My name is Tashi, a farmer living 14,000 feet above ground, in the Himalayan region. I am 30 years old and divorced. My wife Norbu left me for the adventure searching for Shangri-La. We had one son whose name is Dorje, who is now 5 years old and I adopted a daughter named Pema whose parents died in a flood near Lhasa. She is now 10 years old.
I am a farmer, I live at the north-west corner of the village, the house with the snow lion flag .I grow mainly herbs, such as Saffron, Opium, Rhodiola and Licorice. I remember meeting my wife in a Saffron field, she was wearing a big fur hat, smiling at me with the golden sun beaming behind her and the wind ruffled her hair. I immediately knew that she was my dolma. She was always so pretty, thanks to the saffron tea she drank every day. After our son was born, I cooked a lot of saffron chicken soup for her. I harvest opium seeds for people with lung and throat problem, a lot of seniors in the village need it for their coughing problem. I also sell some of the opium poppy to some of the traders. Scholars and traders constantly purchase Rhodiola from me, we believe that it helps with stress. I also harvest Ophiocordyceps Sinensis twice a year, and sell it to the graders.
This year, the weather was good, and I harvested a lot of saffron and opium. A Chinese trader named Xiao Ming bought a lot of those from me, he said that I produce very high quality Saffron, and he paid a lot for it. With the money, I repainted my house, bough Dorje and Pema some new cloth and donated some of it to the temple. Dorje is now 5 years old, he had learnt some Tibetan and Sanskrit, and he had read a lot of the sutras and teachings of the Dalai Lama. He is very eager to learn everything, so I am sending him to a temple in a nearby village to learn some Mandarin. Pema tried to learn Mandarin, but it was too hard for her. Her favourite subject is Tibetan Literature, taught by a lama. She is also a good artist, she helped the temple drew a lot of Ashtamangala (Sacred eight auspicious signs).
Three years ago, Suntum Lama visited my village, and described to everyone about this mysterious hidden heaven on earth, which has the fountain of youth, eternal joys and the possibility of achieving nirvana. Norbu always had the fantasy to go to Shangri-La since she was young. She was so fascinated by Suntum Lama’s description, and she wanted to follow him. Although our son was only 2 years old, but I really loved her, so I let her go. The morning she left, it was drizzling, and the saffron just bloomed with an earthy smell. That left me devastated for days. After she had left, I went to the temple, and prayed to the Buddha that she will eventually come back.
My praying was answered, a Shaman named K (I am forbidded to disclose his name) came to me, and offered to teach me magic and ritual performance. In exchange, I give him some Saffron every month. I went through trainings like chanting, singing, praying etc. And I learnt a ritual to pray for the safe return of Norbu. It took me years to gather relic, practicing chanting and singing, learning how to use various instruments and learning how to draw the Mandala. The ritual prays to Bodhisattva Tara’s servant named Bahjoe. He has Bodhisattva Tara’s Utpala (Blue Lotus), and by performing the ritual, Bahjoe will spray some water from the Utpala onto Norbu, and that will bless her and guarantees her safe return.
Just last week, I started performing the ritual with K. K told me that Bahjoe is easily offended, and he will cast disaster onto us if we did not perform it right. We wore this black robe and scarf, with a green monster mask. The ritual began with a long singing and praying, and K drew the Mandala while I was doing it. Then we started dancing around it. I mispronounced a few words, but I managed to finish the ceremony. K realized that I made mistakes, and told me that we may get punished. But the ceremony and our identity must be kept secret, else more unfortunate events will happen.
I, again, kneeled down in front of the Amitabh Buddha, and asked him of advices. I joined the lama for a repentance ceremony, and decided to spread the rumour that there will be a hail storm. It can be anything other than hail storm. But I must make sure that everyone is prepared, if I actually provoked Bahjoe.