Sunday, March 29, 2015

Buddha Dordenma

I always wanted to take the pictures of Buddha Dordemna statue at Kuensel Phodrang in Thimphu. From different angles though. However, I am not yet successful photographing the exact image that I have in my mind. Perhaps that is the mystery of the world’s largest and tallest Buddha statue. No matter what, I have brought here some pictures of it I took in recent time.      

Monday, March 23, 2015

Writing a new chapter of my life

If a husband had to treat his wife a lavish wedding and honeymoon, then I’m failing already. If he had to gift his bride rich jewelry, then I’ve stumbled. For neither had I treated my wife wedding and honeymoon, nor any jewelry.

The traditions of the family I was raised have it though. However, it was largely my wife’s effort to shun it. She had reiterated in a firm tone, “They are not necessary. How we take on this marriage and life matters.”
So one fine afternoon, I offered her this proposition - if we could visit my village to celebrate our union with family members. She agreed instantly.

In a couple of weeks, after that, we rode to Gelephu. It’s a full day journey from Thimphu; plus my village is two more hours walk from Gelephu town.

This visit was my wife’s first time to Chuzagang. All along the journey, she wondered about my village and family members.

She appeared delighted when I told her that my parents still live in the village and practise traditional farming. But it amusingly shocked her when she heard from me that my father married two wives and has 11 children.

Some of my family members
“Oh goodness! Two wives. 11 children,” she reacted intensely in a can’t-believe gesture. For hers a small family of three.

Then she made her statement clear, rather laughingly, “I hope you wouldn’t follow your father and marry another woman.”

Well, that time Chuzagang was blessed with a soft and gentle weather. During the noon, the hot sun fairly pricked us; however, other time it was pleasant. Only my family members gathered for the occasion. We are 47 and four generations living together.

My wife was literally blown away, and she asked me again and again for sureness, “Are you sure these are all your family members?” 

Meanwhile, as was customary, I took around my wife and introduced my parents, siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces to her. To the end, I saw her struggling as she tried recollecting the person and their names.

Then, she whispered in my ear, “I can only remember your parents. Rest…I am confused. Too many. All alike. He-he.”
Towards the evening, I took my wife out to see our farmland, cattle and crops. Anyone visiting my village would be awed by its vast plane, stunning patterns of rice fields and magnificent sunset.

As we walked around, I explained to her that this is the place where I had spent my entire childhood. I grew up playing with other village kids, working in the fields and looking after cows and sheep.
My childhood was hard, she knew it. Every morning, before I would go to school, I helped my father plough the field. After the school, too, I would work in the farm.

By the way, the village’s children had a strange attitude. All of them wanted to get married and settle down at young age, or to study up to sixth grade and join either police or driving. But I think I was different. I had a dream of acquiring degree certificate, to work as a civil servant, travel and know the world’s wisdoms. Ultimately, I soared away from the village.  
Here I was again, in my 31, back in my own village. I have fulfilled all of my childhood dreams – attended college, joined civil service, and travelled several countries. Moreover, I got married.   

And here, I was not only reminiscing about my childhood memories, but walking with my wife and creating memories too. Of course, I was writing a fresh chapter of my life, this time my wife along.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One step closer to Russia

The dragon boys gave a spectacular performance in the second leg match (World Cup Qualifying) against Sri Lanka at Changlimithang Stadium this afternoon. We won with final score 2:1 (aggregate 3:1). What a treat have had watched the game! What a happiness to know that Bhutan finally progresses to next round!

To put it straight, drukpa boys completely dominated the game and had many open chances. However, the end result justified everything. Above all, Chencho Gyeltshen, the forward, scored both goals. It’s Chencho’s day; it’s Bhutan’s day.   

On the other hand, the spectators were simply amazing – forty thousand plus. I believe this is the largest, craziest crowd ever gathered by Changlimithang. The crowd supported the national team hard and really behaved well, treated the players of both teams with respect and honour. Truly Drukpa. Impressed everyone.

So here, I brought you some pictures of the match. Sorry for the picture quality; it’s shot in my 16 megapixel digital camera.
The Dragon bonding
Spectators flagged off yellows and oranges 
First Druk 11
Sri Lanka 11
Dragons press forward
Unlikely a dragon rider

Good luck dragon boys in your next game!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Finally, the dragon roars

Like you, I was also awestricken with the way the Bhutanese football team performed and won from our first World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka. In fact, hardly anyone had expected a victory. To be honest, I was simply praying that the team ranked rock bottom with FIFA, 209/209, would not concede as much goals as we lost 20-0 to Kuwait in 2000.  
 This time I was proved wrong, as all else.

But now, this particular moment, I am more awestruck with the way Bhutanese started showing respect, wishes and support for the national squad, football in Bhutan. This particular win brought the entire nation together; I can feel a sense of true patriotism and unity all over. On social media sites, streets, restaurants, discotheques and offices.
Supporters welcome the winners
Goodness, it’s alarmingly heartening!

So as to add, some enterprises and business companies are already showering unbelievable accompaniments. Free live match screening, increase bandwidth of internet, free refreshment, and so on.  
The supposedly Bhutanese way of cheering on

The local volunteers, athletes and individuals are working hard towards making the second leg an extraordinary experience this Tuesday at Changlimithang. 

“Face paintings”, filling the stadium with “yellow and orange colour” shirts, banners, cheering on the home team players with drums, and most importantly, respecting the visiting team.

Even the mainstream media like TV and newspapers, which were almost silent, have now revved up their interest and the BBS2 will be broadcasting the game live. This is unbelievable!

If the dragon would ever make a noise, then this is it. If the dragon would ever show its true colour and blood, then this is it.
Readying up for the big match
The tiny dragon nation has roared, finally; it made a thunderous noise never heard before. The dragon is just awake. And considering the noise, power, support and prayers, there is no denying that the Drukpa team would gulp its opponents and emerge victorious again in our own land. Moreover, there is no denying that our country would be playing in the World Cup sooner.

I pray, rather earnestly, that this already awoken thirsty dragon would not march back to sleep again. Instead, it would keep on roaring, gliding and overcome as much bigger opponents as it can on its long road to playing the World Cup.
And let the dragon roar even louder, quake the world.

Palden Drukpa Gyalo!