Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reflection and Contemplation Day

Today is 21/12/2013 and I take it as a very special day of my life. This is because one year ago, for no apparent reason, I decided to make 21st December(s) as my reflection and contemplation day. I remember writing a post that day. I think wrote a post thanking few beautiful people including my Kings. I also remember making a wow to write about some more people who have played a role in making my life beautiful, meaningful and memorable.

Friday, December 20, 2013

FIFA World Cup Trophy arrives in Bhutan

Bhutanese Officials receiving the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

 20/12/2013 will be a very memorable day, not only for football fans but also for those people who have come all the way around the red aircraft (as shown in the picture).
Look at the picture above!. Almost all the people working in Paro airport are out to have a glimpse of the most coveted sports trophy landing in Bhutan.  I am surprised because some of the biggest Rimpoches' and lamas' did not have that many people to receive them! 

FIFA Trophy
Although there was no display of the trophy, the overwhelming crowd refused to leave the craft side. To some of my friends, I had to tell them that the trophy is hidden in three identical boxes and its safely locked and cleared already by the security officials. But most of them wouldn't listen.

As a Customs official, I had the privilege of inspecting the boxes from outside. They all look so good and secured. I didn't  know which box contained the gold cup. Along with me was my other colleague doing the inspection. And both of us made sure that we at least touched the boxes. Later, while we were inspecting the podium and other shipments, I told him to touch them as well and we both laughed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

106th National Day post

In celebrating our national day on 17/12/2012, (i.e one year ago) I posted our national anthem and the picture of our beloved Kings on my blog. It was our 105th national day then. Now that its 17/12/2013, we are celebrating 106 years of progress and happiness one more time. 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Some Similarities Between the Korean and Bhutanese Architecture

I took the pictures below in Suwon, another city in South Korea south of Seoul city. All the pictures are in the vicinity of King Jungjio's palace. By the way King Jungjio was the 22nd King of the Joseon Dynasty. The guide told me that King has been the most powerful and popular king of all time. However he lived a troubled personal life because of his political rivals. Surprisingly, the rival was his own grandmother, who was just 16 yrs old that time. The place is full of history.   

Most of the structures, I was told were rebuilt after being destroyed. Once in Korean war one by the invading forces of Japan. It is now UNESCO heritage site. 


Nelson Mandela and Korean Beauty

Nelson Mandela
Yesterday, the hot news in the main stream media was the death of a man who, I believe, lived his life in service to the humanity. Former President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla "Madiba" Mandela, was a known freedom fighter. The way he rose from his humble background to fight against the discriminatory policies based on the skin colour of his countrymen is all the more admirable. Many leaders around the world think that his death is a great loss to this entire humanity. Therefore, he will be missed dearly everywhere. And on this sad occasion, I would like to join the world community in remembering and paying respect to this great soul. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


And here is another thing I would like to write:

When I was planning my travel to South Korea, besides the low temperature and importance of having warm cloths, there was another thing that my friends talked to me; -Beautiful South Korean People. Yes, I was told that I would have the opportunity to feel like the ugliest person on the planet. I think they must have meant beauty externally. But I took it otherwise. I have known South Korean people to be not only beautiful form outside, but from inside too. Perhaps that is why I presume many youngsters in Bhutan are trying to copy the looks of Korean people. 

But when I actually reached Seoul, I came to know from a guide as to how much Korean people care to look beautiful Externally! He told me that to compete in a job, the first thing one need is to look beautiful. He calls it as a first impression. Now it seems that there is a competition among Korean youngsters not only for jobs, but also in their looks. By looking at the numbers of plastic surgery clinic around, it says it all.

Anyways, plastic surgery or rubber surgery, its up to every individuals to decide. Go for it if you have the means. In Korea, I was told that it would cost USD 5500/- to just to lower the nose by an inch.

But for me, three night stay was enough for me to fall in love with that beautiful country. Seoul, the capital city is wonderful. Everything is so so beautiful there, The streets are beautiful. Food is beautiful and yummy (although little expensive) cars are beautiful (and unlike Gujarat,cars never honk) and so are girls and ladies, Kids are beautiful andeven men are looking beautiful too. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Update From Seoul, South Korea

I went to Seoul, South Korea representing Bhutan Customs administration to I attended a seminar on "Fight Against Cross-Border Crimes in Asia Pacific region". As a panelist, I also gave a short presentation on Tobacco free policies and administrative outcomes in Bhutan. I think the presentation went well. I spoke little bit on our recent Tobacco control law. I tried my best to convince the floor as to why Bhutan Government is justified in passing a 'harsh' and 'unmerited' law.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Plight of Building Wall in Punakha. Part One


Our House in Punakha
As I said in my earlier post, I had the most busiest weeks of my life in my recent past. I found my self engaged hundred percent; both officially and personally. I told my wife about how much rest I deserve (after my masters course in Economics) but the irony is that I found myself engaged even on the weekends.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November is Here


First up, I would like to wish our beloved king a very happy coronation day. May his Majesty live long and continue to guide us and bless us. Secondly, I feel sorry for not being able to tend my blog for so many days. Believe me, each day I look at my blog, it broke my heart.. It pained my heart to see my blog become like a haunted house.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Transfer Time!

After eight long years in Paro, I am finally planning my maiden transfer to a Place other than Paro. In eight years of my service, I had the opportunity of serving my office to the best of my ability. It was pleasure working in, what many people say a "sensitive place". In terms of work knowledge, I have profited immensely under various Regional Directors. I had the pleasure of working with some of the most dedicated and resourceful officers and inspectors alike. Some day I would like to write a separate post on this. 

But for now, let me write as to why I have to move from this beautiful place. I have both official and personal reasons. Le me keep my personal inconveniences aside.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thanks to Typhoon Phailin


Thanks to typhoon Phailin in Odhisa, it was rain for three consecutive days in Paro. Downpour was ferocious; lot bigger than the ones we normally get to see in monsoon. The cold wave was bitter. It engulfed the entire valley in no time and sent many people rushing for jackets and heaters!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Longchen Thongdrel Consecrated

Final Thongdrol of Longchenapa
Models
His eminence the Namkhai Nyingpo Rimpoche consecrated the Thongdorl of Kuenkhen Longchen on 12th Oct 2013 inThimphu. The Thongdrol worth more than million Nu was built by the people of Shingkhar village along with the support of other Longchen devotees across the country. My cousin monk who took active part in the process told me that it is to purely to bring harmony and happiness not only in Shingkhar, but also in Bhutan and world at large. Thongdrol will be soon taken to Shingkhar and will be unfurled once in a year coinciding with the annual Shingkhar Rabney.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Royal Wedding Anniversary Post

I would like to join my fellow country men and women in wishing our beloved King and Queen, yet another happy royal wedding anniversary. May their unison last till eternity and may they continue to be the guardian of our peace and happiness for eons. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bonfire with Heated Arra

Usually I am a sober person and I normally do not drink much. But today I am happy and I am little drunk as well. I don't know the exact reason myself. However I would like to admit that we have a very important guest (VIP). I am told that our Finance Minister has specifically ordered to arrange a dinner honoring the Secretary general (SG) of WCO and the Head of ROCB for Asia Pacific Region who are here on a good will visit.

By the way, WCO means, World Customs Organization and ROCB means Regional Office for Capacity Building (for customs)

I am writing this post, drunk, but touched altogether. I feel wordless to thank the Secretary General, WCO and the Head of ROCB AP for visiting our country. I am deeply moved by the kind of affection WCO have for Bhutan Customs administration.  Even in my drunken  mood, I am hopeful that such affection, care and gesture will go a long way in furthering the capacity of our administration. Thank you WCO and Thank you ROCB AP.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We are Bloggers


On 23 Sept, few fellow bloggers have initiated a blogger's meet in Thimphu. I got the invitation a week before. So thank you Passa, Sogyel, Nawang and Riku. You can read more about it on Passu's blog @http://www.passudiary.com

I remember attending one such meeting in 2011. Back then I met not only senior bloggers like Mr. Dorji Wangchuk, Mr, Jurmi Chowing, Mr, Tshering Tashi, Mr. Tashi Pelyang, Ms. Sonam Peldon, Ms. Manju Whakley but I also had the opportunity of meeting many budding Bhutanese bloggers too. I still remember the lively conversation and a sumptuous dinner we had at Aue Dorji Wangcguk's residence. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Training Experience I Shared during the Closing Ceremony


Honorable Director, respected expert mission from RILO AP, respected commissioners, seniors and my dear colleagues. Today I, on behalf of my trainee friends and on my own behalf, stand here to briefly share our experiences about capacity building program mentioned under.

Office of the RILO AP and DRC has initiated a capacity building program for Bhutanese Customs Officials. Three day workshop on “Intelligence Analysis & Risk Management using the CEN Database” was conducted by Dr. Gryphon Sou, Mr. Wang Liang and Ms. Sung Im Lee from RILO AP. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ketamine from Bhutan to Thailand

Disclaimer: I am a Customs Officer. But please be informed that views expressed here are my own and in no way represents the views of my office.

Image courtesy: www.moct.net
Few days ago, we all saw the news of a Bhutanese woman being nabbed for running an errand in Thailand go viral. Every soul now knows that she was involved in smuggling of a dangerous psychotropic substance called Ketamine worth Bt.15 million in Bangkok airport. It is very unfortunate case!. 

As a Customs Officer who work in Paro airport, I am hurt by Miss Zhimo's reckless act. The news of her arrest brought us not only shame but also pain in equal proportion. We were blamed at and ridiculed. She made our office look like a total failure. She disappointed not only Bhutanese and the Thais, but also those donor agencies who have, so far helped us in capacity building.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pictures From My Chelela Camping


Name it.

Bhutanese Bloggers e-Conference


Thank you Rekha for initiating this e-conference. Thank you Passu and Nawang P for sharing the news. I am delighted to be part of this wonderful group. But fortunately or unfortunately, I am so so caught up with works both at home and in office. So I am little late in writing this post.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Norbu, Our Guest


Few weeks ago, a lone male cat, totally beaten and exhausted by hunger and cold showed up to my residence. Before I could even utter a word, my three animal loving daughters have not only welcomed him to our house, but have also claimed the ownership over it. They were swift to name him too. They named him Norbu!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Random Pictures from Lamperi Botanical Park

As suggested by my fellow blogger Passu, today I was able to make a brief visit to Royal Botanical Park in Lamperi. My wife, who loves nature more than me, was totally awestruck by the absolute sereneness and total tranquility there. It captured her attention, so much that she almost left her purse there. 

We did not have time to enjoy all the fun there. But our brief stopover there has already inspired us to take our entire family for a grand picnic some day. I took the following pictures in my tab and it surely doesn't look that good. But I would like to inform all my readers that, those are the pictures with no editing and Photo-shopping. They are in their raw form like the nature itself. So please enjoy.. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Prime Minister of Bhutan



I believe now the world knows His Excellency Tshering Tobgay as the second democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan. To my eyes and ears and to all my senses, I think he is truly a leader of his own class. Unlike many of Bhutan's Bureaucratic and political elites, both past and present, what make him special and endearing is not his current position but his humble origin. The way he tended his own path looks inspirational. His accession to the throne of Prime Minister has really proven that, with democracy, "The throne of Gaden [Prime Minister of Bhutan]" can be truly anybody's?


For now he has mountain on his shoulder. Has a long way ahead. Promises has been made. Only time will tell how he delivers it. For now, lets wish him and his cabinet all the best. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I am Neither "JYT Scoundrel" nor PDP angagonist


After I wrote an article titled “Jigme Y. Thinley, The Man Whom the Mighty Feared”, my blog has received an unprecedented number of readers, both from home and abroad. I am surprised! I became even apprehensive about what I have written. In hour’s time, when my article garnered over thousand hits, I even started to worry.  The reasons are obvious. Number one, I am not a popular blogger. Number two I am not qualified political commentator. And number three, I didn’t know whether the thing I wrote could be construed as my freedom of expression.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jigme Y. Thinley, The Man Whom The Mighty Feared

Former Prime Minister of Bhutan
Of late there has been a number of news associated with the intended resignation of our former and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan. The reasons for his untimely resignation sound rather enigmatic but its not that surprising. Precedent was already set. When the erstwhile president of PDP, a man known more for his action, resigned after a humiliating defeat in 2008, he disappeared altogether from the scene without a trace. His disappearance did not have a credible justification neither to the party nor to the supporters. To this effect, his vehement critics have labelled him to a worst case cowardice. Like it or not, his absence created a visible sense of loss for Bhutan's infant democracy. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Colour Chaos

Although we have few disgruntling people here and there, the election dust certainly seems to have settled for now. With this we can comfortably presume that the grievances of not only the loosing party, but also that of winning party are well addressed and attended to. 

Whether it is due to their "karmic force" or their capability or other reasons, our new PM and  Lyonpos have finally moved into the office, adorned with much coveted orange scarf and patnag. While some of them must be already sinking deep learning the alphabets of the ministries, some may be still practicing hard to put on the scarf correctly. I write this on the authority that wearing even the simple white scarf is difficult. (Back in 2004, It took me almost a week to put on the white scarf the right way). But thanks to the graduate orientation program, I was finally able to get through the test.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What an Eventful Month!


Our historic July month is about to end and here I am closing my blog with just three posts. It saddens me to the core of my heart for not being able to tend to my blog for such a long gap. I really do. 

But what an eventful month it had been.Finally the Election 2013 is gone with the wind and the result are astonishing. Post election is anything but jubilation and lamentation in equal weight. Some say PDP supporters wept for months in 2008, so this time its reasonable to see DPT supporters weeping at least for a week. Bhutanese democracy is unique but the results are bitter. Isn't it?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bhutan Elects New Government



In the history of Bhutanese election, 24th March 2008, as we recall, was a memorable day. In our first ever parliamentary election, we observed how DPT stormed into power winning 45 of 47 seats. We all recall how Davids' of the DPT slayed the Goliaths' of PDP then. It was landslide win and someone somewhere called it a Bhutanese intelligent and wisdom. In essence people voted for 'equity and justice'

Friday, July 5, 2013

Trip to Punakha

Although Iam not from Punakha, I have a reason larger than my life to go there. Firstly, its place from where our forefathers like Zhabdrung established our statehood. Secondly, its a place from where the legacy of our beloved monarchs emerged.. Thirdly and perhaps the most important reason, although totally personal, its a place from where my better half hails.Therefore even a slightest thought of being in Punakha used to bring me immense joy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Of Political Debates

Of late I have seen a lot of political debates going on everywhere. The debate hosted by BBS have become  a very popular show of the hour. Good or not its eating up most of my precious evening hours.  Sometimes I am forgoing my evening walk, which is a dangerous thing for a man who is putting on weight. Sometime I am even forgetting to water my vegetable garden, which is again not a good thing when there is a galloping inflation in the vegetable market. In this account, I think I am making a big compromise. The only consolation I have is that I am sacrificing my precious time hearing from people who are soon going to become our  representatives.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

From Customs Office Once Again

Few days a go, we had an in-house training on x-ray image reading and analysis. The training was initiated by those officials who had the opportunity of undergoing the said training in Bangkok. I was told that the training was funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with Regional Office for Capacity Building for customs (ROCB) and the Thai Customs.  I am sure WCO must have also played its role. I was also told about the immense support rendered by the head office of  DRC in this regard. Someday I would love to write a detail report on it. But for now please bear with my brief unofficial write up.


Monday, June 24, 2013

My Secret of Scoring 80+

Few days ago, I got my results for 4th semester. With that result, I can finally say that I am through with my masters course. For good. I felt elated and excited. I felt more happy at the fact that I was able to perform well beyond my expectations.  Firstly, I topped Arts category of Gujarat University for 4th

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Final Results


My 4th sem result are out and I  am happy to share with my friends that I have scored 86.17% (517/600) With this I have now sealed my Masters in Economics with an aggregate of 81.16%. (1948/2400) I am writing  this as a matter of my own record and history. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time to Wear My Uniform

After two years, I am now preparing to wear my uniform, once again. This time I am going to wear the trousers and shirts sewed by experts in Ahmedabad. I hope I look like a law enforcer and not like a joker anymore. I also hope that my ranks on the shoulder do not create any confusion in the eyes of on lookers.

So in my preparation for the moment, I went to have a fitting hair cut. But to my amazement, entire Bondey town just had one barber. However after having waited for more than an hour, I was able to have my hair clipped in army style.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bhutan Customs in Uniform


Initially when I joined Customs department in 2006, we had a uniform which people mistook it for the uniform of Punakha High School. It  used to be a decent gho for gents and Kira for ladies. We were even issued rain coats and boots! But in course of time when Government supplied us a staff duty vehicle, a thing of boot and a coat (rain) became our beautiful past.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

From Customs Office, Paro Airport

Yesterday was a very auspicious day. After two long years in India, I am finally back to a place where I belong. I made back to my office in one good piece and it gives me immense joy and satisfaction. In the morning hours, I first went to meet my new boss. It was our first meeting and so both of us had very few words. But in between, I think our silence did the rest. Through our silence, we spoke a lot. I think we spoke  about our dream to serve our department. -To our best. before I stood up to leave his chamber, I shook his hand. I think I did thrice.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Primary Round Post

On the night before the primary round of election, I got a call rather from a very unexpected person. My friend who is a gomchen called me up and asked me which party I was planning to cast my precious vote.  According to Bhutanese electoral law, 'gomchens are above politics'. But at that hour, he seemed least bothered.by the law. My enthusiastic friend seemed so energized  and eager to come at the level where politically divided voters were literally throwing pots and pans at eachother. To cool him down, I had to remind him about his status. Not only that, I also had to inform him about how apolitical civil servant I am.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Big Day Post

Its election day here in Bhutan.The Primary round. Many people call it a big day. Big day or small day, out of four political parties we have, two parties will be voted in today. And they will contest general election again in July.  Its time for people to make their big and wise decision. Its People's time.

Its media black out period here. By law we are not suppose to post any statements, especially those that are defamatory in nature. I was told that we cannot even post a statement in support or in against of a parties that are contesting the election nor against or in favor of any candidates. I think its a wise decision. In an eleventh hour, some voters can be swayed easily by a mere statements. Many people think is not good for democracy.

I am writing this short update, before my daughters wake up. Before people of the Nation heed to Polls. I write this update to wish all our political parties, all their best. Its still raining. And as suggested by our Chief election commissioner of Bhutan, I urge all the voters to take their brand new umbrellas and rain coats and "show them off" in the polling station. The road conditions may not be that good and for those who are travelling home to vote, I would like to remind all the drivers to be extra cautious.

Lastly, by the blessings of Kuncho-sum, may we have a successful election once again.






Tuesday, May 28, 2013

At Home for Good

I am back from Gujarat and I am now in Bhutan for good. After having endured the burning heat, ear drum-breaking noise and nose blocking dust of Gujarat for two years, I feel like I have come back to a monastery, high up in the Himalayas. Its a total tranquility here. I see more moving cows in the street than cars. If not for rupee shortage, I am starting to think that Bhutan can still take in some more cars! 

Anyways, I reached home at a time when my country is at the height of its election process. In few days, we will be electing two parties. They call it a primary round. And in few months, we will have a new parliament. For now its a season of promise making in Bhutan. 

Come 2018, Bhutan will be a heaven. There will be no poverty. Every youth will be employed. Roads, schools and health centers every where. Empowered Women. Helicopters and tillers. Revised pay for civil servants, Revised tax structure. Longer maternity leave, more prosperity, more peace, less corruption, justice, and on goes the list. 

Here is what my cousin wrote: "at this rate, it wont be long before political parties pledge "Rain for the Bhutanese people during monsoon"...

Its eleventh hour and I haven't decided which party to vote for. At the moment DCT's "Prosperity with Unity" looks as amazing as DNT's "People's Government". While DPT's "Equity with Justice" has done a magic in 2008 election, PDP's "Decentralization" seems to be casting a spell this time around. All candidates proclaim themselves to be Nymchugs and for now, I call them all ambitious Nymchungs. 

I am a very apolitical person and I will cast my vote based on the candidate followed by party ideology.  












Monday, May 13, 2013

Professor Dr. Kartik M Bhatt


With my professor, Dr. Kartik M. Bhatt who is the Head of Economics Department in School of Social Sciences, under Gujarat University.

Thank you sir for teaching me Macro Economics, Managerial Economics, Public Economics and Mathematical Economics. Thank you for inspiring me to work hard.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Some Pictures With My Professors





With Dr. Snajay Pardeshi who taught me Public Finance, Quantitative Methods in Economics, Growth and Development, Agriculture Economics, Research Methodology, Managerial Economics and Financial Institutes and Markets

With Madam Tarang Solanki, who taught me Micro Economics, Environmental Economics, Growth and Development, Labour Econimics, Industrial Economics and Agriculture Economics



With Dr. Hina Sidhu who taught me International Economics, Environmental Economics, Micro Economics, Industrial Economics, Research Methodology, Quantitative Methods in Economics and Financial Institutes and Markets

Tomorrow (or someday before I leave Gujarat) I also intend to meet my professors who taught me Macro Economics and  Mathematical Economics.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Misson: Dumbbell Selling

While RCSC is taking their own time to confirm our air tickets, I am keeping myself engaged here. I am done with packing, but last night on NDTV webpage and later in Times of India newspaper, I read a worrying news. It says "fly light or pay more". Baggage weighing more than 15 kg from hereon will attract a levy of Rs. 250 per additional kg.

I felt disgusted. It seems airline business are running out of innovation to make more money. At the moment I have not many words that can describe how angry I am with the new business plan of airlines in India. I wish I can call on a strike. I have already set my luggage weight to 20 kg, but looks like I will have to again do some adjustment and readjustment with my packing business.
 
Meanwhile the heat here is getting terrible. Temperatures in the day time rises to such a height, that I feel I am getting roasted alive. Eating and sleeping the entire day, its complete waste of time here.

Coming back to my dumbbell affair, here is an update. Yesterday I met with the very retailer from whom I bought it. We finally made a deal. As expected, we were able to make a win-win deal out of it. Without having to bargain much, he offered me the price I asked for. Rs 400 per dumbbell, I felt was a fair deal altogether. I felt it was a deal far better than dumping them. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Waiting for my Air Ticket

I am almost done with my packing. I have tired my best to keep my luggage weight under control. So, after a countless sorting-out processes, I have finally decided that most of my old belongings are going home with me. Yes that's right. I cannot simply dump my gold-like old garments here. I thought it would be very ungrateful and ungracious on my part to leave them behind because  they are still strong and wearable. Some of my shirts are five years old but they still look better than the ones we get in the malls today! So, I packed them separately and I called up a courier service. After  little bit of bargaining I was finally able to send them home. 

But I am totally helpless with my dumbbells. I am neither able to take them home nor able to sell it back. I think it was by far the most stupidest acquisition I have ever made in my life. I paid Rs.700 per 5 kg and haven't used it at all. Seriously, I still do not know what urged me to make that crazy purchase. Today I did some oiling on it. It look brand new. I am planning to meet the same retailer from whom I bought it. I hope and pray that he take back his goods for a price that would leave both of us in a better off position. Even Rs 400 per dumbbell would be a welcome transaction. 

In a meantime, me and my friends are waiting for our air tickets. Already its been a week since we requested those concern officials in RCSC to arrange the same.  But it was only yesterday they acknowledged our mail. Thanks to Commissioner Bachu Phub Dorji, the officials have now promised to send our air tickets by the earliest possible date. If they don't then I might melt in this heat.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Packing and Repacking

Ever since the day I finished my exams, I had two things on my mind. -Pack up and then going home! Its just my second year here, but it has made me feel like I have been here for ages already. I feel I am going home after a decade in exile.

So, in last two days I went to meet my professors. I met most of them. I thanked them personally for all the help and support they gave me in course of two years. In fact I wrote them a letter of gratitude! I told them how fortunate I felt being taught by them. I also told each one of them how I will miss them everyday.

I haven't met my class friends yet, but I wanted to meet them too. I wanted to thank them all for being so nice to me. Initially when my room did not have fan and a running water, some of them told me that if I can survive in India, I can survive any where on this planet. So on a lighter note, before I depart, I wanted to tell them how I survived.

But on a serious note, life wasn't that bad. Thanks to the Gujarat University administration. Me and my friends were accorded the best of the best facilities in the campus. We were given the best flat for the cheapest possible rent. Compared to our seniors, we were given the additional facilities like freezer, oven, toaster, larger table and more comfortable chairs. Thank you Gujarat University. I hope you get some more scholars from Bhutan in coming years.


For now its all about packing and repacking in my room. Except my old cloths and few books, I have nothing much to pack. I wanted to make sure that my luggage do not exceed 20 kg. So I pack and repack. Again and again. But to my surprise, my old cloths have started weighing heavy like a metal. If any thing old were to be gold, surely my old cloths testified this statement in terms of their weight! And I am afraid that I might have to part with some of my gold-like cloths here.



Monday, May 6, 2013

Writing Thank you Notes

Dear Respected Professor(s),

Before I bid farewell to this beautiful University and college, I want to express my genuine gratitude for all the hard work you all have put in during the academic year 2011-2013 as my professors. You all have made my stay here a worthwhile and wonderful one. At this hour, I have not many words that can fittingly thank you all.

The way you all took lectures without a rest in between showed how difficult it was in teaching. I saw the exhausted faces and tired bodies of you all every day. Messed up with chalk powder, I have often heard your voices go dry. Not only that, I saw how your throat choked after a daylong lecture. I felt deeply sorry about burden you all were under. But you all had common strength called the determination. Determination to educate microcode students like me! I felt all the more inspired by the way you all handled the classes every day. It inspired me to attend every lecture, everyday. You all inspired me to work harder each second.

I am not an intelligent man. But groomed by you all, I feel I have progressed well academically too. I feel hard work from my side and hard work from you all complemented each other. Looking at the results I have achieved so far, (76.67% in first sem, 80.3% in second sem and 81.5% in third sem) it shows how hard works never go in vain. With blessings from you all, I expect the same result in fourth sem too. I don't know whether I have become a full-fledged butterfly or not but certainly I am going home much more progressed and refined than a caterpillar.

Personally, I am a very sensitive person. I am emotional like any other beings. At the same time I have also flaws like any other beings too. Therefore in course of our interaction, if I have hurt your sentiments and feelings, I would like to seek forgiveness from all of you. Those things were never intended. 

Once again I would like to extend warm thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best of everything in your future endeavors. I will cherish you all in my life as my Gurus. May god bless you all with good health and abundant happiness in life.
Thank you

With Lots of Respect and Regards
(Kuenzang Thinley)
M.A Economics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tashi Delek To All.

My sincere and heartfelt Tashi Delek to all the NC contestants who have successfully won their election on 23rd April 2013. Its once again a history of peoples power in making. Whether our representatives hear our voice or not is a different issue but, we the people of Bhutan have once again spoken our minds.

We are today seeing many new faces in the house. Whether this is good or not, only time will tell. For now its time for all of us to expect new talents and innovations from those new faces. They are the new set of captains we have entrusted to sail our ship of democracy forward.

Let us all hope that these set of people put their service to people and nation before their volatile perks and allowances. We want all of them to be realist! Lets also hope that our representatives stay connected with us all the time.  We hope they all become the worthy servants of people and the King.

Tashi Delek


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Economy is in shape: Government


(On economy, borrowings and trade deficit – responses from Meet the Press)

Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, Finance Minister

We have to speak about the current situation which you assume is bad and based on that assumption your argument is being made. We have all along said the situation is not bad.

Look at the macro indicators: most of them are very good. For example, GDP growth - one of the ways to assess the economy – is around 9 percent and the unemployment rate – another important indicator – is down from 4.5 to 2.1 recently, quite low by any standard.

While we had rupee shortage, we did not have overall reserves problem. Within the overall reserves, rupee is just one part of it, albeit a large part because our trade is largely with India. The correct yardstick is how much of reserves do we have to sustain how many months of our import requirements. This is a constitutional requirement. We have total reserve sufficient to cover more than one year’s essential imports. When we have rupee shortage we use dollars and when we have dollar shortage, we use other currencies. If you look at many other countries it is much lower.

The economy is not in bad shape, rather this government, during the five years, has added a lot of economic structures to take the country and economy forward. So the prospects are very good for the next government, including the benefits they can reap from the commissioning of some hydropower projects. Small problems will crop up from time to time and I think the next government will resort to similar measures like ours.

Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, Economic Affairs Minister

Let’s go into the context. The DPT government coincided with the global economic meltdown, not to speak of our own inherent difficulties such as landlockedness, high costs of transportation, shortage of labor skills, technology and market. We cannot be totally insulated from what is happening in the world.

We have witnessed 8–9 % average growth over the years. In terms of actual GDP value, in 2008, our GDP was 54 billion. In 2011 it went up to 85 billion - a huge growth in terms of values.

Over the last four years, corporate taxes grew by 122%, business tax by 135 %. In terms of value, corporate tax jumped from Nu 2.3 billion to 5.1 billion, business tax from less than half a billion to 1.2 billion.
Or look at the credit from the financial institutions. The credit given to different sectors in 2008 was Nu 22 billion. In 2012 (September), it was Nu 54 billion – meaning, a huge surge in economic activities.

Of the total of over 29,000 trade licenses in the country, 16,000 were issued in the last four years. Of the total 37,000 industrial licenses, over 11,000 were issued in the last four years. Why take licenses if there is no growth?

Look at GDP per-capita growth pattern in the last three years – 2,277 dollars to 2,590 to 2,986. We have already 62 high-end hotels; in 2012 alone, 48 new hotels were issued construction licenses. From one aircraft, we now have 4. More Bhutanese are travelling than ever before.

I met Indian leaders several times and they are impressed with the growth of our economy. The IMF rated us, in 2012, the fourth fastest growing economy, and The Economic magazine in 2013 forecast that Bhutan will be the fastest growing economy. ADB has said we are the best performing country in 2012.
In the past, the FIs had huge liquidity problems. Now there are more FIs, more capital, liquidity. Why? They are not keeping the money; it is all being invested in the economy.

What we are leaving behind is a very strong legacy. Let me tell you this: we have laid very strong fundamentals for the new government to enjoy higher growth rate because of investments, policies, strategies that we have adopted. All in all, let me tell you, the economy has never been stronger.

Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley

Have any of your friends, relatives, brothers and sisters lost their jobs in the government or the private sector because the economy is performing badly? Have anyone of you lost your homes, cannot afford the homes and apartments you are living in? Has your lifestyle changed? Have you stopped driving your cars? Have you stopped consuming what you are used to? Do you see fewer people going on pilgrimage? Do you see fewer people going abroad to places like Bangkok for holidays?

Are you receiving lesser care from the health sector because we can no longer afford medicines because we can no longer continue to afford the same kind of services because the economy is in poor shape? Have you heard that the Health Ministry has stopped sending people abroad for super specialized treatment? More and more people are going to Kolkatta, Bangalore, Delhi.

Where are the signs that our economy is performing poorly? Have you heard that there is capital flight out of Bhutan, that investors have stopped investing in Bhutan and in fact they are withdrawing the money as in cases where the economies are crumbling, where economies are indeed crippled? Have you heard that the Indian money, rupees, has stopped flowing into the country? I haven’t heard, I haven’t experienced.

Have you heard the farmers - the majority of our people – complaining? What I have heard is that they are very happy with the growth of market for their produces? Where is the economy hurting, who is hurting among you? Don’t build images and don’t build false perceptions. Don’t built sense of insecurity. We are doing well and the IMF–World Bank pre-assessment team is here. What they said - and you should interview them – is that the Bhutanese Economy is on sound footing. We know that and that is why despite the entire world going through an economic downturn we are projecting a minimum of 8 percent growth in the 11th FYP.

I Sealed My Sem III With 81.5%


                       G u j a r a t   U n i v e r s i t y                      
                         [ NAAC Accredited B++ (83.1%) ]                        
Exam.:Sem. 3 of                Master of Arts  held in December-2012 
Seat No. :   1439    Name: THINLEY KUENZANG                                     
College: (020) USS         Centre: 01  Combination:         - 1-1600011       
                                              External        Internal       
                Subjects                   Max Min  Obt   Max Min  Obt      
----------------------------------------  -----------------  -----------------  
Economics-501 International Economics-II   70  25   63    30  11   26      
Economics-502 Growth & Development-II      70  25   57    30  11   29      
Economics-503 Public Economics-II          70  25   45    30  11   29      
Economics-504 Managerial Economics-II      70  25   55    30  11   28      
Economics-505EA Q.M.E.-II                  70  25   42    30  11   29      
Economics-506EA Industrial Economics-II    70  25   64    30  11   22      
                                           420  --  326   180  -- 163      
----------------------------------------  -----------------  -----------------  
Enrol.No.: 201101900349             Total: 489 /  600  Result:PASS        
                                    Result Date: 20-APR-2013              
                    
             
Obviously I am little wordless here and I would like to share my reasons.
 
Couple of days ago, I was mad beyond my words. I think any ordinary human would have have felt the same. Because, our University officials have been telling lies after lies about the result declaration date.  I am, on verge of completing my final semester, but not being able to get get my third semester result was a real worrisome affair.

So, few weeks ago, I went alone to check the the status of the result in the University office. Surprisingly, one official there did not even consider my worth better than a stray dog. I don't know whether he had problem talking to me in English or not but he simply refused to talk to me. I returned home low and lost.
 
And the last time I went to check was the day before yesterday. That day I went along with my two friends. There too, a man in the Comptrollers office scolded us and then harshly told us that the results would be declared in 48 hours time. While  talking to us, his bull-like eyes reddened like the sindhur on his forehead. We found him in total not-in-the-mood-to-talk. He did not even let us explain our reasons! Outraged and humiliated three of us walked back to our room.
 
Finally they took 48 hours plus a day to declare it. I did what ever possible from my side and I think it is fairly reflected in my result as well. I feel that my hard work is duly rewarded. The papers I scored lowest are the Public Finance( 74%) and Quantitative Methods in Economics (71%).

For Public Finance paper, I  know I could have done it better but it was all Indian Public Finance mostly taught in Gujarati Medium. So that was all I could do. And in QME paper, I could have done it little better too. Sadly that day our question paper did not contain log table. All in all, I think I gave the best and got the best. I am happy about it.

I would like to thank all my professors for all their unending support and my family back home for their prayers. I feel indebted to all my guardian deities back home for showering me with good health and good luck. I would also like to thank my senior friend Sonam Phuntsho for all his notes and guidance. I have sealed my third semester with 81.5%..

Starting 24th April, I will be seating for my final semester exams. So please friends wish me good luck.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thank You Government


Source: Druk Phunsum Tsogpa Facebook Page

As we draw closer to dissolve our Government, I would like to thank our Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Ministers and all our MPs from 20 dzongkhag for what ever they have done in the interest of our Nation. I would like to thank them sincerely for listening to all the criticisms and feedback we may have made in course of years.

There were often times our government mistook feedback and suggestions as undue and unjust criticisms. In fact there are lot our politicians can learn from such interactions. This is one part of democracy we can not afford to ignore. Probably this is the very way how we take or democracy forward!

Our kings, both past and present have placed immense trust and faith in democracy. Accordingly, its our present set of politicians who came forward to shoulder the call. So we all owe them a  big thank you.

Our opinions and thoughts differ on their achievements and failures. In essence, it indicates that we are in a democratic country. It shows how diversity of views and thoughts matter in democracy. We must never forget this.

We have already sailed for five years but have still eternity to continue forward. Our leaders, by now must have realized how democratic road is bumpy and how running an affair as big as country is not everyone's cup of tea.

With this I would like to once again thank our first set of Parliamentarians (both NA and NC) for all their hardwork and dedication. Also I would like to wish them all, more success in times to come in their political career. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Notes From My Diary, My Closing Days in Gujarat University


I am finally done with my project work and I have already submitted it to my guide. He went through it briefly and said I have done it reasonably well. But truly speaking in academic sense, I am not at all satisfied and happy with the way my final semester has progressed. We just had a class here and there for two months and now we are preparing for our final exams. Lot of things are left untaught. In some of the papers its very difficult to even do self study. And to our despair, we haven't got our third semester results yet.

Mean while, the heat is getting incessant. The temperatures have risen so high that even the swamp near my campus has completely dried up. The ground is dusty everywhere and has become like a solid rock. In between we often do not get water supply.  Interestingly, somewhere media has reported that all the water supplies have been diverted to the new swimming pool which has been constructed for new vice chancellor.

Few days ago, we had our class presentation in mathematical Economics.Time allotted for each person was just two minutes! I feel its so stupid, because there are people who take more then two minutes to just write their names. There were few of my friends, who just came forward and read out from a piece of paper with total disregard to punctuations like full-stops and comas. And there were also others who just came forward and simply said that there are not many topics in mathematical economics that can be presented in two minutes. They rather chose to laugh than present.

As for myself, befitting the allocated time, I chose a small topic. I decided to present on mathematical derivation of an ordinary demand curve. While presenting, my professor wanted me to present his way. But I boldly told him I would rather present my way and come to his conclusion. By the time I finished my presentation, I have already taken more than twenty minutes. I think that was one of the best presentation I gave in a long  long time. he he he. With that I am finally done with the presentation part also. 

There is another thing I would like to share here. After I put up a short 'Kongfu Panda Post', Panda lady or rather the self proclaimed biggest Panda fan did her best to defend her panda fan title against me. :) I am surprised to hear that she in fact live in Panda world with Panda people in Panda house! She also mentioned me about a Panda car that she is driving and panda garden that she is soon going to have. It sounds amazing. But I have a message for her.  I will not believe until I see all those Panda things with my eyes.

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