Hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray

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By: Devika Gurung

Thinking of what to write for the day and searching for some topics I walk past M.G. Marg and I choose to sit in one of the benches and start scribbling. I could hear people around me complaining about some foul odour, even I can smell too. I look around to see the source of the smell and all I could see was a pack of stray dogs run racing towards a shop. Amazed by their excitement I follow their lead and I could actually see what was happening. There in the midst of those stray dogs stood a man carrying a container full of cooked meat and rice. Wagging their tails the strays wait for their treat…….

Aged 74, Mr. Ong Tshering Bhutia runs one of the oldest liquor shops in the capital. He vaguely remembers when was the liquor shop established and says “it should be 1979, I am not very sure”. The liquor shop used to be the famous Inchung Tok Tok’s shoe shop of the capital some thirty years ago, who happens to be his father.

With his careful hands he slowly packs the bottles of rum for his customers. These hands have fed and healed uncountable number of homeless animals throughout his life. Soft spoken and an animal lover by nature Mr. Bhutia is a firm believer of good ‘karma’. “There’s so much in the world to do, every person is busy with their own lives, therefore it’s a great thing if we all could take some time of our lives and use it for a good purpose, and therefore in the end we will gain good deeds”.

Despite of the complaints from the people especially from the local shop keepers, he doesn’t stop feeding the stray animals. Some complain about the smell and few say he’s littering the pavement, but it doesn’t matter to him. All he knows is that the homeless animals should be fed. Not only the dogs he feeds the crows too. “The crows prefer raw meat therefore I feed them raw and for the dogs the meat is cooked”.

His father Lt. Mr. Inchung Tok Tok, a much known figure in the capital also used to feed the stray animals similarly like his son. Speaking about his father Mr. Bhutia says “he even used to feed the ants. Those days’ people used to talk a lot if you cooked beef and fed the dogs openly. It was a matter of shame. But I don’t think so, it’s a matter of great pride that in this materialistic world you get a handful of people who care for other living beings and my father was one of those people”.

He feeds the homeless animals almost every day and especially during festivals. Speaking about his past years Mr. Bhutia informs that before he used to go all the way to 6th Mile just to feed the stray animals. “There used to be a sick dog in Tadong Dara, I used to cook chicken and rice for him and feed him as the dog didn’t prefer eating beef”, says Mr. Bhutia wondering about the animal.

So amazing is a persons’ life. We don’t have to be a saint or a millionaire to earn good deeds. It’s all in the way we think and approach things. For kind hearted people like Mr. Bhutia the saying “the hands that heal are better and blessed than the lips which pray to God” is totally apt.

Courtesy: Sikkim Mail



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