Friday, April 27, 2012

Black and white

It’s funny. It’s desperate. It’s honest. It’ll move you. And so, frankly, do I say there’s no going back to it, yet I reminisce, often, with uncontrollable laughter. Yes, I’m going to tell you about my childhood incident. It happened when I was 7 years old. Eh? I’m not sure precisely. Probably it was in 1992. At Norbuling, my village, almost two-hour walk from Gelephu.

I was, then, in stick limbs, burnt skin. But uncommonly alert, bright and resilient lad. I could tell. And I had a handful of friends-all alike me. Unkempt. Rowdy. Lilliputians. In their company, I used to huff and puff around my village, causing constant troubles to villagers especially young girls. And I would return home only when hungry. Say what you like about a notorious lad-and I had all.

You would never guess how much allergic I was to taking bath. As much as dogs hate it, ha-ha. My hands and knees were always dirt stained. All blames put on marbles. I would be playing marbles, oftentimes. And you know what? I had learned a correct way to strike marbles. I’ll show you how. I would close my left eyes and my right eye aiming at marbles in a ring. My right knee bent, left one on dusty ground (for balance), a swift kiss for luck and then strike to knock marbles. Wow, I had won a boomer jar full of it. My coveted achievement though.

Now, I know, you must be wondering what my parents had been doing? I’ll tell you, my parents gave birth to 13 children. I’m the youngest son. That’s why they couldn’t, at all, give care for us. Of 13 siblings, two died-one from untreated malaria and another from evil spirit. But unfortunately both died home, not in BHU or hospital.

And those days, you don’t know how much fascination I held for watching video. Ajay Devgun in his side pungs and damnless looks. Sunil Shetty, for his bulging biceps. Akshay Kumar, for his sexy voice and flying kick. I was also equally fascinated by Rambo‘s guns and Superman’s costume. My room’s walls papered with post cards of these stars. Also my auto books.
But those days, in the whole village, my uncle (a recent retiree, then, from his service as a RBP constable) was the only one who had video. Black and white. Solar energy. He’d invite us to watch video when he had hired new cassettes from the market. But this was very rare. And my father had only a Philips radio. I loved listening to film dialogues and songs in his radio. How sweet! But this too was very rare as my father had been glued listening to news. Of course, his best companion.

And the interesting part? At my uncle’s house, I was always asked to rewind video cassette. With the help of a stick. It required quite a deal of energy and time to complete the task. Almost the length of a-cup-of-tea-long conversation. After that I’d sit in a corner, in well-behaved silence, watching video without even blinking my eyes. Ah, next day, in my school, I’d be narrating about the film to my mates. Even imitating film’s dialogue and enacting in front of them. 
One afternoon, a friend of mine brought a cassette. I don’t know from where he got it. I gathered, instantaneously, all my friends and went to my uncle’s house to watch it. As my uncle put on his video, we sat on the floor all in polite smile and happy. My uncle and aunt also sat in a divan to watch the film.

First scene: Gunfight in a swimming pool. Two men killed.

Second scene: A blonde climbs down a stair in bathrobe. Colour of her bathrobe? I don’t know. I already told you that it was a black and white video screen, no? And two men, masculine, appeared out of nowhere. Oh my gosh! The blonde, uh, starts undressing herself in front of two men. The scene bizarrely plunged into something quite unexpected. It was a triple, sex among three of them.

As they go hammer and tongs at it, thunderous strikes of orgasm revved up and ranted the room. It was a breathlessly awkward moment that I stood confused, caught between whether to continue watching video or leave the house. A catch-22, absolutely. Videos, those days, had no remote control. So, my uncle ran frantically and ejected the cassette. He threw the cassette at us, laughing. We raced out of house.

In fact, that was my life’s first time that I watched porn video. That’s also with my uncle and aunt, ha-ha. It’s hysterically weird, but nevertheless true. Undeniably. Unforgettably. 

Photo courtesy: Tashi Wangchuk; googlsearch

Friday, April 20, 2012

Letting it go

I learn everyday. Each new day is one more day that surprises me with new awakening, wisdom. That’s why I feel, at times, that I live wide awake. And this overwhelms me. Really. This is obvious reason why I want to live long. And die as an old man. Wise and fully awake. I hope you, too, feel the same. Do you? 

As I walk between my house and office every day, I spend quite a deal of time watching trees, flowers, chirping birds, crimson clouds and the sun. And the moon and stars at night. I sit, reverent, as I watch them. Pondering. Wondering. I find song in them, truthfully, the essence of life. How? I don’t know. I can’t explain it to you. But I do feel it. I do hear it. I do understand it, deep in my heart.
But all this remind me one important thing. A time of transition. That we live in a world of transition. That we change. That everything around us transit. And interestingly, we also learn to let things go and readjust ourselves to the change.

Lo and behold, the year is already at spring. Trees, grasses and flowers have themselves sprouting in lush green, colourful. This is time of transition, isn’t it? I can feel we’re slowly creeping into another season. Inexorably though. After a month, we’ll be moving into warmer and wet season. Summer. Then into season of fall. Autumn. Each change of season, though reluctantly, we learn to readjust, right? 

And you don’t know how much I dislike change. I’m really a kind of person holding-onto-things-and-never-them-go. But each time I watch trees and flowers, it makes me to realize that holding onto something is futile. For example, though a tree grows lush green in spring and summer, it has to ultimately shed its leaves in autumn. 
Whatever we’re holding onto, we just have to let them go. Oh, I cannot stop thinking about this. About a year and half before, my heart was badly broken. You’re right! Yes, I broke up from my girlfriend with whom I had spent a solid seven years and was thinking I can never live without her. I suffered. I shed endless tears, literally. Thank goodness, now my heart is mended and I learned to live without my first love. I learned to be strong, took each day step-by-step and survive every sad moment. For better or worse I learned that sometimes growing up means letting go. 

Whether you realize it or not, every day you come across lots of change and transition. Every hi ends with goodbye. A good friend of yours may turn back at you when you need him/her the most. You may get a fast-track promotion. This is also possible that you may lose your beloved ones. And this naïve philosopher in me cannot help thinking that we tread every day on thin line between holiness and adversity. 

Knowingly or unknowingly, we let go things or people every day. But the good news is that we learn to readjust as we tread the routine of transition. This is yet again best taught by the tree that loses its leaves, stays barren, however, readjusts to stand alive in harsh cold winter. 
And there comes a time, ah, that we’ll be in our deathbed. Inevitably. That time though we’re very much attached to our beloved ones, properties, beautiful memories and this wonderful world, we’ve to learn to accept the truth of life. We let go our beloved ones and this beautiful world and learn to prepare for afterlife. 

Hold on for a sec! After all, isn’t every day holds an ending? Aren’t we letting go every single day and nearing to that end, death?

Photo courtesy: googlesearch

Monday, April 16, 2012

Go Youth Go!

Go Youth Go, a group aspiring to bring positive change in our society, has been formed very recently in Bhutan. This group formed by young people aspires to register themselves as a local public-benefit youth organization in a few years. 

The group’s committed members are mostly young people, of ages between 16-24 years old. Its tentative objectives are to address youth problems, engage youth meaningfully, empower youth and to bring positive social change in our society. However, its vision and mission are yet to discuss.

Meanwhile, this group has already started contributing to our society. Last Saturday, seven members of the group have contributed their voluntary work at the Department of Youth and Sports’ Youth Centre in Thimphu. They helped in gardening, constructing fence and cleaning the campus to make the Youth Centre attractive for youth.
      Pic: Wangchuk Dema, Dechen Choden, Jigme Kuenga, Tashi Namgay and Kencho Dorji

                                                   Pic: Youth at voluntary action 

                                        Pic: Jigme Kuenga, one of the youngest members

                                              Pic: Kencho Dorji and Wangchuk Dema

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We heal

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly-that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
                                                                                                                  -Anne Lamot

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thimphu Tashichodzong

Trashichodzong in Spring. Of grandeur and majestic! It was a wondrous spectacle.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cattle at Main Traffic

Cattle spotted walking across the main traffic in Thimphu City. Strange though!

Photo courtesy: Chencho Thinley

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Moments of wonder

One weekend, last month, I went out for picnic in Paro with my siblings and their families and friends. The day was-in a word-magical. Sunny and warm. Barely 20 minutes drive north from Paro Town, our picnic spot was an open grazing land, next to a river, below Drukgyel Dzong. On one side lay luminous rice fields and amidst perched a few village huts and traditional houses in ruins. Other side was covered with huge forest. 

We busied ourselves no sooner did we reach the picnic spot. Some set off to fetch firewood, a few ferried water and others involved in cooking. It’s, more importantly, a union among siblings and among friends. After long time back though. As we held individual responsibility, we set about chatting. We talked about our works, relationship with our colleagues and bosses. We talked about untreated inflation on grocery, vegetables and car fuels. We talked about Rupee crisis, economy crisis in Bhutan. And so on. We’re so fully engrossed, both with works in front of us and with our incessant talk.
But my niece, just 7-year old, stood ecstatically excited all day. Her exposure to open nature-may be her first time-left her mesmerized. Unlike us, she wandered around, noticing things everywhere. And she was overcome by constant wonder. She watched on the colorful wild flowers, fishes in the river and flying birds. She wondered at how a wild flower can be in full bloom (after the harsh winter) in the midst of thorns. She wondered at how a fish swims so swiftly and can live under water. She wondered at how long those traditional houses in ruins been there, who had lived there. She asked me all this though, ah.

My niece wondered about those wholly ordinary she saw around. But as adults, we’re lulled in the triviality of everyday existence. We succumb to the details. We hurry every time. We run after time. We run after appointments. We run after deadlines. We run after money. We run after people. We run after conflicts and controversies. Above all, we let ourselves be lulled into “busy” humdrum of our lives. And alas, we wrap our minds and forget to wonder. We forget to stop and wonder about those magical moments in front of us. And each time, we miss moments of wonder.

It was late afternoon when we set out from Paro. Back to home in Thimphu. Inside car, my siblings kept talking about everyday stuffs. I sat by window side. As car ranted on, air gushed forth, so cool, fresh. Valleys, houses and trees perched sumptuously across the terrains. Gorgeous rays of sunset kept dancing, flickering inside car. 
I looked up, up above at the dome of the glorious sky. So large. And eventually I saw the setting sun glancing from behind the mountains, shining bright. A little while on, the glare of sun was sucked out, leaving behind a wonderful marmalade glow. Had I not looked up, that beautiful moment would never be felt again-not exactly, not ever. And I wondered, duly, at how the sun turns into so magical, gorgeous as it sets. I marveled at why the sun has to set and again rise next morning. So miraculous, na?

And flocks of paddy birds were taking flights towards the setting sun, towards their habitats, filling the arc of the glow of sunset in west. I kept watching, spellbound, until those birds vanished into thin air-over the horizon-in that sky. And I wondered at how long those birds had to fly back to their habitats. Where? Will they return next morning? I asked myself this over and over again, wondering, wondering.
As I continued wondering, I realized that I was also struggling to find the language that would connect me to them. To understand and feel the presence of something that exists beyond our logic. And so miraculously, as if a voice spoke to my heart, my consciousness was filled with accruing awakening. Like we’re returning to our homes from picnic, those birds were also going back to their habitats, to a restful night, to protect and feed their chicks. And the sun was retiring from a daylong hard work as it had to again dutifully illuminate the whole world next morning. I relate to that!  

Photo courtesy: Tekearth; goodlesearch

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Talk about what you love

"When you talk about any difficulties with money, a relationship, an illness, or even that the profits of your business are down, you are not talking about what you love. When you talk about a bad event in the news, or a person or situation that annoyed or frustrated you, your are not talking about what you love. Talking about the bad day you had, being late for an appointment, getting caught in traffic, or missing the bus are all talking about what you don’t love. There are many little things that happen each day; if you caught up in talking about what you don’t love, every one of those little things brings more struggle and difficulty to your life.

You have to talk about the good news of the day. Talk about the appointment that went well. Talk about how you love being on time. Talk about how it is to be full of health. Talk about the profits you want your business to achieve. Talk about the situations and interactions you had in your day that went well. You have to talk about what you love, to bring what you love to you.

…To have a great life…give love, talk only about what you love, and love will set you free!"

                                                                                          -Rhonda Byrne, The Power