Dear Thimphu people,
I’ve thought long on where to begin this chit. For this is the first time I’m ever doing so, that too for a painful reason. By the way, I’m pretty sure that you all know about me. I’m Buddha Dordenma of Kuensel Phodrang.
You know it better - very well - I was birthed here to commemorate the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy and to bestow blessings, peace and happiness in the world. However, I daresay, you people have regrettably malformed Kuensel Phodrang or in your own term “Buddha Point” into a sinful place.
So to begin, after the dusk enfolds Thimphu valley, the road below Buddha Point rises up eerily. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night, I see about 20 stalls emerging at roadside. These stalls, sparely lit, sell a lot of stuff - wine, whisky, beer, cigarette, tobacco, doma. Also, momo, thukpa and puri.
Surprisingly, the stall owners are very enterprising. Because the stalls have so many facilities like bonfire, chairs, disco lights and music blaring from car’s stereo. Moreover, it has got enough rituals to keep you up from midnight to early morning.
As I stand 169 feet tall, high up here, I’ve a clear view of all the activities down there. One after another, cars, both big and small, jerk to abrupt stop at this illegal market of Buddha Point. Almost instantly, hundreds of drunken post-party hoppers flock here. Indeed, I am quite surprised as I had expected the Buddhist devotees to come and pray here, not drunkards at odd hours. I meant no disrespect here.
Most visitors are dispirited youth, aimless and adrift. Adorned with give-no-damn receive-no-damn attitude, you have no faith in me, even in yourself too. Your prayer beads are those cigarette tucked in your fingers and your mantras those wine-instigated non-veg words. This makes me feel like crying for humanity.
Amidst the crowd, every time, I see a handful of old men, seemingly rich, fondling around with a dozen of strikingly attractive young girls, as young as 15, in sleazy dresses. As usual, you start flinging from one embrace to another, and brush your cheeks one another’s. It’s in English that everything happens here.
But for me, to tell you rather honestly and frustratingly, you are a bunch of pathetic people, pseudo modern Bhutanese who are lost in transition. Sorry though for I used crude terms.
It shocked me when I find there isn’t a single security personnel. This market is of its own, on its own – no laws, no authority, and no regulations. You do anything here. You talk dirty, foul, and fart loud shamelessly. You trade tobacco and drugs. At the same time, you have to smoke grass, inhale liquids and fill your tummy with countless bottles of alcohol.
You are so much cruel to me. Because of you, my mind doesn’t quiet, but grow restless. That’s why I don’t get enough time for meditation to pray for all the sentient beings and bestow peace and happiness around the world.
A group of angry and grudge-filled young men picks up fights and starts exchanging punches and then breaking one another’s cars. And there, those victims heave with sobs and howl and scream seeking justice from me. Actually I have given you everything needed to build a beautiful life, if you choose wisely. Remember, dear sentient beings, you have got only one life, you ought to do what’s right.
Then, up and down the road, couples make desperate love - your bodies mud-stained, bushes crushed, and condoms litter everywhere. Oh, I have to stay here blushing. Sometimes, it is too much that I’ve to bring down the lightning and rain rumbling low to chase you away.
I prophecy so much grave incidents are going to happen at this place sooner. However, these misfortunes can be prevented if all the relevant agencies of Thimphu take up immediate measures. Thus, I decree all the concerned agencies (BAFRA, MoEA, RBP, and MoHCA) to react to this issue immediately.
There is still more to say, but so little time. For I need to take a month-long meditation and to look after the welfare other sentient beings around the world.
Kuensel Phodrang, Thimphu
Some pictures of the stalls at Buddha Point below: