Ashok Ferrey

When I think of Bhutan, I think of Mountain Echoes which gave me my first big break as a writer. Owing to a rather nasty accident involving my right eye, I attended the festival with a bandage around my head. Sri Lanka had just ended a protracted civil war and when I got up to read, I had first to assure the audience that no, I was not a war victim, and no, not all Sri Lankans looked like this either.

I read a short story called Last Man Standing about the Sri Lankan tsunami. I like to think that at the end of it there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, not even the one behind the bandage. When I had finished, a woman walked up and offered to be my agent. I found out later that this was the formidable Mita Kapur, probably the best agent in India. Four months later she had found publishers for all my books, and I was well and truly on my way.

Thank you, Bhutan, for giving me this opportunity. You are the only other country, apart from my own beloved Sri Lanka, that manages to combine medievalism and magic and happiness so effortlessly. A very happy sixtieth birth anniversary to your monarch, and long may the magic continue!


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