December 30, 2009

How big is our life?

It’s late afternoon in the far-east while the west is still snoring. The African continent has an entirely different climate now and it’s bitterly cold in the tip of Scandinavia. For once I feel myself fixed at the centre of the world. Grandiose news from all across blow through the land, signifying how huge our world is. Oh, the big stuffs we people can make happen.

Yet looking at myself, in a small cosy room, where the only thing constant is the tick of the second hand of my alarm clock, I cannot help wondering how really big our life is...

Four months from the count, 6 bars of soap, 2 toothpaste tubes, 2 bottles of shampoo, a dozen roll of TPs, a bottle of liquid kitchen soap, a bottle of hair oil, 3 litres of cooking oil, 20 bottles of soft drinks...

I have 8 more months to go, and given the trend I have, predictably to use up, 12 bars of soap, 4 toothpaste tubes, 4 bottles of shampoo, 2 dozen rolls of TP, 2 bottles of liquid kitchen soap, 2 bottles of hair oil, 6 litres of cooking oil, 60 bottles of soft drinks...

Is our life eerily quantifiable in terms of little objects? Or am I just over-reacting to the pangs of having to live alone. A world of billions of people and yet we can’t be more lonely than a man cast away in an uninhabited island for years. There is no sense of panic whatsoever, but to live amongst millions of people and feel lonelier still we should thank our grace we have what we call our family and friends back home.

Perhaps the larger number of people in a family of the society you know keeps us from worrying about the little stuffs that matter to us. Life should definitely be larger than what you and I perceive to be. We have too much to ask for and give back in return.

Yet looking at myself, in a small cosy room, where the only thing constant is the tick of the second hand of my alarm clock, I cannot help wondering how really big our life is.

Or is it just as puny as I make it sound...?

December 19, 2009

What's your New Year Resolution?

A dashing discovery about myself have made me decide not do something I have been doing for the last couple of years. I seem to spend a good amount of energy and waste an equal amount of time drafting a list of resolutions and then enjoy the brunt of never getting any done. That’s why no new year resolutions for 2010.

It feels weird to think this way because follow it or not I have always had a list. Yet I feel free because I need not necessarily burden myself with a list I never follow anyway. It only makes me feel like a criminal for not doing, or just doing the opposite of, what I intend to do. However, such a new-year-resolution freak that I am, I have thought of a few people/body that might want to take up for tryouts because it could help everyone.
Here goes 5 of my random thoughts, in no particular order of merit or consideration;

1. All bloggers should resolve to post at least 2 posts a week (will seem very less for the regular bloggers, but let’s take the lazier counterparts into consideration)
2. Given the galloping pace, Bhutanese couple will have to say ‘No divorce’ in 2010 (hehe, I know you guys will bungle up. It is a fashion most of us cannot do without)

3. MPs should say ‘No Pay Raise’ for 2010 (They will bungle up too)

4. GNH Commission might want to think of another name for their good office (for some reason I still find it weird )

5. Education Ministry might like to squeeze ‘Shakespeare’ back into the school material.

I can go on, but you know how long, boring and nasty a blog can get. Perhaps some of you would like to chip some of your ideas in.

December 12, 2009

The 3 wise monkeys...not so wise choice (Part 2)

“I am not just sure if anyone who gave me this thinks I am evil or like a monkey,” he mused.

Evidently, he hadn’t heard much about the 3 wise monkeys. I slowly shifted myself to a safe distance from him so that he or anyone else would not see my face just in case it gave away. I had more to worry about because if he didn’t understand the monkeys he would definitely not understand, and like, what I wrote in the card. Boy, was I glad we were to be anonymous about our gifts! But some of them were proudly proclaiming that the gifts were from them, and in no way was I going to do that. Well, not until I give it a thought and then maybe write to him later and explain my intention, which was in no way running parallel to his thoughts now.

To make matters worse, I suddenly realised he was a German. My worries quadrupled! Just few weeks ago we had a racial fuss in the class where one of the class mates who felt victimised by racism made an outrage by posting several stuffs about Germany’s past history, using words like ‘cruel’ and ‘evil’. Of course this had nothing to do with him or the few other Germans in the class, but it is understandable that if someone talks of Bhutan and I would feel the pinch even if I am not the Bhutanese they are referring to. Thankfully, that was resolved very quickly much to the relief of all of us. But here I was, wretchedly forcing the sunk memories to resurface. Damn!

So you can as well tell now that he had his reasons of self doubt. I can only console myself simply for the mere fact that I wanted to give him something that he could, if interested, keep it with him for the rest of his life, and that all that he was thinking of were outrageously out of the world and never an inch close to my intention. Did I think of him as a monkey? No man! Did I think of him as Evil? Come on, he’s one of the most formal class mates I have been with. I have always appreciated his professionalism and had a deep respect for him. So there I stood, watching him silently and hoping he won’t read the card, because he was found to misunderstand. But that’s the beauty of Murphy’s Law, the thing you don’t want to happen, happens. He read it. If there was a hint of smile of his face then, it was completely gone now. I could see more blood on his face.

I hadn’t thought what I was dragging myself into when I wrote the following;
“Hi (Name),
You are the fourth monkey! So, “Think No Evil!”
Merry Christmas!
Your Secret-Santa”

Let this be a lesson to you all as well. Gifts with intent of humour can back fire when it involves cross-cultures. Now let me sit back and hope he googles up the three monkeys and gets the good meaning. Messing up his Christmas is the last thing I had in mind. Teaches you good to monkey around. Phew!

December 11, 2009

The 3 wise monkeys... not so wise choice (Part-1)

Great occasions call for great gatherings and great gatherings are always endowed with great presents. I had my good moment today and it came with a nice gift too. Two rather. I received one in the tangible form which I would treasure a lot for at least the next year (I got a very cool Diary for 2010). The second is in intangible form and I would treasure it for the rest of my life, and perhaps my sharing this will be helpful to you too.

Well, before breaking off for the Christmas holidays we had agreed to have a nice Christmas get-together. The class came up with the wonderful idea of playing Secret-Santa; where we pick a name of one of our classmates from a lucky-dip box and then buy a gift worth 50 Kroner (can be more) and give it to him/her during the lunch gathering. Of course during the whole process it is kept a secret because we secretly dump our presents on a table when no one is looking and then the co-ordinator calls each of our names to open our gifts.

I roamed two days around Copenhagen looking for a gift for the person I had picked up. Think as I might I could not zero on a gift that would be funny (which was the actual theme; a gift with a sense of humour) and at the same time which I wanted that person to cherish for a good length of time. You would think 50 Kroner is less, but I think we can get a decent gift if I talk in Bhutanese monetary terms (roughly Nu 500). Just as I thought my second day hunt was in vain too, I chanced upon a stall selling small and beautiful artefacts. There, among many, I spotted the three wise monkeys and I let out a huge sigh of relief. I had finally found the gift!

The seller snatched 60 Kroner (say Nu 600) from me but I was happy nonetheless. Getting to my room I scribbled a Christmas note on a card and lo, all set. I didn’t give a second thought then, but has got a thousand running now. You should have seen his face at the gathering when my class mate opened his gift from me. The first expression on him was self doubt. Of course he made it known by saying it loud.

“I don’t know what this means, someone explain it to me.”

Not many seemed to know, but a friend barged in and talked about how cool it was and that the monkeys inform us about, “Seeing No Evil, Hearing No Evil, and Speaking No Evil.” He was even more confused now.
“So he thinks I am evil?”

“No, no, no,” some of them spoke in unison. “This is a nice gift.”

I was standing there beside him all the time, acting equally surprised by the gift and asking him what he got. He was the most confused man I had ever seen in my life, at that moment. He was not so sure how he should react. But I could tell he was flustered and did not think of the present very well.

(to be continued...)

Miss Blogging

Yoo hoo, guys, surprise, surprise! How have you all been keeping? Or do I have a reader at all, now that I disappeared into thin air and seemed never to return? Anyway, it always feels homely to be back and be able to know that you have all the time in the world to write things you want to and not feel obligated or fear the consequences of being graded, and being graded low at that (which would hint I have failed miserably).

Blogging, believe you me, is a lot easier than actually writing for exams. I don’t have to worry about negative or non-constructive feedback. If he or she thinks badly of my article(s) then it’s probably because he or she has a poor taste of readership or has a brain tinier than the tiniest bugs around. But damn, I do not have the luxury of enjoying the same muse with regard to the academic papers I write. If the teachers think I suck then I am doomed, despite their poor sense of judgement and yet again the tiny brains housed inside their guiness-record-breaking thick skulls.

Okay, forgive my stupid thought. Was just checking my voice-box. You know a singer’s voice is always rusty when he sings again after a long gap. Or how a car sputters when turned on after days of non-use. Talk about crankiness and I need to work on my page too. Give a face lift perhaps. But I suck at creativity! Still not an excuse enough not to try. Yet I ‘ll suffice myself by what my teachers have taught me from the time I could distinguish words; “Never judge a book by its cover.” Phew, more and more excuses. If excuses were drops of water mine would put the pacific to shame.

Now the good news is there are loads of good blogs my friends are following and I am beginning to enjoy them. It’s cherishing to read these enriching blogs and we are surely in for a great treat. A shame I ever missed that treat.

Whew, okay, that was not very hard to blab! And to say, some think blogging is really hard! HaHa.

October 10, 2009

Odd times, odd things

Wow, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Gets me wondering if some people just jumped the gun, but then amongst the little great people around the world I know it had to be him or Moon. I trust the esteemed selectors were far more serious (than they would, were they selecting the last comic standing) and have chipped in their opinion in their best interest purporting their unprecedented wisdom. BBC seems to be cool about it. CNN, on the other hand, has most of her crew's jaws dropping a mile. They accept he is doing a great job, but the Nobel Peace Prize within less than a year of tenure as president? But I think it’s just fair, by the strides he has taken of late and letting the world know he himself is surprised.

Still, this could open rooms for options. Just like an architect who comes up with a great plan, presents the model and walks away with a grand prize, but later everything turns topsy-turvy as simple mistakes and multiple errors of judgment start getting uncovered. I mean I could always come up with a grand idea and win accolades but I won’t feel deserving until the job is quite well done. Whatever the norms, I believed in the man since I heard him on TV for the first time. Great things happen to great men, and he proved it. The magic man pulled an Obama again, didn’t he?

Talk about wonder and the picture is about how the western world isn’t failing to amuse me. Of course it came with a price. I had to return to my home for two days letting my urinary bladder hold as much as it could. Believe it or not my school has toilets for men and women together. The first day I caught sight of it I got confused.I gathered my guts and opened it, only to find a bunch of ladies inside. I shut the door and zoomed off from the spot. I did the same next day but a horde of ladies yet again. Only on the third day did I realise that it’s common toilet for both men and women. We just go in and wait for the pot rooms to empty. Whew! Anyways, even the folks from US and other countries are equally bamboozled by this cultural shock. We are getting used to it though.

A wonderful class yet again. 49 weird students from 25 odd countries. The lecturer walks in, rants for three hours and wants to know at the end of class if we think we learnt anything. A student shoots his hands up and says, “If you used some examples on your slides I would say your presentation would have been more SEXY.” Brings down the house but leaves the poor man red faced. Then more often than naught when the presentation gets interesting, someone starts gaping, “You ought to be kidding me, this is f*****g crazy!” It’s not just the students anyway. CEOs are hired to give talks to the class and one just goes, “Never assume, because assumption is the mother of all f*** ups!” He was a pass out from this school anyways.

Not to be outdone, the faculty sends in a young, beautiful, not outrageously beautiful but with a great sex appeal, to teach us a great subject. She gets the point straight, tells us about the exams. She wants us to write about the problems we faced back in office, basically ramble about how poorly our bosses performed. But it’s our turn to be open-mouthed now. “You write something direct like ‘My boss was a total A*H***’ and I will make sure you become one too,” she would warn through her lovely lips curled into a sweet smile. We are done with her class now, for good, but I am told she left a few broken hearts behind last year, and this year’s class too. Nah, not me, I came here to study, remember. I rather worry about food here than women.

Anyone ever tell you watch how much you are eating? Well, my college cafe tells me all the time. I actually have to put my food on a weighing machine so that they can determine the price. I pay between Nu 350 to 450 for a decent lunch. The lower amount when I get my calculation right and put food which does not exceed 1 kg (Oh that’s including the weight of the porcelain or glass plates by the way, but we are told we are not paying for the plates as well). Exceed a kg by a gram and one could end paying Nu 150 extra. Sshhh... But hell, I am trying to save for my next day’s meal here!

Anyways, things ought to be odd. Otherwise whatever about adjustment? Digest odd news, accept new culture, watch TV and sleep over it. Talking about TV, I got BBC and CNN. Rest are in local language so doesn’t make much sense to me. So I study till midnight to keep up with the demanding schedule of my class and assignments. Time for a break and flip some channels. Voila, you got porn! At midnight? You know, I just slept in the evening and I can go and study till 2 am, but now there’s a nice distraction... Hmmm, it’s half past midnight now. I better not touch the TV and rather go to sleep. Got to get up early and finish a 10 page write-up for my term paper. Living a lonely life, knowing there is free porn on TV and still going off to sleep... a terribly hard (but arguably, the best) decision.

Meanwhile, good night and happy weekend all.

September 18, 2009

Program is on...

Long time folks! Nah, not here to philosophize but just to give a small hint that I am still alive and kicking, although ‘barely alive’ sounds more appropriate. Of course it’s not like I could kick the bucket anytime but still I could always do with a breather now and oft to keep myself going.

I had plans to go around Copenhagen, visit some wonderful sites, click them all and post it here but, whew, I seem to get entangled in a web of assignments and presentations. I am now enjoying the meaning of Full-Time MBA, it’s full time indeed. Like my Dean insists, “The Full-Time MBA Program is on. Yep ladies and gentlemen, know what you are doing, because as soon as you wake up the Program is on!”

Being doing some work related sight seeing lately and it’s wonderful. But I guess it would be more wonderful if I get to put work aside. Looking forward to putting up some great pictures. But I need my break first.

But its all about studying and bringing forth a great result. An output worth cherishing. “We want you to become a better man,” goes the Dean. “Find out the difference between you between this year and the next year.” Looks like to me he wants to know the Δ-You (delta You) and measure yourself after a year. Some differentiation; and I thought we were done with dy(ou)/dt’s in our Engg. classes.

See you around folks. Good luck to you all. Got a class in a while. Please don’t mind if you don’t see much of me in here 'cos “The Program is on!”


August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday zala!

1989 seems just round the corner but it’s past 20 years already. Only tells me this younger brother of mine has left his teens even. And they tell me you need mirrors to know your age. Wrinkles hardly tell you anything. Younger siblings do better. But lets not always mourn one’s age that’s galloping at a very fast pace. Sometimes we ought to enjoy memorable occasions also, like my brother’s birthday.

Well, I have a faint recollection of our elder brother carrying a lump wrapped in some cloth and I had gone “Yucks, that’s some pulp!” But you were beautiful! You must know you were a sport even before you were born. You challenged your mom to a race and you won it because you were born in the ambulance even as it was reaching just half way to the hospital. You were born lucky on August 20, 1989. You were named lucky moon too, Tashi Dawa.

You must know that I was 9 when I carried you as a baby. Our blasted two eldest sisters and brother were studying in boarding school and I and my immediate elder sister bore the whole brunt of a hefty you. Boy, were you heavy! You had a head bigger than your cute body and we would laugh as you involuntarily toppled on one side with regard to the position of your head. You were fun, of course only until you came on my back. You must have wondered why I, being the elder brother, am shorter to you by almost a foot; well young lad that’s because I lost a foot fighting gravity and your insurmountable weight on my tender back. You are taller now because you didn’t have to carry anyone. That’s the charm of being the youngest isn’t it? Well, I too enjoyed being one for 9 years at least.

But I have no regrets. I look at you and see the love in your eyes, I am just too glad I was there. I am just glad you came to this world. You are a changed man now. I can see you have the sense of a mature man. There was a time when you would be scared by clanging of the cymbals, beating of drums and you would cling to me as I would console you. There was this time when you would just go ‘huuuuuuuhhhhhh’ in long breaths and that would mean we have to stop whatever we were doing and carry you to the loo. Oh, I hated it when you did that while we were eating.

Now times are a changing and you are too. You have become more private with your issues and I am just glad about it. It only assures us you can take good care of yourself and won’t be that baby anymore. You must know that your parents are proud of you because you are growing into a fine man. You must know that I am proud of you because you are turning out to be a good brother. You must know that we all have decent expectations from you. Do not let us down!

You must also know that while mom called you this morning to wish you a belated happy Birthday she was trying to sound mirthful while she had tears in her eyes. And she was crying as she put off the phone. Yes I am jealous of that but then I know she will cry for me too as I also leave soon.

Well young lad, I sacrificed a foot carrying you. You better live yourself up to it. Study hard and keep in touch!
Happy Birthday zala!

August 14, 2009

Having a blast!

Imagine that black lump to be your head and the lit thread your lifeline. Of course that is what is happening to us as every second passes by. Only we do not seem to imagine ourselves as mortals, until we see or hear someone close by expire. Impermanence has been there since time immemorial yet it has failed to take root in our heart. We still find it hard to believe that we are going to one day leave this very world like our friends, colleagues, forefathers, and many others did. The amount of force you blast away with could depend on your present nature.

Yet, why bother about what is inevitable? Life, it seems, can get tiring and we would be looking forward and in fact actually yearning for the final day to arrive. Still, given a choice I ‘ld rather endure as much money problems and wraths of our own friends and enemies alike and yet dream of living long enough. Of course terminal diseases can drive a man to his limit of tolerance and get his wishfully thinking there was an end to it somehow.

Why bother about death when we still have a lot to live to see to cherish. Talk women for instance. Oh yeah, they are very much like the bomb you see. What’s worse, they don’t even come with a timer. The most unpredictable beings that ever walked the planet. And yet, arguably the most delectable of all. Something men could not do without. Maybe gay marriages would have taken shape ages since and of course people could have worked more wonders with test-tube babies and other cloning devices. Still, I cannot deny life would have been miserably different without women; the very epitome of evil necessity.

Not to draw grumpy opinions from the delicious ladies around let me remind us all that whatever we see, think, act or blah blah are a mere depiction of this lit bomb, maybe perhaps in a suitable way. The light could go off midway and the life of the bomb may be extended a bit but it is doomed for a nasty detonation anyway. It’s also about us inclining oneself to a completely solitary and a horrendously boring life. I guess we are better off making things of best use when we all are in one piece.

We all are bombs waiting for their final call. Have a blast before the real blast! Happy weekend!

August 10, 2009

Shake your Bon Bon! Part-2

And dance we did last Friday night. It was fun! And to think I went around with a bunch of friends I had met through internet. Well, ask about my closer friends and they are dilly-dallying about their better-halves permitting them or family issues taking the precedence. Moreover, I would not enjoy acting hoity-toity pushing them to the dance floor against their will. Of course, it’s not like inviting them for a decent hour of tea and snacks or dinner. It’s actually asking them to rip their clothes off and get crazy in a crowd attuned by a disastrous set of noise that hey call ‘music’ and breathe the same air puffed out of the lungs of the smoking-scores of lads. I would call them Chimneys-with-limbs-that-can-dance. And not forgetting to mention the booze they dip themselves into. A new name yet… Wet-Chimneys-with-limbs-that-can-dance.
They tell me good dancers are good lovers. I look around the room. Mmmm… plenty of lovers, all good ones. I mean the girls. Leave the men to my friend standing next to me, he seems to enjoy looking at the boys dance. Anyway, he’s too drunk to make out guys from girls! The three ladies join us again, back from freshening up. Well, they said they were, but to me they looked like puffed up zombies. But such darlings they are I look through their scary faces and return their smile. The music in this particular place is simply great. No prize for guessing, nor am I telling you which lest I risk being called me and my friends men of poor taste. This is my second time in two months and it is enjoyable as before. And this is my second time too with the same team, five of us; one smart man in me, the other drunkard who can’t make boys from girls, and three puffed up zombies who have to rush to the loo (well they prefer calling it Ladies Common Room) to keep the powder on their face in place.
Well, there’s no Ricky Martin going ‘Shake Your Bon Bon!’ I think he’s run obsolete with time. But shaking our Bon Bon is what we are actually doing. The five of us make a circle, put our drink in the middle and dance around it which takes me to a sub-saharan tribal dance thanking their gods for the cannibalistic diet ushered to them. Each one of us have a cigarette tugged between our lips. I do so since it makes me feel like Clint Eastwood. And I dance ‘cos it makes me feel like Michael Jackson. Yet I look at others, know they must share the same feelings as me, and yet I just see a bunch of rowdy souls. Now that’s not so charming. Still life is not always about being what you have to, achieving always what you what or enacting syllables that have been printed. There’s no charm in it. The real charm lies in breaking a few small rules now and oft.
Talk about breaking rules and smoking comes straight to mind. There’s three of us buying two packets of cigarettes each and huffing and puffing them to glory. Now that’s a disaster when we have to judge health, morale and law wise. But yes, while the clock struck 2 AM, we were still having fun. And as we returned to the cold sheets of our own bed, I am sure I was all smiles throughout the sleep ‘cos I get this feeling I still dreamt this sweet dream of me and my friends shaking our bon bon!
We cannot escape the wordly associates of pain and suffering but we sure can laugh at them at times and dance our way through. Good Luck to you all!

Shake your Bon Bon! Part-1

Such a Drag! A week that was. And the week before. And before that. Bad news seemed to rock Bhutan from all of its internal directions. It’s really tough when the undoing of a particular event, especially a sad one, is impossible. Yet the journey of our life towards the inevitable is indeed plastered by prickly thorns and the beautiful petals alike. Luck would decide where your naked foot steps on.

Most blogs I visit also lament about our present day politicians. Of accidents; sad mishaps. Some discuss philosophy. Many on their veritable thoughts about their own life and persona. We seem to drown ourselves in a deluge of sorrows and unbound sufferings. It looks and sounds selfish to be oblivious of the strangest things happening to a peaceful community, but the ways of mother nature are unrelenting and unbeknownst to us humble being’s common understanding.

So why don’t we put aside the never ending trouble for some time and really dig on something joyful that happens to us once in a while. I can’t pretend I have the best of times every weekend but you see going out once in a while does relieve you of the frequent headaches tormenting you over the week. And yeah, you get a to nurse a few heartaches too. The fat accumulation perhaps is doing wonders to me, I sometimes find it hard to breath. So it’s best I jump up and down once in a while to directly warn the fats from enveloping my prized possession. Did you think I was hinting girls? Well, you could be right there as well. But hey, I am used to heartbreaks. I have had them since high school. The literal heartache of course lets me know its not just how I feel for women, but how and what stuffs I eat. Junk foods, I know. I gobble a lot of them.

Eating, they tell me, also shouldn’t be a problem. After all, we live to work to eat to live. It’s the things you do after eating that should decide your career, more so your life. If you ask me, I just about get up and move to reach the plates to the kitchen after eating. There, enough exercise for the day and it’s time for bed. Only to wake up feeling droopy, dizzy, drowsy with a half-digested food in your raunchy tummy.

Getting carried away, am I? If this was an English test I would lose marks for straying away from the topic. So lets try driving to the point again. Alright, I was trying to talk about exercise. But I am not a gym buff and I have to extract pleasure from what I do (sweating kills me). Eating and sleeping sounds the best of any pleasurable moments there could be in my life. But yeah, sometimes I like going dancing too.

The last line above would be an understatement by the way. I loooove dancing. Only it’s not worth showing off to anyone. You have heard of bathroom singers, but I am one hell of a bathroom-dancer. Now that would be an overstatement yet again, but if anyone must see me attempting weird steps within the closed walls of my bedroom (with only God, a few gods and some demi-gods, and perhaps a lucky voyeur as spectators) they would know I love music more than most souls ever claimed to have.

August 3, 2009

Meeting the ban

In a rare show of the MPs caliber I had a nice sermon on the television about how religiousness was affected by our consumption of meat. The change of notions and subsequent support before and during the drawing of final decision was amusing as well. We saw a landslide victory yet again.

I read an interesting point raised by the Home Minister in Kuensel. “Religion and politics shouldn’t be mixed as it’ll lead to conflict. The root cause of conflicts and problems in many countries is religion,” said the minister, who is also the chairman of the Chhoedey Lhentshog, (commission for religious organisations). Yet banning of meat sale on the particular months was all a mix of religion and politics.

As long as consumption does not stop and as long as the total killing does not stop momentary breaks do not make much sense. I think the choice of banning will be subject re-discussion again at a later date when MPs with different views take up the seat. After all, it’s not a universal consensus, like agreeing that tobaccos are a danger and prone to health hazards- one area where religion and politicians would undeniably agree.

Ironically religious rituals in Bhutanese homes are stalled or postponed because of the unavailability of meat products. We have people dashing out to the shops on the eve prior to the closing day or month to stock up. We offer it in our altars to appease our gods. Meat seems to go symbolically with our religious practices.

The meat ban was neither on any of the parties’ manifestos nor has it any inkling with GNH because while it makes half smile about the ban, one fourth would be not very happy while the rest should have no comments about it (a dim projection of the fraction which need not necessarily be accurate). The public cannot gain much from this decision. Those who want to eat will find a way to get hold of it, no matter on what days or months.

Yet enough time has been lost on it.

Perhaps we ought to worry about other serious issues, and disaster management comes to my mind of all, especially when we are rankled by the unfortunate Tsimalakha incidence where innocent lives could have been saved. We have issues where each and every Bhutanese soul are united for a cause and each and every Bhutanese can be made to smile because we know the responsible bodies are headed in the right direction.

Besides, discussing saving lives at any instance of time could be far more important than deciding when and when not to eat.

July 27, 2009

Our young trees

Death has a wonderful bond in a Bhutanese life considering the way we treat the deceased in the period of one year from the death of a person. Not until one of my family members very close to me expired did I actually realize the different practices endowed by our ancestors to us to appease the dead. Call me a man poisoned by whims of science and unfaithful to one’s age old custom but I was deeply saddened by what I had to do yesterday; erecting prayer flags.

We believe that 108 prayer flags have to be erected in the name of the dead within fourteen days of his/her death. Hence, to keep up with that belief we rushed to the jungles above Hongtsho to cut trees, precisely 108 of them. Prayers flags demand erect and straight poles and finding such trees are quite hard. They should not be very big also, which mean younger trees (10 to 15 years) have to be cut down. So we have to move deeper into the jungle and stretch far and wide to get neither 1 or 2 nor 5 or 10 but 108 young trees.

Permission was of course granted by the concerned department and the trees cut were done solely for erecting prayer flags. Yet it pained me deeply that such young trees have to be cut down. Just imagine how many people die each year and how many trees have to be felled in their names. We run the risk of rendering our country barren. Not to mention we also cut older trees, both hard wood and soft while cremating.

If at all given the choice (and we have the right to make one) incinerator sounds preferable. An ingenious way to erect prayer flags sans the trees may need to be developed as well. I am not very sure I will think differently of it as I age and really begin to understand the magic of my tradition and culture brought down to us, but as of now I am petrified!

July 23, 2009

Life goes on...

Waking up I sensed today was a day that changed my life but I just could not put it to place. Not my birthday. Not even my graduation day. Then what? An irony that some stranger should pop into my life to refresh my memory...

The young lad wanted lift so I stopped my car and urged him to hop in. He was smiling at me but I could tell his eyes spoke tales of trouble. Despite the red eyes, shoddy hair and the ruffled look I guessed he was at least three years younger than I probably would look like after spending 15-20 minutes in front of the mirror.

Getting in he started punching some numbers on his cell phone. ‘Hello!’ A shrilly voice at the other end. A woman! They would shout and then again fine tune their tone as if the situation demanded them to mull on. Then a choke, tears in his eyes…and again redialing. The woman in question probably turned her phone off. He fiddles the numbers again, shouts into it… then again redials. Our eyes meet in the rearview mirror and he tells me it’s his wife. I give him a sad look and he shrugs, as if to say “Women!”

This time I can hear the frustrated calls from the other end. The woman is angry and crying too. She sure can shout because I can hear almost all the words she is telling him. I assumed he didn’t want to listen for he was trying to voice his angry thoughts into the speaker. The last words bring a chill to my spine.

“Ok, if it’s divorce you want, then it’s divorce you will get.”

The man puts off his phone and looks out of the window. I am just a stranger so I don’t say anything. He tells me to stop at the flyover bridge and I abide. Getting out he sends his hand towards his rear where probably lay his wallet. How much? I wave my hand in mock exasperation. Come on! He smiles through his pained face and thanks me profusely. I take 2 seconds to reciprocate and then send myself into the expressway again.

We must agree, not all things are always joyful. Poor chap, he was living the life I lived exactly one year ago.

Happy anniversary!

July 15, 2009


Whew! I now know how it feels to be preoccupied. It’s an irony in a way that one has to do lots of stuffs that has neither any inkling with one’s own life nor makes you so proud to do it. Yet, to feed what we call our tummy we ought to work. And work we should, whether we like it or not. Talking about tummy I have a food incidence to share with.

Since our job demanded us to start early the next morning 5 of us went to Paro on Sunday eve (two weeks ago). Our office there had arranged for our logistics at Drugyel. The two ladies, our host for the occasion, declared that they would go and prepare dinner for us and insisted that we enjoy the fair share of the soothing air of Paro town.

Soothing it was, but only for some time. The chilling effect soon began to overwhelm us and we were shivering in the cold breeze. I ran my hand over the other to send back the goose pimples cropping up. Damn! I left the jacket in the vehicle and the driver had zoomed off to Drugyel with the hosts.

At 9PM, our driver called. Dinner was ready and he ‘ld be coming to pick us up. ‘Where are you all?’ Same old spot you left us dumbo! (But dare I say that to him?). Road to Drugyel is a fine ride. The house is great. The dinner is best of all. Our lovely hosts have prepared pork for us. The driver says they have kept separately the vegetarian dishes on the other side. That reminds me to tell you about the two Tamangs in our group.

Yeah, the two Tamangs, as they insist are non-pork-eaters. There are Tamangs who will eat Pork but not beef, or vice versa, and they are of the latter kind. Lucky me and my friend, the whole pork prepared for five shall be free of competition. A royal treat indeed. However, more intriguing is the delicious looking soup staked in the vegetarian corner. Seeing a huge pan full I followed my Tamang friends and scooped out a large ladle. Needless to say, the soup was the tastiest of all.

‘Mo ta yo soup mithro lagewta,’ goes one Tamang. The other nods in agreement. I can only nod too because the soup taste weirdly great. Weirdly great! I do not remember taking a vegetarian soup as great as that. No wonder my friends were enjoying. I looked over my plate as the two Tamangs stomped into the kitchen to scoop out another ladle of the yummy gourmet. As we were finishing, the senior Tamang kept on appreciating it’s delicacy as he swiped in large sips from his cup. Just then, the second Tamang threw something from the cup on the table. A hard white stuff clattered on the table.

‘Oi mero soup bara ta bone pa nishkeow ta ho!’ (I got a bone from my soup)

Alas, it was two cups too late. This did explain why our pork curry had no gravy. Only then did I understand why the soup tasted weirdly great. The taste of meat had been lurking in the soup all along!

July 5, 2009

The World without Engineers

While surfing, I bumped across images depicting the world without engineers. Why don't you see for yourself and decide if you agree or not. Incidentally, I could not find any images for 'World without electrical engineers' so I took the liberty of pasting an image from my own collection; hope you 'll agree...

The world without Aeronautic Engineers (Fly baby fly!)

The world without Civil Engineers (Watch Out!)

The world without Communication Engineers (hello? hello? helloooooo?)

The world without Computer Engineers (Count count)

The world without Mechanical Engineers (Drive folks, drive!)

The world without Electronic Engineers

The world without Electrical Engineers (wouldn't the world be just a dark spot?)

My search has not ended here though. I am actually looking for 'The world without Politicians!' If anyone finds it, please let me know.

July 3, 2009

What if I were a MP...

A few of the blogs I frequent come strongly on our present day politicians. They are simply wonderful. They are passionate about what they write, they are passionate about their feelings and they are passionate about how they try to convey what they feel though their writings. Some do dare go a step ahead and address our honorable MPs as monkeys. I can’t help smiling. It would be an insult to our ancestors for them (MPs) to actually extract displeasure out of this strong address. If someone could jeer at you then you probably earned it!

But what if were I to be an MP? Perhaps I too would pull out of my chair in half sleep and declare the condescending fool to be dragged by his ear lobes and declare him the rightful owner of the ragged space by the corner in one of Bhutan’s worst jails. Didn’t some MPs think a journalist deserving of what I just mentioned? I am not a journalist; I do not know about the consequences of misreporting, or of the certain probability of being harangued for reporting what was not particularly pleasing to the honorable MPs’ ears. But I do know, talking feudalistic vibes in otherwise democratic arena creates more confusion than the fathomable limits and subjects the topic to further deliberations and subsequent ill-bearings.

But I do not want to know what if I was a journalist. More importantly, what if I were a MP? Okay, what if I were a MP? Would I go to the media to express my displeasure about the media? Hmm, I would have to think about that. When I normally talk ill of my boss I run to my friends instead. But I make sure they are those sections of friends who stride at the same wavelength as mine. Just because the boss’ wife is my friend I dare not go about speaking ill of her husband.

The actual question should be “Why do I want to be a MP?” So because it seems the only opportunity available now? So because I have this gift of the gab? So because my village folks are willing to press their thumb on my cute face? So because I can promise them heaven on earth? So because blah blah blah…Or perhaps you know why you and I have to be an MP for all the good reasons.

Well if you ask me, my intent is not to answer what if I were to be a MP. It’s fearful enough to even dream to be one. What if I was to take part in the elections and later have none at all, or worse comes to worst- just me, voted from my party? The sacred house of deliberations is no place for people who represent the minority. And even in winning not be able to enjoy the people's confidence and satisfaction. That is not the worst fear I have. My worst fear is what if I promise a bridge and then have to declare it impossible after gaining the people’s votes?

Sleep over it folks. And wake up to a happy weekend, no matter what! Ciao.

July 1, 2009

Of marriage and marriages

Hehe. Who enjoys being lambasted on personal issues, even if it comes from a high chair? I can see my readers are not so happy about it.

Anyway, I got to my friend’s lair and there they were. I would be the sixth man. Four of them are married. One has a girlfriend. I am as single as the first digit of the set of natural numbers. The PM’s words rang loud and clear to me. You could tell I wasn’t enjoying as much this game of marriage as I used to before.

Why should I? First thing’s first, those married folks will have to get rid of their phones! Four men are struggling to keep up with their cards in hand and at the same time attend the calls from their better halves. My goodness, you can really grit on the patience (or impatience) of a woman. You let the first ring go by and they won’t even rest a few seconds to call him for the second, third and so forth time. They won’t have it until you pick up the damned phone.

I look at my cards and shake my head. They aren’t going to bring me any of the stakes to my pockets. Just not my day. Then I look at my friends who have to walk out of the room turn by turn to answer their wives (they probably don’t want us to hear the God-knows-what-kind-of-lectures they get). Yeah, you could tell I wasn’t enjoying as much this game of marriage as I used to before. Why can’t those wives give a little time over a weekend for their friend? I let them have their husbands to themselves for the rest of the week… and all of the nights.

Despite my annoyance I can’t help feeling sorry for the girlfriend. Poor girl, she had come all the way to her boyfriend’s place to have a cozy day and we barge into his house and drag him for a game of cards. She would be annoyed with us but, such a good friend she is, the best she can do is smile at us and take our leave. Now, if I have to feel sorry for the poor girlfriend, then I ought to feel sorry for the wives too. What do I know of family issues? Why am I single at the first place? Perhaps I have a lot to learn about married life. Most importantly, to understand women. Yes, if let alone, we men could bring chaos to a family. Not a good breed of specie who could be allowed to lead themselves astray.

I need to get my conscience straight yet again. Why break a family to keep one friend? Dear wives, fight for your rights. Fight for your family. Fight that sole enemy in your house, your husband. Discipline him. Fear not, even the Prime Minister is behind you.

June 30, 2009

Principle vs. Entertainment

I sleep till the late hours of the morning on weekends. This Saturday I got up a little early and turned on the television to find BBS rebroadcasting PM’s address to the Parliament. I suck at politics so I do not cling on to much of their speeches but this talk kept me glued to the screen. He was stressing on a disease that was catching up fast with the Bhutanese people.

It is indeed worrisome to note that people are anchoring themselves in the harbour of card games and trying to make a career out of it. I cannot help nodding to the words of the PM as he says that stringent measures and actions will be taken to curb this disease. Such issues, if at all should reach the Parliament, perhaps indicate we have a lot to worry about. I wouldn’t put my money in it, but yes sometimes card games could be the only trick left to bring together friends who are, by view of marriage and other sanctimonious relations to their own accord, alienated from each other.

Just then my cell phone tells me I have received a message. It’s a friend asking me to join for a game of marriage. I try to smile but there’s something else written on my face. The face of a man who is burdened by guilt provoked by the honorable PM lampooning card gamers or, to his eyes, gamblers. In sharp contrast to my earlier views, I seem to be looking forward to our gatherings. What the heck. I hardly meet my friends otherwise. It’s not utter gambling for there are no high stakes involved. Moreover, it’s strictly a socializing bout for a few hours. However, things start from the first step. Drops make up oceans.

Anyway, I got to my friend’s lair and there they were. I would be the sixth man. Four of them are married. One has a girlfriend. I am as single as the first digit of the set of natural numbers. The PM’s words rang loud and clear to me. You could tell I wasn’t enjoying as much this game of marriage as I used to before.

June 25, 2009

Keeping up with your resolutions

Got nothing much to do? You better follow up with your new year’s resolution. I remember sitting down one of the last days of 2008 and planning up my 2009. Then I remember tearing up two pages and penning something that would be simpler and easier to follow. I am embarrassed, but I shall share what was going inside my brainy head. For a man who is just better than an ant ( just in size though; how I wish I had its working capability), I can’t help marveling at myself that I came up with a dozen new year's resolutions. Lets read them and see my progress…

1) Finish a novel every two weeks (be a member first at JDW National Library)
Okay, I read 'Last man Standing' and 'Saving Faith', both by David Baldacci. I remember reading two more (got to check). That makes 4 books in 27 weeks. I was supposed to do 13 at the least. What a disappointment :(. I am not a member in that Library yet.

2) Prioritize your job responsibilities.
Whatever in God’s name did I intend by that? If only I was 6 months younger, I might still have those energy I seemed to have.

3) Stop beer or hard drinks.
Hah, you wish! Okay, it’s been some months with the hard drinks…but beer…umm…you know… socializing parties, gatherings…

4) No playing cards.
You got it! Not enough pocket money anyways. And with the 15% increase I better concentrate on things I spent thinking there would be a minimum 35% raise. By the way, however do you squeeze a 35 out of 15 to repay your debts?

5) Go meet a family every weekend.
Hmmm, need to get their contact numbers again. Man, I must really be turning into a loner.

6) Stop watching TV after 9:30pm
I must have meant 1:30 am

7) No druknet chat.
Let’s postpone it to 2010. I have some girlfriends there who can’t be dumped just like that (Being RUDE is not one of my resolutions).

8) No hurried eating. Eat slow and chew properly.
Hehe…I must have jotted that in purview of my emblazoning growth sideways. If at all, I have grown fatter; so I must be eating faster and chewing improperly. Check!

9) Stop wasting too much time on the internet (care for your eyes).
Not much help there too (but my eyes are fine for the time being).

10) Plan your living well.
I must have meant ‘get married again’. You know the plans involved in a rowdy bachelor’s life otherwise. Or next time I need to draft my resolution(s) in simple english.

11) Smile more often than naught.
I like that. Remember, only 13 muscles in place of 50. Salary hike is not helping much these days though.

12) Don’t waste time!!! Do something worthwhile!!!
I need to relook into the definition of ‘wasting time’ again. Either I am doing my best now or helping to waste your time also.

And that’s all. I must have been really serious while jotting them down, but now I get this gut feeling I need to get my conscience straight. Check your resolutions and see if you are keeping up with them. If you are then good for you. If not, lessen the number of your resolutions for next year, and make sure you use simple English. Good Luck!

June 23, 2009

Social obligation and its associated dilemmas

Being Bhutanese is one thing. Being a Sharchop another. Schooled and raised in Thimphu I could boast of being able to speak Dzongkha without the attachment of the vernacular accent. However, that’s limited to my speaking to friends only. Make me read Dzongkha and every soul could make a directional guess of my hometown.

Still, the glitch would not amend my whims of my being simply Bhutanese and anything else. Being settled in Thimphu for a score and a decade now and not having stepped to one’s hometown for the past 12 years would do this to you. But time would hammer its blow to remind us of our transcendental roots. It happened to me this Sunday.

An hour towards noon and the uncle is at my bed urging me to wake up. I squint through my sleepy eyes and can see that this man means business. He’s in a hurry and he has only time to be blunt. He reminds me that the clock is ticking and I am not getting any younger. I need a wife too and he has thought of a perfect match for me, his younger brother’s daughters. One is still studying so he suggests that I go for the elder sister. He tells me he has been working out on this for months now and he sees only flourishing prosperity in this sacred communion. Before I could reply anything he wants me to think and hence gives me 3 days. My answer in alacrity, he assures me, would only make me repent in leisure. I haven’t half recovered from the daze and he has zoomed out of the door.

Wow, this is the 21st century and I cannot get to pick my own wife? What’s worse, the daughter in question is my first cousin. Of course, by the standards of the average eastern Bhutanese, this bond is considered legal; or, to be precise, preferable. But I grew up here in Thimphu where such bonds are considered a taboo. Balancing yourself between having to fulfill social obligation and be at arm’s length from social stigma would indeed be a challenging feat.

Anyway I better get thinking before he comes calling again. My time is almost up but I haven’t an answer yet!

June 22, 2009

Smile nontheless :)

Well, I must have let myself get carried away and might have come a little too strongly on whoever seems to be playing with the minds of the corporate employees. Perhaps, were I sitting in that chair I would be compelled to bring forth changes that is best suited to the political interest. I just could not doubt anyone responsible for wanting to suck blood out of us because there are many things going on which we could not comprehend even if we put a hundred heads together.

What’s worse, to berate ignoble statements will only add salt to the frowning wounds on your face and I hear it takes 50 muscles to really frown at someone when you could actually spare yourself lesser energy by smiling, for it inflicts only 13 muscles (as shown in the pic obtained from the internet, but the number varies). Really interesting! On the one hand this revelation seems to tell us that we could be better off smiling because we will be causing less muscle fatigue. But for a fat pig like me I would rather frown because more muscle action means more number of calories burned. For a man who hates waking up early in the morning and doing exercises one could make up by doing simple things that would help you in burning more calories.

Yet again, we couldn’t imagine a world without smiles. However could we imagine ourselves getting bewitched by a woman’s frown? However could serious-faced-never-smiling politicians win elections? How could we otherwise make out friendship from enmity? How could we ever learn to forgive if we cannot see a smiling face?

So let’s smile; no one could ever know when someone will fall in love with it. And if you ask me about the fats accumulating within us…try chanting this every morning (don't depend on your frowns), “One who eats like a pig ought to look like a pig!” If it doesn’t work then go for, “Eat less to live more to eat more.” That should do the trick. Both hasn’t worked for me though, but it’s a good start. Good day!

June 19, 2009

Corporate pay hike; a dejection

As a kid I cried over the step-sisterly actions showered to Cinderella. The mistreatment by the step-mother to Hansel and Gretel, and of course the terrifying conduct of Snow-White’s step mother. I would look around me and think we are a lucky soul to be in a place where such conducts seem to appear only in fairy tales. Well, reading today’s newspaper (Kuensel: Crumbs off the table?) I am beginning to have doubts.

Months after the government civil servants received their pay hike the corporate employees waited in positive anticipation. But now we feel the pinch because it’s not petals they are thrusting at us, but a bag of thorns. The 15% salary hike, given the affordability of a company, still limits the corporate salary by 5% below the govt. counterparts. And to think the corporate employees enjoyed a 15% overall pay hike before. Why this decline from the profound grandeur?

The govt. gave us a jolt indeed before when they pompously declared that corporate employees were given higher salaries just because they wanted to attract employees for the upcoming new corporations; and now apparently that the corporate offices are filled to the brim the need is deemed no more necessary. That’s belligerent treachery. That’s tricking us. That’s accepting that we were lured just to fill the space and not because the corporate world demands greater work deals and contributions. Then DHI coolly claims on corporate salary hike, “There’s No Hurry!” Instead I would have loved to hear, “We need to hurry; we don’t want our employees to feel left behind. That’s our secret to their motivation!” That’s the justice I would seek. Why wait? Why the delay? Justice delayed is justice denied!

The advent of the new government has only given me the feeling of an encroachment of a step-mother into the lives of the 10,000 corporate employees. I feel corporate employees are somehow, with reasons unknown to many, looked down. This is not development. This is burying alive the motivational skills of the corporate employees; what use are corpses to ‘development’?

I only hope the news in the media was a misprint. But I really know now as to how one feels to be side-stepped; to be treated like a step-brother or a step-son in one’s own land. It’s painful!

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!”

June 15, 2009

GNH and Banks?

This evening I stood in the never-moving line at one of the Banks in Thimphu. Believe me I have seen snails move faster. However, for a big-eyed man like me, slow pace in a Bank of all places is welcome. You get to see myriad people of different ages, genders, caste, creed, you name it… But one thing struck me as common - the bored look on their faces. Why so? Maybe it’s an answer to why money matters just wouldn’t make anyone happy. You ask about me, I could be the most serious client a bank has ever seen walk in.

Above all what I caught sight of the employees themselves chimed in me as most interesting. If there are any serious people than me then it was them. It’s almost 4 PM and they can’t wait to put the ‘CLOSED’ tag above their counter sill. I looked at the one in front of me. He seemed weary of the things around him. He was giving me this weird look. Was he shouting, “Why don’t you buzz off, it would be 4 PM any second for goodness sake!” to himself?

But I stood on. Instead I let my mind drift from the man in the counter to the aspects of achieving GNH. Was it possible for them employees? Everyday they deal with chunks of money, something most of them (and me for sure) would never make in their lifetime. Happiness is all about fulfilling their desire(s). You see that amount of money floating around you and you just cannot help wishing you could lay your hands on all of it. The thought of just not being able to amass that would add up to loads and loads of frustrations.

Look at me for instance. I have a small job. I don’t deal with cash on any moments of the day and at the end of the month I happily walk away with a decent sum. I have nothing to compare it with so I am happy. These employees have a house full of money in there and they know all they get is actually a drop in their Bank’s ocean. So these wants and desires could linger on…and GNH for them sounds like a far cry from realization.

But I could be wrong!

I don’t want to be rich. I just want some money so that I can buy anything I want! ;-)

June 13, 2009

Chat baby chat...

Who says chat has all the taboos associated with it? It’s a killer. It wastes your time. Leads to eye-sore and wrist pains. Well these are the common beliefs around. I beg to differ. If I am not chatting then I am lying on my bed, after a heavily stuffed dinner, and watching television for 5 hours at a stretch.

You ask me what the chat world has brought to me. It has brought me friends. Improved my English. Above all, the superfast typist that I have become is worth showing off. Not to forget it has also given me a nice paunch. The bifocals they made me buy too. But who cares; television would also have given me bad eyes and big belly anyway, but not the friends I get to enjoy.

More than 8 years into the Bhutanese chat world and I have fallen in love with 3 women. You think that's cheap? 8 women have fallen for me which makes it an average of a different woman every year. 4 guys have fallen for me too. I must have been a wonderful chatter using girlish nicks and acting one. Well of course, I just go steady with only 2 of these girlfriends and 3 of my boyfriends currently (girls get bored easily). I never met them, and never plan to either. And I am sure they suspect the real me too; but while we are at it, we are enjoying the cyber whims and fancy.

I must say 8 years is quite some time. It moulds you well and helps you blend with the air and be a good chatter. No wonder, the women I meet in the world cannot help wishing I was a tad younger than I say my age is (I must sound an old man, but very interesting to let go). Then there are those who wish I was a lot older so that it would do justice for them old women to flirt with me. Then these frustrating boys who can’t help wishing I would give them my number and say yes to their coffee dates. Best of all I enjoy girls wishing they had met me before, much before they got married or engaged.

Whew, the charms of chat! But if you ask me, I can’t help wishing either…that I was half the man I portray myself to be in there!

(Disclaimer: Though depicted as fun it will be unwise for students to take up chatting seriously because one could put one’s career at stake. Same goes to office goers. Too much can be dangerous. Just like water; it may be a life-force, but you can still drown in excess of it)

June 12, 2009

Sneeze freeze...

You can’t touch your chest with the tip of your tongue goes a statement in the list of science facts I chanced upon. Neither can you lick your own elbow. But what does say you would be doing is that you will be definitely trying out if you can or cannot as soon as you read the challenge. There, I got you as well. But I am bogged by another science fact that claims you can’t sneeze without closing your eyes.

Impossible to sneeze without closing your eyes? All right that was all scientific. I wonder who were paid to do such researches. Maybe they just didn’t come across a man with a tongue long enough. It’s not in me to brag but I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue. I am sure more than half of you cannot do it at all. It’s not a thing I enjoy doing given the weird taste I get especially when I have just blown my nose. But yes, science does not claim this feat unachievable nor does it laud men who can do it. Perhaps they would if only I had a tongue like that of a frog’s so that I could not only smack my chest with it but also swap the fly lying on the tip of my elbow.

Lets get back to sneezing. I tickled my nose with a ticklish stuff and yeah three test runs and I am surprised that it is true. I couldn’t just sneeze whilst keeping my eyes open. Wonderful science discovery. But I am more impressed by what my friend had to say.

My third year in college and I was accompanying a friend to the bank. Just as we got out of his apartment I had the good grace of sneezing. He swore light profanities at me instantly. Whatever provoked him to say that only added brine to the being within me that he just wounded. Never sneeze when you are venturing out, he tells me, it brings bad luck. I shrug it off. Anyway who enjoys being called a jinx? Approaching the premises we indeed find the bank closed. My friend scowls at me. I would have bought his story if it hadn’t been a weekend.

Well, I would not have had a doubt it at all cost, until yesterday. Rushing home after office I happened to sneeze just as I was getting behind the wheel and starting the engine of my car. I wondered if it would bring me bad luck. I shrugged it off. It wasn’t a new venture. I was headed home, what possibly could go wrong. I take the usual twirl around the town and into the expressway as I zoom home. The taxi that I just overtake seems unimpressed and honks at me. I meet his gaze through my rear view mirror and nearly stick out my tongue at him. He honks again. I hit my leg on the gas and try to speed up, but he seems to catch up with me easily. He honks again. I look at him through the mirror and see him pointing at me. Getting him, I stop to find that one of the wheels is just punctured. Believe me, you will not enjoy replacing a punctured wheel on an expressway, that too during rush hours.

Well sneezing without closing your eyes is one thing, but doing so just as you are venturing out, another. Anyone who can vouch for this doubt of mine?

June 11, 2009

Ode to my Party...

What came as a nasty debate between the DPT and PDP enthusiasts in Bhutan Observer during the pre-election drama prompted me to write the following in retaliation to those who seemed to slander the party I favoured then. Why shouldn't I? The Prime Minister was probably going to come from my constituency. I look at the government now and wonder if something is amiss. The reforms they wanted to make, their forewarnings on corruption...were all promising. My hopes on them slowly dwindle as they allow themselves to meddle in trifle issues and all they seem to have achieved in the last one year is cement the members' own perks and priveleges. Hence the following may just be read and considered posted solely for literary interest and not to favour or agonise any of the parties...for what I felt strongly a year ago need not necessarily blind me still. I am a voter, hence I have to keep my eyes open.
A calm day thus as the grasses lay asunder;
And the trees could sway none under
The scorching sun with such threatening
A sight, none ere reckoned so frightening.

“Burn ye all!” the sky seem’d to say;
In fear did meek men cower and pray.
T’was beyond doubt the house that lends
Shelter to all would be in wrong hands.

For giants they came rolling and upturned
Leaving no woods and stones unturned.
In the name of the mighty “democracy”
With whims, hopes and dreams crazy.

The welfare of a nation well under heat,
And as all people concerned looked beat;
As it seemed lost for whatever hopes soared,
Just then, not afar five majestic lions roared!

These five lions did roar on a calm sunny day,
Shook the nation, made it’s people sing in gay.
Thank’d the triple gem for their prayers answr’d;
Thank’d the king for the democracy he usher’d.

The reins once more to the people, behold!
Weak, strong, worthy (or not) brave or bold,
A driver which out of people’s choice
Could finally be made heard of voice.

Hence the five roared to form a strong one,
It’s glory seeming nothing else could’a won.
To help democracy hold it’s roots strong,
And in the process see nothing goes wrong.

To cherish a national dream did they a party form,
Crystal clear in their goal, aspiration and norm;
Selfless contribution intended as their talents untie,
Whims of Corruption and ill-bearings utterly anti.

Noted have the lucky people of the party’s masterpiece
It’s promise to carry on a Nation with “Equity and Justice.”
Your free advice on a failed democracy well bought,
Please note to counter this have we your help sought.

The sections of the mass you chose to represent,
Even that Shakespeare of the East who is present,
Are well capable above standard as he would assert,
For all are no less than flowers in a looming desert.

The veracity of the mighty Druk Phuensum Tshogpa,
The vanity of oh my oh Druk Precious Tshogpa;
You have kept our hopes and dreams afloat,
Be assured you have earned my sincere vote!

June 9, 2009


Two old couples prayed in their ramshackle. They prayed when they were kids. They prayed when they had met. They prayed when they married. They prayed from morning till dusk. They prayed until they had grown so old and feeble. Yet again they prayed.
The One whom they prayed for looked down from heavens above. Angels danced and sang around Him in utter praise. All music sounded in despair whenever the couples made their prayers heard. The angels pranced at the din, deemed it soothing.
“Praise thee, O’Lord that Who knows all. Tell us what the couple prays about. ”
The Great one peeked from his throne to the hut below.
“The couple reminisces about how their love grew with age and cannot separate. But if they must die, the woman prays she go first for she loves him too much to bear his loss and live in his absence.”
“Oh, how touching,” the angels wept. “Pray tell us what the old man thinks.”
“The old man prays she die first.”
“But did You not say they loved each other equally,” cried the angels in unison, “Now why should he want her to die first? Very selfish, very selfish!”
“My children,” boomed the Great One, “Judge him not, for he loves his wife just as she loves him. He knows he will suffer a lot to miss the woman but knows better that she would suffer the loneliness more were he to die first. He prays they live and die together, but were it not to happen he prays she dies first for he doesn’t want her suffering the pangs of solitude he would suffer!”

"Then what plans have You for them?"
"Why, I shall douse their candles together!"