Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Knowing Life

This Christmas was different to me. A special one, though. I’m not a Christian, but I always spend the Christmas with my Christian uncles, cousins and granny. I love it! And this Christmas I spent all day home, alone. After breakfasting late, I nestled in my bed and popped the TV shut. 

My eyes travelled wastefully over the ceiling for a half minute. It went so far as to the corner wall and stopped where a photo frame hung. I looked at the photo attentively. A mighty sea is sailing magnificently in a perfect rhythm and it resigns, ultimately, in triumph in the cosmic ocean. I went closer and contemplated on it. This photo which has been hanging on this wall for the last eight months surprisingly offered a completely different awakening to me this Christmas.  It reflects back my own true self. Like us, mortals, this sea too has life.

I comprehended that this sea is the perfect metaphor for our life. Life as this sea is ever moving, without a pause, unequally distributing joy and distress, seeking finally to merge into an ocean that was even greater and eternity. Like this sea, sometimes you see something on the banks you really want, you dash toward to grasp it and float back.

Like we prosper and rise in the ladder of success, this sea too rises so high as if to catch up with the sky. And at times, it drifts down so low and looks vulnerable, desolated. Like that of our life, the sea too meets with the hurricane of disastrous tsunamis and floods. It becomes unsettled and distracted. Yet it rises reassuringly and just resumes floating with the current, keeping its balance.Sometimes, it floats fast but mostly sails in tranquility.

And how sweet, it seems confident and optimistic in its journey. Its unshakable faith reflects in its industriousness and is still in hunt for further glory. Finally, this sea triumphantly retires from its life and joins the cosmic ocean which I believe is life-after-death, union with God and eternity.

Now, I have realized that there’s nothing about life that had to be examined, analyzed, questioned or understood. I feel that life is just process and cycle, just the doing. Like this sea, life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end, crisis or glory. Life is all about hard times and good times and just how in the end everything is perfect and union with eternity.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Youth in voluntary action

A group of 11 young volunteers of YDF cleaned the JDWNRH guests house, Thimphu last Sunday. Most of these young people are students on vacation. Refreshments and lunch were provided by the Jangsa, Animal Saving Trust. Pictures (by Tashi Namgay) below:



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My friend, Jigme

An eerie, frightening howling of dog outside in the corridor woke me one Sunday morning. It’s 6 in the morning, last summer. The cry was very intense, painful and ominous. My friend who was putting up with me that day thought some misfortunes would fall upon the tenants of the building as was customary.

My mood was one of disgust, for this dog disturbed my restful Sunday sleep. I swiftly pushed aside blanket, rose from the bed. Sleep still looming heavy in my eyes, I ran toward the door, in no doubt, to kick out that annoying dog.

I strike open the door, marched out. A lean unkempt dog was seated over few yards down in the corridor. Previous night’s monsoon downpour soaked him. As soon as he saw me, he beamed in a gracious smile like that of a timid guest. His tail wagging non-stop and producing slow shrieks, he marched briskly towards me and nudged against my legs. His ribs hit against my legs. I sensed, instinctively that he hadn’t had foods for a week or two. Good heavens! He was in intense hunger.

The fleeting rush of anger in me was quickly gone. I darted inside my kitchen to look for rice for my early morning guest. Yes, there was leftover rice in my cooker. I mixed it with cheese and emadatshi in a plate. Then I placed it in front of him. He gobbled furiously.

I sat next to him, quiet, watching him stuffing. And at the same time, I wondered how long he had been run-rounding the town, abandoned, hungry, and crying for foods. Do humans understand his hunger and pains? I understood, then, that this dog was not calling for misfortunes, but he was in such a hunger that he couldn’t help so he had to vent the great noise for foods.

He wagged his tail again and gazed deeply into my eyes, his smile beautiful. I sensed he wanted more foods. I had bread and cookies. I added them in his plate. He emptied the plate, but this time he jumped at me, climbing up on my lap and nudging his head and tail over my neck. He then magnificently bounced back, whined and barked in a decorative joy. He was doing all this as if to express his gratitude to me.

He found his master and a place called home. At last! He has his bed of my old gho next to the entrance door. And guess what? He stopped making noise and commotion. Ah, now he has grown huge, docile, friendly, intelligent and admirably handsome. Also, he has become as homely as his master. When my 13-year old niece visited my place last month, she gave him a name, Jigme.

To tell you honestly, I was a loner and melancholic person. I used to spend most of my day home, alone. My daily activities included reading, writing and watching TV besides office works. But after Jigme’s arrival, my life’s changed completely. I’m no more lonely and sad. I am happy, always loved and cared for.

Every evening, we go out way above Motithang. Long walk. I still have moments of sadness but Jigme can sense them. He comes to me, curls up on my lap and puts his head on my shoulder as if he is giving a hug to cheer me up.

Other times, when we’re out in the parks and roads, we romp and play. He crawls when I crawl, he sleeps when I sleep. He gives a jolly jump and furious run his ears pricked up and I lie flat on the ground laughing my lungs out. He darts off to comply with my every single command. All this have irrevocably bound us and make me happy. 

Interesting thing is that Jigme even knows my office and most of my colleagues. At times, he gives me nasty shock. He shows up in front of my office door unannounced. Only after I buy him foods from the canteen, he returns home.

It’s been exactly four months since I met Jigme and now I’ve discovered that dogs are great consequence in a human’s life. They love you unconditionally, always seem to know when you need them most and protect you from harms. The power of a special bond, loyalty and everlasting love that my Jigme shared with me is way beyond any special person had brought in my life.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Perfect stranger

It was just a regular winter evening in Thimphu. Busy and frost-cold out in the open. After circumambulating the Memorial Chorten three times, I headed for Motithang. On foot. The chill spread through my veins and every hair on my body was standing up, shrieking with cold. Oh, Thimphu has turned colder.

A girl was walking ahead of me, about a dozen of yards away. She looked incredibly attractive. Fair, tall, slim. But unlike me, she was well-clothed-boots, overcoat, hand gloves, muffler and cap-all this to keeping herself warm and trendy.

When we reached the swimming pool traffic, she swiftly half-turned and threw a glance at me. Perhaps she had this feeling that this man was following her. At the junction, an old man in rags was selling momo oblivious to the cold. He was presumably hopping for a few more ngultrum to earn enough for his rent and children’s school expenses.  Prado and Mercedes cars bought in Quota raced hurriedly, still in hunt for added wealth and pleasure. Gosh, this only shows the huge disparity of distribution of wealth and explicit hypocrisy in the GNH country.

From the swimming pool traffic, this girl turned left. As she climbed the way towards Changangkha, she again turned back, eyeing me cautiously-this time her expression filled with pleasant worry and fear. When she saw me still coming behind her, she quickened her pace.

As we’ve to cross a busy traffic at Changangkha, she halted for almost half a minute. I caught with her pace. Again I was walking a dozen of yards behind her. Now she started throwing repeated glance back at me in a heightened panic and I could sense fear radiating from her body.

But this brought a touch of guilt and discomfort in me. I was only being a constant menace to her, unnecessarily though. But I understood this girl’s hopeless situation. She cannot walk alone safe at night like me. As a woman, she is vulnerable to all winds of circumstance. But who is her menace? Alas, they are their own brothers, their sons, their fathers and uncles-above all, men.

From Changangkha, this girl attempted the short-cut. Perhaps more tellingly, she was only trying to escape from me. But this decision has only mired her into a greater misery as I also took the same route, and without streetlights, everything appeared dark then. There was a real feeling of uncertainty. I knew for sure, then, this girl might have thought that I was really after her.

In this string of unending unsavory incident, we reached the Shop No. 7 of Motithang. A drunkard man stretching flat on the sidewalk scared this girl, ha-ha. “Azzaiiii!” she screamed. This man looked disgraceful. A GNH citizen? Or maybe he was only keeping himself warm against the spine-chilling cold with a few pegs of rum. But he snored so horribly, as if he was competing against those moving vehicles on the road in producing horrible noise.

This girl was still walking ahead of me and looking back at me, repeatedly, in horror and increasing fear. She turned left and ran towards a huge yellow building. As she hurried up the stair, she glanced at me again presumably praying to have me stopped following her by then.

But she expressed her terror more explicitly when I too climbed up the building’s stair after her. This time she ran so frantically, heels in her right hand. But to my pleasant surprise, she stopped in front of Flat No. 16, sixth floor of the building. She started rummaging her handbag looking for door key, furiously-even trembling. As she was unlatching her door, I went to Flat No. 17, the flat I’ve been staying for the last one year. When I opened my door, she stood frozen to the spot, staring at me blankly as sweats flowing down from her forehead. Maybe discovering me as her next-door neighbor might have shocked her more than the unmerciful stranger who had followed her from the Memorial Chorten.

After exchanging awkward smile, the incident seemed so incongruous to my neighbor, she couldn’t help giggling. As she closed her door, she burst into a loud guffaw.

Photo: Lakey

Friday, December 16, 2011

Youth vs Police

One day, police brutally thrash youth. Another day, a group of youth mob at policemen.

This picture below shows youth occupying the main traffic, Thimphu:

And policemen overtaking the space:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Proliferation of penis

Bhutanese culture is outrageously notorious and immoral. From night hunting to "everywhere seen" phallus and the Buddhist folklore, I can assure you that our culture is bizarrely weird. Interesting thing is that we don't feel or notice these larger-than-life penises. We are immune to it. Ha-ha! If you don't believe me, view the photographs below:  

An enormous wooden penis guarding the Guru's ney & warding off evil spirits.

Penile telescope:

Ornately embellished ball-ends slapped on walls. Holding them gives you a trifle embarrassment but brings you good luck and prosperity.

Stone cladding. Dispensing a healthy sprinkling of jizz. Long live, my friend! 
This is one reason why Bhutan is unique. We're weird and have been propagating this "crazy wisdom", but we are HAPPY.

Photos: Hiromi, Haruko, Rabi

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

National Youth Policy launched

The much awaited National Youth Policy has been launched by HRH Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuk today in Thimphu. About 12 students, 20 out-of-school youth (drayang girls, disabled, monks, youth volunteers, and job seekers), ministers, MPs, stakeholders (YDF, NCWC, RBP, media personnel, Tarayna Foundation, BNCA, MoH, BAOWE) and representatives from the donor agencies attended the launch.
Some of the goals of the Policy are:
1.       Provide youth with proper educational and training opportunities
2.       Health and development needs of young people are met
3.       Reinforce the youth volunteerism
4.       Develop skills and leadership qualities among the youth
5.      Encourage the involvement of govt. and NGOs, co-operatives and non-formal groups of young people; ensure all youth-related programmes are integrated and coordinated
The Department of Youth and Sports under MoE will take the lead role in monitoring and evaluating, and putting the structure to the Policy. The policy will enhance a good overview of all the agencies and non-formal youth groups in streamlining activities and services being catered to youth. As the Policy empowers young people with all the necessary supports, youth are also expected to take their roles and responsibilities.
However, the National Youth Action Plan which is to be developed every after three years “to provide a practical statement on the implementation of the Policy reflecting its priorities and strategic themes” is yet not developed. The consultative meeting with all the youth-related agencies after the launch unanimously decided come up with realistic and dynamic mechanisms for the Action Plan.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

National Youth Policy will be launched tomorrow

The Dept. of Youth and Sports, MoE will launch the National Youth Policy tomorrow at Taj Tashi Hotel in Thimphu. 

The policy will address a range of youth issues: risk and protective factors; promotes effective program services; supports logical pathways to success; and recognizes that children and youth grow up in families and communities that empower them. 

Youth issues and problems like unemployment, substance abuse, media influence and social behavior can now be looked at in a more coordinated manner. Until now different agencies have been working in their own ways often leading to duplication of activities and inefficient utilization of limited resources. It is hopeful that the National Youth Policy will help to streamline the programmes and activities of all the concerned agencies working for young people so that the youth can derive the maximum benefit from them. 

The policy shall not only look into all aspects of youth problems but also help youth to realize their full potential so that they grow up in a safe and enabling environment to become more productive and responsible citizens. 

Bhutan lose again

Inexperienced Bhutan conceded second consecutive defeat in the SAFF Championship India after India thrashed Bhutan 5-0 last Monday night.  In the first match of Group A, Sri Lanka defeated Bhutan 3-0. This put Bhutan's dreams to qualify for the semi-finals out of reach as Bhutan will play next match against the favorites Afghanistan in the third and final round of the group stage.


A lone striker in front, Bhutan played strategically defensive with a young under-19 amateur squad against India. Captain Norbu Dhendup and the Yeedzin FC left back Pema Rinzin kept the defense wall tight causing frequent head scratching troubles to the India’s forwards Sunil Chettri, Abranches and Miranda. India couldn’t penetrate Bhutan’s well-organized aggressive defense for the first 30 minutes. We were beaten by a couple of goals in the first half and the hope of coming back was presumably high. Goalie Mon Bdr. Bhattarai was phenomenal, making numerous magnificent saves. The commentator marked him a “brave young man”.

However, Bhutan at all didn’t threaten their opponents. In the solid 90 minutes, Bhutan couldn’t hit a single attempt on the target. The only corner in the second half was a waste as the Singaporean referee whistled for an India player for foul. 

The lone striker was easily outnumbered by the India defenders. There was low level of confidence level due to lack of exposure. Bhutan made numerous un-concentrated long range passes and easily losing the possession to the opponents. Bhutan hardly kept the ball possession.

Bhutan showed convincing confidence and skills for the first 15 minutes of the second half. But after the third goal in the last quarter of the match, Bhutan were intimidated and worn out. Bhutan would have conceded about four more goals had India not misfired and wasted some perfect chances.

But the result was fair and as expected to the Bhutan’s Japanese coach and Bhutanese football fans. The commentator announced, “With the small population and poor sports infrastructure, Bhutan is growing in stature. Such exposure does the boost.”

With the talents we have seen in the young Bhutanese squad, we expect the BOC to come up with many sports infrastructure and resources in Bhutan. The only half-baked Changlimithang stadium and deserted football field of Changjiji are never answering Bhutan’s athletes and sportsmen's hunger and thirst for the sports.

Bhutan's first 11 lineup: Mon Bdr Bhattrai, Sangay Khandu (Yeshi Samdrup, 61st), Nawang Dendup, Sonam Tenzin (Karma Tshering, 71st), Nim Sangay, Pema Rinchen, Thinley Dorji, Man Bahadur Gurung, Tshering Dorji, Chencho Gyeltshen (Tshering Dendup, 88th), Jigme Tshering Dorjee. 

Group A: Bhutan, India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Group B: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal. 

Bhutan are ranked 198 and are the lowest ranked team in the competition.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Long tale of the longest lunch

Gedu HSS staff never cook lunch during their school festival and any other school events. About 69 school staff bring their own packed lunches (rice, curries and edzey) from their homes. The picture below shows  about 69 different varieties of foods displayed during the School Sports Day 2011 lunchtime. It's very interesting to say that you cannot even reach half way this lunch table. Your plate is full after the fifth hot-case. And if the school continues this unique trend, one day they will surely win  the Guinness Wold Record.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You all are my Heroes!

Dear Sheetal, Tandin, Tshering, Pema and Wangda,
Last evening at 6:30 when Dawa came live on BBS TV, I shivered uncontrollably. I was nervous and horrified. After a few minutes I even started sweating. I felt as if I was experiencing a horrifying massacre. I don’t know why. Perhaps, I’ve never met people living with HIV/AIDS in the past or I was having the phobia of the disease.
But as Dawa went on introducing each one of you who have braved and took all the risks to declare your status, I started feeling pleasant and normal. I was seeing any other five normal people on the BBS studio. You are no different from us. You are good looking, strong, happy and self-reliant. Unlike what myths or misconceptions had, some of you are even more successful, ambitious and enterprising than those without HIV/AIDS.
You know what? After watching the first two segments, this heavy phobia in me (certainly due to lack of information) has been swept away. I felt instant relief and was ecstatic as if I had suddenly recovered from high fever. I came to know certain things from you all: HIV/AIDS is also like any other diseases (TB, hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes); an AIDS patient can live a healthy life with better medical treatments; HIV cannot spread through handshakes and hugs; a baby can born uninfected from a HIV positive mother.
More importantly, your mere presence on the national TV and sharing of your experiences has immensely benefited all the people living with HIV/AIDS and other fellow citizens like me. It has demystified the hoodoo spell (that has placed on us ever since the first detected case of HIV in Bhutan) that HIV/AIDS patients bring misfortunes to his/her family, society and office.
Our government along with the donor agencies worked extensively to stop HIV/AIDS. Awareness programmes through media, leaflets, magazines and textbooks have been in place. But your glorious presence on the TV did more than what our government could do in the last decade with millions of dollars.
As a proud Bhutanese citizen, I applaud for your audacity and noble job you have done yesterday. You took all the risks to come out  in the open public from your hiding place to educate us and to fight against the stigma and social discrimination. You did all this not only for yourselves but also for other friends living with HIV/AIDS, their families, co-workers and friends.
I know, for sure, from now onwards you will never be stigmatized and discriminated. You have genuine supports from the highest of religious body, royal family, government, NGOs and our society.
I salute you. You all are my heroes!
Yours well wisher,
Riku Dhan Subba
Photo: BBS

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On my signature

My signature is crap and sloppy as hell. It’s very tiny and looks like scribble on the wall by kid. Its shape is even more terrible and it, surely, will disgust you. Nor, it really represents my full name.

If the signature was a snapshot of our personality, then I am the man with stinking attitude and demented character. Look at my signature below, feel disgusted and call me, careless, moron or asshole or kutta, anything you like. I will tolerate this time, at least for my crap signature. 
                                                 Pic: Not only terrible, inconsistent too

The funny thing is that I’ve neat handwriting-perhaps-the best handwriting you would ever see. My school or college mates used to call it ‘computer handwriting’ and ‘calligraphy in the old manuscripts’.

But here is what weird you would see. After I took civil service job, I’ve been signing lots of stuff for work. My signature has significantly evolved over time. Sad, it has further deteriorated and become even more inconsistent. I loathe it so much as I do to those bogus politicians. 

I never got the impression my signature was a big deal until last month. You’d be surprised to hear this. The teller of Bank of Bhutan stopped the transaction and looked at me suspiciously. She compared the signature I signed on the withdrawal form to the original signature card of my account. My signature didn’t match. I had to produce my ID. 

Many times I attempted to redevelop my signature. But I admit that a person like me can never write a good signature. I lack vision and creativity in developing a good signature. 
However, according to the experts, my signature has all the good traits to reveal. They are below:
1. My smaller size signature indicates that I’ve less desire.
2. My signature which is completely different from the usual writing shows that I’m introvert and do not desire to disclose everything about me.
3.  My filthy signature tells that I love to keep things in private and desire to keep my true identity unknown.
4. A straight line under my signature reveals that I’m a self-reliant and believe in following rules and traditions.
5. The three dots at the end of my signature reveal that I’m very ambitious.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

“I wish I were rich”

There was a wave of excitement and happiness all over the country. Our beloved King was to wed the Royal Bride Jetsun in October 13. Streets, roads, buildings and chortens were all adorned in sparking lights and all Bhutanese citizens were in a wild festive mood. But amongst this, one Patients Guest House at JDWNRH was dreadfully cold and didn’t react to the most anticipating national festivity. This welfare hostel is a home for about 33 homeless people, kidney failure patients who are undergoing dialyses and for the destitute and dying. 
                                          Pic: Patients in front of the welfare hostel

They live in a catastrophic condition that they agonizingly spend each day without good foods, good clothes and good medical treatments. Some feed on the forlorn hope, a hope for the miraculous intervention to occur to them that can change their life. Others are giving up their hope of life altogether and waiting miserably for the unquestioned future. Death. Their families, relatives and friends are also equally burdened and depressed. In the past, many Dashos, Lyonpos and MPs promised them hope but forgot them when they went back. 
Not quite a handful of days before the Royal Wedding, Lhamo Drukpa, the talented and charismatic national film artist, along with Tashi Namgay (Founder of Bhutan Kidney Association) visited the Patients Guest House. She wanted the patients to feel that they are loved, happy and more importantly to uplift their spirits to make them able to join in the celebration of Royal Wedding. 
                                       Pic: Lhamo Drukpa (4th from the left) with the patients

She stayed in very close touch with the patients giving them tender loving care. As an affectionate friend, she consoled them and shared their plights. As a caring sister, she hugged and nursed their wounds. And as a loving mother, she cried with them and fed hopes and aspirations upon them. This went on for a considerable length of time. Meanwhile, she also delighted the patients with her magical voice. She, then, donated groceries (rice, eggs, biscuits, noodles, milk and soaps) and winter blankets to all the patients. 


                                       Pic: Lhamo Drukpa (2nd from left) distributing gorceries

Her inspiration, humility and grace remarkably spread all over the house. Surprise and happiness on their faces, all the patients emerged joyfully out of their beds in a worshipful gratitude for her. The otherwise depressed patients remarkably resurrected in confidence, bliss and abundance.
So, during the Royal Wedding, all the patients excitedly crammed in front of the TV and watched the marriage ceremony proceedings. They graciously snacked on the biscuits and noodles brought to them by Lhamo Drukpa as they glued to the TV. They were as excited and jubilant as any other Bhutanese citizen and were praying for the long life of the Royal Couple.
I just imagine how proud our beloved King and Queen would be to hear about the good work she did to the 33 patients for the Royal Wedding.
Today, Lhamo Drukpa visits the Patient Guests House at least once a month with groceries. During the winter, she donates blankets and garments. Also, she organizes religious talks for the patients in a regular interval. Very recently, she invited Chung Rimpoche, the founder of Ati Foundation when the patients received preaching and blessings. 

                                           Pic: Chung Rimpoche at the guests house

She also looks after about 30 monks in a dratshang in Lhuentse. Other time, you would see her with the homeless senior citizens in the Thimphu Street, talking to them and buying meals and clothes for them. “I wish I were rich,” she would smile altruistically each time we meet.
She often travels to Vellore in India as most Bhutanese patients referred there for further medical treatments are in pathetic conditions. Though the RGOB covers the travels, surgery and medication expenses, there are many hidden costs associated that are not covered by the government. For example, blood. A unit of blood costs Rs 5,500. There are some patients who need about 5 units of blood everyday. Also, there are many patients who have to extend their stay in Vellore due to medical complications and unmatched blood groups of the donors. This leads to major financial problems and depression to the patients and to their families.
As a friend, co-worker and fan, I thoroughly appreciate the sincere, selfless and dedicated works done by Lhamo Drukpa. May she live long!
Today, Lhamo Drukpa is a board member to the Motion Pictures Association of Bhutan. She is one of the most committed members of the Bhutan Kidney Association.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Once upon a time in Japan

The brilliant shades of autumn painted in the jewels of nature, rich and luxurious in warmth of gold and amber greeted our beloved King and Queen. The nature has stunningly swollen to its fullest, particularly to welcome its extraordinarily beautiful Guests. Its aroma of sweetest beauty has harmonised gloriously and sung all in praises for the world's newest Royal Couple.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In the end

You’re my best friend. Assume it. I had invited you for a quiet dinner at my home.  It was a crispy evening. We nestled in the couch of my heated living room. We sipped hot coffee and bite the warm corn bread as our talks ranged from literature, books, photography, blogging and office works to our relationships and family.
Suddenly, we faced a daunting trip to our conversation. We’re just trying hard to recollect the name for jackfruit in Dzongkha. But we couldn’t. Head scratching. Tempers boiled over. We exchanged frustrating grimaces. In sheer disappointment, we pushed aside our coffee and we were robbed of our noisy conversation.

However, we cruised back to recollecting its name in a crazed hope. We, several times, attempted giving it up. Worse, we could do it for a few minutes only. Yet again we were fighting hard to recollect it for we read it in our school textbooks. You know that even when we were school students we used to do inky mink pong key (check the spellings) while attempting for the multiple-choice questions and the matter was closed. But we’ve never thought so hard before like this. And it’s unnecessarily dragging us into terrible insanity. God help us!

Then, we applied extra efforts. We made countless phone calls to our friends and relatives. Finally, we got the damn name for jackfruit in Dzongkha. It’s dramzey. We exchanged loud sighs of satisfaction, ah!    

We resumed snacking on the corn bread and sipping hot coffee. But this only reminded me to share you a similar incident with you. My friend, you know, each time I wake up from my bed, I start searching. I don’t know exactly what I’m searching for. At times I wonder that I’m stretching out for something that remains tantalizingly out of my reach like the shaft of light falling into my room that comes from beyond the horizon, beyond the reach of my logical mind. But I yearn for it, desperately though.

I search for it so uninterruptedly and so obsessively in my washroom and breakfast. My quest to clinch this missing thing also goes on in my dresses and car. And later in my office, in colleagues, lunch, friends, relatives, parents. All to no avail!

Perhaps this is the question any human can ask themselves most frequently. I go to someone close to me hoping that I may find what I am searching for. But most grownups really are idiotic. They’re vaingloriously engrossed in the triviality of everyday existence. They only talk about unimportant things: money, properties, overseas trainings, kids, relationships, loan, fame and power. They think that the truth can be found only in erecting big buildings, beautiful people, power and money. And they counterattack or always try to give me the ready-made solutions. Some even throw gibberish giggles at me and make fun of my inquiry mind.

I don’t want to be one of those people who take the world for granted. I never want to let the corrupt society to corrode my soul. This is the reason I feel exiled from the real world, rest of the people. Though I feel fragile and quiet, sensitive and melancholic, I never stop dwelling in a perpetual sense of expectation, of longing.

Later on, I return home, tuck a heavy quilt and still hungry for the answer. Bitterness wells up in me and this keeps me up at night, tossing and turning.
Next day I talk to young people, my niece and nephews. I share my feelings with them. Their innocence, simplicity and untainted minds speak that my answer lies in them. I become excitedly curious and spend more time with them venting out my feelings. Even my presence makes them happy. Give them a chocolate, they become happy. Buy them a doll, they become happy. Do them good, they react instantly-they express happiness.
                                                                   Photo: Gayatri 

Oh jeez! I get my answer. Happiness is what I’ve been searching for. Before you leave, oh, let me ask you a few questions. Why do you work everyday to earn money? Why do you settle down with a person you love most and raise children? Why you always want to try for new things, meet new person or accumulate more wealth? Why you twirl the rosary and chant mantra? Aren’t you doing all this for your own happiness?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last glimpse of Autumn

One crispy morning, very recently, I sat daydreaming nearby the window of my heated room. And my neighbours’ children were run-rounding around the courtyard, when I spotted the brief, stunning glory of the brilliant yellow, orange and red tree leaves fluttering by the window to cover the ground. They’re falling slowly, gently twirling on the ground. 
This is the time I realized how engrossed I was in the triviality of everyday existence. You know what? We, mortals, let ourselves be lulled into the enchanted sleep of our humdrum existence conclusively. The moment we rise from our bed, we’re preoccupied into the dress we wear, looks, conceitedness, foods we eat, etiquette, relationship, romance, cars, jobs… (Fill in the blank).  
It’d have been déjà vu for me if I hadn’t woke up from this enchanted slumber. I nearly missed miraculous autumn this year, ugh!
At once, I picked up my camera. Push aside my quilt. Jump over the stack of novels, note pads, pen and laptop. Out of my room. Out there in the cold, I was capturing the rich and jewels painted nature in my digital lens.
This was a moment, I thought, Mother Nature swollen to its fullest meaning for the nature lovers, photographers and poets. It was so rich, reminiscent and the light on the trees at sunrise and sunset comes somewhere beyond the giant mountains, beyond the reach of my logical mind. In the middle of shooting, I stopped, wondering at times-even enigmatic.
And as I took the pictures, I fully internalized the aroma of beautiful nature. It rejuvenated my otherwise muddled heart. And this was the time when I wanted to conquer the world.
If you've taken trip to countryside you’d see hundreds of acres of golden cornfields and sections of forest turned gold and deep red glowing in the afternoon sunlight. You’d also see the crops are being harvested, cereals gathered and taken to the warehouses.
And here what other fellow bloggers say about autumn. Langa wrote on his blog,
As I squint up into the sky,

all I can see is the deep and vast blue sky;

without a trace of clouds hanging-

a perfect form of sky we talk about.

Thimphu is getting colder and colder.
 

For some, the season of fall is all about love and craving for the warmth of their lovers. Aurora Karma posted on her site, 

she knew she loved him,
and he loved her as much.
She wanted to be closer-
under his skin-
with no time and space
between them.
She wished
nothing mattered but-
their love. 

Photo courtesy: Last two photos by Stephen & Dominique