Saturday, March 30, 2013

Phurba Thrinlay

He, indeed, needs no introduction. I’m talking about Phurba Thrinlay. Yes, the comedian king who is so hugely popular in Bhutan. Almost all of us know and love him, don’t we? He is, unanimously, known for his hilarious jokes and sidesplitting dialogues. You can instantly recognize him wherever he’d be – street, restaurant, stage, TV, radio. And at the mere sight of him, you would laugh hysterically.

Quite strangely, he is paid exceedingly higher and respected than any lead actors of the Bhutanese film industry. The truth is that most people go to watch movies only because he is in - to laugh non-stop at his jokes, to get amused with his facial expressions.

And here, I’ve a delicious news to all those Bhutanese cinema-goers and fans of Phurba Thrinlay! Wangchuk Talop, a prominent Bhutanese filmmaker is brining to you a feature film titled “Phurba Thrinlay’. Presented by Yangchen Pictures and camera by Chencho Dorji, it will be released soon at City Cinema in Thimphu. Intended to be comical and humorous, this film is an attempt to give Bhutanese people an ideal ironic and circumstantial comic sense. The film is titled “Phurba Thrinlay’ given the present status of Phurba Thrinlay as the living comic icon of the Bhutanese society. Given its name, Phurba Thrinlay himself is to be engaged in the role.

Let me narrate the storyline of this exciting film, shortly though. Phurba Thrinlay and Tandin (Tandin Wangchuk) are good friends. As artists, they are working together on a film project under a producer named Kado. Glamorous Yangdon (Tshering Zam) who has recently been crowned Miss Bhutan, 2012 joins the project as the female actor. Phurba Thrinlay falls in love with Yangdon. However, Tandin manages to win over Yangdon’s love despite Phurba Thrinlay earnestly pleading him to spare her for him.  Driven by pride and jealousy, Phurba Thrinlay resorts to mastering “Ga-nga” (a mantra cast on someone to lure his/her feelings and attraction) and successfully wins over Yangdon’s love by feeding her ga-tse.

It is known that when the spell is cast on a foodstuff, it becomes “ga-tse”, the food of attraction. And when the ‘ga-tse’ is given to and eaten by someone, one can lure his or her love and feelings.

The film gets into an unexpected climax. Now Yangdon is obsessed by the spell and gets sensationally attracted to Phurba Thrinlay.

And we worry…does Yangdon leave Tandin for Phurba Thrinlay? Will Tandin learn to dispel the hypnotic ga-nga over Yangdon? Will he win her love back? What will happen after that? Questions in your head go on and on. Now, there are so many things you would like to ask and curious about to know in this film.

However, this film has another striking twist. Should I talk about it here? No no. If I narrate the entire storyline of the film here, it’d bore when you to go to watch the film.

I don’t hesitate to say that this film can be the real cinematic treat for you this beautiful spring. It has all the technical elements to become one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. For surety, the comedian king, Phurba Thrinlay will keep you amused, gasped and entertained throughout the film never like before.          

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In the stillness and silence

I spend much of my week muddling through endless tasks. You say it and the list goes on: office works, attending meetings, incessant phone calls, doing household chores and clearing bills. I just wonder (at times) that I was set on for a rollercoaster ride - that simply goes on and on. Filled with constant ups and downs, tears and laughter, joy and sadness.

And you just can’t imagine how much I love weekends. Weekends, for me, are the perfect time to set myself on a predetermined task, un-dictated by time and circumstances around me. I’m much luckier, too, that I live here in Motithang. Because just a few minutes walk uphill I can step into the most serene and beautiful hill of Thimphu.

This is the place where every weekend I march into for a quick stroll. The hill overlooks the entire Thimphu City. It is, undeniably, an ideal escapism from the stresses of modern city life; yes, from the rollercoaster ride of life.

Like on all other weekends, last Saturday, I walked on a meandering footpath here breathing in the spring’s fresh fragrance. This footpath leads to somewhere faraway. I don’t know precisely where. And I’ve my hands shoved into my jacket’s pockets – whistling a song that I really don’t know.

I kept walking and walking with no precise destination in my mind. By the way, I was just enjoying the walk as much as those birds wheeling around the spring’s blossoms. I tell you that walking here is healing and all that, my mind at peace. I can’t explain you how, for it’s something I cannot put into words.

Should you aspire for a meditative mind or a peaceful moment after your stressful week, perhaps a walk here be proposed.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Remembering the first Happiness Day

I’m writing down this post to remember the first International Day of Happiness. And the way I celebrated it here in Thimphu. The day shone with a bright sunshine, only a few patches of clouds spread over the valley. It’s a beautiful day though.
I was undoubtedly happy - for one good reason – the government declared the day holiday, a national event to observe the day and to contemplate the importance of life. I didn’t plan anything for the day. Perhaps I was not sure what to do, how to celebrate the day. One of my colleagues remarked, “Happiness is very subjective. It shouldn’t be the national event.”

I too had mixed feelings about the day. The truth is that I was not a big fan of GNH. However, I was thinking to be home all day, reading book and going out for a stroll in the evening.

But later, at noon, I marched down towards the town. I was very surprised to see the street unusually spilled over with hundreds of people. There was not a single vehicle in the street. People of all walks of life were sumptuously walking by - all smiles on their faces and sharing laughter with their family members and friends.
A loud noise of songs and dances was blaring out from an entertainment centre, the Clock Tower. The place was overtly crowded. A row of food stalls around it served people with foods. And how sweet, scores of people were sitting around, so relaxed. And they were graciously having foods with their beloved ones. It gave me a cheerful feeling and the tint of my mind was all happy. It’s a real happiness day. Believe me.
Then, I went to GNH Centre where I was invited to attend a meditation session. Through mediation, I learned to relax my mind. The mindfulness training helped me to understand my mind and emotions. After that we watched a wonderful movie, ‘Life of Pi’.     

It was late afternoon when I walked back home. On the way, looking at children playing and laughing made me all happy. The world burst into bloom, and I admired it on notice things walk.

Back at home, I read a few chapters from J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy. And I contemplated on the day, the first happiness day. It’s uncomfortably joyful day, enriching and happy. And yes, eventually, I realized the significance of the day.

I realized that how we’re lulled into “busy” humdrum of our lives every day. Remember that we hurry every time. We run after time, after scholarships, after appointments and after money. We run after people, conflicts and controversies. And the sad thing was that we hardly spare our time to contemplate on the most important aspect of our life i.e. happiness.

The Happiness Day, however, provides this opportunity for all Bhutanese people take a break from our busy life and to reflect on the importance of life in order to understand our life better, love ourselves better, and become wiser person, happy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Finding beauty in everyday life

The most beautiful word in the English language is “Beauty”. For me, at least. This earth as we walk on, the beauty manifests or unfurls in a thousand different ways every moment, every single day. And I’ve fairly believed that we, humans, deserve all good things life has to offer us. And in order to notice and honour beauty around me in my everyday life, I named my blog, Finding beauty in everyday life.
So, beauty is the heartbeat of my writing, running through every post of my blog. And more eloquently, it also runs through my own life. My blog, my words, talk deliberately about the beauty that spreads around us, about the good things, and about the magical joy. Also, the photographs of what appealed to me, what intrigued me.
Everyday – for everything - I walk around, seeking out for beauty. I spare a small wedge of my time from the busy schedule and watch the sunset. And I’m constantly overcome by wonder.  I love witnessing the snowflakes, feeling magical. I feel like a fairy amidst the spring flowers and trees. I even try finding grace and comfort in our monotonous and mundane activity.
I admit that I’ve to fight the temptation not to look out for or write about the things that stress or offend me. Like anyone of you, my life too has a plenty of tears, struggling, frustration, and weariness.  But I always try to find and see the beauty and grace mixed in all this.
It’s more than that, too. The practice of writing here, on my blog, finding beauty in everyday life, has deeply changed the way I relate to and engage with the world and people around me. It sumptuously healed my wounded spirits - my negativity disarmed, my aggression dissolved, and my hatred and confusion slowly disappearing. I feel that I’ve discovered a greater talent for joy, a larger embrace of life. Maybe I am wrong. But I’m doing what feels right for me. Finding beauty in everyday life. Both internal and outside.
Today, right now, right here, as I walk outside, the brilliant green leaves and blossoms of the peach trees stir in the air. I watch them. I’m dazzled. Lo and behold, there’s a thing of beauty!   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A new beginning

Once again, the world around me blooms in fresh vagaries, the sun bright and stronger, and the air so cool. I see Thimphu turning into spring, all beautiful. But this reminds me one thing, common though, a new beginning. Students start their new academic session. Rustic farmers ready for the year ahead. Bureaucrats kick-start their new fiscal year.  Everything looks livelier and lovely here. Some pictures that I took in my mobile phone: 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Taking one day, one moment, at a time

This is a beautiful quote, isn’t it? It is. Oh, you have to agree with me, at least for this. A dear friend of mine mailed it to me last week. And I’m writing this post to tell her what she had done, what this quote meant to me.

The quote - decorated with all gorgeous words - is direct and punctuated with a simple meaning and logical truth. I relate myself to its each word. I read it, feeling elated and deeply at peace. I read it again. This time, nodding my head yes, yes, yes. For it stirred up my own thoughts. This is something that I’ve long felt and held dear, but I couldn’t grasp within myself and put into words.  

In actuality, it enriched me in my life’s walk. And we all know what life is. At least, we understand that life is a journey. A difficult long journey with its alternating ups and downs, and uneventful passing moments of joys and sorrows, challenges and successes, tears and laughter, ignorance and blessings.

But how everyday I was immersed in a series of life’s cycle. That my life became like a pendulum, swinging between two extremes – the past and the future.

I tend to cling to my past. Even worse…I tend to think that it was offering me comfort, feeding a balm to my loneliness. Sometimes the tint of my memory is happy, other times angry; but mostly, all of these recollections spread sadness, irretrievable loss, and grief.

Again, I’d be constantly looking for the details of a life that I wanted to live. Studying abroad, earning more money, buying classy cars, and owning tall buildings. And I’d live in fear – fear of failures, fear of truth and embarrassment, fear of being deceived and rejected, and fear of death.   

Today, I’m already 29. I’ve completed my university degree from a renowned college five years ago. And here, I work as a civil servant (the most sought-after job in Bhutan). I’ve wonderful and very supportive parents and siblings, and a bunch of lovely friends.

However, it seemed to me that my real life hasn’t yet begun. I felt that that it was about to begin. But all times, some difficulties appear: something to be achieved or do first, a problem to be solved, a credit to be cleared. And I was always striving to become better in life.

In fact, I was lost in between these two - past and future. And I was disengaged from the sight of the present moment. I disliked “present me”, “my present obstacles”, and “my present status”. This is the reason why I was preoccupied with my past and future.

But this beautiful quote alone gave me a pause for thought and helped me understand that these “obstacles”, “status” and “present me” were my life. It taught me to treasure every moment I’ve by taking one day, one moment, at a time.

Now I’m taking on my life in a different way. Working in my office. Visiting my friends. Admiring the aura of spring. Reading books. Writing stories for my blog. Being a bachelor, a man. This daily life of mine simply goes on and on like the present participle.

Similarly, I’ve realized that my life is not so much about my past or future, beginnings or endings, or about reaching my goals and destinations. It’s all about going on and on, and how to be sad or amazed by life, or maybe a little bit lost and stumble a few times.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring unfolds in Thimphu

“I glanced out the window at the signs of spring. The sky was almost blue, the trees were almost budding, the sun was almost bright.”
                                                                      ― Millard Kaufman, Bowl of Cherries
Photographs that I took around my office this afternoon. Dear readers, have a wonderful springtime!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Choosing my words

I’ve been sitting here at this computer since a long hour. My eyes are focused at my PC; albeit more eloquently, focusing nothing in particular. The truth is that I want to write something here, for my blog. But my mind goes all blank - exactly like the blank page right in front of me.

Yet, I sit. I wait more. And I wait for words to come. I want to fill the page, dress them with words and create my own story. I already have a few stories in my mind that I want to write here. One of them is about the arrival of spring in Bhutan and the joy it brings to me, which is to say, to my heart.

So, I scribble a few sentences. But all I get are wrong words, wrong story angles. I scratch my head, grumbling, I don’t mean to say it that way. I’m looking for another way to put it. And, I erase them immediately.  

Like this, every time, I struggle to find the words, to write stories. Writing is incredibly hard. Real hard, I admit. It’s a long, for me, arduous process. But you know what? I never fail to keep on believing that it’s possible – that if I’ve a little faith, my writings might one day be good. At least, for my fellow bloggers and friends.

I’m, it’s telling, addicted to the healthy act of writing. I’m being pulled by words, I can’t stop them. Story ideas burst open anywhere I go, anytime. And I’ve to just start writing even my ideas are boring, cliché, predictable.

Like me, I know, all other fellow bloggers find meaning and majesty in just writing words. We are lovers of words, aren’t we? You don’t have to tell me all about this. Because that I spend hours going through your blogs; one blog after another, one post after another.

And what intrigues me the most is the way you care passionately about writing, your insatiable curiosity and astute critical mind, your commitment to storytelling. Your stories make me laugh, cry, wince or even stand back in awe.

When you talk of particular thing, I feel goose bumps of familiarity and it feeds me similar sensation like you experience. I wonder, thrilled, you have pulled out all the contents of my own heart and put them on your blog, in words. But thank goodness, you make me feel that I am not alone. We share the same preoccupation with life and death, love and loss, happiness and heartache, and hope and apathy. After all, we all are walking this bumpy ride of life.

I’m telling you this – one thing more. Your comments make me giddy with pride and pleasure. And I hope it gives you the similar feelings. But more beautifully, it gives you a little nudge of encouragement to write down, more seriously. In the end, that’s what we need in our journey of writing.   

I’m going to say this though. Ahem…I envy those good bloggers, seriously, the way you maintain your blogs. I, quite strange, envy when you pick the freshest ideas and dress them with gorgeous words. I envy the way you effortlessly pour your heart out on your blog, so beautiful. But oddly, wonderfully, how I wish hanging out with you (over a cup of tea or walk) and feeling smarter than I was or ever will be.

Today, it has been two years and half that I’ve been blogging. And I can’t tell you what immense and ineffable joy it brings me to have written all these stories on my blog. Sometimes, I wonder: Did I really write all these stories?