Exclusive excerpt from Kenny Pandey’s Other Side of Paradise


March 1985

Pemba had enormous love and respect for the mountains. He treated them as living creatures and as holy entities. For him, the mountains provided spiritual solace, inspiring faith and lessons of devotion in life. He was a simple, God-fearing and emotional person. He carried responsibility and affectionate feelings toward his mother and two sisters. His only goal was to provide higher education to his sisters and a comfortable life to his mother. Since he was the only son in the family, all the upbringing, daily domestic expenses, and maintenance of the family property fell directly on his shoulders. He was not satisfied with his current profession, but it made him a happy person, as he kept himself close with the mountains most of the time and supported his family’s lifestyle. He had a vision to be a rich and happy person on earth. But at the moment, he did not like risk his life.

About six months earlier, an Australian woman fell in love with him during a trek. She asked him to move to Australia and marry her. She was blunt, aggressive, and determined. Pemba had hard times handling that delicate situation and refusing the proposal. Now he realized, maybe he made a mistake. In fact, Pemba had conflicting emotions that he might not understand a woman from another culture, and the relation might not last, due mainly to such cultural difference.

Pemba remembered Tsering, his close friend, who married a Japanese girl who had fallen in love with him during a trek, and later moved to Japan. After five years of their marriage, they got a baby girl. But they divorced immediately after. In life, Pemba did not want failure. He always thought, marriage should and must be for lifetime. Moreover, he did not like to live in foreign countries away from his family for a long time at the moment.

Pemba understood the struggle his parents undertook for his upbringing and education was untellable. He was grateful to his father’s sacrifices and his efforts in managing the current property. He also admired Sir Hillary, who contributed knowledge and gave some financial support in building the house in Phaplu. Further, his mother’s selfless love and care in making him a complete man were on the top of his eternal acknowledgements.

This excerpt is derived from Other Side of Paradise: Chapter One.