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Monday, October 24, 2011

confessions of a wrecked plane

Hundreds of miles away from modernization and thousands of meters above sea level, I lie high and dry in one of the country’s highest valleys, Sakteng.
They say, it all began over five decades ago when I landed here in the Rocky Mountains drifting away from my normal air traffic.
We are three brothers, from the neighboring countries. At one point in time we were all pride to our nations diving deep into the blue carrying passengers or fighting for our nations.  We were aircrafts till one day we got wrecked and became steel pieces that was of no use to anyone. Having lost our way we had in turns, landed here on the snow covered mountains of Sakteng.
Then on, we have been immobile shelters to Yak Herders and commuters, with the cold chill hitting us throughout the year.
Back in the villages of Sakteng we have become bed night tales for the younger generations and a subject of interest for visitors.
They say there were about 13 passengers on the aircraft of which nobody survived the wreck. The dead bodies of seven passengers were identified and transported home while six dead bodies were left behind to be buried in the grounds of the Himalayas
I don’t know about the two other aircrafts, but older folks say it was in the late 1960s when the Highlanders first started tearing me apart The first recorded incidence was of a sunny morning when a group of Brokpas hollered around me and shredded me into pieces. Most of the parts that they were able to carry became decorative pieces in the kitchen gardens and in the back yards.
At the beginning they didn’t know what to do with the wrecked aircrafts, but it was a matter of time before they realized how to use the parts of the aircrafts. Today, parts of me are used as window frames or wind chimes on the balcony. Other parts have been hung on the walls of drawing rooms that are normally the only modern utilities around.
The only remains of the three of us are the skeletons. We lie abandoned on the empty grounds, just because they could not drag us to their homes.
One of the habitats who has been around with the three of us is 70-year-old Aum Gem. Aum Gem was a teen ager when I first hit the grounds of Sakteng. She claims there were about three air crashes in Sakteng. When the first one happened the aircraft was abandoned for days because the highlanders then, didnt know what it was. By the time the last aircraft crashed, people rushed to the spot to gather around the parts and take home whatever they could.
The brokpas, not having seen flying machines those days was not sure of it being a helicopter or a plane but they did know it came from the neighboring countries.
Even now, when a helicopter soars through the sky, people living with modern amenities gaze upon it with amusement, but for the brokpas, it has just become another metallic piece in the sky.

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