Seday the protagonist in Lomba doesn’t sound so enthusiastic about going to Haa having to leave behind her close friends in Thimphu. Nevertheless, she had to tag along with her parents as her father lands up with a good job that paid better and so does her mother who easily lands up with a job by virtue of being a teacher.
Seday wasn’t actually looking forward to her schooling in Haa. She misses her best friends in Thimphu but to her dismay, finds out that they had taken her for granted. However, the strong characteristic in her makes her move on and as time passes by she gradually settles down with her new friends especially Tenzi and Pem in her new school. She finds out that Haa is actually not so bad and she starts to feel at home. Everything was going perfectly well for her.
And then Lomba starts. And that is where the mystery lies. What happens on the night of Lomba if you don’t eat your dinner which is usually Honteys-the cuisine from Haa made on the night of Lomba? What is the mystery about? Is it just a belief? Or does this really happen?
She is being provoked by her friends that if she doesn’t eat dinner on the night of Lomba she will be in for a surprise- a very bad surprise. They tell her mysterious stories about Lomba that doesn’t go very well with her. She doesn’t buy their stories at all and earns the title of being a very stubborn girl.
Seday decides to challenge her two friends to forego her dinner on the Lomba night to prove her friends wrong about the mystery stuff. She feels the whole ritual is a waste of time and stupid. However, on the night of Lomba she finds herself being carried away to a strange land amongst friends and people she had never had any real conversation with surrounded by alien like creatures. That is where the real story of Lomba starts.
Seday’s experiences in the bizarre world of strange people is put very explicitly, unequivocally and imaginatively in modern contemporary English that is very much relatable to the younger generation of her age.
Through this book of fiction, the author brings out the core values of friendship, relationship, family, trust, good vs evil and most importantly the message that we should never take anything for granted.
The cover art is done very well that matched the imagination of the author and the blurb page leaves a great sense of suspense that kind of arises curiosity in the readers. The author could have worked a little extra on the layout and design and the quality of printing. If not for this little shortcomings, the book has come out very well in terms of the quality of language and story.
Done in 203 pages the young author of 19 years of age has brought out a book of imagination targeted at the young Bhutanese audience. The cost of the book is Nu.295 and most importantly 30% of the proceeds from the book will go to Tarayana Foundation. It may be worth noting that she published her first book, “Coming Home” in 2008 making her the youngest author in Bhutan and the proceeds from the earlier book were also donated to Tarayana Foundation.
‘Lomba’ was launched by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck on 28th June, 2016 at Tarayana Foundation.