Saturday, August 27, 2011

A dog and a Rabbit

Image Courtesy:

Once, a hungry dog saw a rabbit in a distant meadow grazing. Without wasting much of his precious time, he started chasing the rabbit. But as always, rabbits used his intelligence to escape. The  rabbit escaped the hunt  by getting into a borrow where he lived.

The dog started digging the borrow in pursuit of his much needed meal. He started digging and digging further. Few minutes into his digging business, other dogs in his neighborhood  also joined him without a slightest clue as to why they were digging.

Suddenly, one dog asked him as to why he was digging that hard. He said he was digging because he wanted to catch a rabbit.The remaining dogs just said "ooohhhh we didnt know that" and then went back.

Now the morale of the story is that, by looking at my life, Sometimes I feel that I have been like other dogs who dug the ground without knowing the apparent reason.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A message from Ap Chath Dorji, Golaipang, Shingkhar

 Dear readers, Welcome to Shingkhar.

Honestly speaking, I am neither popular nor famous figure. But as I said earlier, I am a humble commoner who dwelled in the valley of Shingkhar for many centuries.  I am basically  a folk form a community that has a rich history which is as old as the civilization itself. But due to the harsh geophysical conditions and more because community's ignorance, it has largely remained secluded and isolated from many modern undertakings in the sphere of homo-sapiens.  In other words, we are folks who survived all the odds through our communal strength and keen sense of solidarity. Not long time ago, the subsistence living was our definition of livelihood. Even though farming and livestock rearing were our common denominator, folks who had enough to feed were considered ‘rich’. Those were the identities of Shingkahrpas.

Today, as I have mentioned earlier, I am becoming more and more skeptical about the sustainability of our deep rooted cultures and traditions in this fast changing time. A cobweb thing called development has finally reached our place. At the cost of values and beliefs, innocent folks in my village, who were once a socialist in nature, are now induced to become more capitalistic minded.  

Shingkhar Village
Not far away from my place, someone named Drakpa Gyeltshen, shares my feelings too. By the way Drakpa Gyeltshen is a very senior citizen of Shingkhar. He lives among the rocky ridge of Yangjin. Therefore we often call him ‘Pholha’ –our protective guardian deity of the north. Few days ago, I had the privilege of talking to him. He said he wasn’t pleased with the idea of road running just below his house. He told me that if a thing of golf course in Nangkaipong and Kangsumthang was a dream shattering then a thing of road in the interest of economic boost is nothing but a heart breaking experience for him. I think he is right on many counts. As an indigenous man I am a fervent believer that Shingkhar can do much better, if not bothered by outsiders.

Drakpa Gyeltshen did not mean NO development for Shingkhar. All he meant was a rationale development process that would not cause any imbalance in the biodiversity that surrounds his home. With the coming of road, Drakpa Gyeltshen fears that his favorite pets like monal pheasants and Tigers would altogether disappear not only from Shingkhar but from the world itself.

In our separate meeting, he also told me that this wouldn’t do much good for Shingkhar community and nation as a whole because; firstly, given the engineering ingenuity of Bhutanese, the topography of the land is not feasible for the construction of road. Secondly, it would drain out huge chunk of resources form the common exchequer, thereby creating huge negative externalities for the nation. Thirdly, the Ecological cost would he unimaginable for its going to create a condition so conducive to poachers in a bio hotspot. He also told me that our beautiful Shamzur Lhakhang will end up becoming a picnic spot rather than a pilgrimage spot.

However Drakpa Gyeltshen was not alone on this issue. His ideas were solidly seconded by a beautiful lady of Singma la (also known as Simjai ya). Her name is Meto Selden. She is a lady known for her undying beauty like an ever blooming lotus in the realm of Zangdopelri.  She is an intelligent lady known for her farsightedness. She told me that, it would be a better idea if the existing route built by Lama Tsezang Thaye Drakpa is maintained and preserved. I felt it was not a bad idea either, for it could be used by ever expanding tourism industry as trekking route to Lhuntse via Shingkhar.  

Somewhere in the North-west of Shingkhar, one equally frustrated man soon joined our discourse. His name is Norlha Wangchuk. In fact he had lot to share with us. The most prominent thing he shared with us was how his own villagers betrayed him by chopping down countless trees that surrounded his residence of Waza Brag. With those words from him, I could really feel his sense of loss and dejection.

In between a man from the south of Shingkhar also joined us. His name is Bena Parta. He is a very ferocious man. Although he is not really affected by the plans of road and golf course, he said he shared the sentiments of Drakpa Gyeltshen; -the most affected party.  According to him, the adverse plans are going to have equal consequences for all in the village. Should people have golf course in the plains of Nangkaipong and Kangsumthang, Bena Parta said he would become the most affected party when chemical contaminated water runs through his Zamdong Bridge. Imagine the number of tadpoles going to die? It’s going to become ecological catastrophe

As of me, it will be a heartbreaking thing to see no cattle, no yaks, no sheep, and no cows grazing in the fertile plains of Nakgkaipong, Fawfee and Kangsumthang. I am also thinking how those places would be enclosed in the barbed fences. I am equally worried as to which way I will have to take to come for Shingkhar  Rabney every year end.

For now I am enjoying the beautiful sun rise that illuminates Shingkhar Village; -My Sweet Home. I thank all concern, both beings and non beings for keeping Shingkhar the way it is and hope it will continue to remain so.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

People Call it Zoo..........

............but I find it's a refined and legalized version of animal cruelty.

Highway of Death...

Picture Courtesy: Kuensel

A double lane highway is a new phenomenon in our country. The intentions behind such projects are, without a shadow of doubt, noble and farsighted. Living in the mountainous terrain, there is no denying that faster mode of communication has brought in benefits beyond our comprehension both at individuals level and at national level. 

Paro-Thimphu highway and Thimphu-P/ling highway are today a living example for us. The successful completion of project has brought in myriad economic benefits. Journey which took commuters more than 2 hours in the past can be done in less than an hour now. It has come as  a real boon for many. The movement of people who work in Paro, living in Thimphu and vice-versa are nothing but an evidence to this advancement. The improved road condition helped people save cost on fuel and time on journey. 

Not far away, the same kind of projects are taking place in different locations. Road widening on Wangdi-Trongsa highway and S/jongkahr and T/gang, I believe are in full swing too. Despite the hardships we face while travelling we still fancy having good road more than anything else. We are Bhutanese and we like experiencing new stuffs. 

In many a case, our experience with our new improved road so far has been anything but a tragedy. Literally speaking, a thing of double lane road zig-zagging among the mountains is by far a foreign to many and is a new culture by any definition. And sadly one  predicament of being Bhutanese is that we are very susceptible to culture shocks. This shock waves are claiming lives and bringing us pains and sorrows of unbearable magnitude.  I am talking about road accidents here!

If I am not wrong, this is fourth such news I have heard in my recent past. Most of the casualties included a whole family members dying in their dream car. The latest news was about an accident on Thimphu-Paro highway which claimed 2 lives; -my long time friend and his 2 years old daughter. I call this the heart  breaking news.

With his demise it brought me many questions about the road safety standards in our country. I think I am not being very harsh when I say that concern authorities have failed us here. It is the most regrettable thing that we get our driving documents seized and fined in the town even for looking at our phone, while the condition on the high ways are woefully neglected. We could do lot to avert such accidents  imparting safety informations. A regular check in highways are therefore highly recommended. 

I have survived the worse road crash in the town in my recent past. Therefore it's through my personal experience that I can tell my readers that an accident in the town might damage your cars, and in worse case cause minor  injuries to our  health. But the accident on unregulated and (un) facilitated highways in mists and fog, are costing lives of our loved ones.

With this, I am suggesting to our concern authorities to also give, if not more, an equal attention to our highway commuters. Doing regular check on the highway could be one thing. DAILY CHECKING of  the speed of a cars using speedometers on the highways could be another thing. Speeders should be counseled, cautioned ans penalized. And lastly but not the least, have road safety offices on the highways manned by officials who would not only check documents but also provide safety information  and say 'have a nice day and go home safely' 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Metamorphosis in My Room

The Very  Next day After I arrived In Gujarat

The First Night how i slept in my room

the condition Improved drastically,
with the help of a Fan from my Friend
and a Mattress from one of my senior

I could finally use my Computer for net surfing

This is how my room is starting to look now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Independence Day to India

With each Passing Independence Day, 

I pray to the almighty above,
A Greater joy and Happiness for India. 

This is because, When India is Happy,
More than 1/6 people in the world are Happy.

History tells us that being India is anything but Gentle Giant.
May god bless Gentle Giant for Eternity.
May the Sun of Happiness shine in India 

Jai Hind.

(Good Wishes to all our Indian Friends from a group of Bhutanese Students in Gujarat University) 

Say "NO' To Wildlife Trafficking

They Look Beautiful isn't it?

But now look at the pictures below to see how people are inhumanly trafficking those innocent beautiful creatures.

Looks like they are the saviors of those innocent animals.
My honest appreciation for them for their good work 

Say No to Wildlife Trafficking.

My Honest Appreciation for Concern Enforcement Team

All Photo Courtesy : Samantha Andrahannadi,
Customs Officer,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Few Things That Sooths Me in Gujarat

I am about to begin my third week here in Gujarat and I still cannot sense or see anybody giving  me a bed to sleep and a table and chair (on which I can do my studies). The heat is relentless and never subsiding. The high humidity outside is making things all the more creepy because the ants are invading me and so are doves. Thanks to My friend Kruti and her Mom. They have been so generous in lending me their fan and  I am at least better than my flat mates in terms of having a fan. Without running water, our toilet is useless and so is our kitchen.

But there are things that sooths me and heals my pain. Take a look for yourself............

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A dog and a Rabbit; A story beyond Wisdom?

Once, a very aggressive and hungry hunting dog saw a rabbit in the lawn busy grazing. The dog, without even giving a second thought, at once made up his mind to kill the rabbit and eat it up for his lunch.  

As the dog proceeded towards the rabbit, the rabbit sensed the imminent danger and started his escape from the approaching predator. The dog pursued the rabbit who ran in halter-skelter. But to his huge disappointment, the rabbit suddenly out ran him and soon disappeared in the hole underground. 

A very tired and hungry dog had no option other than to request the rabbit to come out, because he had a very important question for him. Deep inside, the dog actually wanted to know about the rabbit’s secrecy in successfully out running him, who as a hunter was trained to not only out run but also out jump most of the animals.

But the Rabbit refused to come out because he feared that dog was playing trick on him and that if he does, it would be his doomsday.

To convince the rabbit, the dog said that it’s a gentlemen’s agreement and he would honor that agreement above anything. After sometime the rabbit came out.

The dog then asked “Mr. Rabbit, how come you outrun a hunting dog like me?” The rabbit responded “Mr. Dog, the difference between you and me is that, you are running just for your lunch, while I was running for my life”   

As told by: Dr. Karthik,
Reader, Economics Department,
Gujarat University

Dear Father.

When going gets though, tough gets going......

Near Readers Flat,
Gujarat University

Dear Dad,

 Gujarat is a very beautiful place with so many beautiful people around. I consider my self as the most fortunate man to have come here for my tertiary education. Our Government (RCSC) has done a marvelous job by sending me here. It's is with dignity and respect that I humbly accepted the choice of University RCSC has made for me. Even though I was selected for Masters in Public Finance, I agreed to take Masters in Economics, as per the will and Choice of our Government.     

But you may not believe me when I say I am feeling homesick (for the first time in my life) I know how this would rather sound strange and un-Kuenzang because as a father you know how tough  a man I used to be. This is my second week here in University and I am still struggling to settle down. With many of basic requirements still missing in my room, all I can do is to think about you and mom. The saddest thing is that I still couldn't get a bed, a table, a chair and a fan which are to some extent a minimum basic requirement in a place where hot and humidity even threatens to kill a man. (Thanks to my Dear class mate. Miss Kruti, I will be getting a fan tomorrow) 

All these days, I have been sharing a broken bed with my friend in one of our senior's room. But now it has become so difficult to sleep there because it aches my body when I am in my class. Today for the first time in my life, I am sleeping on my trousers and shirts in a room that has neither fan nor a running water. The stakes are high because I am already suffering from stomach disorder for sitting on the floor (while I was doing my assignment) Blood thirsty mosquitoes are aplenty and its a hard choice I have to make; whether to keep windows open for cool air that comes with mosquitoes or shut the windows completely and risk suffocation in hot and humid room. Even though I am late by 1.5 months for the course, I can hardly think of my studies at the moment. 

Not only that, my stipend money ( Nu. 35600/- for 6 months, which I have received from our Government) is also nearing its exhaustion point. I am not lavish  and spendthrift but in buying all life sustaining materials, it keeps diminishing day by day. To share some with you, I had to buy almost all the kitchen utensils. I am being told to also buy my own mattress and blankets too. Let me also mind you that Ahmedabad is not a cheap place on earth where you can find an apartment for Nu. 2000/- 

I think People here are doing their part to keep me happy, but I still miss you people very badly.  

With Love and Respect,
Son, Kuenzang
Gujarat University.

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