Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Thoughts on DRC Staff Welfare Contribution System

For the last few months, I was looking for someone who could update me on the status of my welfare loan. By the way I availed a staff welfare loan of Nu.15000 in 2010 (Nov) from our Department's welfare fund. I don't know to how many people I may have asked but I never got a satisfactory answer. In a mean time, I was continuing to see a long list of deductions being made from my salary every month. 

Finally, I was able to garner some response when I brought this topic on the Facebook. Interestingly some of my colleagues received it with humor. They think my Economics knowledge has intensified my greed for money. I think they are not fully right, because these days, economics not only about maximization but it is lot about optimization now. 

On the Facebook, I came to know that, I have still one more installment to make to fully liquidate my loan. Further, I also got a response from a very senior colleague. She did not say I was complaining. But she thinks I am doing one. No hard feeling and nothing personal. I am absolutely fine. But on a serious note, I write a feedback and I get warned. I look for clarification and people think I am complaining. Its hard to believe. I think we indeed live in complicated world where people judge us before they even know us and understand our intentions.

She also told me about the trust she have for the fund managers. But its not the integrity of the fund managers I was questioning about. I just needed an update on my outstanding loan. I said I am critical about the contribution system because, in my 7 years of contribution, I have not even seen a single audited statement or reports. Call it a miscommunication or negligence!! That is why  for such things, I believe only things I see!

I wrote this reply to her.
Madam, With due respect I thank you for your information. Firstly I am just seeking clarification here. I am not complaining. I am sorry if i sound little rude. I think I have that right. Do I or not??? And any one who contribute has the same right. At least I think that way....I did not say it didn't benefit anywhere. I was just asking friends to enlighten me more...because I have honestly not much idea about what is happening with contributions....Yea I took a loan and it was so helpful.....and i was paying it back also .... i just wanted to know how much more i have to pay. because deductions has been going on for more than 24 months! For a petty loan, 24 deduction is psychologically bit taxing mena la madam...what do u think??? 
Secondly I have never seen any audited reports or statements so far.....I did not even know who the secretary and treasurer were to this end. Could be because we have some miscommunication in between. Its understandable because ours is a big department. So I was looking for someone to bridge this gap. If u remember what has happened in other ministries with the Welfare contribution, few years ago, I think I have reasonable reason to believe that same thing might also happen with ours too...(But I am not trying to accuse anyone here). More over, if you read between the lines, I never questioned the "Contribution Account ". I have just asked for clarification on "Contribution System" (Italics, added later)
And finally, If I have to make a suggestion then I think its better we discontinue this contribution for once and for all. Refund all the contributions made so far based on existing rules, if there is any (Italics, added later)........but we can always have a better welfare contribution system in our respective regional offices, Small, compact and efficient. Easy to manage. I  think Paro RRCO has the best staff welfare contribution system....May be all regional office can learn from Paro in this regard..... Anyways I think we need more such discourses here.
Have a nice day madam and yea my regards to all our colleagues in DRC.
I will write more about this welfare fund system, after I get more information from the fund managers.  People believe it has so many advantages and I think I must know too. I want to feel that the deduction from my hard earned salary is justified.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Banned Bhutanomics

Today morning, I met a very frustrated fella online. He said that life ain't cool anymore. He also said life in Bhutan sucks.  "Its crap here" He added further. At first I was awestruck and frightened. I simply did not know how to respond to his emotional outburst. So I took my own time and carefully framed my reply. I just asked him; "what happened!!!?" Then came his response; "People are banning every thing here". As I fumbled to respond further, he wrote; "Jedha they have now banned Bhutanomics also". That was quite a news for me. Later I got a twitter message confirming the ban; "Can u read @bhutanomics down there? Here in #Bhutan it's silenced quietly!" 

Any ways, Bhutanomics entertained me. Its been a  source of so many interesting happenings. I liked the satire part which has link especially to Bhutanese Political setting. Starting from various land scam to BOB's DMD.  From Tsheltrim to Minjur.  From Lyonchhen to Leki (Ulap) and from Zimba to Zangley. I think it has updates on all the famous Bhutanese personalities. Its understandable why my fellas in Bhutan will miss the Banned blog. Look at the list of Bhutanomics Hall of Fame. If Bhutan is curry then, these people are the very salt that adds taste. This I think is enough reason why Bhutanomics will be missed.

Bhutanomics Hall of Fame
They are all people who have the potential to either make or break Bhutan! I think any Bhutanese deserve to know both plus points and minus points of those individuals. By the way I really liked the critical views expressed in Bhutanmics. Its been an active online forum where people from behind the veils have often come out with truths that lied buried for eons. Its simply my opinion. I repeat again. Its simply my opinion. However there were also times when I felt some events and things being grossly exaggerated. I think every media does that and it's up to the readers to take up the message.

So in this internet age, I am skeptical whether this Ban will do any good to our, so called democratic society.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pani Puri Post

I had a tiresome day yesterday. After a day long sitting, reading and writing, a plate of Pani Puri, I thought would do wonder in soothing both my fatigues, both physical and mental. I was told that it brings back our vitality and strength. So in the evening  we (me and my room mate) went to a place called a Rasranjan, a world class place to eat panu puri. Clean and neat but not cheap. 

Back at Rasranjan, the queue was long. Like me, there were many people who have come to sooth their fatigue. In fact there were whole family who have come to relish and relax with pani puri!

So when my turn came, I ordered double plate.  Just for me alone. But before me, I have seen many people sharing just one plate. ha ha that's my appetite. Sometimes it horrifies myself to the bone too. Anyways I had two solid plates of pani puri and a plate of something which I cannot name it. It looked more like a milk though.

Wooww. that was was a real treat. It took me to the highest point of satisfaction. If someone was there to do some  economic analysis, they would have no doubt found me on my highest indifference curve.

Now for those people who do not know pani puri, you should perhaps travel to India to taste one. It is  available in plenty everywhere. Even in the slums. But I would always recommend you to find a nice-place-to-eat  all the time. And for the rest, I have just few words to describe it. Even a mere mention of it makes my mouth water.  So I call it a mouth watering food.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Republic Day Post

I wish all my Indian Friends a very Happy Republic day.

As the mother India celebrates her 64th Republic day, I would like to join millions around the world in praying for peace and prosperity to flourish in this holy land for eternity. May this great nation achieve all its aspirations. Jai Hind!

This year, I am particularly delighted to see our King grace the Republic day of this great nation. In a most symbolic gesture, the incumbent President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has graciously invited our King as the chief guest! Its a proud and happy moment for Bhutan. This indicates the kind of importance that our closest friend India attaches to us. In other words, it is the celebration of our friendship, faith and trust. 

Our King said; "India is the reservoir of the world's greatest religions; the cradle of great thinkers and leaders; the home of almost 20 per cent of humanity; the guardian of more than half a billion citizens under 20 and the fertile ground for great young talent and discovery of all, flourishing under the world's largest democracy. Bhutan is proud to be India's neighbor and closest friend." Indeed! 

Indo-Bhutan friendship is exemplary. It is indispensable and irreplaceable. Our Friendship is knot of trust. It is time tested!  "Paved with the geo-political and historical foundations" it is the cornerstone for the success of not only Bhutan but also for the regional stability of entire Asia. Therefore, We have a long way ahead.

Of late, Bhutan was seen going rampant making friends around the globe. Some critics called it the need of time, while some considered it as Bhutan's plain ambition. The last one that caught the public attention was China's desire to open diplomatic ties with Bhutan.

This was received with lot of  intrigue by media houses all over. Many feared rift between New Delhi and Thimphu. Now  that our King and Queen are in New Delhi, its is time to clear the doubts. Its time to reaffirm our friendship. Its time time to further strengthen our cooperation and mutual trust. Its time for Bhutanese foreign policy experts to believe that Indian water is still better than the milk from the rest of the world for Bhutan's progress and growth. 

Thank you Mother India. May god bless you!

Monday, January 21, 2013

All Autowallas In Gujarat are Not Chacha Jii

Its nearing midnight here in Gujarat. Except the few honking cars, the atmosphere outside is relatively calm. Not many Auto rickshaws were seen plying today because they have called a strike. I think the city road looks much beautiful and decent without those Rickshaws. May be they should be on strike forever!!! 

Personally, I have a very bad experience with Autowalls here in Gujarat. I think 99.99% of them are nothing but a cheat.  A big cheat. They cheat foreigners and they cheat locals. That is why people bargain a lot with Autowalls. Even for a Paisa. I do the same too. I would't even spare a Paisa for a cheat. I mean who would?

Very recently, I have attended a convention where a famous Gujarati Personalities spoke including the Chief Minister. They spoke a lot about the trust worthiness of the Gujaratis. I have heard them extol Gujaratis the way I have never seen before. But the saddest irony was that, I and my friend got cheated the very moment we got out from the convention hall by none other than Autowalla! He charged us more than the double amount. [I later found out that he charged us Rs.600/- for a journey which would otherwise cost us Rs 250/- at the most]

And yea here is another interesting story about  that Autowalla. En route, we ordered some sugar cane juice. A glass each. We also ordered one for him too. But When my friend was paying the bill, I over heard the Autowalla telling the vendor to charge more from him. I think he grossly underestimated our ability to understand Gujarati.  However, I know that Gujaratis in general are business minded people but not greedy like our Autowalla. 

By the way, I will write about an Autowalla, a real Gujarati Autowalla in my coming post. Autowalla that never cheats. At least on me and my Bhutanese friends. We all lovingly call him Chacha Jii.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cold Saturday Post

By Gujarati standard, the weather has suddenly become so cold here. Its windy and dusty outside. I have seen homeless people in the street wrap themselves up in the blanket and sleep like a log by the road side.  And inside my room, I am battling with the flu. Bad one. With each passing moment, my foots are going cold and my nose is getting stiffer. I have a sore throat. Not a bad one but enough to irritate me. I had fever and body ache yesterday and stomach disorder the day before but fortunately they are all gone today. 

At the moment, I think I am going high on lemon water. Because I have plenty of them. Thanks to my Gujarati friend who got me a bag full when I have just asked for few. By the way he is a very good friend of mine. He hails from a SEBC community (Socially and Economically Backward Class). Someday I would love to write about him too. 

Back home, I have seen people who are profoundly happy with first snowfall. Of course on Facebook! I have seen people over joyed like the freaks from tropics, enjoying their maiden snow sighting. humm highlanders getting frenzied with snow fall !!!!! I have also seen many who have expressed their regrets for not being home to enjoy the snowfall.

It is completely understandable. Seeing snow has now become so sacred. We all know its paramount ecological importance. And rightly, it is being observed as the public holiday all over the world (?) Moreover with climate change we are getting lesser and lesser snow each year. It is disheartening and we feel helpless at times. If our climate continues to change at this rate, then may be in our near future we may not see anything such as snow that falls in flakes from heaven. 

And the other thing that took me by surprise was the change of leadership in my work place. Without even hearing about my former boss's transfer, I saw a new boss who has taken over form him. One of my colleague told me that my new boss is a "Gentleman". Of course. Because anyone who is less than a gentleman might have difficulty fitting those large boots. I have seen how difficult and challenging it is for someone to work in Paro as the Regional Director of Revenue and Customs office. Personally, I call it a frying pan !!

My Former Boss. Mr. Younten Namgyal
Anyways, I am happy that I will be soon joining my office to work with another Gentleman as my boss. I would  like to extend my heartfelt congratulation to my new boss and wish him many many happy and fulfilling days ahead. 

However, I would definitely miss my former boss. By the way, I prefer calling him as my guide. Yea, I will miss him as my guide, who taught me the most important and valuable lesson of my life. He taught me about the importance of "non assuming things" in discharge of my bureaucratic duties. I took his words seriously and I am amazed that it brought me tremendous solace in my work place. More than that, I will miss his simplicity and warmth. It is through him that I fell in this blogging world. In short, he enabled me in discovering my passion for writing. I think it complimented my reading habit very well. So I thank him immensely and wish him good luck in his new place of transfer. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan

Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, The Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan

In a few months time, Bhutanese people will be again going to pooling stations. We will be soon electing yet another set of lawmakers to our parliament! -Another set of leaders! Therefore I call this a big event. I sincerely think each one of us must play our part. Wholeheartedly and responsibly.

I am particularly happy for the fact that my king has given me this right. If Democracy is the process of Nation building then, it is an indication that my voice also matters in that process. My single vote, I think is more precious than the biggest diamond at this hour. Therefore I have no intention of wasting it. I want to play my part very responsibly. Its time for leaders to listen and subjects to speak. 

I am honestly grateful to ECB for making postal ballot facilities available for all of us who are away from home. This is a very remarkable achievement. I think this shows how our infant ECB has progressed with time. It still has a long way to go and it needs all our support and appreciation. 

Coming back to the Postal ballot, I was able to get myself registered for postal ballot through one and the only person, the Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi himslef. I owe him a very big 'thank you'. If there is one man in Bhutan, whose action speaks louder than his own words, Then it is this man: Dasho Kunzang Wangdi. I have never worked under him, but I wouldn't hesitate an inch to call him the most pragmatic bureaucrat I have seen so far. 

Many bureaucrats in his age have problem with social networks, especially Facebook. Many have banned  it  and many are planning to follow the suit. But I am totally amazed at the way Dasho used this important social network to his advantage. Who said Facebook is useless? I am actually wordless. It was humbling experience to see Dasho attending to queries personally with regard to our upcoming electionc on 'Social Democracy in Bhutan' page. I think dasho and his team are doing their best. They deserve our appreciation.

Lets all hope and pray for another successful election in our country.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Have Been Travelling a Lot

Of late, I have been travelling a lot. To make it brief, I have been revisiting the places in Ahmedabad. I have Been to Gandinagar, the capital city of Gujarat. I saw Narenrdra Modi, the most applauded man yet considered controversial by many in Gujarat and all Over India. I think I need more time to write about this man, but for now let me tell you, that Modi has his own charm. I really like the way he shared his dream-Gujarat with youths. Modi's education plan impressed me and I would definitely look forward to sending my daughters to study in Gujarat someday. 

Mathma Mandhir in Gandinagar

I saw Chetan Bhagat, who considers himself nothing less than a 'famous selling author' but there are people who thinks he is still a 'pathetic'  junk writer. Well, India is a largest democracy, so views varies. As for me, I think he is a genius in his own class. They way he talked more about his failures than his success showed his simplicity and humbleness. I saw lot of humanness in him. I would definitely like to read his works now. 

I saw Mrs.Tulsi, who played a lead role in erstwhile famous Hindi serial "Kumkum". People stood up with respect and awe when she entered the hall. And at my first glance, it made me think she was Modi's wife.  But I was grossly mistaken. By the way Kumkum has now aged huh....  I think she has gained lot of weight too. But she appeared ever more graceful. 

Lal Darwaza: Red Gate
I have been to the famous Lal Darwaza city. I tell you, its a city of its own class in Gujarat. I was told that most of the inhabitants of the city are Muslims. I was also told that before the present day Ahmadabad, Lal darwaza used to be the main city in Gujarat. Its a city full of life. If you are non veg then the right place to eat is located right next to the tin darwaza (shown in the picture) But I should warn you that the place really stinks with foul smell.

I prefer it calling Akhibara of Ahmadabad, because we get everything between sky and the earth. You name it and Lal Darwaza have it. 

And yesterday I have been to Kankaria Lake. I should tell you that its a world class beautiful place. I have been there already.  Twice to be exact. But yesterday was a special case because I was accompanying my Ahmedavi friend who have not seen Kankaria in decades. It was like taking a person from Lhasa to see the Potala Palace!

On my first visit, a security guard did not allow me to even chew gum. But once inside, its was different story altogehter. I thought he mistook me to a Singaporean. It has many things to see starting from wildlife zoo to botanical gardens. It has good ice cream shops and good restaurants. They sell tasty noodles...and many more..
Kankaria Lake

I think my friends had lots of fun. We rode in the speed boat. Hundred rupees per person for a ride that just lasted less than five minutes! I call it an economic nonsense! It was not worth at all. More over I was restricted to even take photographs. More nonsense. 

On my previous visits, it rained cat and dog. but yesterday it was the excessive sun did the damage. It made me lazy and sleepy. But nevertheless, I think my friends had a great time. I think they enjoyed bunjee jumping like a small kid. To me bunjee jump is like 'get yourslef ejected in the sky for Rs 50/-' it lasts less than a minute. Another economic nonsense......

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013

I had the privilege of attending a Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandinagar on 13.01.2013. To know more, please search on google. By the way, here are some of the pictures that I took during the summit. More than the summit, I am personally happy to see those famous Gujarati personalities in person. It was truly an honor being among them in the same hall. 

Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi.

At the moment he seems to be the man and face of Gujarat. I have not many words that would fittingly describe him. He  has already won the state elcetion with with huge margin of votes. After having listened to him for nearly an hour, I came to know why he matters in Gujarat and in the entire Indian subcontinent. I wish him and Gujarat, all the best. 

By the way, I liked his story about how the Indian snake charmers. The magicians who have now "degererated" and have become people who play with mouse. He also shared a story about an ordinary Indian who talked face-to-face with, the then President of USA, Mr. Bil Clinton. Sorry for not being  able to understand his story in full. (he spoke in more in Gujarati and Hindi)

Disciple Lord Somya Vivek Anand.

I am simply inspired ! Let me recollect some of his words: Simplicity, humility, honesty, charity, integrity, ...Ooohhh god! I forgot most of them. But I am still inspired. Please help me recollect his name.

Author; Mr. Chetan Bhagat

In his face and from his words, I was able convince myself that 'winners don't do different things, they do things differenttly'. He is one of the most influential person in India at the moment. I am thinking that perhaps, it was through his books that he has reached that height. But before that, Chetan had many stories of his own downfalls too. Neverthelss he is, as proclaimed by himslef "not the best author but the best selling author". What more can we expect than this?  

But on the lighter note, I lied to him, when he asked: "how many of you read my book Five point someone?" I raised my hand. To tell the truth, I have a watched "3 idiots" over hundred times already and I did not find the need to read the book that tells the same story. But I would like to assure, Chetan, that I am definitely going to read his "Revolution 2020". Very soon. 

Here is a Chess Champ who hails from Gujarat. 
But I feel like stragling myself....I forgot her name!

I play chess too, but on my computer. I play level one and I have to press (ctrl+z) over hundred times to win the game comfortabley. When the sports Minister of Gujarat introduced her to the audience, I went speechless. It took me a while to come back to my snese.  She is beautiful. Ok. She is attractive Still Ok. But defeated 150 competitors simultanesoulsy to become the world chess champion!!!! That was a BIG WOOOWW. I am envious...kidding!.... Honestly, I would like to congratulate her from the bottom of my heart. Some day I wish I could talk to her in person and learn her tactics too. 

Mr. Suhas Gopinatth.

Have you ever heard a boy who at the age of 14, failed in his school test, but had all the potential of becoming the CEO of a multi million dollar company? If not, then here is one boy form Gujarat. Banglore, Suhas Gopinath. At the moment he is 26 years old but have gone to become the World's youngest CEO. I would like to read more about this CEO in my coming days. What do you think? 

Ha Ha Finally, a man in balck blazer from Bhutan. That is me. Customs officer by profession and blogger & reader by passion. Someday dreaming to become Writer, Teacher and Economist...... Perhaps, I am dreaming the most impossible things in my life. 

By the way, I met the most handsome looking senior citizen of Gujarat. As I passed him, he asked me, where I am from and what brought me to Gandinagar. I told him the truth. We became friends instantly. I took some fantastic pictures with him.  After he was long gone, a thought struk my mind. I should have asked his address and send him the picturers. So if any Gujarati people know his address please email  me @ I wanted to send him the pictures and write to him. I wanted to remain as his friend forever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Post Exam Thoughts

Its January 2013 and this means I have only little over five months to complete my course. I am all excited about the fact that I will be going home with masters degree, -the most coveted thing I had in my mind for so many years! I feel proud and I feel happy, Sometimes I feel both!  But on the other side, I am already feeling nostalgic about leaving this dusty yet beautiful place. 

By the way, Ahmedabad has become so cold like Shingkhar. The cold in the early mornings and late evenings are at times unbearable. I regret a lot. few days a go, I finished my third semester exams. I think did it my Gangnam Style. Compared to the last exams, the paper patterns have been changed. 

We were asked lengthier questions. Three hours was barely enough, either to think for any logical answers or to recollect the points I have studied the other days. I had to rush in full fury. Sometimes I felt angry and I felt this exam system is totally a sucker. I did not like the idea of exams to gauge my knowledge!

Then I had the most disappointing day with my mathematics paper. Not because the questions were tough  nor lengthy. I could have easily scored 70 out of 70. I am not exaggerating! I was over joyed at first. But my joy did not last long, because I did not get the log table. -The most needed instrument in any mathematical paper. 

Upon my incessant pleas and requests, I was given a bundle of tables..... but the wrong ones!!!! The examiner tried her best but was of little help. With my limited time running like water, I became overtly frantic. I wasted a lot of time waiting for the log table and hence I had limited time to solve the other questions. In my dying hours, the examiner suggested me to go and find the table myself. It was so nice of her, but only if she knew it was exam time  and that  time is not luxury. I did not know whether I was angry or nervous  but I wished I had a robotic speed to write the remaining answers.

Coming back to the coldness in Ahmedabad, I do not know what the thermometer reads but it has become extremely cold here. I couldn't sleep at peace for three consecutive nights, -even with my jacket and socks on. At the moment I could sense very little difference between Ahmedabad and Shingkhar. 

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