Management,” I told one of my colleagues from Mongar.
“Why? You know Kengkharpa will never wear patang, ceremonial sword,” he said convinced about the myth he heard. I thought of many defenses I could think of. I thought of telling that joining civil service has nothing to do it wearing or not wearing patang. I wanted to tell him that that was myth just like Chamkhar wouldn’t grow paddy. I wanted to tell him that till now no able person was born. I wanted to tell him I am no more from Kengkhar but Jumey, the bifurcated gewog. But then, I gave up since such defense was futile and waste of time.
However, it got me thinking. I have scanned hosts of list of civil servants but nobody was honoured with Patang. One guy who was head clerk was said to have promoted to Rabjam. He wore Patang for one day because he was stripped of sword because of some complaints. May be, myth is right. May be Kengkhar cannot be honoured with Patang.
When I was in class eleven, thirteen of my seniors were selected for LLB. I had a huge hope that I would be one of the qualifiers in next batch. When I graduated from class twelve, there were only three places and I was on fourth position who had required marks of dongkha and English. I was saddened and I went for film studies instead. Later during times of my junior, I heard it was again increased to eleven. My hope of being judge and wearing Patang one day was forever quashed because I couldn’t even afford to finish simple degree with funding on my own. May be there is jinx because some obstacles beyond always seem to prevent my villagers from rising to place of honour.
Then, why can’t Kenkharpa rise to honour of receiving Patang? After all, even Drangpoen, Dzongrab and Dungpa get Patang and quite a few have served at higher grade higher than that grade. Is it that people of my community are too afraid to try and break the jinx lest they might fall victims to the jinx? Anyway, what is the jinx?
It is said that Kengkharpa refused to carry some taxes (nobody I know can tell for sure) to central government. The leader, most believed, to be one of the Zhabdrungs foretold that people from Kengkhar would never receive the honour of ceremonial sword despite their skills. In old days, Kengkhar was considered one of the most skilled communities because Kengkharpa could produce palang, design chosum and bowls. Such craft was one of 13th classified crafts under Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. Even today, Palangs and Chosum from Kengkhar are considered prized and well-made. Despite that, no Kengkharpa’s since the time of Zhabdrung hasr received a patang.
Such jinx has to be broken. We should try until it is broken. We may not deserve Bura Marp from His Majesty, we may not get ministerial berth for orange scarf but with democracy we can always break the jinx. For example, demographically, national assembly candidates from kengkhar and jurme united can defeat candidate from kheng Weringla. That is a pure statistics. Civil servants can aspire to be Dzongrab and Dungpa so that jinx is broken. I hope one of my generation will proved wrong to the belief that Kengkharpa will never receive Patang.