Tuesday, July 30, 2013

She strums my heart's melody

The July rain was pouring down, and kept pouring. Endlessly. I sat in my veranda, sipping my coffee. And I watched the rain. I listened to its sound. There’s, ah, so much dance in the rain! So much joy!

It’s – in a word - magical.  

But in the midst of this overwhelming rain, I began to hear a song. Very faintly though. It flowed in, in my ears, from far afar. It, for surety, was not the sound of water, but of mortals. 

The mojo of my feeling was distorted, abruptly. For this song has enfolded me. Initially, in a warm, intimate mood. And then, it put me in a strange feeling. It’s like a kind of melancholic feeling. I can’t really bring myself to put it into words. 

I turned my gaze around, and looked for from where the song was coming. For in so doing, eventually, I caught sight of it. It’s just a handful yards away. She was a young lady, beautiful too. Seated in my next door neigbour’s veranda, she was strumming the guitar and singing. All alone.

As she played the guitar, she would close her eyes and shake her head to the melody of guitar. And she sang to her heart’s content,
When you touch me like this
And when you hold me like that
It was gone with the wind
But it's all coming back to me

It’s the Celine Dion’s ‘It's all coming back to me now’. I went on watching her play guitar, and sing. In awe. I could hear her, this time, much louder - it’s, I suppose, the rain slowed down.

In a little while, I felt a pang of utter sadness deep inside my heart. Was it because of her song? Was it because of the rain? Or, both?

I don’t know.

Because the truth is that I was so bewitched. Yes, by this young lady; more tellingly, by her song.

Then suddenly, something started cramming inside me. In an endless stream, though. My heart swelled with an endless downpour of heavy emotions. Like the rain outside.

To put it precisely, the lady’s song has really strummed in my heart. It stirred the core of my heart, and unknotted all its stitches. So my emotions unraveled, pouring down.
Some of my emotions carried a warm and affectionate feeling. Others were a chilling and dampen experience. They had been bruised and broken by the brutal thunder and lightning of life. Also, they are limned with loss of beloved ones, broken relationships and failures.

In each memory, there are parts of me back there, broken off and left with him or her or them or time or place. And I ached for them. I yearned for them. I cried.

So, going forward, I want to say this too. For years, I had forgotten all those moments, emotions and feelings. They had long remained dormant inside me.

However, what she had stirred in me was a part of my very self. My past, my feelings, my works, my personality, and my relationship with different people, place and things define who I am today. All this create me.
Outside, it continued raining. At the veranda, this beautiful lady continued signing,

The flesh and the fantasies
All coming back to me
I can barely recall but it's all coming back to me now

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Buddha Dordenma

I took this picture from Zilukha last weekend. The statue of Buddha Sakyamuni sitting high at Kuenselphodrang overlooking the Thimphu valley. 61 m tall, this bronze Buddha Dordenma is intended to propagate and bestow blessings, peace and happiness on earth.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time goes by

The picture above is the place where I work, my office. The Department of Youth and Sports. In Thimphu. It’s one of the most beautiful and sophisticated government structures in Bhutan, I dare say. Lavished with all the modern and traditional amenities. And a few gorgeous parks, playgrounds and the swimming pool.

Today, it’s exactly three years and three months that I’ve been working here. As a youth worker, as a program officer. This office has groomed me as a project manager, youth worker and bureaucrat. It offered me a lot of opportunities and skills that I had dreamt, never possible for me

But I feel like that I’ve joined this office just a handful of days back. Honestly. Time goes by so fast. Isn’t it?

Friday, July 19, 2013

A walk with a fellow-blogger

I was leisurely walking on a road way above my house in Motithang. It’s a quiet and peaceful evening. So to say. And this road, stretching from Motithang to Zilukha above Thimphu City, is an incredibly amazing place to propose on a stroll in the evening.       

Like always, I squinted through my earpiece listening to music. And I walked on this road, alone. I didn’t talk to anybody. But to my surprise, on the road, at that moment, I met a blogger who was also out on the walk. Sangay Thinley who blogs at http://sangaycthinley.blogspot.com/.

It’s very interesting say that most of us, the fellow-bloggers, haven’t met in life. But quite wondrously, we know each other very well. Yes, through our blogs, our writings. And when we meet in person, we can easily recognize one another. Just amazing, isn’t it?

I greeted Sangay. In fact, we needed no introduction. So, we decided to walk together, along the road, since both of were out on the walk. The road has amazing views looking down at gorgeous Thimphu City. And as we walked, we talked so intently, becoming intoxicated by the variety of green trees and engulfing clouds that consumed the entire flat valley of Thimphu.

Once we started walking, we couldn’t stop. Once we started talking, we couldn’t stop. We kept on walking. We kept on talking. We talked about our nagging hunger for reading and writing. We shared, at length, which books that we read in the recent time and how they inspired us. He delighted me with his simplicity, astute critical mind and literary talents.

An avid reader of latest books, Sangay told me, “I love Khaled Hosseini and his books. I’m all eagerly waiting for his new book, ‘And the Mountains Echoed’.”

“I would love to read it too. If you found the book, please share it with me,” I requested him.

So we concentrated on talking, with hardly looking at the passerby and moving cars on the road. But the core of our conversation was something different. Far afar.  It’s about blogging, the bloggers. This is one topic that once I started talking about it, I can’t really stop.

And we talked about some of our bloggers who maintain their blogs so beautifully, so consistently. “I envy those bloggers. I salute them,” I said it, really meaning it. Then, we went on talking about a handful of those fantastic bloggers who had completely abandoned their blogs.

“It’s sad to see them abandoned their beautiful blogs,” we said, giving our heads a shake.

However, we consoled ourselves chatting about our upcoming new and young bloggers. “They are very enthusiastic and inspiring too,” Sangay remarked.

Then, we shared a small talk on how difficult it is to maintain a blog, especially if you are working and have a family. We agreed that it’s very difficult to find a fresh and original idea for our blog post. And filling in the page with words.

As the sun went down, we walked down the road in Motithang that followed the main town of Thimphu. And we marched into a small restaurant in Motithang. We sipped on a fantastic cup of tea as we continued our conversation.

There, I discovered that Sangay and I shared and walked the life’s same road. We’ve of the same reckoning with life. In this road - the long bumpy ride of life - both of were surprised by life, stumbled many times. Yet we could found our way back to love, to life, and still walking on this life’s road, ever stronger and wiser.   

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I took this picture last weekend at Sangaygang, above Thimphu City. This little boy has a different style to sit and watch the City. His body hung from this bamboo fence, at hilltop, perhaps gives him a different joy and greater satisfaction to watch it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Becoming a responsible tenant

Last Sunday morning, my house owner knocked on my door and she requested me to come down at the courtyard of the building. It’s quite unusual, though.

By the way, I live in a rented apartment in Motithang, north of Thimphu City. It’s a six-storeyed building. There are 18 flats in the building and more than 100 people live in it.

At the courtyard, all the tenants have assembled. My house owner announced, “I am initiating this cleaning campaign to clean our surrounding, beautify the place we live. 30 minutes only. Let’s do it.”

A few of us picked up the garbage. Some tended the gardens. Others cut the grasses and broom the surrounding.

As we were doing this, our house owner reiterated, “Friends, I’m not forcing upon you to do this dirty work. But I just want to let you know that it’s your waste and only you be held responsible for it.”

She was right. Absolutely.

I’ve been living here for the past two years. And we never thought about this. We threw our waste out from our verandas and windows. Cigarette butts dropped in the courtyard, incessantly. Trash bags kept outside, all littered by dogs and birds. The staircase walls stained with doma droppings - filthy lime and red juice.   

We, as a tenant, had this mentality, I must say, not so good one. More correctly, it’s an irresponsible attitude. That we don’t really take care of the place we live, or we hire. We disrespect our fellow-tenants. We despise our waste. We litter our surrounding. And always, we tend to think that there’s someone else to take care of it.

After the cleaning, to my surprise, our house owner invited all of us in her room. She treated us with tea and we engaged in a long conversation.

She told us, “It’s not about the tea. But more importantly, it’s about sitting together once a while and chit-chatting to know each other more.”

As we sipped on hot tea, she continued, genuinely concerned, “As we all live under a same roof, in the same building, it’s very important to know each other and give a helping hand to your neighbours in times of need.”

I will tell you this though. In the last two years, I stayed home alone, door closed. I really didn’t talk to anyone. Not only me; all other my fellow-tenants too. I didn’t know who my next door neighbors were. I never knew even when they were sick, ever needed my help. I never noticed even when the next door was burgled. It’s sad.  

However, after this wonderful initiative by my house owner, I felt so hugely heartened. This has become a better place; not anymore cold, estranged. She has nitted all of her tenants together - with warmth and affection. More importantly, she made us realized what it meant to live as a responsible tenant, harmoniously.