Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Too Had a Love Story.


With exams lurking near, I am supposed to be getting busy with my academic text books and notes. But I am totally taken to a different place by this book: "I too had a love story" by Ravinder Singh.

Of all the love stories I read, this book still stands tall. I could not have asked for a better book than this. It was a magic I bought just for Rs 65/-. Now If you are in India. go to. www.flipkart.com and grab your copy. Don't forget to keep your tissue box ready while you are reading the book.

By the way I wish Ravin, -the Author all the success with his second book "Can love happen twice". At the same time I do pray and wish the soul of Khushi to be in eternal peace.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Birthday of www.shingkhar.blogspot.com

Thanks you all for Keeping
 "Free and Random Thoughts
From the Valley of Shingkhar" alive. 

One year ago, I started this blog. I started this blog with no idea what so ever. The idea of blogging initially originated from my Boss, Mr. Yonten Namgyel, the current Regional Director of Revenue and Customs Office, Paro. He initially inspired me  to not only to read  but also write. He told me that writing will take me closer to my dreams. And the first two blogs I read was by Aue Yeshey Dorji and a  Blog by my cousin brother Namgay Wangchuk

It was through their blog, I got connected with many other bloggers, namely, Passu, Jurmmi, Dorji Wangchuk, Kinga Choden, Dawa Tshering, Sogyel, Lethro, Rikku, Ngawang Penstar, Lotey Om, Luze and many more. Those writers truly elated and inspired me to also write my heart out.

My blog took some time before it got ti's name and shape. with passage of time, it gained momentum. Mid away through, few of my articles got published and was widely read by public.  I received many appreciation notes from my friends near and afar. Thanks to Aue Jurmmi and Namkhai Norbu for that. Not only that. Few of my articles even offended few high level bureaucrats. I got warned. But  I am thankful and grateful for that. I think thats how people become writer; -through criticisms and warnings. I took those as "words of flowers"

Now my Blog is one year old. Like a father I am here to celebrate its Birthday. I would like to celebrate by sharing some of the achievements it has achieved. With just 3 post in 2010, My blog now contains 141 post in 2011 (and still counting). I would like to thank my 74 dedicated followers for keeping my blog alive. 

Today, my total pare preview has touched 20,000 mark. With this would I also thank those readers who found time to not only read my articles but also leave me those valuable comments and feedback. It has over 360 comments.  My blog has a lions share of readership in India, followed by Bhutan, US, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Belgium, Russia, Germany and Japan.

I thank Rachna Chabria for finding time to go through my blog. I also thank her for her beautiful award "styilish Blogger award" 


Thanks you all for Keeping "Free and Random Thoughts From the Valley of Shingkhar" alive. 


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Know Me More...........


I grew up in a very remote highlands of Bhutan. I am from Bumthang, Ura, Shingkhar. I remember living a very harsh life, because my farming parents had very limited source of livelihood. We are ten siblings then. This has further made our life harsher and tougher. As far as I can remember, the only source of livelihood my family had was few number of milking yaks and a flock of sheep, that sustained us below subsistence living condition.  

I started my schooling at a very tender age of 8 in Ura. -vibrant, naughty and full of mischief. I disliked schooling days for many reasons. I disliked schooling because I had to go hungry most the time. Other reason for disliking the schooling was our late headmaster. He fancied lashing then teaching. At times the lashings were so strong and severe that it hurt my legs, limbs, ears and ribs. I remember limping to my class. He flogged many students for apparently no reasons! But dared by all, I never shared about this predicament to my parents back home. (In today's world, this could have very well cost him his job...he could have even faced imprisonment!) I graduated from there in 1994 with first division 6th grader. 

In 1995, I was transferred to Jakar High school, some 50 km away from my home and parents. My immediate concern started to change. I was more worried about the economic pressure me and my two little sisters were posing to my aging and impoverished parents. In order to bring some economic relieve, I remember looking for friends in my village who could join me in becoming a monk! At the same time I also remember working day and night during my winter holidays so that I  could earn my own school expenses. 

But however with the passage of time and space, my luck took a twist. My elder brother -who was economically more sound in my family came to my rescue. With his heartfelt support I was successfully able to complete my 10th grade with ease and comfort in 1998 with distinction. 

But sadly in 1999, there was a small storm in the cup between me and my brother. He never showed up green signal in supporting my studies. But thanks to him and my parents, I foresaw many options in my life. Becoming teacher was my priority. However, like a silver lining in the dark cloud, one of my closest friends came up with all his motivating words to pull me through my plight. (Thank you Dear friend Galey for this and for everything)

Midway through my 11th grade in Drukgyel High school, one of my elder sister -whom I took to be helpless and unemployed, came to shape my destiny. She promised me that she would never let me and leave me alone. With her support, -both emotionally and financially, I was able to do very well in my studies. I completed my 12th grade with a very decent mark. It was there, I met my life long partner, who is now mothering my three little daughters.

In 2001, I had the privilege of going to Sherubtse College; -the pride of the educated lot and the then only college in our country, to pursue my higher studies. It was from there I earned a B.Com Honors degree. This degree paved my way in becoming someone in my life. I appeared for civil service examination in 2004 and upon successful selection, I took up year long course in Management in RIM in 2005. I also got married to my wife the same year. Finally in 2006, I joined my service. 

Today, I am a very fortunate man serving my country and King. I am a very Happy family man too. I have 3 daughters, which is too early too fast for a man of just 30 years. 

Thank you, God, my parents, my King, my teachers, my brothers, my sisters and my friends for making me who I am today. 

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Things Appear in Autumn Around Me.

Take a look at these pictures. I am sure you can have your own interpretation. Before I get bogged down with my exam preparation, I thought I will take a formal leave from blogging world with this post. Wish me good luck and have a nice day 















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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Yak and a Buffalo, Long Lost Cousins?


Yak in Himalayas
Buffalo in India


(My encounter with buffalo in Gujarat reminded me of this story I heard long time ago)


Here is a story about yak and buffalo. I grew up looking after yaks in Shingkhar. And if I am not mistaken, this must have been the first Bhutanese folk tale I heard in my life.

I was told that, once upon a time, both yak and buffalo lived in the great plains of India. They had all the good pastures land that provided nutritious grass. They also had good and clean water supply throughout the year. To be concise, they had all the means necessary for their survival in India.

The only thing they missed in India was Salt. When their desire to taste salt reached their brim, the Yak came up with an idea. He told his cousin that he would go to Tibet in search of salt and would come back when he had found enough for both.

Yak had one condition. He told his cousin that he would need all his hair to keep him warm in cold and freezing weather of Tibet. Buffalo willingly and wholeheartedly gave away all his hairs. Off went the yak in search of salt. (Who never returned ever since?)

Yak chose to live in Tibet among the Himalayas and soon forgot his cousin who was dying to taste the salt. On the other hand, buffalo believed in the words of his cousin who never returned and kept on waiting. He waited so long that his head became permanently positioned like he was looking in the north all the time.

This is the reason why buffalos' today have scanty hairs on their body when yaks have excess. Not only that, buffalos' today have a head that are slightly lowered but looking at a very faraway place( As if to indicate that they are still waiting for yak from North)
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Wishing Our Beloved Monarch a Very Happy Birthday. (11.11.11)


Your Majesty,
Thank you for making us who we are,
Thank you for leading us 
Thank you for inspiring us
And making us believe
 In the Power of humbleness.

Thank you for reminding the World about the Happiness;
The lesson that is fast ebbing and setting.
Thank you millions for everything that you did.

On your 56th Birthday, I wish you 
More good health,
Joy,
peace,
love, 
smiles, 
laughter.....

And most important of all,
I wish we have many more leaders 
Like you,
In the world
so that that the world at last can see the happiness
you have envisioned so long.

Long live my beloved King
May your Birthday bring Happiness 
To entire humanity.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Night Guard Who Fell Sick.


Few days ago,  our night guard fell sick. He looked sad and miserable. It was the same disease which made me miserable and helpless too.-the Gujarati fever. As I passed by, he called me and shared his predicament. He was seriously ill and he was panting and running short of breath. There was nothing I could do other than to console him. I told him to take leave and visit the doctor. I also told him to take medicines on time and that he will be OK in next coming days.

I met him again after 3 days and He was perfectly OK. He looked happy as ever. We spent some time together and discussed about our life. Before I could speak much on the topic, he seem to have lot to talk about. He disclosed that he is a grand father of 4 and father of 2. He survived all his life on a meager income he earned as a guard. From his body language, I could make out that his income was not much, but said he had a beautiful life till now and hopes it will continue till he dies.

He said, he thanked god everyday for giving him this Janam (Life). He said he will retire soon. But will continue to live his life guided by the principle of non violence and honesty. I gave him a big pat on his back and came back to my room.  I am not in a position to put in words, the wisdom he shared to me. I think it will take me a while before i can put what he said to me in words.




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Tibetan Market in Ahmedabad







Ever since the day I landed in Ahmedabad, its all been about surprises in my life.  Starting from being a lone foreign student in my class to fever that kills has always surprised me. If there is one thing in Ahmedabad that  I cannot come into terms with, then its is the Heat, the excessive heat of this tropical zone has always failed to please me (even with the fan).  It made me long for my home. It made me homesick and it also made me physically sick for more than 2 weeks. 

Now it's winter here. The nights have become cooler and and day even drier and hotter. But the most ironical thing is that we have jacket and sweater sellers here! They are Tibetans from North India. Interestingly, people of Ahmedabad are buying sweaters and jackets like a hot selling cake. I am amazed. I Couldn't believe that Ahmedabad is going to become that cold in winter that lasts about 20 days? 

I was actually out for a momo. -Tibetan delicacy, but had to come back with a jacket and blanket in my mind. 
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Married to Bhutan finally makes to my Shelf


The most awaited book by Linda Leaming, "Married to Bhutan" finally made to my shelf. I have waited for seven long months. I think it was worth waiting. I ordered the book online through www.flipkart.com and got it exactly after four days. 

 I have just finished reading the portion 'from this day forward'. All the lines are entertaining and lively. It took me back to Bhutan ( from Gujarat) I think I am going to have a reading feast tomorrow ( if Possible). Thank you for finding bliss in Bhutan. 
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Extraordinary Blogger Award for PaSsu Passang Tshering

This is my  humble award to PaSsu Passang Tshering for his article " Mr.Khaw boon wan what did you expect? His article has received an overwhelming response, both form Bhutanese, Singaporean and people from abroad. 

His article obviously came as an eye opener to many Bhutanese where happiness has been a benchmark in everything we do. We talk and dream a lot about it. Happiness is subjective concept of which the definition differs from person to person. Here in Bhutan, we believe that one day happiness is within the reach of humanity. Perhaps this looks reasonable on few conditions. World need to think little less about the materialistic progress and little more about saving the planet earth. I think we are one country who at least took the initiative of bringing happiness concept in fore of human development.

His Excellency Khaw's remarks have been received in varying reactions. Obviously many Bhutanese weren't happy. Many people felt the remarks were unjust and unfounded. If a week was enough for Khaw to draw conclusion on Bhutan, GNH, and Happiness, then the world would have been a lot more happier place already.

Following the footage of his speech, it becomes evident that Mr Khaw has exposed his weakness by speaking a lot on subject which he knows least. Bu neverthelesss I am very happy to see many Singaporeans apologizing Bhutan and Bhutanese in place of their Minister. This shows how much Singaporean in general like Bhutanese believe in sacredness of happiness.

And for now its very imperative that we do not draw a dividing line on the basis of a comments made by an individual. Rather Bhutan and Singapore should work hand in hand to make this world a better place. Singapore and Bhutan have come a long way and still have miles to go together.

God Bless Singapore and Bhutan

Read what Passa Wrote: Click Here
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Father is More Than a Hero. End


Now here are few reasons why I consider my father more than a Hero for me. 

1. May father may not have won any gallantry awards but long before he resigned from erstwhile Bhutan army, he was among those nervous yet brave men who guarded our motherland from intruders, especially from the North (in 1960s) 

2. My father may not have a certificate to prove his architectural genius but he is the man to have debuted his carpentry skills by building a monastery on the cliff that overlooks the valley of Sumthrang in Ura. Not only that, He was also among few chosen Bhutanese architects, who undertook the task of restoring of Bhutanese symbol known as Phugthang Dewachenpi Phodrang (also known as Punakha Dzong) and Tango Monastry in Thimphu.

3. With no formal education, my father is as good as a blind man. But for me he has always been the source of inspiration. I have always had the most memorable days with my father, not because son is with his biological father. But we shared a relation that was far more sublime and pious. To me, He is my great teacher! The way he imparted moral values were the most humbling experiences I had in my life. As a young and naughty school going boy, he taught me how to respect my teachers and seniors. He taught me that it’s not right to challenge my elders by throwing rocks, knives and bottles at them. He always taught me that being humble and sober will ultimately take to nearer to my dreams and aspirations. In doing so he taught me that simple and humble is the temple of god

4. In my early boyhood days, it was through my father that I realized noting in life is permanent. Everything that is born once is subject to common phenomenon called death. Therefore He taught me to be more compassionate, more considerate and more accommodating with any beings. He reminded me of my sins, -the sins I have committed by way of my boyish indulgence in slaughtering roosters, cats and dogs. If continued, He warned me of either a miserable life ahead or a quick and sudden death. He also taught me Drolma recitation, which he learned from his late father by heart. Fortunately or unfortunately, Drolma recitation is the only thing that I and my father have inherited from my late grandfather. 

5. Being illiterate and having to raise ten children must have surely taken a big toll mentally and physically on my father. There were often days, when my father returned home drenched in sweat and rain, exhausted and wretched, Hungry and thirsty. But for us (as his children) his return meant a lot. His return to home every evening meant our security, our peace and our smiles. It meant we have more happier moments in store than we have things to feed on and clothe.


I think I will stop here. Because our fathers are our Hero. everybody knows that but try putting up in words is way difficult. Try once and you will understand why your father is a special person to you. 
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Father is More Than a Hero. Part Two



I referred many books and consulted many language gurus. After so many years of search, I am now starting to realize that the word “Hero” doesn’t seem that brain teasing like calculus and trigonometric. 

Rather, Hero is someone who inspires us and gives mental strength in our endeavors. Hero is also someone to whom we look upon as a role model with all his noble traits and characters. Hero can be both living person as well as nonliving persons. Just like mythological characters, hero is someone who is immortal and everlasting in our thoughts, mind and space. And the list goes on. 

So with this I could now conclude that Hero doesn’t necessarily have to come in ding-dong Bollywood or Hollywood fashions. I think what I said some decade ago was correct and to the best of my knowledge, answer worth a pat on my back.

Sometimes Hero did come in a form of humble innocent and emotional carpenter, He is my father, the Golden pillar of my family. The harbinger of hope, happiness and home for me.

Part 3 coming soon.........
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