Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tribute to our Beloved Drukgyel Zhipa

Sometime in 2011, our popular blogger, Mr. Passu, in his blog "remembering-young-jigme-at-17." asked us these questions: 
At 17, what were you doing? At 17 what are our kids doing now? Remember at 17, His majesty ensured happiness for all of us till the end of time. The best way to celebrate the life of the Great IV is to leave behind our excuses and start giving our best!
And here is what I wrote:
At 17, I was in 8th grade. I was running away from my school for no apparent reason. Other times, I was also busy fishing around chamkhar chhu in Bumthang. At 17 I was a hungry boy. and I busy stealing food form school kitchen. At 17 was, I was busy in the night, moving from one apple garden to another. At 17, I was more worried about the assignment of the girl that I liked than my own. I was rather happy seeing her even if she said I was ugly. At 17, I didn't even know I was 17!!!!!!  At 17, I had my friends reprimanded by their parents for befriending me. At 17, I was simply too wild. But I am all the more happy and grateful that we had a king who led us to the path of happiness at 17. Thank you our beloved King. I am blessed to be your Subject.
Today as we celebrate his 60th birth anniversary, I look back at his greatness. -I look back at the unconditional love and affection he showered upon us. -I look back at the hardships and sacrifices he made for our progress. -I look back at the choices he made for ensuring better and brighter tomorrows for all of us. -I look back at the happiness gift, he gifted to us. I realize that his greatness can never be be put in words. 

The first time I saw His Majesty in person was in 1990s. I was a little boy then, probably 11. I still remember how we got ourselves prepared for his visit. All the elderly people from our locality gathered bamboo, so that a shade can be made for the gathering. Small gate was erected from the locally available green grass to hold a welcome banner. We were told to put on our best dress and I still remember a pair of black gumboot my father bought for me. Our seniors in the school practiced welcome dance from dawn to dusk. Quite a few of them even over ate pepper in their attempt to enhance their voice. I vividly remember how our school captain memorized his welcome speech, only to be awed by His Majesty's presence and stood frozen in the front. His Majesty told us to work hard and be a responsible citizens. But honestly, rather than his Majesty's speech, I was fully engrossed with the four queens; distributing us the sweets. After a grand lunch, His Majesty left our school. Elderly ladies from our village wept like a child to see him and entourage go.

And the second time I saw His majesty in person was in 1997. I was in 9th standard then. His Majesty and the entourage was in Bumthang to preside over the 7th Plan review meeting. By then I was a grown up man. Many boys of my age were chosen to serve the public that day. But something went amiss in the morning and we were nearly late for the occasion. Dasho Pema Dorji, erstwhile Bumthang Dzongdag nearly ate some of us alive. He chased us like a wild dog and we all ran like a frightened deer. We reached the Wangdicholing meeting ground. There, another Dasho ran terror. Dasho Zimpon, Dorji Gyelthen taught us the art of mixing whisky and water. He used 99% water and just 1% whiskey! Later I realized that he had his own wisdom and reason in doing so.

And the last time I saw His Majesty in person was in 2005. It was in Lungtenphu, Thimphu. I was 25 and I was undergoing my Post Graduation Course in RIM. People from Thimphu Dzonkhag along with the students from all over Thimphu gathered to hear His Majesty talk on the draft constitution of Bhutan. I believe some 7000 people attended the meeting. I tried my best to get a seat somewhere in the front row and happily managed one. As the meeting progressed, there were signs of young guys getting bored. The frequency of people getting up for loo was increasingly becoming a nuisance for the security guards at the back. I had my bladder full too, but I tried to hold it back. 

In the middle of the meeting, an elderly man rose to the occasion and said that our constitution should also have a clause that would restrict future Kings from marrying more than one Queen. The man was obviously reading and it took him a while to complete. By the time he was done, there was deafening silence all around. I was nervous and for once I even forgot about my full bladder. It prevailed until His Majesty himself spoke. His Majesty smiled and said, "we are discussing Environment and he wants to discuss wives". Like wise, His Majesty responded to many such queries from the public. Meeting ended on a very happy note and I went home feeling ever nostalgic.

With this, I would like to join the Nation in celebrating our beloved King's birthday. May the longevity Buddha bless him with Long, healthy and happy Life. Thank you. Your Majesty for leading us to happiness. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Midnight Thoughts

Submerged in the samsara,
I look for solace;
Buddha, dharma and sangha,
Some say are the source.

All mundane, 
Tempers Flaring;
Emotions blazing;
Logic evaporating;
Rise of goons,
And fall of saints,
Blame all;
Shame the rest;
Pampered success;
Orphaned failures;
Bliss, ohh! missed
Life is enigma;
Fairness is myth;
Justice is elusive;
Meanings are subjective;
Nothing is objective.
Good or bad;
High or low;
Prodigal or peasant;
Shallow or deep;
All will be judged.
Morality, just a word;
Hypocrisy, just the way.
Right or wrong;
Virtue or venial;
All are words,
Fading in the air.

Until then,
Be rodent enough;
Dig your borrow;
Save oneself.
Someday, the truth shall prevail;
If someday doesn't come,
Still be positive.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bhutanese Diaspora in Australia and More

After spending nine long years in Paro I was finally able to move to down to Phuentsholing. Until my next transfer, it's going to be a home for my family for another 4-5 years. I am little surprised to discover that moving to Phuentsholing is turning out to be yet another chapter in my life. I look forward to having even more memorable days. At the moment my family is slowly getting settled. After a weeks of bad flu, we are all getting used to the kind of dusty and hazy environment. I am told about the excessive heat of the summer. But I am sure we can beat that. 

In my coming days, I would like to write loads about the kind of adventures I had to overcome in moving my family to Phuentsholing. I would like to write about the housing crunch in Phuentsholing. I would like to write about  my new experiences. I will also try to put up a story, -my daughters' thoughts on Phuentsholing. Although little uncomfortable, I will also bring up a unique personal experience in my new office. I Will let you all know as to why working is Phuenthsoling is challenge for any government official, especially if you are a Customs personnel.

But for now, let me write about the seminar I am attending in New Delhi.

I am attending a seminar in Chemical identification. We are three from Bhutan. Including the Australians, (host) there are delegations from eight South Asian nations. - From Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. We are progressing into our third day, but I must tell you that each day has been that much enriching and rewarding. Its been a lively event from the start. Introductory session was joyful. I came to know that many of my friends have sleeping and eating as their hobbies. As a Customs officials, we are a group of people which the society has never seen through this prism of life. They only loath us in abundance. They never see us though such innocence. So with this, I urge you all to sometimes read us emotionally also. 

I never had the opportunity of going to Australia, (which is sometimes seen as equivalent for going to the eternal source of wealth and money for many Bhutanese) but it was a privilege and joy to have met few Australians here in Delhi. I take it as an honor to have met  them all. Some of them are very senior Government officials. We talked a lot on Bhutanese diaspora in Australia. Amazingly all of them have such a good regard for our friends there. I am sure they are not being diplomatic with me though. Nevertheless  I am happy to know about how our friends and relatives are working hard there to make a living. I told them how amazed I am about the fashion of Bhutanese going to Australia for for education and they told me how astonished they are with the kind of bank balances some of our friends have furnished! 

I met delegates from Maldives. They are three gentleman. I have seen them with full of energy, open for any discussion and often crazily into photography. I had chitchat with our Bangladeshi friends. their group consist of one young lady officer and two senior commissioners. They are all Muslims. and if people think Muslims are conservatives, these people will prove us wrong. 

There is a lone Napali man in our group and I think he is the only chemist among us. He does more smiling than talking. At the moment he seem to be enjoying his new Panasonic phone. We have three friends from Sri Lanka and two from India. All of them are equally jovial. This to me, says lot about their common ancestral root. Our friends from Myanmar are rather enigmatic. Two officials would only smile mildly while the other one, little younger one is always engrossed in photography.  

Finally we have, resource speakers from WCO, a male from Mexico and a female form USA. They look great. Both of them possess a presentation skills which is making me envious. Our colleagues from Australian Customs have their own charm in presenting the resources and so are our colleagues from the Indian Customs. Their friendliness and openness is all that is making the difference. In between we had, Dr. Menon, the Director General of NASEN, Faridabad who enlightened us about the weapons of mass destruction. 

Now, did I write about the seminar or just described my friends? Well, I would like to show their pictures later, if i am given due permission.

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