After a decade, I met my uncle, Karma. Before that, I had just heard about him through his son Yonten. Uncle Karma is in his late 50s. He is slim, tall, and handsome even in his 50s. Nobody would believe that he has a grandson. Before meeting uncle Karma, I could not draw his clear picture in my mind. His son, Yonten used to say that his father was really rustic, rough, and gutsy. Everyone from the village feared uncle Karma. He was a retired military. Every time he was drunk, he used to get involved in a brawl and beat up anyone. If his opponent was younger and stronger than he was, he used to resort to his trusted friend- his sharp and long dagger. His son Yonten and I were good friends in high school. Yonten was a year senior to me.
One evening, after the evening study session, Yonten and I sat on a turf of green fresh grass, with cool breeze from Kurichu river blowing spontaneously towards us. I managed to ask him about his dad. His dad had many stories, more or less, mischievous tales, which satisfied teenage ears. There was very limited time for the whole biography of uncle Karma, but Yonten managed to narrate an incident that happened with his father. His father, when he was drunk, directly told this small incident to Yonten when he was a kid.
Twenty years ago, uncle Karma used to work in PWD road division in Dewathang. Dewathang in those days was dusty rundown town, those like wooden towns of Texas as in good old Hollywood movies. He used to work as a bulldozer operator. He was very young, strong, and full of energy to do anything. His teenage spirit of mischief and rascality was at zenith. His income was quite better than those labors that were working day and night, only to live hand to mouth. Uncle used to earn enough but all his wages was just enough to treat himself with classic Indian liquors and Bedi. He was a bachelor and he never remitted a penny to his home. Like all the dreamers, he wanted to be the king of his realm. He wanted to be the hero of that outskirt town. He wanted to gain attention, and to be loved by all the women. He wanted to get rich fast, marry a beautiful women, and live a life as he desired. However, his income was just enough for his lavish lifestyle- drinking and treating any women he encountered.
One day, he met an Indian friend in the bar. He was also a bulldozer operator at another site. Uncle was amazed and tempted when he saw his friend loaded with money. His friend gave uncle Karma an idea to earn money fast and easily.
Next day, after the work, Karma came back to the construction site, took out pipe from his bag, and emptied the oil tank of a Bulldozer. He sold the oil and earned enough money that was double his wages. He was addicted to this easy technique of making money. He continued to make money by selling oil extensively. In those days, there were no particular supervisor and manager to monitor every labor.
One day, the overall manager doubted uncle Karma. He called Karma to his office. Uncle Karma rushed and reached immediately.
The boss said. “Karma, what is the matter, your machine seems thirsty these days, and he is really consuming lots of fuels”
Karma was prepared for this, and replied instantly, “Sir, since my dozer is very old, it is consuming plenty of oils as if there is a hole in the tank.”
The boss smiled sarcastically and exclaimed, “You always have some excuses, now go to your work.”
Karma excused himself, and went back to his workplace. From that day onwards, the boss assigned one Indian labor to keep an eye on uncle Karma. The fat Indian guy never left my uncle alone. He kept watching uncle Karma from morning until he went to bed. He was like a jailor to him, who snatched my uncle’s freedom, especially his freedom of stealing whenever he wished. Karma’s dream of getting rich was shattered; he could no longer play parala, smoke bedi and treat women. Karma was fuming with rage when he saw that fat Indian person’s eye fixed to his every move.
“I will fix his balls, one day.” Uncle Karma Thought.
It was a rainy day, with gusty wind blowing giant tress. Nobody was around. Everyone had gone to seek shelter from the heavy rain. Uncle Karma, stubborn and brave, still kept bulldozing stones, as it was his extra time. Karma was now ferocious when he saw that Indian guy drenched in rain, still watching him like a police watching a murder convicted criminal.
Uncle Karma waved his hand and blew a whistle to fight the sound made by the rain. The fat guy looked and waved back acting innocent. Uncle showed a bottle of rum and summoned him with a hand signal. The fat guy drenched in cold winter rain rushed quickly. As the fat guy was running towards uncle, he dug a deep hole by a bulldozer. The fat guy arrived near uncle Karma.
“Sir, I am really feeling cold, can I have a gulp of rum.” He asked.
“Who told you to torture yourself in the rain, and what are you doing here, why are you always watching me?” Uncle shouted, drunk and burning with anger.
“Ahh..I am assigned by the boss to watch you.” He answered in low voice.
“To watch me…? To hell with you and your boss, watch my balls!” Uncle snarled.
“ Maaf karna. Forgive me. Believe me that I didn’t report that you were stealing oils.” The main cried.
Uncle Karma pressed the accelerator of a bulldozer, the engine roared loudly. He punched the fat guy on his face, stream of blood rushed down his nose. He fell down on the ground; hit his head on the stone. Partially conscious, he begged Karma for his help. Karma pulled back the Bulldozer and closing his eyes ran all over that body of fat Indian guy. The fat Indian guy became flat with bloods oozing like a stream. After few minutes, after the thunder and lightning stopped, Karma gained consciousness and woke up from his anger. He pushed the body inside the hole and covered it with tons of boulders and mud. He cleared the whole site and changed the topography that place. No detective could ever find any clue. Uncle smoked his last bedi, sipped the whole bottle of rum and went home.
Few weeks after the missing case, uncle Karma resigned from his work and joined RBP. No one could solve the missing case. From the whole police department of Bhutan, Uncle Karma was the only police personnel who had potential and intelligence to solve that mysterious missing case of 1979, but he dared not to look into that matter!