A poet with a scalpel in hand

“A hippie in a suit” is how young and charming Dechen Yoesel Choden, a medical student and poet describes herself.

The 23-year old recently launched an anthology of poems ‘Calm in Chaos’, her maiden book of poetry.

A youth icon in the making, she is an art enthusiast and hardcore poet at heart.

She dreamt of publishing ‘Calm in Chaos’ almost two years back but could not because of the circumstances she was in. But now that the dream has come true, she feels that it does not make any difference whether the book came out earlier or now.

“All I know is publishing my poems makes me feel very vulnerable and I think it is beautiful to be vulnerable,” said Dechen Yoesel.

She said that she has the ability to tell the world the words your mind tells you.

“Vulnerability is one of the few qualities you find in the world now. Everyone is very reserved and guarded. One of my closest friends always says that people nowadays can shed their clothes on the first date but aren’t willing to bare their souls in an entire lifetime. The fact that I published and feel vulnerable makes me more humane.”

In a way it was Dechen’s way of retaliating to the trauma, pain and misery that led her to an early death’s way. “It is my revelation, salvation and my proof of individuality and independence. It is all my pain in form of words, my outlet.”

For her everything is an inspiration. She thanks her ability to observe and form her own extravagant deduction from the sights she sees. “Mundanity and routine are my two main inspirations,” she said.

She also shared that more often than not, when writing poetry, the emotions she feels and circumstances she goes through are her muses. It is from these two that she weaves out a story or carves out a poem in a way that only those who have been through the same things get the subtle hint of the message she is trying to send.

She began writing poetry at the age of 12 when she wrote a poem on prayer flags in school. It was for an English class. She also occasionally writes prose too and hopes to publish a novel one day.

She believes that poetry is not just a hobby but a part of who she is, what she is and who she will be. “No matter what happens or where I end up, poetry will always be a part of my life. And who knows, one day, like I say, I might end up being a ‘poet with a scalpel in hand,” she said.

She considers herself an aspiring free spirit, unchained to the wanting of the world but still working her way to get through the daily mundanity of life. Her greatest achievement would be the ability to end a day on a happy note whenever she can and the failures are the days when she cannot fight her own demons and she ends up in bed the whole day, the days when the end isn’t happy.

“I do not think I am a youth icon but even if I was, I would continue being the way I am and living my life the way I do because that is how I stay happy or at least try. And I think being happy despite all the rough turns in life is what everyone; young and old should aspire to do. I do not have anything inspiring or heart throbbing to say, all I can say is; you should remember you cannot save someone and no one can save you. You are your own army and therefore, should do what makes you happy,” she said.

Dechen is from Mongar and has three sisters. Her family lives in Thimphu.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu