Saturday, January 18, 2014

Of Lochoes, Juvenile Monks and Economics


In 2011 
Couple of days ago, I was in my wife's place. I was there to attend an annual offering ritual popularly known among Bhutanese folks as Lochoe. Having missed two such Lochoes while I was away for my studies, it was my father-in-law's intention to have a grand one this year. To do that, he was willing to spend his entire two months pension income for the same. And expected nothing less from me and my wife. It is understandable because Lochoe to an ex-monk, I think means somethings that transcends mundane description. So to make him happy I think we did our best. We have no savings but as a civil servant, we took our salary in advance.

Me and my wife, we bought every items between the sky and earth, including chunks of beef, pork, chicken and fish, which I believe villagers once agreed to do away with, especially during the Lochoes. My mother-in-law had by then brewed barrels of liquors that tasted more like whisky and had removed loads of rubbish from the house that remained uninhabited for years. As usual, I made sure that our altar room is decorated to the fullest like Lhakhang. 

So all preparations done, driving two cars, we heeded to Punakha to pick up the monks, who I believe were requested way in advance by my father-in-law and his freind. We reached there beating all wintry wind and dust, but there was no monks in the sight. We waited and waited more. Still there was no trace of monks. Then I realized how difficult it is for people to find monks even in Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel's Palace, -the Great palace of bliss.

After hours of waiting and enormous amount of coaxing, we managed to get five little monks. Some I believe have not even reached puberty, but we gave them all the full Lama respect. As we drove back, they wanted to discuss about the corruption. girls, monastic discipline and Buddhism with me. To this, I told them that corruption is serious issue that needs our attention. And a young monk from back seat said, corruption is there even in our Zhung Dratsang. While I discouraged them in discussing about girls, they shared their experiences about how corporal monastic discipline is still. One interesting thing I observed from them is that those guys were never resentful. In fact they seem to enjoy the discipline.

In 2007
In 2008
In 2014 
In 2009
In 2010
Next day, the Lochoe began. I woke up at 4 am to render helping hand to my over burdened mother-in-law and wife. I was a dish washer, sweeper, errand boy and server. Just when I was starting to think about the success of the first day, I saw the failure of the second day creeping. Those young monks from Punakha wanted to leave our Lochoe half way and go elsewhere.  I was little mad with those juvenile monks. But to my advantage, it was dark outside and its snowing. The traffic on both highways and on the feeder road remained closed. So they had no option other than to stay back and continue.

Then on second day, all the villagers came for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its like a Tsechu in the East. Every one drank to the fill and ate to the full. Even immature monks drank without our knowledge. I felt not so happy to see a young monk drunk in Buddha's cloth. Not only that he threw up in our well decorated alter like a drunkard in the street. I felt it was disgusting but my wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law and grand mother had other interpretation. They said its a 'sign of good luck'. lol.

After two grueling days, our much anticipated  Lochoe of 2013-2014 came to a happy end. I felt happy for being able to fed the entire village and the monks, irrespective of how drunk and sober they were. It gave me a unique feeling especially while the monks recited the prayers of longevity Bhddha, I felt my hair stand. I sensed the red colored Longevity Buddha blessing me with with his Longevity vase. It was a feeling, intense enough to erase my earlier sensation that Lochoes are an Economic nonsense.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I write on these topics

105th National Day (2) 2012 (2) 2013 (1) 2014 (1) Academic (5) ACC (1) Accident (3) ADB (1) Ahmedabad Experience (15) Alto (1) Animal Well-being (2) Animals (4) Anonymous (1) Archery (1) Architecture (3) Argentina (1) Arrogant (1) Art (5) Asset (1) audicity of opinion (1) Australia (1) Autowalla (2) awards (1) baby sitting (1) BAFRA (1) Ban (1) Bangkok (1) Bank of Bhutan (2) Belief (1) Bhutan (73) Bhutan Airlines (2) Bhutanomics (1) Birthday (8) Birthday Wishes for my King (4) Birthday. (1) BJP (1) Blessed rainy day (1) Blog (2) Blog Award (1) Blog Award. Bhutan (1) Bloggers (4) Bolg Award (1) Bonzai (1) Book (11) Boudha temple (1) Brazil 2014 (1) Buddhism (19) Buffalo (1) Bushra Shanan (1) Car (2) Change (1) Changkor (1) Chetan Bhagat (1) Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan (1) Child development (1) China (6) Choku (2) CITES (2) Civil Servants (2) cold (2) College (1) Comment (1) common sense (1) Community (1) Conservation (1) Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (2) contemplation (1) Cordycepts (2) corporal Punishment (1) Court case (8) cricket (1) Cricket World cup (1) crime (3) Culture (14) culture properties. (3) Customs (11) Dasho Kunzang Wangdi (1) Dasho Shingkhar Lam (1) Dawa Gyeltshen (1) DCT (2) DDC (1) Dechen Wangmo (1) Democracy (4) Department of Revenue and Customs (6) Depression (1) Development (2) Dictator (1) Diplomatic Relationship (1) Disaster (1) Diwali (4) DNT (1) Doctors (1) dog (1) Doomsday 2012 (1) DPT (3) Dr. Karma Phuntsho (1) Dr. Richard Teo (1) DRC (3) Dream (2) Drugs (1) Dungsey Rimpoche (1) Dylan Thomas (1) Dzongkha Song (5) Earth hour (1) East (1) Ecology (1) Economics (14) Economist (1) Economy (2) Education (10) Election (10) Election 2013 (5) Election Commission of Bhutan (1) Election2013 (1) End of the world (1) Enforcement (3) Eric Weiner (1) Essay Games and Sports (1) Exams (9) Eyelid Twitching (1) Eyes (1) Facebook (4) Family (6) Farewell (1) FIFA (1) Fire disaster (2) Flowers (5) Flu (1) Folk tale (1) Food (2) Football (3) Foreign Policy (1) Fourth King (4) Freedom (3) Freedom at midnight (1) friend (1) Friendship (2) Fun (1) fundamental right (1) Games (2) Gandinagar (1) Gangnam Style (1) Germany (1) global warming (1) GNH (7) Golf Course in Shingkhar (4) Government (7) Great Britain (1) Guest Post (2) Guest Post. Extra Marital Affairs. (1) Gujarat (33) Gujarat University (9) Guns in Bhutan (1) Guru Rimpoche (1) H. L. V. Derozio's (1) H.H Dalai Lama (1) Hamas (1) Happiness (13) Happy new year (5) High land (1) His Majesty (5) History (4) Hobby (1) Hollywood (1) Home (6) Humbleness (1) humility (1) Humming bird (1) humor (2) I am Malala (1) I too had a love story (1) Iceland (1) Icon Shoe (1) IELTS (1) India (33) Indo-Bhutan Friendship (1) Infatuation (1) Information (1) Inspiration (2) International Happiness day (1) International Health Regulation (1) International Poetry day (1) International water day (1) International Women's day (1) interview (2) Israel (1) Jangsa Animal Saving Trust (2) Japan (5) Jaswant Singh (1) JDWNR Hospital (8) Jigme Y. Thinley (1) job (1) John Keats (1) jokes (2) Joseon Dynasty (1) Justice (1) Kankaria lake (1) Katmandu (2) Kings of Bhutan (2) Kongfu Panda (2) Kuensel (3) Lal Darwaza (1) laughter (2) Law (5) Lemjakha (2) lessons (1) Letter (1) letter to MP (2) Letter. (1) Life (4) Local Healers (3) Lomba (1) Longchen Rabjam (9) Losar (2) love (6) Lunar Eclipse (2) Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering (1) Mail (1) Malaysia (5) Married to Bhutan (1) Mathematics (1) Media (1) merry X-mas. (2) MH370 (1) middle class people (1) middle class people. My life (1) Ministry of Finance. Paro Airport (1) Minzuk Lhamo (2) Misfortune (2) MoE (1) MoF (1) Moldova (1) Money Plant (1) Monk hood (1) Monks (1) morales (2) Mother's Day (2) Movie (5) MPs (1) Music (3) my ATM card. (1) my blog (2) My Boss (4) my camera (1) my country (1) My daughters (14) My family (7) My father (9) My Friend (2) My job (5) My King (2) My King and Queen (4) My Life (77) My mother (4) My passport (1) My Phone (1) My Promises (1) My sister (3) My Son (1) my sun glass (1) My Teachers (2) My Wife (4) Narendra Modi (4) NASA (1) National anthem (1) National Assembly (1) National Council (1) National Day (1) Nelson mandela (1) Nepal (4) New Delhi (1) Nissam Ezekil (1) Nomads (1) Norbu the Cat (1) Opposition (1) Our Queen (1) Pakistan (1) Palace (1) Palestine (1) Parliament (2) Paro (4) Paro Airport (7) Passu (2) Pay Revision (4) PDP (2) Pedestrian day (1) People (3) Photography (34) Phuentsholing (2) Poetry (12) Police (2) Politics (11) Pollution (1) Prado (1) Prediction (1) Primary round (1) Prime Minister of Bhutan (6) Prime Minister of India (1) Private Sector (1) Prostitution (1) psychology (2) Punakha (2) Punishment (1) Qatar (1) Queen of Bhutan (1) Quota (1) RAA (1) Rabindranath Tagore (1) Rabney (2) Rajnikant (1) Random Thoughts (32) RCSC (2) reflection (1) Refugee Problem (1) Religion (4) Republic day of India (1) Research (2) Result (5) Retention wall (1) RILO AP (2) Road (1) Road Development (1) Road safety (1) Robert Frost (1) ROCB (1) Royal Wedding (4) RRCO. Paro (2) Rule of Law (1) Rumors (1) Rupee Crunch (2) samrtphones (1) scholarships (3) School (1) Security (2) Seminar (4) Seoul (3) shapes (2) Sherubtse (3) Shingkhar (34) Shopping (1) Sikkim (1) SIM card (1) Singapore (1) Smile (1) Snowfall (1) social forestry day (1) Social Media (3) social problems (1) South Korea (8) Spain (1) Sperm Donation (1) Stipend (1) story (2) Study (2) Suhas Gopinath (1) Superstition (1) Switzerland (1) Talent (2) Tashi Group of Companies (1) Teachers (6) Teachers's Day (2) Team work (1) Tenancy Act (1) Thai Customs (3) Thailand (3) Thank you (2) Thank you note (1) The Nederlands (1) Thimphu (2) Thuksey Rimpoche (1) Tibet (3) tobacco (1) Tobacco Control Act (3) TOEFL (1) Trade (2) Traditions (4) Training (12) Travel (16) Tsechu (1) Tulip (1) Ugyen Pandy (2) Uniform (1) Ura (2) USA (1) vacation (1) Walk (1) Wangdi Dzong (2) WCO (4) Wedding (1) WHO (1) wild life (1) wildlife (3) William Wordsworth (1) Wisdom (2) Women (2) Woochu (1) World CUP (2) Writer (1) Writing (1) Yak (11) Yeshhey (1) Youths (4) Zhabdrung (1) Zoo (1)

Followers