|Art by Kinzang Tshering|
I was debating with myself whether to write this post; I felt overall intrigued and nervous. For a long time, I hesitated as I thought my pen was not mighty enough to write about our Fourth Druk Gyalpo. But if not today, then when?
To begin this, I run momentarily at a loss of words. In fact, so much have been recorded in words and said about our godly King, extensively, venerably. In this ocean of profound writing, my writing comes as just a drop of water.
I consider that I’m one of the luckiest persons to have lived in the era of Drukgyal Zhipa. Truly speaking, I’ve never seen Him with my naked eyes. His Majesty the King didn’t visit the schools and college during the time I was studying. I was out of luck, though. But I think I saw Him in a couple of occasions; I’m not sure, though. Maybe I’m wrong.
On first occasion, it was at Kurje Lhakhang, Bumthang somewhere between 2001 and 2002. That evening, it was raining lightly, foggy too. Along with my friends, I was returning to our school (Jakar HSS) after visiting the lhakhang. At that moment, a Toyota landcruiser just ran by.
My friends whispered, “Look, King! King!”
I turned my gaze and stole a quick glance of the person behind the closed window glass of the car. Yes, the person sitting on the front seat looked like our Drukgyal Zhipa. But was he really the One? No matter what, that evening I returned my hostel feeling deeply blessed; for I believed I saw the King.
On another occasion, I think I saw Drukgyal Zhipa at Jungshina, Thimphu in 2010. Then, late evening, I was out for my regular evening walk. Two men in black gho came cycling - one ahead and another following. My instinct made a quick judgement, He could be the Fourth King.
But I couldn’t say it with guarantee. It was dark and I couldn’t really recognize people. Still then, it had made my day.
Several other occasions, I saw the King at Changlimithang but from far afar. I wish to see the divine King and experience that feeling of melting myself in reverence in front of Him.
No matter what, the image of our Dharma King has deeply seeped into my heart and His words are engraved deep into my mind. Since young, I’ve lived by His accruing words and wisdom always feeling inspired and patriotic.
Drukgyal Zhipa, who mostly wears sethra gho, is the most handsome person I ever saw. Those people who saw Him told me the King looks way more charming in person. He literally glows, they say proudly.
He is a King who hardly smiles. But when He smiles, it naturally brings smiles on me and on everyone else too. I grew up believing that a King would be someone very handsome with many beautiful queens, and the King is supposed to smile very less.
Known as “Fearless Lion”, His actions and words were full of the fearless and sacrifices. I felt new admiration when He himself led army troop to fight the military insurgents in the southern Bhutan in 2003 and when He instituted democracy sacrificing His own throne.
In disposition of pure and noble heart, He lives a simple life serving the people and ensuring peace, sovereignty, socio-economic development and happiness. So much had changed under His leadership, for better. His contributions are so huge; I cannot say it all, even a tiny portion.
When I was delving into finding my own selfish endeavors, Drukgyal Zhipa, the Kidu Gi Pham, was working hard towards nation building, entirely for us, forgoing His leisure time and comfort. He has played a central role in each and every one of our lives. The nation as is today, the Bhutanese as are today, all thanks to our “Father of the Nation”.
Today, as the nation celebrates His Majesty’s 60th Birth Anniversary, my heart swelled with pride and utmost gratefulness. I was simply astounded looking at the way we, the Bhutanese people, carry love and respect for our King. In small ways of our own, we took different initiatives to show our love and gratitude for Him.
I am not sad that I couldn’t meet my King in person. But today I proudly declare that I’m one of the reflections (small though) of Drukgyal Zhipa’s vision; I believe that I’m what He aspires to see in His people. For a King like Him doesn’t belong to our time, a particular time; Drukgyal Zhipa is for all times.
On your 60th Birth Anniversary, Your Majesty, I pledge myself to serve my King and nation with my best ability in my own little ways. Happy Birthday, Druk Gyalpo and May you live long!