Chaamsire Number Five

No wonder Bhutan is called the land of Thunder Dragon or for now let us just call is land of thunder.. When my office called me to investigate the sudden disappearances near Paro on the way to Taktshang Lhakhang every 15 days all I said was “Challenge Accepted” but little did I know the trip would actually turn out to be the weirdest adventure of my life.

15th March 2020

The ides of March is when I started my journey to the cliff monastery of Bhutan from the Paro valley. About driving for one hour I started to notice a deep blue tone merging with the clear blue sky. In no time it was dark like the evening had decided to come early and it started thundering and lightning. Soon it was pouring like cats and dogs and I could hardly see the path ahead of me. I switched on the navigation on my trusted safari storme and kept moving on. But soon there were some kind of inferences and the navigation was cut off. I took my cell phone out but there was no range. I parked my car and waited for some other car to come which could help me. Hours passed, rain stopped but no one came. I decided to go ahead without a navigation support but what I saw next was……
I was in an area I was totally unfamiliar with, but was pretty sure it was not Himalayas or Bhutan. Where had I come? There were no birds chirping in the area. The pines were all gone! There was a deep valley right ahead of me. And the weirdest part was – It was all dry here like it had not rained at all! I knew this was the land of the disappearances, but I was alone here as of now, and I had to find the others who disappeared, but how? I kept going ahead observing the area. No birds, small moderate plants and trees, but all plants had a peculiar reddish and golden tinge to them. After every five kilometers I could see one tall Sal tree. Only after crossing 4 such trees I realized something was written on the leaves of these trees. I stepped out, plucked a huge leaf to read. It was in Dzongkha, but lucky me as I had learnt Dzongkha in the past 2 months for this mission, I understood every word of it.
Miss me I cry
And all you do is lie
I was strong like the mountain wall
And you caged me in this land alone

 We were more in world that was unknown to you
But now am I all that remains; my future blue
I am small and crave someone in my dry creek
Cause a friend is all that I seek

Follow me to the river bend
For that is where you will comprehend
The power buried by the dragon master
The power my feeble self is bound to master.

My mind was too flogged to make meaning of any of this, and it was getting dark so I decided to camp there for the night. I must have dozed off sometime while writing my journal cause when I was woken up by a thundering growl of some kind. I almost threw the Journal. There were five such growls and then it all stopped. The sun was up, spreading light onto this mysterious land, and I restarted my journey.

16th March 2020

I must have driven almost a 70 km now, but still no sign of life. The wind outside was cold and it was getting foggy. I decided to stop again and started reading the Dzongkha poem. I read it almost 5 times and it all made sense, Dry creek – Destination, River Bend – Path but dragon master and small feeble self – who could that be. The more I thought about it the more it confused me. I closed my eyes to get some answers and still could find none. When I opened my eyes and looked ahead my heart skipped a couple of beats. I saw something in the fog, something scary and weird! But what was it? I started the car, it roared back to life and I started following the devilish shadow. The fog started to fade out but there was no sign of that being anywhere.
I reached a lake, fog floating over it. When the fog thinned out a bit, I could see a house at some distance. I waited to see it what I saw was real as the fog descended over the lake again. But when the fog cleared this time the house was gone! And moreover it was getting dark now when it had only been five hours post the day break. What is wrong in this strange place? The place had started to creep me out. I decided to spend the night near this lake and continue my journey as soon as there was light. Having woken up just five hours ago, I didn’t get a wink of sleep throughout the night – which lasted exactly 5 hours. Next morning break was also after 5 scary thunder growls.

17th March 2020

I freshened up, had some of the food I had brought with me anticipating something like this might happen, and resumes my venture. Another 20 kilometers or so and the roads got really rough. Stony, uneven, meandering roads and it was all a downhill. The roads lead to a stream with sparkling clear water. I started driving along the stream which changed into a greenish hue and went deep into the forest. I had no option but to follow it as it would soon get dark. The clock of this land was obsessed with the number 5 according to my observation.
The river the dried out after about 20 more kilometers and it was turning weirdly hot. That is when I realized what the lines of the verse meant –

I am small and crave someone in my dry creek
'Cause a friend is all that I seek 
Follow me to the river bend
For that is where you will comprehend

This has to be it; whatever it is it has to be here. I set my camp there as moving in the dark could be reckless and my five our day was almost over. I was awake the whole night today as well, not because I was not tired but because I could sense I was close to whatever this land is hiding from the rest of the world. The growling started again, louder than ever, my heart beating fast as if trying to jump out of my chest and in the darkness I saw the devil face yet again. I was eagerly waiting for the sun to announce the commencement of the new day and started my journey as soon as the paths were visible.

18th March 2020

I kept going ahead on the graveled path where once the river flowed. After about two hours I could see the same house I had seen near the lake, at some distance. I drove fast towards the house while keeping a constant gaze on the house. After reaching the house I was drowned in numerous incenses, all reminding me of temples. I knocked but no one replied. The door was open and I went in. the rooms were all red and black giving it a very ethnic yet gothic look. I could not find anyone in the room and turned to go away. But the devil face was standing right behind me, and I almost screeched my lungs out, while it laughed its devilish laughter. After bouts of screams and shouts when I calmed a bit she told me she was a “Chaamsire” the ancient dragon of Bhutan.
She told me that as dragons were becoming haughty an powerful in the past the dragon masters created this dimension and locked them here giving them the task of maintaining a balance in nature and protecting the purity of Bhutan. But Chaamsires transform into dragons only after 100 years and need a human to blow the dragon spell on them, else this dimension would disintegrate and they would cease to exist. Since the old dragon died and she was the only Chaamshire left and was yet to be the dragon, the world had started to merge itself with the real world. She created this spell to let people come in and help her transform into a dragon to save the world but the spell had created new problems. It started organizing the world according to the humans that came in and since I was the fifth person to enter the world organized itself to the numeric value of five. The poem was her spell and I was the only one to have reached her out of the five who came in.
I was listening to this intently while she explained her growl as the tool to balance day and night. How the dragons have survived so long, how they walk on earth once every year to continue their line and bless the land of Bhutan. It was all very interesting while looking at the Chaamshire scared me out as well. Heat radiated from her body and she had a golden aura around her. She asked me to rest for the day and we would perform the ritual the next day. I was eager to leave this freaking lonely hell whole and agreed to the Chaamshire. She gave me the book of spells and worded the required spell for me in Hindi as the book was in ancient Dzongkha. But little did she know I knew how to read Dzongkha. She didn’t even realize that after I traced her using her poem, I wonder if Dragons were suppose to be this dumb! Anyways the spell spoke of sacrifice of 5 people for the completion of the ritual. So she definitely indented to kill me. I kept scanning the book for an alternative the whole night.

19th March 2020

I read the spell for the ritual and the Chaamshire slowly started to grow in size. I kept repeating the spell till it completely transformed and waited. It was waiting for me to complete the spell, to recite the part of the sacrifice so that it could kill me. I nervously started reciting, praying to God for my safety, not even anticipating the future. I carefully recited each and every word and waited there with my eyes closed for Fates to play their game.

“Taktshang Lhakhang 5 km ahead”, my safari navigation roared to life. I stared at the screen and the date displayed was 20th March 2020. I breathed a sigh of relief and saw the spell book lying on the seat. I had successfully recited the teleport spell and the dragon had not sensed the difference in the words. Dragons are dumb! No wonder the dragon masters won over them! I drove towards Taktshang Lhakhang, called up my heads but didn’t tell them the story as I knew the situation was averted for the next 100 years. I returned the book to the monks there saying it was my family legacy. They bought my story and gave me five gold coins, symbols of the dragon and all I could do was laugh to myself. How I hated dragons and the number five now! 

PS - This post is written for the "I AM EXPLORER" competition organised by Indiblogger and



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