Monday, January 12, 2015

How safe is our transport service?

Last Wednesday, I travelled to Gelephu and as always, I did in a public transport service. Passenger bus, Bumpa Transport Service.

The moment I entered the bus, I was very surprised, nervous too. The door almost collapsing. A few windowpanes about to come out. Holes appeared on the bus’s floor and the cold air and smoke gushed in as the bus sped up.

Each time the driver changed the gear, it produced horrible sound that of a true symptom of rokho gari. That morning, before the departure, the RSTA official was there but I assume they inspected only whether the buses were departing on time.

I must say that this was a terrible journey. I was like riding a death race, literally. But I was lucky, there wasn’t any mishap. 
However, those 17 people traveling in a passenger bus, Bumpa Transport Service, from Phuentsholing to Tsirang weren’t lucky. They met with an accident on January 10, fell off the highway at Taksha more than 17 feet and got injured.

I arrived at the accident scene at around 5:00 pm that day and the injured passengers were still being taken out in DCM truck and ambulances. The people at the scene and passengers had many explanations about the cause of accident. “Deadly speed”. Driver chhang dim nam mey”.  And the Kuensel reported, “the bus stopped twice for maintenance- once at Semtokha and again at Hesothangkha”.

Now it boils down to one concern – how safe is our transport service? And this concern hits hard person like me who travels in a public transport service. I pray that soon the concerned authorities would remove all those rokho buses from operation, or at least change the road safety regulations, or strengthen enforcing the rules.

I earnestly pray!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

As we are

Most of today’s morning, I sat in my office alone. In fact, particularly, I was contemplating on the first week of 2015. So I was asking myself questions. Has the New Year started out the way I wanted? Was the first week of 2015 enthralling and significant?   
After mulling over the questions, it has left me shaken and anxious than usual; mostly by a thought how fast time flies. I feel that we have just entered into this brand new year, and now we are here, end of the first week, already.

So I walked off my chair, and marched towards the window. As I pulled the curtains aside, I watched outside, across the City and over the valley. The dark clouds were still hanging in the sky; gradually cleared away. The snow has fallen too. Not heavy though, not yet – only a promise to come.    

It fed a warm pleasure in my heart. Almost instantly, this weather, this feelings brought me to the subject I wanted to tell you today.

So here I begin. Paro, the name of the place. January 1, 2015, the date was. A handful of words, the subject is. 

That late afternoon, my friend Sonam and I just parked the car outside Ta Dazong, the National Museum of Bhutan and we walked leisurely on the road chit-chatting. Randomly though. About family, love and life.
Meanwhile, we disengaged from our chat and turned attentions to the valley and filled with wonder. The valley was beautiful, to say the least.

Sonam told me, “Riku, now, right now, I remember Anaïs Nin’s words. And it goes like this,

We don't see things as they are,
We see things as we are’.”

As he quoted it, he smiled radiantly at me. The way he said it, the way he emphasized it made my heart lurch.

“Well, I see concrete jungle. You see wonders. I see problems. You see beauty. And someone else might see something different,” my friend supported the quote.   

I simply agreed with him, “Yes friend, it is something to do with our mind.”

My eyes kept wandering over the giant piece of valley delightfully adorned by rice fields, farmlands and river. Amidst, the Paro Town perched still preserving the traditional architectural design.

“Umm…The way we see something and interpret it or how we try to understand and make judgement talks more about us as a person than about the way we see it,” he pushed on his words, as we watched the valley, this time louder.

We, as humans, are almost limited by our own belief, experience, perception and emotion, Sonam explained further.

How insightfully true! I read and contemplated his words in my mind. Oh, how I loved listening to his words, the resonant power of his messages – all relevant and searching!

Right here, in my office, this handful of words of my friend got me thinking again. As I pondered in retrospect, it helped me to listen to the inklings of my heart and re-evaluate my life’s sojourn.

With these words in my heart, ever reverberating, I am hoping that this year would become a lot meaningful and happier. And most importantly, I am hoping to see things as they really are and not as I am.