A woman’s struggle in a man’s world

Guest Review By: Tashi Lhamo, Focal Officer, Blueprint Implementation Unit, SLCD, MoE

La Ama is a story of a woman’s anguished life. Chador has brought out the hardships of Women fending for their survival in a Men’s world. The story reels open through the narrative of Dechen Zangmo, the protagonist of the story, who is like any other ordinary Bhutanese middle class child until her mother leaves her and her younger brother for another man. This creates a big void in her life, however, as a teenager sent to study in a boarding school, she gets to mix around with friends from all parts of the country. She forgets about her tumultuous family life until a fateful day when she is summoned back home. There she finds her younger brother dead, this is the second blow in her life. Gossips are around that her stepmother’s cruel treatment led to her brother’s death.
Adultery, divorce, marriage and homosexuality are some of the stigma the Author has picked on to prick the conscience of the readers. Each chapter takes the characters to the various milestones of their lives and how things happened to embrace the turns of life, taking the readers on a ride of emotions. The journey, although very melancholic in tone ends with positivity as Dechen is shown the strength to unhook herself from the delusions of a wrong choice she has made in her life.
Chador Wangmo’s language skill to describe all the incidences very vividly is something to acknowledge yet one must not forget the confusing strains of the plot of this story. Although La Ama is a fictitious story it does relate to many Bhutanese women’s lives. How many Bhutanese women must be enduring the hardship Dechen Zangmo has endured? Reading the book puts the reader into an emotional turmoil. One is made to ask this question: What is the root cause of Dechen Zangmo getting into all these hurdles in life? The answer is Parenting. Of course we Buddhist believe that it’s all about the karmic effect but one has to be logical as well. Since Dechen Zangmo did not have a good family life, this has repercussions in her later life. This is a must read book for all especially the parents: Don’t let your children become another Dechen Zangmo. Yet, to all the women who are suffering and wriggling under the yoke of domestic violence, this book gives the message: You can unhook your life from all the clutches and be free again.

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October 30th, 2015 by