2011 is fast fading. It is ebbing with every single sun set. But it has been the most remarkable year for me.
Well. to begin with, I blissfully embraced 2011 with lot of satisfaction. I have successfully shouldered the responsibility of In-charge in one of the most sensitive place for more than a year and half. Few days into my new year, I also got my promotion order.
With few merry moments, then 2011 started unleashing surprises after surprises for me. In January, the worst fire disaster engulfed 14 precious yak calves of my father. For my father, it was a loss far beyond anything. The magnitude of loss nearly claimed his own life. He had a heart attack!
Somewhere in the middle of the year, I survived the worst road-crash. I thank god for giving me the kind of head and knee that withstood the worst bang of my life. My speeding car lost all its shape keeping me intact as if to say and show that its human who create and destroy. I thank my intuition here because I choose to insure my car cent percent. without insurance, it would have cost half my annual salary to mend 3 cars.
Few months after that defining period, Its was my passion that came under attack. My flames of passion for writing nearly got extinguished when I was warned in black in white by someone, who in my knowledge, have not even seen what I actually wrote. It was my letter to my representative that was questioned by a third party. This taught me that, at times democracy is funnier than funny thing.
My surprises for 2011 did not end there. It kept on coming. It was rather interesting to know what auditors have found about me. They found out that I was travel freak. I wish I were but unfortunately I wasn't. I thought, those poor auditors have mistaken me for a real travel freak. To be very transparent, I should have been inch shorter(taller) and few pounds heavier (lighter) than the real travel freak.
And then in the month of June, I competed against myself for a scholarship that would take me to India for my tertiary education. I topped the interview! But going to Gujarat was not like going to Australia, Europe or USA. It was saddening thing to realize that I had no reason to take my wife along. Because I am destined not to mint money in my life. By the way I am very much a GNH practicing man.
Then in September, 2011 had the last surprise for me. My father-in-law's speeding van nearly took the lives of four people. Thanks to the Bus from other direction, it at least stopped the van from toppling off the road. However, my father-in-law broke his leg. without an immediate major surgery, the case could have been worse.
Having passed all these testing times, I feel I have survived the major tests in my life. I have also come to realize that positive mind set is all we need in times of hardships.
For now, I am anticipating good things not only for myself, but for the entire humanity. May the year 2012, a year of Dragon bring happiness, health and wealth to all.
I would Like to wish all my friends around the world a very very happy X-mas. Life is not so long as we think, therefore we need to consider each single moment in life as special in its own way. Just as we endure our hard times with great fortitude, we should also celebrate our good times with our heart and soul.
Just as Christmas is to Christians, Happiness is to humanity. Anything good in life is worth celebrating. So enjoy life to the fullest. Do not grieve over what has passed. And in similar way, do not mull over what is yet to come. Live your present in its entirety.
May the sun of happiness shine forever on this beautiful earth.
Someone, somewhere once said; "Home is where heart is". Someone, somewhere also said "Home is the place, where one is whole" Therefore, coming home after half a year, it was truly and surely the most nostalgic moment of my life.
I reached my home in the midnight of 14th Dec 2011. I was delighted to see my family, (especially my daughters). In six months time, my eldest daughter has lost two teeth. She is not even six but loosing teeth at such an early age, I was little anxious. However, I later found out that it was a sign of fast growth and there was nothing to worry abut. My second daughter has grown an inch taller. She have put on some weight which was visible through her chubby little dimpled face. My youngest daughter had her share of change as well. She has grown taller but have become slimmer. She learnt few words and was able to talk. She have became more of a talking machine now.
However, I was disheartened to see my father-in-law. He broke his leg in an accident. I could see the marks of major surgery he had undergone on his right thigh. Mental anguish had taken a huge tool on his health. Not only did he loose so much weight, but he also seem to have lost hope in his life. As a son-in-law, all I could do was to encourage him and make him feel stronger. I told him not to worry. I also told him to be mentally strong. All in all , I felt very sad and sorry about the misfortune that had befallen my father-in-law.
But, my courageous wife had done her part to keep my family happy in my absence. She have not only become a licensed driver but have also become independent lady unlike in her past. She said, she had tough time managing everything in my absence. I could sense the hardships she had endured. She lost weight too and she have become all the more beautiful. By the way, My mother-in-law and granny have done a marvelous job being with my family.
Well, for now, I am at home, heart and soul. The days are just as beautiful as the life is. The clean air, cleaner water, serene valley and radiant atmosphere is where my Home is. Can I not say Home is a place of grace?
Now that I am done with my first semester exams, I feel relieved. I feel at ease and I feel excited about the fact that this much awaited exam is gone for good. I hopefully think its done for good! I am also equally excited, because after these stressful days I'll be heeding home to meet all my loved ones.
But let me share my exam experience here in Gujarat.
Without an inch of hesitation, I admit that this has been the most distressful exam experience I have ever had in my life. Since our colleges did not have the autonomy of conducting exams in our college, we were made to sit for exams in different exam centers. The centers were declared 2 days before our exams. With the issuance of exam entry card, (they call it receipt here) it also meant that we would have to go and find our own exam centers as well.
Thanks to my friend and her scooter, I was able to find my center in hours time. But the tricky part of exam time (here) is that, its not only about memorizing points in my text, but it was also about memorizing the traffics and roads to reach to my center.
So, on 1st of December, I went to write my first paper. We were suppose to begin our exam at 2:30 pm, but due to some lapses in between, we were given question papers as late as by almost 30 minutes. Nearly half hour gone, I was worried as to whether I would be able to complete it in time. But a very healthy and giant lady leaps in our room and still manages to say "Chinta Math Garo". Later, I realized that she was our exam controller.
I could hardly make out, what I was actually writing. In super haste, the points and the paragraphs on my answer sheet looked haphazard. There was hardly any time for me to critically think and analyse the answers. I blurted out everything that struck my mind.
Then in between, a man came and asked me to produce my Student ID card. Hell! I felt my rage at its brim. I hated him for the distraction he was bringing forth. They already took good amount of my time and still wanted to waste few of my precious minutes, That was truly annoying, insulting and bitter. I immediately grabbed my bag, took out the card and threw it on his dirty face. But he said "cool down". Inside, many thoughts gushed in my mind. I felt embarrassed about the way they conducted our exam (that day).
Not only that, one thing or the other kept on distracting me all through. At regular interval, amplified prayers from a nearby mosque took away my attention just like a honk of a speeding automobile on the highway.
Today is the 15th day of the 10th month in Bhutanese calender. This is the time I and my sons come from to Shingkhar to attend our annual five day ritual called Shingkhar Rabney. But fortunately or unfortunately, this year, it has been postponed to some other date. But never the less, me and my family are very eager to join folks of Shingkhar for the Rabney. I am so so eager to see the first Linga fire in full electrified courtyard of Shingkhar Lhakhang. Not only that, I also wanted to see people of all age prolonging their changkor till the dawn. If possible I am planning to join them too and prolong it till the dusk of next day. Apart from that, I am also equally excited to entertain my brothers and sisters thoroughly.
This is the first time I am seeing Lunar eclipse on this very night. I suppose Meme Ragula is not very pleased with the postponement of Rabney, Because we the Shingkhapas (and many others in Bhutan) associate lunar eclipse to mythical power of Meme Ragula, known also as Zaa. We consider this day as a very sacred day because it is not only Tse Chenga But Karma Mindu, Stuseng-Takseng and Acho Lhala are going to meet at the same spot in the sky at midnight.
Especially, if you are in India (as a Foreigner) then you must have traveled many times in it. You would have also thanked their owners for their services and would have also fallen into argument often (over the exorbitant fare they must have charged from you). I am Talking about "Autos". India is a land of Autos and welcome to the land of Autos and Autowallas.
As a Bhutanese, Who grew up side by side with the Indian culture and costumes, nothing about India is new for me. I, in fact know that India is a diversity hub in any respect. A thing of Autos and autowalls is one such thing that I am now getting more acquainted with.
It was 7th December 2011 in Ahmedabad. It was exam time. I had International Economics paper in the afternoon (at 2:30 pm) and as usual I have told my favorite Autowala to come and pick me up at 1:30pm. He is a very senior citizen by age, (probably in his late 60s) It was like an agreement drawn between two of us. But annoyingly and frustratingly, he didn't turn up that day. In my madness, I blamed him, I yelled at him (internally). I regretted treating him everyday with Lassi and ice cream in amol Shop.
So I had to take another auto that day. As I came out from my exam hall at 5:30 pm, the first thing on my mind was to find another Autowalla, with whom I might have to bargain for the fare. Autowalls here have an immutable tendency of charging more fares from foreigners. So fixing the fare in advance is what I always do. As I walked out from the gate, I was surprised to see him (my favorite Autowalla, that senior citizen)
I immediately started scolding him in Hindhi. I told him " abb Booth Kharab Admai hai" . with that I got into Auto and he started driving without even replying a word. On my way I asked him why he didn't turn up. But he had his own reason. He told me that he had a problem with his Auto. But seeing his brand new auto, it did little to convince me. So I yelled at him and said " abb Juuth Math Bolo". That day I told him to drive me straight to my room and not to amol Shop. At my gate, I took out Rs 50 and paid the fare and told him that I do not require his services anymore.
But My favorite autowalla looked in my face with his hands holding to his ears. He said " I am sorry Beta". It touched my heart immediately, Seeing a very senior man begging forgiveness and sorry from me was something inexpressive. And moreover, with his toothless mouth, he reminded me of my dad. But I did not show my intensity of feeling to him.
As I walked to my room, He called me and asked me about my next exam. He told me that he will not make the same mistake again. After a while I responded to him. I told him, If he does then, I will not talk to him forever (even though I have only 2 years to stay here)
Few Months ago I took up Photography as my hobby. Although it was quite expensive hobby, I was able to buy the most sought after camera (Nikon D90). I thank my wife for all her support, both financially and morally. I consider my self as an "aspiring photographer" (he he Pray for me). And I hope to become one in my near future ( now pray even more )
So, today as I near to end my 2011, It brings me great joy and satisfaction that I was able to procure an instrument that I was in in love for so many years. I may not have taken great shots but I have always enjoyed the shots of other photographers. I have over thousand collections!
Today I have chosen my version of "Photograph of the year". I thank the concern photographer for capturing that beautiful image.