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Saturday, September 26, 2015

But it Rained

The tshechu ended so gracefully yesterday, sending folks home happily with bountiful memories to be remembered long in future. Although, majority stayed back to do some last minute shopping, after Thromdey announced that the stalls will be allowed until 10 pm today.  The folks are still shopping while the keepers shouting at the top of their lungs, “70% off, sale, sale, last sale!” are so tempting. 
 
I did not buy anything other than trying out some ice creams and tea throughout festive-week. I couldn’t go out much either, since my two weeks work crashed and had to do it all over again, so most of the time I was home. Yet, even if it was for a short duration, I made sure I paid my visit to the times square of Bhutan once a day. It was nice to feel the festive vibes from souls. 

Friday was quite tiring working at home until lunch, and then helping my friend in his stall, then late in the night writing a blog. But, before I got into bed, I offered my bedtime prayers, “Thanks for the beautiful day. It was a little tiring one, still I had a lovely day. Let tomorrow be a beautiful day too!” Tugged my weary eye’s shutter close hoping for a picturesque morning, I called it a day.

Today in the morning, I opened my eyes gently as I flipped my window curtains slowly and it was gloomy. Fell back to my bed and unlocked my cell, logged into my facebook account and it showed 25 notifications of the night unchecked. But, what caught my eyes was a post called, “Hello, Druk Air,” by Miss Dolka Tenzin. I didn’t check a single notification rather, kept on reading her article. Sigh, the gloomy morning didn’t bother me as much as her article touched me. 

How? How? How? Inhumane. So pathetic. So rustic. So cruel.  So selfish. So unprofessional. So cheap. So dirty. So heart aching. So painful. So sinful. It tore my heart early in the morning. Since then for the whole day, it made my heart heavy and couldn’t help feeling her pain that I couldn’t help asking myself, “Doesn’t he have parents? Doesn’t he have love? Doesn’t he have any morality? Couldn’t he consult his superior before taking any foolish and very painful decision to throw him off?” I couldn’t not stop thinking of the pain the family might have gone through that I sent miss Dolka Tenzin a message of consolation and prayers to her, her father and her family. She thanked me, but I thanked her more for her bravery and showing the courage to bring this up front to the world. We shouldn’t let this thing go unheard. It could happen to anyone of us, who come from low family background, anytime. Thank you miss Dolka Tenzin.

This was unexpected and so it is unacceptable too. Druk Air, a giant and one of the most reputed companies in the country, how can she let something like this happen under her roof is very disheartening. Now, all I am saying is, respected worthy Druk Air, please let this be the first and last in the history of Druk Air. 

I prayed for a beautiful Saturday, but it RAINED!!


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Festival ends for now

Once it has started it will roll be it good, or somewhere between the good and the bad or the total bad, it is bound to end when the time is up. The mighty sun surrenders to the queen moon when his time is over. And just like that, the most famous Thimphu festival has gathered all her Guru’s eight and other wrathful masks, rich embroidered gowns and cloaks, religious artifacts and instruments for this year. They will be neatly stacked, folded and stored back in their rooms, only to be opened around this time of the next year. Folks will box their festive attires and jewellries will be put away until the next occasion comes.

For the past three days, it has brought smiles to thousands of folks, brought families together from distance and granted some freedom to youth who in turn went around in packs with comrades. A few of them did a little too much and got themselves into trouble that police had to intervene, other than that I would call the whole thing was a success. However, with due respect, I would like to lay down a few feedbacks, which I feel are worthy for future festivals to come, if the concerned authority and the fellow citizen would only take it positively and try to look into the matter.

 No. 1    A help centre stall with some volunteers  :  
It would be nice if there will be one from coming years, if at all the current stall tradition along the Norzin Lam is going to be practiced. Today, sometime in the mid day an old man fainted in the crowd, but could not do much then to help him rest near the main traffic, since there was none to report to.Towards the evening around 8 PM a baby girl was separated from her parents, the least I could do was to console her and wait for her parents to return. Lucky enough, her parents came by shortly. For such thing we dont really have to depend on the police.

No. 2     Local music : 
No one can tell anybody to listen/play this or that kinda song/music, it’s completely up to ones preferences. However, all I am saying is if we could make the best use of the festive mood infested crowd to promote our local music and art, then it’s the perfect time.  All it takes is a little bit of cooperation from one another.

No. 3     Volunteer Patrolling in the night : 
When young minds meet late at night in the full-on kinda festive mood, they tend to go a little off the track. It was sad to see parents in front of the detention centre in queue to meet their sons and daughters, rather than attending the last tshechu of the year. Some volunteer patrolling would belittle this.   

No. 4     Traffic flow :  Traffic could be improved to ease the unnecessary  congestion.

No. 5     Portable toilets :  Seriously these needs to be installed in the town around this time of the year.

  
These are just a few feed-backs I thought, if we try to implement would help folks a great deal.

 Until next year, this a good bye Thimphu Tshechu!!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Times Square of Bhutan

Do you long to go to the USA around this time of the year? Do you have that desire to go to the Times Square, the most famous and busiest street in the world? Even great celebrities like Presley to M.J to the then teenage heart throb Justin Beiber call it a dream come true, when they get a chance to perform there, and so Beiber sings, “Never, say never,” when he could finally perform. Do you long to go there, take a bunch of selfies, post them on the social media and make your friends envy?

If you do and if you were denied visa or if you cannot afford, then don’t hang your head low and brood, because, you are just ignorant of what happens and what’s happening currently in my place. Just as, “if there is a will there is way,” if you can only spare USD 250 a day (Indians exempted of this tariff ), then this is the right time you come to Thimphu, Bhutan, by all means.

Let me tell you what’s happening here currently: the most awaited annual festival called, Tsechu has just started and it will go on until 25th of September. The tshechu is associated with celebrating Guru Rimpoche, who is also regarded as the second Buddha. Its celebrated throughout the country on different dates in different months. Numerous dances both masked and unmasked, performed by monks and laymen will be danced in different but beautiful tunes. It is a blessing to witness these dances.  As you come out, this is the time where you will see our beautiful Bhutanese families in bountiful traditional attire; you might come across them having self packaged lunch in circles. It is all smiles.

If you want to check out some goods and food, then the whole Norzin Lam a.k.a The Times Square of Bhutan is thronged with various stalls serving different purposes to meet your demand. Believe me, you will be served at handsome flats.  Food is just delicious. But, be warned, not to be consumed in the size of meals.

Then clock tower, our multi-purpose open theater is always occupied with competitions, contemporary dances, talents and numerous light hearted performances. Farther down the other lane, stalls are filled with games that might trigger your luck, you may give a try. Its 80% win and win :).  In the night we have clubs to shake off your days fatigue and pubs that can sooth  your mood to save fond memories of Thimphu.   

It doesn’t end there, you can advance farther into nooks of our country, which you will definitely regret supposing you don’t do. After everything is said and done you will learn the whole experience was just the beginning.

Now you tell me, do you still dream of going to the USA around this time of the year? Come and see for yourself our Times Square. The choice is yours!!


The bustling Norzin Lam a.k.a The Times Square of Bhutan






Clock Tower, the multi purpose open theater





The Magic

Do you folks want to know what patience means and how it works magic?? Let me tell you a real time story, which I have learnt, felt and understood just yester-night. Let me tell you, how it worked magic to me.

For two weeks, every night I slept at 1am working on a project. No Saturdays, no Sundays and no breaks. My eyes went red, back stiff and face swollen due to in adequate sleep. On the very fateful submission date, the system crashed.

I had backup in my hard drive, some how I lost that too. Spent 24 hours trying to recover the data, but couldn't despite my desperate trying. And guess what? The best solution in a situation like this is, not to start to get frustrated from the very first minute only, than to mess the whole thing up under the air of madness. Because, you know, you will have to do it all over again anyways, while getting pissed won't fix it either.

Today is Thruebap, so it's off for me and from the very next day I am going to begin again from zero. Just a deep breath and I am at ease.

If you wonder, how I patient I am, then I tell you, I am not. I am kinda hot headed guy. I have learnt this technique just recently from books, as in, how important it is to be aware of and remind oneself, every single day that some thing like this might happen at anytime. If it at all happen, then I will not lose my cool. I have been trying to follow this for a while now, and to my wow, it does work!

This little psychological preparedness has helped me a great deal to maintain my peace of mind and the zest to work again.
 
Just be positive folks and keep smiling, for everything really is in ones mind!!


Pic taken a day before my weeks hardwork crashed down into vain. 
Another one bit the dust.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Blessing from Heaven

Most of the time it falls on the third week of September, but the exact date on the western calendar keeps on changing. We follow our own Bhutanese lunar calendar and it has got it’s own rhythm and its unique pattern. Which I find it more beautiful. It might confuse the first time users, but I guarantee, you will get a hang of it as you get to know the pattern.

The day, that’s as controversial as it’s blessed, when the former government at one point decided to do away with, is the Blessed Rainy Day or Thruebap, as called in our language. On this particular day, at a particular time predicted by the astrologer, we believe the rain that’s been blessed by the Gods and the Goddess will rain with the ability to cleanse all forms of sins committed by us, body, speech and mind.

A holy holiday it is indeed, but we get carried away by merry making. Now, this is also quite interesting to note, since this special day by our lunar calendar, falls on past half autumn season of the year, which also introduces the end of the monsoon and the season of harvest in our country. And since it is a holiday, our fore-parents thought why not celebrate it altogether? Let’s get cleansed body, speech and mind and then reap what we have sown!

As a boy, I remember how my late mother would prepare for it a month before, with brewing of ara, changkay, singchang, zow and khabzees (first three home brewed alcohol, last two home-made snacks). A day before the main day, she would tune into radio, and get the exact time of the blessed rain to be bestowed. After its heard, she would gather some petals, afloat them on a huge wooden tub (for we are quite huge in numbers :)). After everything is set, she would be the last one to reach bed. The very next day, you know what happens!

Since then I was very fond of Thukpa (Bhutanese porridge), that also beef thukpa, rich with wild pepper and rutoos (bones chopped the size of approximately 1.5cm2) to chew on and on and on. I would stay by the huge Thukpa pot for the whole day. Oh, gosh, how I miss those days!

All of a sudden, after years of having beef thukpas, suddenly I realized, it’s  indeed a very holiday, I mean a, “Holy” day and the very significance of this day is to cleanse our body, speech, and mind. Now, wait a second, when gods and goddess or heaven or whoever or something that you believe in has the love to cleanse your body, speech and mind, why would you make it dirty again? Oh, my, oh, the pain, the suffering and the agony poor souls have to go through just to make our thukpa tasty.

I know, more than 60-70% of our fellow citizens still do harvest, to them I don’t have much to say, for they might need the strength to harvest, protect it and reach them home safely. If they can also think of it, then its well and good. But, for folks living in concrete jungles like you and I, I  think we can make it vegetarian isn’t it? I am not saying, “you should,” I am just saying, “can you try?”  Well, I am going vegetarian this Thruebap and hopefully I can make it next Thruebap a vegetarian one too.


 So long, to my beef Thukpa craving!


For now, I would like to wish you all folks a very happy, Holy – Blessed rainy Day.


A quick card for all the bloggers, wishing a Happy Blessed Rainy Day.
Models : Luntenzampa HSS Students, in Norzin Lam, Thimphu




Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oh, it's really hard (Reybu - mala)


It’s really hard to meet the right person,
Oh, it’s really hard to wait and watch the sun fall below horizon,
Oh, it’s really hard to wait and watch the moon sail past stars.

So called the right person will never show up,
So called the right person, I lose faith in you waiting,
So called the right person, is there one for me?

It’s really hard understand if the right person comes only once,
Oh, it’s really hard to console when the world say, “They come often,”
Oh, it’s really hard, should I wait or should I just leave?

So called the right person will never show up,
So called the right person, I lose faith in you waiting,
So called the right person, did I fail to see you?

You don’t have to go around the world,
In search of so called the right person,
You don’t have to exhibit riches,
To win so called the right person.

So called right person is right here within us,
All you have to do is to learn to recognize one,
So called right person is the reflection of oneself.

Rather then waiting for the right person,
How about you try to be the right person for one?


P.S 

It's written in fall 2011. Originally written as a Sharchogpa - Song 
and here its the English translated version for all the readers.
 If you want to check my original song, which I have 
posted in Youtube and  my Blog yesterday, is in the following link. 
Happy Listening!!

https://youtu.be/izWO4-8pAks


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ama

Some have seen how lovely you were,
Most knew how kind at heat you were,
Rest have seen your picture only,
And you are my first love, ama.

The man of your life, is no less than an angel,
A faithful husband and a loving father,
Never did he let us feel your absence,
Not even once your warmth was unfelt.

Just as the sparrow misses its tune,
Autumn misses the spring,
An old man misses his home,
I miss you on every walk of life, Ama.

Brothers and a sister the most valuable treasure,
You gave me, my inspiration my best friend,
Shone through all the tempest to a harbor,
My light I count on, for darkness to come.

Your going taught me “Impermanence,”
Nothing can be owned beyond tomorrow,
The most beautiful gift of life “Mother” be lost,
For life is to lose and endure and love!

At times I feel, when I am low,
To lose someone you love the most,
When under the cocoon of innocence is better,
Than to curse the wind of time, as you tend to know love!

But, on the voyage of time you learn,
To be with someone you love the most,
When out of the cocoon of innocence,
Even for a moment is worth a million diamonds.

Just as the sparrow misses its tune,
Autumn misses the spring,
An old man misses his home,
I miss you on every walk of life, Ama.

However, I cant own you beyond time,
So, I let you go, while I keep your memories,
Ingrained deep in my heart and soul,
May you find peace there!


P.S   I wrote this Poem in August 2011, by that year, 
        it was already 13 years, since I have lost her :( :( 


Blankets of Clouds: Taken in Phajoding, at 5.30am, 3 hours hike above Thimphu, 
3300 meters, on 25th May 2013






Monday, September 7, 2015

If you

If you dont know yourself,
Then who do you expect to know you?
If you dont agree with yourself,
Then who do you expect to agree with you?

If you dont listen to yourself,
Then who do you expect to listen to you?
If you dont ask yourself,
Then who do you expect to ask you?

If you dont write you own story yourself,
Then who do you expect to write for you?
If you dont sing your song yourself,
Then who do you expect to sing for you?

If you dont respect yourself,
Then who do you expect to respect you?
If you dont value yourself,
Then who do you expect to value you?

If you dont cry your tears yourself,
Then who do you expect to cry for you?
If you dont wipe your tears yourself,
Then who do you expect to wipe for you?

If you dont heal your wound yourself,
Then who do you expect to heal for you?
If you dont console yourself,
Then who do you expect to console you?

If you dont dream your dreams yourself,
Then who do you expect to dream for you?
If you dont live your dreams yourself,
Then who do you expect to live it for you?

If you dont say your prayers yourself,
Then who do you expect to say prayers for you?
If you first dont love yourself,
Then who do you expect to love you?


If....... If you.......If you only........



Pic: Taken with my friend over looking Thimphu City at 2am from
Phajoding, 3,300mts, June 5th 2013




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Have a nice day

Early morning gentle breeze,
Waking my sleepy eyes in ease,
Gentle fluttering of the curtains,
Window opens to beauty beyond mountains.

A little tremor in my head,
May be I woke on the wrong side of the bed,
May be I had a rough earlier night,
Whatever, I just want to embrace the sight.

Far beyond the mountains,
Sun lights paint the earth like a fountain,
Up in the sky white puffy clouds,
Dances with the wind for bouts.

Gentle breeze caressing my eyes,
Standing by the half opened room's eyes,
Took in a deep air of happiness for the day,
To the world, I just want to say, "Have a nice day."


(Pic taken en-route Samtse from Phuntsholing in May 2015)







Wednesday, September 2, 2015

OGB

“Oh, hi, how have you been? Haven’t seen you for a while? Were you on a tour?”  asked my friend’s elder sister. “Hi, ana, I am fine, thank you. I am here only, just that I was a little busy, plus I don’t go out much. Hope you all are fine too?” “Ah, yes, I am fine. We all are good.” She said. But, her frontalis pars medialis  says it all. She is a BP patient and it attacks her often.

I met her on my way back from VAST, had gone there to see some paintings done by girls. It was specifically organized to promote Bhutanese girls and women’s talent by means of arts. There were beautiful paintings, pencil sketches, photography and some contemporary arts hung all over the wall. They simply made me go, “Wow! Girls, you all are full of talents.” And, that was actually my second time going there. 

“Come let’s go for some tea, if you have some time?” She offered. “Amm, okay, okay.” I started following her, cutting the busy Sunday traffic, through Chubachu and descended-wards vegetable market.

 Up in the sky clouds were starting to swallow the mighty sun, casting dark blankets all over Thimphu. Wind caressed neatly loosened hair rough and dirty. Folks could not help than to let vegetables on the ground and wrap their face from the mercy of the sandy wind.Tomatoes here, potatoes there, chilies in the dust and baskets all empty. What a harsh wind!


“Zai oye, this wind, seems like it’s going to rain heavily,” she coughed every word she spoke. “Most likely,” I nodded. Minding every step, she led me through the temporary make-shifts, built for the skilled men-power from the neighboring country.  “Oh, please, don’t blow those CGI sheets on me, my dear mighty wind.” I was a little scared.

Finally, we reached near her building, although there were flights of stairs to climb, for a moment I was relieved.  As we took our first step, a few steps up the stairs, I saw a group of girls, most probably between 12 to 14 years of age (I presumed) seated on the ascending stairs. So bold, so open, so dominant, their attitude spoke for them, but with cute little faces. Milk might ooze out if one ever touched their cheeks.  On the contrary, I was very shocked to see these little cuties busy blowing trumpets. “Oh, my goodness, these OGBs have started to smoke,” I could not believe my eyes. They don’t mind people nearby, simply kept sucking on to the butt.

“See, these day’s youth, by the time they reach my age they might die of a lung cancer,” ana  squinted her eyes as she spoke straight into my eyes. “No, no, ana, they are pre-youth, just that they grow too fast, faster than their age,” I replied her promptly.  “Yes, yes,” she agrees. I could see what she meant by that, looking at those OGB cuties blowing trumpets.

If you only pause for a moment looking around you, one will find how things have changed and how fast they are changing. Yesterday’s egg becomes a chick just too soon before their time. Sometimes you don’t even believe yourself that you cannot help than to ask, “Did she/he just walk before even crawling?” You try to teach them A.B.C.D and they already know how to say, “Please, leave me alone!” Just in primary school and they will already tell you, “This is my life, I can do whatever I want!” What a rapid transition!

But, the fact is, this is the truth, these day’s folks grow so fast before their time and even surpasses the society’s notion of growing means: listen to your parents or elders on every errands of your life. They grow and this is how it is. They are growing more brilliant, more intelligent, more talented, more out spoken and more of speak their mind. We should learn to accept this. However, this is the time in their life where they need your guidance and advices. They have so many options to choose from these days. 

Everything is thrown out right into their face by the time of transition, as simple as saying what they are eating tonight, they have multiple mediums to choose from. What they want to be in life, they got multiple careers to choose from, which folks of our age haven’t even heard of. This is the time in their life, where we should teach them the correct ways to cast the net, than to catch fish for them, because they already know a few ways to cast the net from the net. It’s more important to show them how it’s been done than telling to do this or do that, for they are fast at learning,  as well as fast at getting confused.

Confuse, they get, when so many interpretations of the very same word is cooked up. They are so confused at this age around by the meaning of, “FASHION.”  They have seen in the social medias and heard in the TVs saying, “fashion is what you wear that’s makes you comfortable,” it’s true to some extend but, not at all occasions, “fashion should be something that doesn’t weakens your mind.”  On the course, they end up listening to the wind of the trend blowing in the town inflicted by peer pressures. If its accepted in their peer circle, OGBs don’t mind blowing trumpets in front of the elders, parents of other folks, teachers of other school and friends of other friends. And, this is what elders like you and I, parents, friends and all alike should explain to them.

“I hope some time down the lane, one fine day they will realize and learn to say no it,” ana murmured.  To this I replied, “Ana, it begins from home. First shun form smoking in front of your two primary school going boys and then you need to start by telling them of the adverse effect of smoking, if one smokes.” “Yalama, giwala ni, zaii (OMG, its true),” she has already poured two cups of tea, through the misty flavored tea vapors floating up, she asked me, “What’s OGB, by the way?” With a gentle laugh, as I sipped on the tea, I replied, “OGB stands for, “Over Grown Babies.””

We had a wonderful chat over a beautiful tea infused with a hearty laughter.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Music is my writing. Writing is my music.

Music is my writing,
Writing is my music,
They are my anthem,
They are my song.

Music be the beats of my heart,
Lyrics the words of my soul,
Dont confuse between them,
Both are one and they are I.

You may not hear me sing.
You cannot un-hear me sing.
I sing with the wind.
I confide my secrets to the clouds.

When the seasons in the air,
When you see wind riding the clouds,
If they at all tap your ears,
Please open your soul, for it’s me singing.