The cool evening breeze blows against Tempa's wrinkled cheeks as he sits near the prayer wheel with a rosary in his left hand and the other turning the prayer wheel. His thin frail hand can't even turn the huge prayer wheel and feels glad whenever he is being lended a helping hand for his task. When almost the prayer wheel stops a little boy runs up to it and turns it around. Tempa raises his weary eyes to look into an innocent and cheerful face, which resembled someone whom he knew. As the little boy turns to leave, something catches his eyes, which makes him turn back. Quickly he reaches into his pocket, takes out a clean handkerchief and offers it to the old man to wipe his welled up eyes. The young boy makes himself comfortable near Tempa, placing his tiny hand on his lap and asks if he is alright.
Tempa stammers while replying, "I am not very fine, some good old memories hit me as I saw you".
Curious, the little boy's eyes brightens up and instantly asks "You have a grand son like me?".
Tempa just swings his head sideways in a gesture to say 'no'. Tears still welling up in his eyes, he slowly pats the little boy's back and says, "That is a long story dating back to, when I was about a few years older than what you are now".
No sooner Tempa completes the sentence, the little pair of eyes brghtens and exclaims "Oh! a story? I love listening to stories,my grandmother tells the most beautiful stories".
The wrinkled face stretches to form a weary smile and right through the parted lips the gums are easily visible. Tempa is in his late 70's but his memories of his first love is still intact. Almost 60 years ago he would met her. Every time Tempa comes across a similar face Tempa would go into inner turmoil leaving him drowning in the pain of regrets and the guilty feeling. Possessing a caring heart was his first love, who had made every effort for the relationship to get going but he would just ignored her. Only had he not been careless about her the ending would not have been this.
Bouncing back from his memories, Tempa asks, "What is your name?".
The boy flashes the sweetest of smiles and replies "I am Samdrup and what do I address you as?".
"You have a nice name,I am Tempa but you can also call me Agay Tempa if you want to", replies Tempa.
No sooner are they done introducing, a man calls out for Samdrup. "Agay, I will leave now, Apa is in a hurry", saying so, Samdrup hops towards a smartly dressed man.
Its already late and Tempa is returning to his hut but it takes him so long though it is not so far away. Limping, Tempa reaches his small hut. A pile of cardboards serves as his matress and as he lay staring at the holes in the roof, memories strikes back.
It has been during his High school days, when he met Zangmo, his first love. He has fallen for her on the first sight but has taken almost two years to confess. Gathering all the courage he had, he proposed her by the end of the academic year of his twelve standard. Zangmo was a year junior to him. When she finally replied, he had been the happiest person in campus. The love birds would not miss a chance to see eachother even during the short recess and when finally the winter break came, they were heart broken yet parted with much pain and the promise to be in contact and make it a point to meet once in a while. Even during the break, they despised being home. Late night calls and the exchange of messages became a routine. They met every once in a while and those had been the happiest of their moments. Holding hands, going for long walks and dinner added much bliss to their meetings. In the meanwhile, Tempa's result was declared and both were much glad to know that he had qualified for Higher studies. When another academic year started, Zangmo was the only one going to school. Tempa joined college, far from where Zangmo's school was located. Though distance grew between them, their love never decreased. During the short breaks he got, Tempa visited her in her school and when apart, they had yearned to see eachother. A year, passed and Zangmo appeared her exam. Yet, another winter break was almost over with the same things happening between the love birds. Zangmo could not qualify for higher studies and coming from a financially backward family she could not even continue.
Things started changing after that. Distance between them grew both physically and mentally. Doubtes started raising in both minds.Their fault was that they failed to understand eachother. Trust vanished with the distance. Tempa got frastruated and decided to move on. He cheated on her and got patched up with another girl from his college. Zangmo had still remained faithful to him despite the fact that they had fights more often. She had still felt that they can have good times together but when the reality did break out, her world fell apart. The biggest shock to her had been the news of his marriage. After few years she had met a nice man and got married. They lived their own married life happily. As fate would have it Tempa met with an accident along with his only child. The child died on the spot. Since then things had turned all against Tempa. He was hospitalized for years and then his wife left him for another man. He got laid by his employer due to his long absence.
Its the next day since he have met Samdrup. Tempa again sits near the prayer wheel chanting, "OM MANI PADME HUNG, OM MANE PADME HUNG, OM MANE PADME....".
"Agay Tempa", he hears a voice call him. He tilts his head to look for the person when he sees Samdrup coming towards him. An old woman of his age is following him. As they nears Tempa, he is awestruck to look at the woman.
"Zangmo?" he mummers to himself. Tears start welling up in his eyes as he remembers their youthful days.
"Agay, this is my angay", Samdrup introduces her to Tempa.
"We are going to the hospital for now. We will see you next time." says Zangmo and leaves. She shows no sign of recognition.
As they part their ways Tempa thinks "Does she not remember me, even on the mention of my name and seeing me?".
Zangmo holds her grandson's hand and walks away slowly. With no flashback in her head. She silently listens to Chophel talking about the incidents that happened in his school that day. The news of Tempa's marriage has left her in a coma for three years resulting in memory loss. She has lost her memory including Tempa's. Now her memories starts only from her recovery. To her, her husband is her first and only love.