Monday, April 14, 2014

Remember me

I feel very lucky to have found a love of writing. Here, on my blog. Quite surprisingly, this writing has become part of me, my daily life. As I spend a huge block of my time on writing here, almost everyday.

But I’m one person who often writes about my own little life - my world, activities, philosophies, hopes, and dreams. Because I feel that all other things are being written amply by pens far mightier than mine.

I absolutely love to write about these itsy-bitsy activities of my life. They are so little, tiny, mundane, small, and naïve. Yet, they are part of me. All this together make me, this very self.   

I live a simple life with a handful of friends. And what I’ve owned and done in my life is little. I know that no one else would ever write my story. So I write it myself, with thanks, as ever to e-blog.  

My stories, blog posts, are mostly about my home, my heart, my family and friends, my village, writing, good books I read, walks, photography, and nature. For, they are what I focus on the most in my life. For, they are my creative muse too.

And each post I write, there’s still more to write. That’s the indisposition of my little world, my writing. Insatiable. Never-ending. Writing here helps me to explore what life is all about, and I’m always delighted in the discovery and contentment.

So much wrong happen each day. But writing is transformative, peaceful. As I sit for a small moment thinking and writing, it’s like I put pause from the routine and busyness of my life. Sometimes, I put down my feelings and thoughts to get answer in my writing. 
  
Above all, I write to remember, and to be remembered. Through writing, I intend to relive each moment of my life on these pages, briefly, though it’s only about small things.

It’s through this blog that I hope to live on for a few generations after I die. When my friends, family members and readers go through this blog, I live on. When they read my stories of the memories I’ve made, I live on. When they remember my name, I live on.

I am not sure that I could ever write in the future. I don’t know. I don’t know what pages of my life would unfurl for me. I don’t know, at all. But I know this…that I am writing here! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pink Thimphu: Instagram pictures

I started loving Instagram so much, lately. It seems like this online photo-sharing and video-sharing social networking service has been designed especially for me. Seriously. For, photography is one of my favorite engagements in everyday life. So much so I love doing it that there isn’t a single day without my camera clicking pictures.  

What I like most about the Instagram is its photographic filters that we can apply to our images. And of course, it confines photos to a square shape. For a person like me who doesn’t use Photoshop, Instagram is simply comfortable and fun. Just capture a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, use frames if you want to, and share it with my friends and family. It’s very simple, enjoyable, and beautiful.

So today, I offer you some of the pictures that I took on Instagram this spring. These pictures are all the pink peach blooms of Thimphu. Enjoy much!   

Monday, March 31, 2014

In its own way, the nature’s way

It was already late evening. And that I was still in my office. But hey, I’m not an “over-sincere” civil servant. In fact, I was waiting and just hoping that the rain would stop so that I could walk home. But it didn’t.
So I pulled out my umbrella and marched into the downpour, toward my home, clutching my bag to my chest. The moment I started walking, the rain poured harder. Even the air became damper, chillier. To put it simply, the March rain is pretty uncomfortable. Because it retains the cold, that of the winter, unusual cold, isn’t it?    

It was almost instantly dark, starkly though. Actually Thimphu doesn’t become so dark this early in the spring. But that evening, it was. Maybe – just maybe – it could be because of the heavy downpour, or the dark clouds that hung so low and held the entire valley in its bosom. To me, it all appeared like the heaven was kissing the first spring blossom of the year.

The road that I walked was virtually empty. All shops closed and the people returned to their homes. And as I walked, I could feel the fresh aroma of the spring in the air, its fragrance all exuded, fluxed with the rain. I became so intoxicated. I felt as if I were in the company of a beautiful woman, walking together. Honestly speaking.   

The endless droplets of the rain splattered against my umbrella and against the road. Some drops big, others tiny. And they produced a rhythmic beating sound with different uneven beats. I stopped walking, abruptly; however, not to listen to the rain sound.
I started watching the rain tapping on the pink peach blooms and green leaves that was perfectly illuminated by the streetlamps. They met so gently, almost playfully. Ah, it looked so passionate, so sensual, and so surreal. Instantaneously, I was hit by a wave of something – a few questions though.

Is this how nature mates?
Does nature really make love?

Sorry readers, I’ve no idea what really aroused me to think about it, but there I was asking these questions. As I continued walking, the sound of the rain enfolded me and the darkness too. But deep inside me, it’s these questions that enfolded me overpoweringly.
As I write this post, right now, these questions still buzz beautifully in my head, my heart. I was and still am very much sure that I can’t get the answer, anyway; not even in my writing. But now I can, at least, console myself that all I could see was the mystery of wild, the wonder of nature. Perhaps heaven can make love with nature, in its own way, the nature’s way.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Written out in the spring

Last weekend, I borrowed a book, “Further Chronicles of Avonlea”, from my friend. The book, a collection of short stories by L. M. Montgomery, includes a number of stories relating to the inhabitants of the fictional Canadian village of Avonlea located on Prince Edward Island. One of the stories really touched me, coz it relates to the spring, my favorite season,

“It was in the spring that Josephine and I had first loved each other, or, at least, had first come into the full knowledge that we loved. I think that we must have loved each other all our lives, and that each succeeding spring was a word in the revelation of that love, not to be understood until, in the fullness of time, the whole sentence was written out in that most beautiful of all beautiful springs.”
Dear readers, walk around, open your eyes, and be awed by the timely coming of this year’s spring. Share love, share happiness. I hope you would have a wonderful springtime with your beloved ones!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Special little moments

It was lunchtime. Yesterday. As usual, I walked out of my office with some of colleagues to buy lunch at my office cafeteria. By the way, I don’t carry the packed lunch to office. It’s pretty sad - I know it very well - both for my health and saving.    

So then, I went straight to the counter and put my order. It’s simple one - roti with emadatshi. Tea too, because it’s still cold here in Thimphu, even at noon. After that I pushed myself towards right.

On the wall behind the counter, as always, I spotted a fresh quote. Every day, my office cafeteria puts up a new inspiring quote on the wall. It’s quite thoughtful of them, though. It could be, perhaps, this opportunity that I get to read new quote every noon that I don’t bring my lunch to office, he-he. 

And the quote is,      

Happiness comes from special little moments.
However, this particular quote touched me in a strange new way. It penetrated me deeply. I read the words, reread them. And I nodded, agreeing to what it has to say, so loyally.

Happiness is not tangible, we know that. But after reading the quote, I swear I could touch it. And here, as I type this post, I’m all smiling, still feeling that happiness.

Yes, happiness really comes from special little moments. Like this, to me, even from reading a simple quote, even from spending small time with my colleagues over the lunch. And you can never guess how happy I’m putting down small little moments of my life here on my blog.

A happy weekend, dear readers!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Best youth-related film of the year 2013

“Chuut Wai” is the film. Both written and directed by Phuntsok Rabten. At the 13th National Film Awards, the 150-minute long film won several awards. And remarkably, it won the award for best youth-related film of the year 2013.

As I work with a youth agency in Bhutan, I felt very happy to know about the award and more so that I watched the film. Today when our country is facing with new social challenges, especially youth problems, “Chuut Wai” has brilliantly illuminated all the core issues of youth concerns. And even through films, “Chuut Wai” lauds loudly that we can help address youth problems.   
By the way, the film is thoroughly entertaining with very original screenplay and music. To be precise, it’s a real cinematic treat for you - this I don’t hesitate to say. It can make you laugh, fight with your own emotions, and cry ultimately.         
Kuenzang received award for Best Newcomer (Female)
Last month, I met the film director and I was quite happy to learn many more things about the film from him. He told me that “Chuut Wai” is a film adapted from real life characters from our contemporary times.

‘Chuut Wai’ revolves around Dingay, a disillusioned young man, who breaks down into depression, drugs and violence after his uneducated mother commits suicide when her husband divorced her. This is a real life story of Jigme Yosel Jigme, a recovering addict; and quite interestingly, he played his own role in the film as Dingay.

As the film unfolds, all along you also walk with Dingay. You are there in his story, in one form or another. Like him, you start to loathe his father, and howl in anguish and injustice; and cling to the past all related to the deceased mother. You become angry with everybody, everything around you. As Dingay gets into depression and seeks solace in his horrid past and drugs, you are also filled with a lonely, dark, and helpless feeling.
However, Dingay’s life undergoes a transformative journey when Jigme, a visually impaired young man, comes into his life. Even the role of Jigme is the real life story of Jigme Namgyal and he played his own role in the film.

As the film runs through scene after scene, it begins to take on a clear form and you can hear the film’s conscience, the voice. Too loudly. Too clearly. At the end, the film feels like a religious ritual that can heal your wounded spirits, your errors corrected.
This film is full of comedy; however, the humours are real, not coarse or forced. You laugh because it happens to you everyday, anyhow. Through comic scenes, we are enticed to reflect your own perceptions, feelings and intentions, and rethink some of our own prejudices, ignorance and stupidity. At the end, you are laughing at yourself only.  

At one moment, Phuntsok Rabten explained me that this film of his takes on the holistic approach to today’s social problems. I love the resonant power of his message in the film - all relevant, real and powerful. He has woven all our traditional values and wisdoms in the film so beautifully. And these are something invisible and beyond our understanding, yet we can feel them with right attitude and belief. The classroom education is not enough to fully educate our youth, and solve social problems.   
The film also has, for you, unlikely romance and songs but of remarkable proportions. And it takes you to unexpected twists and astonishing turns, all the way to a climatic finale. There’s good news for you, that the film will be re-screened in Thimphu. 

Photo courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/ChuutWai

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Waiting for Dasho

I was a small young man with a small life. Just 19. Inexperienced, and naïve. That was many many years back. My parents were farmers (still they are) – my father worked in the fields, and mothers cooked. My village, Chuzagang, a very remote village, was a full two-hour walk from Gelephu Town. I suppose I could begin from here, an incident that had happened to me 11 years ago.
So every morning, my parents would ready my journey. They prepared breakfast and pushed Nu 10 note in my hand. Whereas, I combed my hair, dressed in fresh gho, fed on breakfast and then set out early. To Gelephu. The Dasho Dungpa’s office. To get the Dasho’s signature on a form for the identity card of my sister.   

And I had to run across several ungainly terraces of rice fields, avoid abuse from village youth, and escape dogs’ chase. Worst of all, I had to walk the infamous river, Maokhola, all alone.
At 9 in the morning, I’d reach the Dasho Dungpa’s office in Gelephu, all exhausted, drenched in sweats. The form has been reviewed by the admin assistant already. And outside the Dasho’s chamber, I waited for him to arrive and get his signature on my form.

“Dasho is in a very important meeting. He cannot come today, come tomorrow,” announced the office assistant to us. There were four of us. I made my way back home.       
   
The next day, again, we waited for the Dasho outside his chamber. At times, we walked in the office and asked the office staff about the Dasho. The staff who dressed rich and spoke only in English never answered us properly. They got angry, instead, disconcerted at us.
Dasho didn’t come the next day, either, nor the day after that. And soon a week went by. By then, we were over 15, waiting for the Dasho’s signature. There was nothing for us to do until the sun goes down. So we would walk down the office lane, bask in the sun, listen to each others’ stories, buy lunch in canteen, and take nap and return to waiting.

One afternoon, Dasho came to his office, donning himself in a colourful kabney. Our hope got lifted up and we ran into his chamber, in line, our forms in our hands. But he just walked out. For the record, he didn’t even look at us. Then, he drove off in a big Toyota car. We heard from others that he was going to attend his daughter’s birthday.

After a week, my parents stopped giving me pocket money – perhaps they didn’t have it. All day, I would yawn, scratch my head, hunger intruded. And as the sun set, I would run back and reach home only when the dinner was cooking. This created so much of stress even for my family. Fights broke out between my parents. 
However, next morning I would walk to the office, in a furious hope that this time, perhaps this time, the Dasho may come.

Let me tell you something about ‘waiting’. It’s so sickening, truthfully speaking. The waiting makes you furious, anxious and agitated. After sometime, it becomes a pain. It pains even if you sit, walk, talk or eat. Later, you boil, burn out – all inside. The last stage - hopelessness and apathy engulfs you. Then, you become a mechanized monster.

So I too became a monster, then, a hater. You never know, after that incident, how much I used to detest the government officials, bureaucratic system and above all, Dashos. After 10 days of painful waiting, and of course the longest 10 days of my life, I got the form signed by the Dasho.

About a decade later, I’ve become a civil servant too. When I think back on this particular incident, I often feel myself with a surge of affection and pity. But today this truly helped me understand my duties and responsibilities as a public servant. Our duty is not limited to paper works, tours, meetings and workshops, and honing skills in public speaking and making PowerPoint presentation, but way beyond that - to serve people.

Different people enter our office seeking directions and support, and helps and favors. I know that it takes your few minutes to guide or help them, but it can save their weeklong time, traveling and money.

And way advance, I wish you all a very wonderful Losar!