JAMYANG CHOPHEL | Thimphu
The latest entrant in the Bhutanese literary scene is 24-year-old, Thinley Jamtsho from Chaskhar, Mongar who has authored a book titled ‘The Chase’.
The second youngest child out of six children born to Ugyen Tshering and Sangay, Thinley studied in Chaskhar Central School till grade 10 and later, he moved to Yadi Central School to continue his studies where he took arts.
After having completed grade 12 from Yadi Central School in 2018, he went to Sherubtse College to pursue Bachelors in Political Science and Sociology and graduated in 2022.
Thinley always had big dreams even when he was very young. When he was in grade 6 he dreamt of becoming a lawyer. However, as he grew up, he realized that his love for literature was too strong to deny.
So, he rekindled his dream of becoming a journalist when he was in grade 7. However, things did not turn out well so he focused on becoming a writer in grade 9 when his father was imprisoned.
“That moment was a life changing experience in my life. I attempted suicide, failed in grade 9 and started abusing drugs.” Thinley said. After encountering a mountain of heartaches in his life, he visualized of writing his father’s story. That twist in his life motivated him to become a writer.
Through his journey of writing, he also met a loyal supporter from Malaysia, now his adopted mother, Yoke who greatly cared and was fond of his dream. Those two people played an important role in Thinley’s life and they made him realize his dream of becoming a writer.
About the Book
His debut novel ‘The Chase’is a realistic fiction book narrated in a way of romance and inclusion of politics. The writer tries to portray social classes that are prevalent in eastern Bhutan and how materialistic the country has become.
On the political side, he touches on corruption, nepotism and leadership vacuum. While narrating the story, he also uses various Buddhist lores, bird and animal’s behaviors, human natures and philosophies to strengthen the overall narrative in his story.
Varied references from other books, mostly Buddhist philosophy books, helped him to make value-laden themes which he believes will help readers to understand about life, human nature and the country, Bhutan.
Thinley said, “This novel was written when I was back in the college. So, I had a hard time allocating certain amount of time in writing the book and studying.”
He added that he referred various books for story development and references to certain situations in life, during that phase he had a tough time getting the required books.
Thinley also went through different dilemmas, where he was confused whether to continue his writing or to leave it. “There is always a question in my head; can my writing give some lessons and values to other people’s lives?”
Thought, initially Thinley thought to write a story about his father’s as his debut novel. However, he came up with ‘The Chase’ upon persistence of his adopted mother, Yoke. He now plans to pen down the story of his father which he had planned and waited for nine years.
Thinley said he wanted to give values and change people’s lives in a positive way through the book. He added that he now looks forward to writing various books that would help and change people’s lives. “You all are the reason; I write and keep writing for you all.”
The author believes that although the country has a good number of writers, but the literature is not so rich.
He recently attended a writing workshop led by Eric, an American best seller author where Eric said that Bhutan must start writing. After that Thinley gained interest in perusing a masters’ degree in creative writing, editing, and publishing to further hone his writing skills.
He adds that the money he collects from his book sales will be invested in pursuing his writing dream. He also hopes that he can do something for His Majesty and the Country. “All of you are the reason I write” he said.
This book is for wide range of readers and the author has tried to inculcate various themes and values in each chapter of the book which were referred from the great Buddhist books.
Thinley adds that if youths read this book, then they will understand our life to the great extent and learn to lead a meaningful life.
The author also depicts the reality of Bhutanese society, including the darker shades. For instance, he focuses on issues like social classes, materialism, nepotism, and corruption. However, he emphasizes to make citizens aware of the society we are living in.
With such realization, he hopes to change among the citizens and the nation as a whole. Further, the author tries to philosophize what and ideal love, family and leadership should be like. He sets certain standard of relations so that we become good lovers, friends, parents, relatives and leaders.
“All in all, if the people read this book, they would be aware, insightful and they will learn more about life, love and societal issues of Bhutan.”