Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reflection of my days in Kanglung: Part One

goole images
It was sometime in July 2001 that I journeyed to Sherubtse College, -the so called premier institute of learning and the laurel of the East to continue my studies. After class 12 results were declared by the Bhutan Board of Examinations,  I applied for B. Com Honors course and when the selection results were declared, I saw my name somewhere in the middle of the list. There were 90 of us who qualified for the prestigious course. Having missed so many classes and lessons in the class when i fell sick, it was something that i have least expected.

Our group finally reached Kanglung, where Sherubtse College, -the then only college in the country is located. I remember seeing a banner welcoming us to the college. some of our old school mates came to receive us and they even offered  us the welcome tea  ( to Me, Dorji Dukpa, who is the present accounts officer in High Court, Sherab Wangchuk, who is the current research officer in Ministry of Agriculture and Galey Tenzin, who is the current marketing officer in the Ministry of Agriculture). Initially we are given room in the Degree Hostel One (DH1). We were told that we  will be accommodated in DH1, only if we are a versatile football player. since four of us were like jack of all and master of none  kind of footballer, we were given a room right next to the stinking toilet. The very next day four of us silently moved our beddings to newly created Degree Hostel Four (DH4). Although we had a noisy neighbors, we found life more pleasing in our new room. 

My First year experience
We were called the freshers and so called the freshers were introduced to various college traditions. Some of the traditions were weird and even awful. It began with the so called introductory nite. we the freshers, both male and female were made  to walk to the stage and introduce ourselves with our  names and the schools we have earlier attended.  i have seen Seniors sitting in the front and passing varied opinions. They either told the fresher to have a hair cut or learn to wear gho properly. For a pretty and good looking lady fresher, a male seniors were seen slyly saying "you are good looking, and I welcome you" 

in a weeks time we the freshers were invited for a welcome show by the oldies. the show comprised of few dzongkha dance and few English songs sang by seniors. we were also invited for a welcome dance party.  The dance party in particular was so alien for me and my friends. I wondered that such a thing called  party existed where people called it a party but ate nothing.

With that the ball was in our court.  We the freshers were asked to stage a return show. We were 240 combined so staging a return show wasn't a problem for us. I participated in a Dzongkha welcome dance. 

Then came the blind date. -The most outrageous yet hilarious tradition of the college. Poor fresher boys were seen moving around with the elderly ladies. They were also seen carrying big umbrellas to keep their date dry and clean just in case it rained.  In the evening, as tradition demands, freshers both male and female were seen treating their dates in the restaurants and hotels.  I considered myself lucky, because there was no date fixed for me and it saved me from spending for a stranger. -I thanked my seniors silently.

Those were the days, during which i became reckless in spending time. No morning studies, no evening studies and no lights off signal in the night meant that we can rise and lay down at our own whims. it was a freedom misunderstood period.  

Our class room session used to be very interesting because there were so many amusing characters in our class. To supplement this, our Dzongkha language professor would always have something interesting to share stating from his biography to biography of lam Drukpa Kinley. there were also other professors who would come to our class with full of zeal and humor. The chief ones I remember are the smooth flow of micro economics class, drowsy and sleepy business law class and busy and fast moving statistics and financial accounting classes.

Once we are outside class, we were expected to behave like a juniors. During our evening walks, I would only take a walk on the edge of the road. Many a time i have returned to my room with messy shoes with a crushed dog shit. Every time i went out alone, the phobia of being ragged by group of seniors lingered in my mind. There were times I got very mad (internally) and irritated about the system of ragging. Even though I never got ragged myself, the news of a group of seniors having ragged and slapped on one of my closest friend got to my nerves.

with each passing day, different events kept on unfolding. the events like the inter hostel competitions like football, volleyball, basketball,  drama, dance, singing, quiz, and many more took place. our hostel always came last in most of the events. But surprisingly we came up as winner in inter volleyball competition in which I also took part. 

so the life seemed very busy and fast moving. Even the back breaking bush cutting sessions on weekends didn't seem to bother us. 

I remember joining my friends for a walk every evening towards view point. sometime we would often extend that walk till kissing corner which is in close proximity to suicide corner. we would finally retreat to our room after praying in zangtho pelri lhakhang.  Other times we would remain in confines of our room simply gossiping, singing or doing our assignments.

Then there was one last thing without which  life in Kanglung was considered incomplete,-the arra session. Once the exams were over, we would all go out together for a relaxation. Rongthong side used to be our favorite destination. We would all drink and come back drunk. there are instances, where  beginners puked all over and  fell sick for days.


  1. Dear Kuenzang,

    Let me congratulate you for coming up with this idea of blog. To me I think you have taken excellent move, for I know you write excellent and its one plate form and I mean it. The thing is me definitely enjoy reading your articles. It’s refreshing, informative and updates me of a good friend.

    Please continue writing and I would definitely follow your pose.

    S Wangchuk

  2. Enjoyed going through article... We may be living in different parts with seperate lives but, old memories of Kanglung provides delight while called in our minds.


  3. Thanks Gonna,

    Where are you these days? i hope things are fine with you.

    Keep visiting



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