Phool ko Akhama
An auto biography by Ani Chhoying Dolma, Phool Ko Akhama mentions her journey of life, her experiences, the obstacles faced and overcome, her journey towards becoming a nun, etc. A detailed account of her life, Phool ko Akhama is a good book with mixed experiences. The book could also be called a book of hope and determination as the author’s life itself has been full of it. The book presents how determination and hope can change the life of a person from normal to extraordinary.
It is often said that every great person has a sad childhood and her life was no different. She had a step-father who had married her mother as a second wife. A drunkard, her father used to beat her and her mother and it had come to a point that she had started hating the male species. She walked towards the path of becoming a nun to stay away from the life her mother was suffering through. She had stayed at the Nagi Gompa where she learnt the values of forgiveness, love and humanity from her guru Tulku Urgen which gradually made her forgive her father. She, however, had different ideas of being a nun rather than simply chanting the same book for decades, serving the guru, cleaning and serving the monastery all her life.
Although she was a nun who had left the worldly pleasures and materialistic infatuations, she had some amount of passion left which she came to realize lay in driving, owning a bike and also, singing. She became the first nun to drive an automobile, breaking the conventional ideas of becoming a nun and coming out of the bounds. Although other nuns were against her ideas, she stood firm and determined and gradually succeeded in her quest. She also met a German Buddhist for whom she sang few Buddhist chants which was admired by western audience resulting in her receiving an invitation for musical tour where she also got chance to preach Buddhism in the US along with few other nuns.
She also adopted a ten month old child which caused serious rumors about the child being her own, However, with her firm determination and passionate attitude, she has overcome many obstacles in her life and her life itself could be an inspiration for many. Hence, the story of the life of Ani Chhoying Dolma, Phool ko Akhama is one of the must-read Nepali autobiographies.