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Monday, November 20, 2017

Life is just beautiful: The contemplation

Life is just beautiful

Well, one have to try to understand the hardship and afford one had put to calm the tempest inside, to sober the turmoil outside and to ebb the misunderstandings of life; to really understand the meaning of life's beautiful.

Until then, to you; it will appear nothing more than a boring jibbering jabbering four words of a baby.

I try not to hold myself from saying, "Life is just beautiful!"


I guess, you should try it too, It's wonderful.



Taken against the setting sun somewhere in Tashigang,  my home-state in the far eastern Bhutan.
Taken on 8th November, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Again

It is never too late to begin again,
The road is still long and yet to end.
Look the sun is up and no rain,
The road is not the same rend.

Beaten you were by the wrath of stars,
Definitely intended it was not to scar you.
But to familiarize you with the scars,
Not all not seen aren’t without scars; quite an awe.

“Stallion, get out of the cage,
Beat the dust off your heart.
Scar is just a skin with a concealed message.
Oh, my dear, don’t take it too hard,” beckons your heart.

Determined and POSITIVELY motivated,
On a new road with the birds you sing.
Win or lose least bothers you, aggravated,
All you seek: solace, serenity, tranquility and zing.


Sun rise in Shataksha Pry School.
- Taken at 6.20am, on 10th April 2016 at 2000m above the sea level approximately.
140 kms away from the capital, 4 hours drive and 2 hours hike up the terrain.


Monday, October 23, 2017

The Story

The story is never written in the stars nor on the forehead. You write your own story every moment, every second. Every breath you take in, every step you partake and every thought you ponder on, will either build or destroy your story. To be mindful of those little things, if you can; will help you in writing your story to end the way you dream of or at least close to it. 

Accordingly, you perceive your story. 

Later in time if you may like it, you can even believe or say, "The story is my life, or my life is the story!"

Either way; that is your TTL in the planet Earth, in the gist!!


******************************************************************************

N.B
----
Time-to-live (TTL) is a value in an Internet Protocol (IP) packet that tells a network router whether or not the packet has been in the network too long and should be discarded


Galaxy floating in the space.
Courtesy Google.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thing call Positivism



Never mind the darkness; it still doesn't last beyond its phase. Ain't be right, yet adhere to your guts than rightness. Sometimes; its about walking out of that old door and embracing tomorrows with a clear conscience. For; locking oneself inside the dingy room shut with just an old rattling door, because you are worried of what's right and wrong, and what if tomorrow is dark and cold? Doesnt always do good to soul than strangling colourful tomorrows.    

Oh, my oh, nobody has seen tomorrow and so no one knows of her. She may be good/bad/right/wrong. One does need guts to face her as she comes, as she will be, as you are.

Either way the dingy corner is no better.

Keep smiling and be positive, I have heard this inside-outlook of tomorrow partly impacts the way she unfolds on you or your approach to her.... Accordingly you perceive her and she succors. 

In a nutshell that's the power of positivism.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Photo Contest - CSO Fair 2017



Folks participate in CSO fair photo contest on theme "What it means to be a responsible citizen"and win cash prizes worth Nu. 100,000. For details plz visit https://www.facebook.com/csofair/ 




 Put a catchy caption and post it on Facebook or Instagram. 

Use our mandatory hashtag #OurGyenkhu

It's open to all and entries closes by 30th September 2017.

PLZ READ THE TERMS OF REFERENCE TO PARTICIPATE !!!!!







Wednesday, August 9, 2017

8 - Day 3 Dung and Nga Tsho to Thimphu 22nd February, 2017

Janatenkha Monastery taken from some 2 hours hike above it.


7 hours hiked till Haa, then drove to the capital

A beautiful sunny day welcomed us all out of our tents effortlessly, although we slept very late. Looked at one another’s face, everyone was smiling and we know the reason. Did not spell it out for awhile but couldnot hold it any further, “Doc…torr.. Doctor… Ashim Dechen is sick la.” Everyone laughed out loud, imitating Kinzang. She was fine then. She had learnt a lesson but the hard way.

After a quick breakfast, ashim Chimi sat on a rock updating the route map on her diary, I was trying to help her too while ashim told me time and again, “Toilet tent is very important, we didn’t have it for a night and see everyone is hitting the bushes.” I raised my eye brows and yes, I saw our folks going behind the bushes. I was guilty too.

After breakfast readying to head home.


We set about the final leg at 8 AM. Sun was getting hotter, legs going stiffer and trail was no easy: steep. Slowly, but steadily we climbed. Finished the steep section in about an hour from there it was all an easy walk across the flank, looking back on the other side we could see Tsabjo La and far towards west mount Jomolhari was playing with thick white clouds on her head. Carried on walking for 2 hours till we reached the place where Ap Chundu a powerful local deity of Haa valley came over to compromise between the angry pursuing Tshonapatta and Pangbisa lama. There were three huge laptas, we tired looking for a huge stone from which the lake returned but could not see. We walked yet again for another hour to our lunch spot.


Acho S.T, acho Karma T. accompanied by our guide posing by the huge laptsas in Tshelumtsho 

Our last lunch in Nob Tshonapatta Trek on the horizon

Exactly at 12 noon we got to a beautiful mini plateau. Decided to lunch there sitting in a huge but not so accurate circle. Everyone was bit tired and hungry too, started digging into our bangchungs without any delay. We could see Haa valley far below. Acho Karma T. Dorji, began with his signature statement, "Since I am the eldest in the group..." and echoed words of appreciation and thanked everyone especially our two team leaders for organizing a fabulous trek; and then all the new trekkers who joined us on this wonderful and a memorable Nub Tshonaptta trek.  All of us cheered.

Haa Valley far below, taken from 2 hours hike above Jana Ten kha Goenpa


After lunch at 12.40 PM we said good bye to the mountains and thanked them deeply for allowing us to have a safe and an unforgettable trek. Janatenkha monastery wasn’t far enough. Picked up all the plastics bags and PET bottles we came across lying astray on the trail. Trekkers of the past hadn’t done much good to the mountains.

The sharp descend didn’t hurt our knees as expected because we were so engrossed in sweet nothings, so carried away to that point where by we didn’t even realize two of our new girls Dechen and Dawa  were left way behind. Thank goodness they called us or we might have had to climb back the entire stretch of thigh aching ascend.  Well, that was fine I will tell you what the duo had thought all about when Kinzang and I met them some 30 minutes way back upwards the lone bear vicinity. Like some pre primary scholars happy to see their parents who have come to pick them after school, so were Dechen and Dawa smiling at us with a long sigh of relieve.  “We, checked our bag there was a few biscuits, some sticks of match, half a bottle of water and….,” Dechen was running out of words, “… and… I thought we are going to make it through the night and tomorrow they will come looking for us by any means!” That was the first time she spoke to me at that length throughout the trek and, “It was almost a S.O.S.” I thought to myself jokingly. This short exercise not only made them aware to keep up with other trekking mates and call out immediately if s/he sees no one in front or to inform before going to the loo off the trail. But it also reassured them that one is going to be left behind. That’s Trekkers 360’.

Younger brother Kinzang Namgyel taking his new sister found in the mountains by her hand. 


At 3.30 PM there we were in Janatenkha monastery, reunited! So kind of the lama there, refreshment was most appropriate. Hung around the temple for an hour enjoying the panoramic view of Haa valley down below, whilst trying to engrave fresh memories of wonderful Nob Tshonapatta trek deep in our hearts, looking high up in the mountains. It gave us a deep sense of satisfaction for having done it successfully - thanks our two team leaders and to all the mates - and enormous appreciation of how pristine everything was up there.  I wish if every trekkers respect the Mother Nature and her wonderful vicinity then it’s likely she will grant us some perennial rivers and bountiful harvest for decades.


Happy BOOTS!


4.30 PM on the clock and we bid good bye to porter ponies and the lama there. Left Janatenkha on the hill, passed through Haa valley and zoomed off to Thimphu. Gem Tshering was the pilot, and he lived up to his reputation of driving swift no matter the road condition: narrow or wide, he simply zoomed. I pretended to be brave. Mr. DrukAir got numerous calls which made him a little irritated, “Agrrr, firstly they compromise on price and secondly they want work to be done instantly!”  Dolma sang some lovely songs while snacking on packets of chips, did I eat too?

A shop in Bali, Haa

After 3 ½ hours of driving we were finally at DE, Thimphu, underneath the walnut tree.  Everybody was, “Yaayyy, we made it!!” Menda  was there sharing our success too. As always dinner was served on the house, so sweet of ashim Chimi. Had a yummy dinner at DE but our trek didn’t end there, hot stone bath and tongba got onto our list ad hoc. Eight of us were in for it, we drove to Babesa. “Oh, my,” soaking in the wooden bath tub after a week-long trekking is the best feeling you can ever feel, tongba in between simply complemented. Two hours of therapy had us smiling like a full moon with red cheeks. We had to take some photos in the dark to freeze the memory, glad we did that. All the while time kept running and so we were calling it, “a very successful and a memorable Nob Tshonapatta trek” we departed smiling with cheeks still red!

Us, red red cheeks with Tongba. :D :D 

 Nob Tshonapatta trek was one of the most difficult treks, and yet the best trek so far!!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

7- Day 3 NobTshonapatta to Dung and Nga Tsho, Third night halt 21st February, 2017

Cutting right through the breast of Tshejay La 4600 meters, acho Penjor found new trail for sweepers
in the interest of time. It was wonderful though. 

5 hrs 20 minutes hiked 

The more we explored that much mesmerized we were, weather for a moment was just too perfect that she granted us not only the view but also allowed to amble on her. May be she knew we came from afar just to see and pay respect to her or maybe it was the outcome of our positive energy and yes we came with so much of positive energies since day one. We thanked her for being so generous with us.

Yet, nothing lasts forever, when it is time even the mighty lion goes back home and so we were readying to head back now. Although, as per our itinerary we were supposed to halt two nights at Tshonapatta campsite, do some cleaning campaigns and return the next day then head straight to Thimphu. But, we couldn’t count on the instant changing winter weather. So, after hanging around for about an hour we bid farewell to the revered Nob Tshonapatta and began hitting the trail towards Tsejay La 4600 meters at 9 AM.

Quite a way to pose as a background for the tam leader  acho Penjor 


We were back on the track once again, the mountain lovers. Slowly we climbed leaving the lake far below, a few steps up and she vanished from our sight completely. Took in some deep breaths and kept on walking up, up and up. Reached the first laptsa in 40 minutes, weather was just fine, and everybody was lying around enjoying the view of mountain ranges far and wide.  We took some random pictures then got back to walking. 10 minutes and we reached to another laptsa, but it was fully cover in thick ice form one side, you can just imagine at what speed wind blows at this height.

First laptsa 

Second laptsa with iced-snow all blown to one side by the speeding wind. 

Far below dark clouds engulfed Tshonapatta already and it was coming up. Icy wind started howling biting our little bared skins. The sky now roared above our heads and within no time it started throwing ice pellets on our heads. I looked up, my folks were hiking in a long chain against the white-mountain and when they climbed farther up they appeared like an army of ants marching into the blackish clouds. Looked back, Dechen Lhamu was having a real tough time, she was not only trying her best to keep walking but also get everything captured in her phone. Kinzang Namgyal was holding her by her left hand supporting and Ogyen held Kinzang’s hand form other, the cute trio portrayed a good brother-sister-hood.


Sangay Khandu showing his thumb before he set forth to join the trekkers  climbing up like ants .

Real challenge was the climb from there to Tsejay La. Route all up in the blizzard, none stop hail stone hitting hard own our heads, speeding icy cold wind biting our almost frozen cheeks, very low visibility slowing down our already tired legs, and very low oxygen trying to knock us  down with every step en route the giant pass. However, we were trekkers and nothing was going to hold us down. We were aware of all these, and with due respect to Mother Nature; it was just a matter of whether she will test us or not. With a mindset like this nothing was stopping us, we didn’t blame on anything also. We simply embraced the seasons of Mother Nature whole heartedly.  

Acho Penjor was almost frozen waiting for the last group in the snow. He found a new route, quite risky cutting directly from the breast of the great Tsejay La, but in the interest of time he had to do it and we obliged. Felt kind of sorry for the new comers though, but we were trekkers and we must be in position to adapt to any change in plans in accordance to weather, place and time. So we did cut through descended for 15 minutes, we were already at Gongche La and 3 minutes walk down all our folks were waiting for us: first tea break after walking for one and a half hours in the harsh weather. Quite a relieve it was, finally to be reunited and getting back to our old route. We agreed, Menda made a good decision of not coming this time!

Tea time below Gongche La after an exhausting and challenging climb in the blizzard  

 Tied up our shoes laces, beat the last dust off our bums and descended to Wangthangji in 30 minutes we were there, and then climbed up for an hour to Tsabjo La. Weather got better within an instant. Sat there for a while and I heard them say we are to climb up rather than going down, so I climbed up about fifty meters. Wind started picking up, I saw my folks going sideways and then descended, although not following yesterday’s route. I thought they are going to climb anyway and I kept going up. I didn’t hear them calling me. Climbed about hundred meters and then knew I was going the wrong route. Ran down like a blue sheep over rocky trail, only then did I realize we changed the route and going to Dung tsho (trumpet lake) and Nga tsho (drum lake) where we will camp for the night. 

Steep up, sharp drop, again up and down through the coppice towards meadow we walked. Thirty meters past lied beautiful Nga Tsho and far below was Dung Tsho. These lakes were two artifacts Pangbisa lama threw to distract the pursuing Tshonapatta. Acho Karma T., Sangay Khandu and I went around taking pictures while a few of fellow trekkers went circumambulating. Ripples danced in the wind as we drank her water. Sun high in the sky played hide and seek seldom throwing a few rays upon us. Behind the lakes huge mountains stood a guard keeping an eye on them. Dusk was around the corner so we paid our respects to the duo and walked a hundred meters below them to set our camps. It was 3.20 PM.

Dungtsho, shot from the back of the lake
Sonam Wangchuk and Thinley Bidha coming down towards Dungtsho
as Kinley penjor enjoys the view climbing on a rock

As always Gem and I headed north to set toilet tent. Earth was too hard for our little chisel that she belt on us time and again, Kinley Penjor’s foldable shovel did his part to some extent. Dug half a foot and couldn’t dig any deeper. We gave up, but did put the toilet tent. Below us folks were done with sleeping and dining tents. Tea was ready, so was the wind to exhibit her anger. No sooner did we have tea than the sky started to rumble, dusk set in and our tents started fluttering like prayer flags put on top of the hill. In the torment, our toilet tent was beaten black and blue from all angles by the ragging wind. Other tents won’t stop from fluttering unless we weighed them down with huge rocks. They were unhooked so many times yet they fought well and stood their position.

Our third night camp site, 100 meters below Nga tsho

 Wind blew extra ordinarily harsh that night. We had to dine early fearing dining tent might either collapse on us or get blown away. The night crawled in inviting hail stone from up above, the starting slapping on our already sun brunt cheeks while heavy wind fanned dead woods burning all over in our small fire place. So thoughtful of junior team leader Kinley Penjor, he snuck out a bottle of whiskey – none of us drink, not in the mountains - opened up, stuck a small patch of butter on the mouth of the newly opened bottle making sure they met - which is the way it should be according to our tradition – and together with other folks offered a Changphey (alcohol/wine an offering) to the local deity. He said, “When the wind is harsh and sky stones on you in the mountains, it means you have trespassed someone else’s territory, and she or he is not happy with it.” I have heard it from elders too, and to appease them we need to offer Changphey. Within minutes hail stone stopped and the wind subsided. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not, but if you want to have a quiet and calm weather, then respecting serenity and tranquility of the place is the utmost thing every enthusiast trekker or hiker should bear in mind: all the time.

Our favourite cook preparing curry for our dinner at Nga tsho campe site. He is one of the finest trekking cooks everyone should look for, incase you plan on going for treks. He will make your tummy happy throughout the trek. 

From that point night was all ours. Tomorrow we don’t have to hike much that we know, so we stayed late by the fire. Spoke on so many topics mostly they had no meanings but we laughed hard on them. A few of them started gulping whiskey. It was winter and real cold that night, I completely understand the urge to give some shots. But, I had a terrible experience, of how I drank on the mountains and how it tortured me the whole night.  Since then I have learnt: mountain and alcohol don’t go well. I shared my experience, junior team leader agreed. Dechen and Dawa were a little too excited of the first yet a wonderful trek, so they gulped to it. I had a little doubt. Took another shot. I was starting to get worried. Took third shot, and I thought somebody better be alert the whole night through. “Yaya, good night!” Trekkers went to crash.

Kinzang Namgyal the youngest trekker in Nub Tshonapatta Trek he shared tent with his two cousin brothers in the first night, but from the second night on senior acho Penjor’s recommendation Dechen and Dawa invited him to crash in their tent. The concept was simple: more folks in the tent that much heat it will generate. Since then he put up with them.

“Doctor, doctor, doctorrrrr?” A school boy reported to the principal. “Acho S.T, acho S.T?” Sounded familiar but we are in no school. “Yes, yes,” reply came in from another tent. I knew it was still in my dream. “Doctorrr.. Doctorr… ashim Dechen is sick la!”  That woke me up completely. “What happened to her?” “Doctorrr, she has headache la. She has fever sir, vomiting also la.” “Did she drink?” “Yes, la, sir.” Everybody was up listening the whole time and judging the severity of it. Glad we had a doctor in the team, he understood the situation and we could rest assured, of course concerned we were. He gave a few medicines and she could go back to sleep shortly. I know what went through Dechen’s mind.



To know more about mountain sickness and its risks or treatment kindly read /check the following  link:

 http://wikitravel.org/en/Altitude_sickness