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The western Thief – Ngalong Gorben (Khegpa)

Did you ever hear of the word Ngalong Gorben? It is a term used in my community. It literally means the western thief, commonly called Khegpas As a little kid, when we used to refuse and obey our parents or elders, they used to say “Ngalong Gorben gi budu Na”; ‘the western thief will take you’ And we used to instantly obey and get with them, because we imagined Khegpas to be no difference than Ghosts. Such was in fact one good trick to allure and lend in the ears of an innocent kid to their wish and I am sure such traits do exist even to this day.  And surprisingly I am yet again amused to hear about this, I feel nostalgic!
Yesterday I called my parents, just a normal call to ask if they were doing fine. They were doing fine, only problem that they and the people over there are alarmed by the presence of Ngalong Gorben, the Khegpas. Frightening the people over there. Everyone seems to be cautious and alert. They said that after the dusk and before dawn, they are unable to roam or walk alone. I even laughed when my parents said that some of the village people have even readied their bow and arrows. Seriously?
Well, about the Khegpas, people say they are also normal human being like anyone of us, who hides by the day and becomes active towards evening or after the dusk, It is said that whenever there is new constructions like bridge or dams, if a human life is sacrificed (put underneath alive) then the life extend is prolonged. The rumor about their presence are only heard in the remote communities and it is said that kids are their favorite targets of kidnaps. Do we hear about them in urban areas? People say they are the secret agents of the government or organizations and that they are highly paid for doing such job.  Do you believe?  Fine, take that as truth about the extension of life but instead use that cheap quality construction materials, will it still resist the test of time? Will it hold the truth behind this nonsense? This I think is unnecessarily hurting and disturbing the innocent and peaceful people. God only knows who such people are, perhaps they are doing other grave things in such names.

I will share a story which happened with me which is related. It was in the year 2010. I finished the second semester of my course and was heading home for the summer vacation. I had to walk two long days, but I decided to cover it in a day as I had no heavy load, it was just a bag of about fifteen Kg. It was raining lightly when I was about to enter my village. There is a small village which I have to cross before I get to my village. I was alone and there was one cattle herder on my way. I forgot to take umbrella and awkwardly I was using my towel to cover my bag backside. He was suddenly alarmed and questioned me. I thought he was crazy, as if I wasn’t from that community, although I I did not know him as a person. He was telling me where I was going, the name of my parents and why I am going? I answered all his questions. He seem to know my father; then only he let me pass!

That day I reached home rather amused thinking that the herder was really mad. I reached home and shared what has happened with me on the way and my parents weren’t surprised! Then only I realized as to why the herder asked me so many questions. Perhaps he was suspicious and wanted to make certain that I belonged to that community. From what I heard the next day you would surprise to know that during those days the parents took turn to escort the day scholar students of the school we studied as a kid. A hell lot of problem and disharmony was caused, everybody was scared. I don’t know when it was stopped, because I had to return back to college. Now again the same story? Please not again.

Personally I thought that Khegpas are only the rumors; that it is just a hearsay passed down to generations, that it is just the defunct tricks to frighten or avoid naughty kids from doing bad things, but it seems it does exist? Even at times when the world is advanced with wonders of science and technology? The better question is why? If it is so, then the various monuments that are wonders of the world should have numerous live humans sacrificed? I think civil engineers should know better. It is the choice between one’s real efforts and/or rely on such orthodox superstitions. Otherwise why create unnecessary disharmony and disturbances? 

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