June 17, 2009

The vertical confrontation (a short man's tall anguish)

I have always wondered if Bhutanese air was the main factor for stunted growth of its citizens. Then how could one explain the lofty mountains and the majestic trees?

The parents of a friend, who was in our office for his research, came visiting all the way from the Netherlands. We made ourselves comfortable in Hotel Serkhor and got about discussing our heights. Dutch people are reputably the tallest in the world. It was a significant moment; people of two extreme heights had gathered.

I stood a foot shorter than my Dutch counterparts. While sitting we could perhaps say our conversations were on a face to face basis. While standing up, definitely face to waist! They didn’t say it but I almost saw the sympathetic gesture in their eyes, given the doom we were cursed with to inhale the heavier, and hence more polluted, air lingering around our nostrils.

Our guests opined that the dishes in Thimphu hotels are mostly chilli oriented. Well, our staple diet was chillies and have fed on it since I was a kid. I was thinking I have had to bend down and nurse my aching stomach all the time preventing my bones to rise up straight, stubbing any chance of growth there would have been. What’s worse, I have had to carry my youngest brother while he was a baby. So heavy he was that he must have added to the gravitational pull my growth was already facing. He didn’t have to carry anyone so you might as well have guessed he’s a lot taller than me now. Perhaps, I viewed my thoughts out quite loud, for I saw their sympathetic eyes again.

Alas what could the father of my friend say? He gave me this ‘Forrest Gump’ look and shrugged, “Shit Happens!”


  1. Good writeup there! Well, I too share your plight, if you think it is. But I think you and I look alright. Tall people grow old faster than the shorter us. So, you see whenever i feel that I am short, I always think how difficult it would be to carry a tall body. For that matter, my cousins are perfect examples. I am proud that I look much younger than them.

    Short is good! And wonderful. Tell you Dutch friend this marey!

  2. I think its the rice thingy thats weighing our Bhutanese frogs down. But nevermind, concentrate on your tall thoughts and equally tall passion for writing.

    I will spare mine in reading your wonderful write ups. Good Luck Kota :)

  3. hehe Penstar right, I shall tell them that. The tallest tree has the greatest fall, afterall. Thanks.

    Hey Anonymous I am not happy at all that you should disable your blog. But I trust you just undid it to give a fresher look, if at all it needed change. I enjoy your calibre; don't let laziness smother it.

  4. Tongyal,
    I will be back! Just gimme some few years.

    But don't you give it up easily like me. Remember, yours will the push I will need then.

  5. You kidding me?

    Few years is a lifetime!!! But I am sure you are just pulling my leg. Pull harder, I could become the world's tallest man with your help ;)


  6. I would prefer a stout Bhutanese than lanky chilip any day.

    humorous article !

  7. You are getting lazy again...get your butt moving and start scribbling man. Don't let me age with impatience :P

  8. Pao...it's difficult wai, coming up with an article every day. I also fear too much will make my precious readers monotonous. hehe.