Sunday, 28 April 2013

Unforgettable Incident

It seems I am writing too much about my college life lately and I am sorry if it has become a monotonous and a usual one for those of you who read my blog. But these are some of the most exciting moments I would like remember and cherish now and later in my life. We create so many memories in our life for every moment is but a memory. Some gets forever printed in our hearts and minds, some just remain for time being, some triggers tears in our eyes and makes us emotional, some brings smile and laughter the moment we think about it and there are others which disappoints and make us cold, in fact these are what complete the very spices of so-called life (to me at least!)

Well, this time I have a mixture of all these; the even semester of 2013 (my last semester) ended formally on 26th April with the last class and surprisingly it wasn’t over for me and my class mates! The HOD (head of department) called all the students in conference hall on Thursday; because maximum of my friends were short of attendance (75%) in one of the subjects, we were made to attend the class during the weekends, i.e. yesterday and today as a punishment. It was divided into slot1 to slot6. Slot1s were to attend 2hours lecture and two hours practical class. Slot2s were to attend two hours lecture and four hours practical class. My name was in slot3 which means I had to attend eight longs hours of classes (2hours lecture and 6 hours practical classes!). I was shocked to know about it because I attended pretty good number of classes, and at the very last moment I am equivalent to those who attended just a single digit number of class in whole semester and this was certainly unfair and frustrating in the final days of the college and that too after the normal classes was formally over, but was left with no other options.

So I attended the monotonous two hours of lecture class (from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM), the subject teacher also seemed frustrated and upset (perhaps he had wonderful plan for weekend!) for it indicated the very ineffectiveness of himself as teacher. Then from 2:00PM to 6:00PM I had the practical class. Unfortunately everyone was late by about fifteen minutes which infuriated the madam (another teacher who had to follow orders of boss) and she extended the duration from 2:30 to 6:30 PM, which was another blow to us!
I tried to utilize the four hours time wisely. It was after the tiring practical class that a funny thing happened. Everyone is required to keep their slippers or Shoe outside the door on the rack to go inside the Lab. I kept my slipper on the second row rack and when I returned back, it was gone. May be some body mistakenly took as their, but there wasn't even one left on the rack! Well, it’s completely fine to lost a few hundred’s slipper,(it was normal Kitu slipper) what felt uneasy and weird was to walk barefoot from the college to hostel, I walked barefoot for a while and felt good in fact. I immediately remembered one of my uncle back at home who never used shoe or slipper since he was born and can walk anywhere; through the cold ice or over the thorny bushes at worst. Some of my friends were making fun, some were pity I guess but I was completely fine. I was happy and ready to walk all the way to hostel, but a  friend mine asked a biker to give me lift till hostel premise.

Back at room the incident kept me thinking about so many things, I asked if I did anything wrong to upset someone or if I have hurt someone to earn hatred. well, I certainly don't remember anything as such. Anyway I may forget other but yesterday’s incident will be an exception for sure.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Rukhsat 2K13 and Random Thoughts

It was just 11:30 PM (IST), I was reminiscing my day which was Rukhsat 2K13 (farewell for 2013 batch students of the college) looking at the pictures that were taken, my eyes were drooping, perhaps because I did not take nap during the day which I usually do for a while. I shut down my laptop and went to bed, but again I was taken aback to the moments of memories, the sleep got lost! So I was there lying on the bed like a lonely log in the middle of forest, eyes wide open staring at the ceiling, my mind racing with emotions and sentiments. I looked back about the college life, how it started, how it was about to end now and which part I was going to miss a lot. I have always been impatient as to when this will end, because I needed to do a lot like other friends who in my eyes are doing so good and which I envy, I needed to get a decent job like them and help my parents who has been struggling and still does and educate my siblings, but the time seemed still and that has made me so impatient. But having been able to wait and manage whatever came through up to now I was quite happy and satisfied.
.
College life is just the pro- beginning (not even beginning!) of everything in life. I reminded myself the last part of director sir’s speech who said at the opening of the function: “As a teacher, our speeches are never ended without advice and I have only two at this moment:
1. Serve your parents well for they are source of everything for you, what you are now is the very product of their hardships, dreams and aspirations.
2. Remember your institution (college) for this is where you start with everything in life.
Best of luck with the professional life ahead” It was short and sweet speech by the director sir. 

Then I look ahead, and all I could see was a shallow mist, an unclear clouded path, so many boulders to cross over, I realized the cross of one boulder only takes one before another; that the end of one is just the beginning of another set and that I was just at the beginning! A sudden pang of sadness crossed my mind, I felt tired and hopeless. What if I am unable to cross over the next boulder? What if I encounter mishaps along the way? What if I am unable to serve my parents and siblings, whom I owe so much? I thought about life, which we spent more than half of it studying only to start with as a new one. One thought lead to another and the sleep seemed to be gone forever. I tried to ignore, it was hard.  I tried to think about how it felt to wear our national dress in the foreign land  (a proud moment though) and how friends are fancied by the unique dress of Bhutanese. I tried to stop worrying about myself with flux of these feelings which haven’t even come yet.

 “Let me first complete my college life completely with a good result, and then deal with whatever comes” I consoled myself and took a notebook of notes written in some lecture class, read for a while until I was able to bring back the vanished sleep.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

My Thoughts on 2nd National Council Election

Bhutan underwent the election of its national council (the upper House of review) members for the second time on 23rd April 2013(yesterday). By evening, I was very active on twitter where there were quick updates about the result of day’s election. And the result was both interesting and surprising.

Source: BBS
Out of 14 incumbent members who resigned before their first term to re-contest, only six of them got re-elected, which really means that Bhutanese people are matured enough to exercise their own rights and responsibilities; that they had the taste of so-called democracy; that they are silently and constantly watched, judged and scrutinized; that one can hardly rely on the advantage of  incumbency.

The result also shows that it doesn't really matter how much one is qualified or experienced at some particular profession. If you are unable to deliver and live up to the expectations of the public, there isn’t any warranty that such traits will be upheld. This is evident by the loss of contestants like Dr Jagar Dorji of Trongsa and Aum Pema Lhamo of Zhemgang, who were but amongst the least secured votes.

The second election of the national council also has one very interesting fact; the women voter turnout was reported to be more than men, while during the result declaration time, there wasn’t even one woman who got elected! So the second national council will have to go without women candidate and this really contradicts the very vibe of Bhutanese society about empowering women and equalizing gender differences. I even joked about this on twitter: "Perhaps it was the application of the physics law of attraction for unlike charges and repulsion for like charges!"  But on the other hand, this speaks Volume about the citizens making their own choice following their own heart and instinct, as to who really will benefit at the end of day. This is really the talk of equity and justice; it’s important to have equal participation of both gender, but more important is to have participation of equally competent, capable and loyal ones, maybe this time the women contestants were short of these traits in the eyes of the voters.

This election also foretells the very nature as to how the 2nd election of National Assembly will look like. People might (or might not) have made mistakes in the past, but now it seems it won’t be repeated, they are ready to mend. And this only means a better participation, a better democracy.

With the 2nd national council elections successfully completed, thanks to election commission of Bhutan, the media, and Voters, hope there will be new and better ideas from the new faces. Congratulations and Trashi Delek to all the elected members.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Day to remember: Thank you guys

Life is unfair says some, but it is not always; we either fail to realize or see for and it’s not always visible or tangible. It was a mere excitement when I first stepped this place. I still feel that innocence. The tiring and sleepless 24hrs train journey from Hashimara to Allahabad Junction on Mahananda express is still vivid and I feel nostalgic! The place was noisy and filthy and I felt bad after suddenly experiencing a stark change of environment.  Its awkward to remember the first time taste of food in Uptron, when Roshan took us under the scorching sun; I almost puke when I saw how the people out there prepare and serve us. The funny thing is now it is the favorite food place for all of us. I also remember the first taste of water (iron taste) at Home restaurant just eight of us that very evening. It was 7th September 2009.

When I flash back to all those time and after wards, I feel nostalgic and hardly do I remember the bad or sad times. I feel the time has flipped so fast. There was always someone around to talk with, to share the burdens and problems, I never felt lonely or alone. And this is the very simple evidence to show that life out here with you guys was wonderful and awesome!

Bhutanese MNNITians
I don’t know if our batch, four of us has done the justice of being seniors (or friends or whatever) to you all, but still we (I) would like to believe that we have done our best.  Yes there was frictions along the way, I believe that it was all for the good, and that it only means  we all care for each other.

Well, the time we spent together may be just a chapter, the memories we created together will one day remind us all with smiles. The trips we have made together, the fun we had in the playground like small primary kids, the meals we have in the midst of broke and the rendering of helping hand no matter what, says it all and list goes on. I have never realized the real friendship before; yes friendship is more than just being together! It is beyond mere physical contact we make. And frankly speaking, I feel fortunate to have got friends like you all.

Coming to the 13th April’s day, frankly I have no exact words to describe; it was really unexpected. And I think the day proved and said it all; the bond of friendship we value; the kind of persons we are as an individual and the sense of pride we have for each other. The rule of compulsory performances by every individual was interesting. Perhaps that was the most fair and just opportunity for all of us to showcase the latent talent. The welcome dance by karma and Chenga was the most creative and I really loved and enjoyed fully. Jewan’s hosting was smooth. Yenten’s talk of ground reality without hesitation made me realize one new thing, while Ram’s formality showed the kind of respect we have for each other, Damcho and Kinley’s song took us to the another world of romance! Cheten’s speech reminded us the very important message, the guitarist Jamyang enthralled us all and Sonam’s tear made all sent-y for a while. So all the more it was wholly an adventurous mixture of moments. The day was rather a summary, in fact a very good reminder to all of us.

Thank you all very much for creating a wonderful and memorable chapter in the book of our (my) life.  Life may not favor such times in future; yet, I am sure every one of us will remember the episode of our stay together, and this page is just to remind you all that life with guys were memorable, will be missed and cherished forever.

(PS: Sorry for the delayed Post guys!)

Thank You and Adieu for Now

Coinciding with Zhabdrung Kuchoe (20th April) the first parliamentary elected government dissolved. What a coincidence! Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was a great saint who is the very father of unified Bhutan, whose death was announced only after 25 years.

Five years back, on 24th march 2008, the first parliamentary election was held in Bhutan. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) robbed off a landslide victory with 45 seats leaving just the two seats for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as an opposition. It was a record in the history of the democracy with the smallest opposition. Yet the opposition wasn't that weak when it came to delivering its mandate as an opposition, voicing for the voiceless.

Today as we flashback five years of Bhutan’s test with so called democracy, it has been pretty exciting! I feel Bhutanese people have learnt so much from five year experience. It is perhaps the best time to ask our self questions like: Where do we stand as a nation?  Did we root a strong foundation for the Democracy?  Did we make the right choice by giving 45 seats to the DPT? Could it have been better?

Well, personally I feel the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) has done an impressive job as the first ever elected government, although there some very important and grave mistakes along the way which some sections of the society disapproved and condemned so strongly. And for all the good works they have done, it deserves applause, an appreciation after all it is the very product of our own choice and hence it becomes necessary to accept this fact and be thankful for all the good precedence they have set.

More than rejoicing and celebrating the success or regretting and brooding over the river that is already under the bridge, I feel it is the right time to look ahead, learn from the mistakes (if any) and ensure our self that such mistakes are not repeated and filter the goods from bad.  It is in fact a very perfect moment to do our own ratings. It is the collective responsibility of everyone as a responsible citizen who loves our country dearly.

With this I would like to extend my deepest appreciation and congratulations to the first ever elected government and the opposition. No matter what good or bad you have done, it’s all past now, the future is right in front of us to accept the challenge. Time will tell everything, we just have to wait and watch!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Thank You ABSA

Four years ago, when I was in first year there were just eight of us (Bhutanese) here at Allahabad, and we were with Nepalese fraternity then. We (freshers) were formally received and welcomed by the Bhutanese-Nepali fraternity, I felt homely surrounded by generous seniors and there wasn't even a drop of homesick or stress that fall upon me. We also had a simple farewell night for the pass out students the same year. It was at hotel Milan (civillines). Each outgoing seniors shared their experiences of the stay out here. I (as an audience) could feel the excitement and sense of satisfaction and the sentiments they have had. I silently asked myself then: “When will my day come? When will I pass out?” I felt four years was too long and that the time was not moving at all. I did not realize until Sunday night when I was standing on the podium, when we were warmly invited for the Farewell night by the Allahabad Bhutanese Students Association (ABSA). It seems four years has gone in a blink and that it was just yesterday when I first walked this place.

Allahabad Bhutanese student Association (ABSA) has just been started and I feel happy for being its member since its inception. It was started with less than 30 students and now we have more than 50 members which is a pretty good number. The beauty that defines ABSA as an Association is the cooperation and respect we have for each other, the sense of belonging as one family, the helping hand we have in times of need and the moral responsibility we all bear in mind as an ambassadors in foreign land.  We also have quite a number of in-service members to guide and advice us who, despite their family and children back at home are managing so well with youngsters and that’s so inspiring and encouraging.

And the Sunday’s night summarized it all! The kind and generous gesture the ABSA fraternity has shown was wonderful; the entertainment programs were all interesting and creative. It will be cherished throughout. Although the time we have spent together has not been quantitatively concrete, yet I am sure the quality time we spent together in both formal and informal gatherings has left in everyone’s heart a memorable picture that will be remembered throughout our life.

With this I would like to extend my heartfelt thank and appreciation to the entire members of ABSA for the  kind and generous gesture shown to us (me) as an outgoing member. I have enjoyed every program. I am also happy with the election of the next executive members, which was purely democratic. Hope the ABSA will soar higher than ever and the Bhutanese fraternity will continue with the same spirit in the days to come.

At the same time, if ever I have done something wrong that might have directly or indirectly hurt anyone of you, I would like to take this chance to beg pardon and take back all those negative impressions. I take only the good memories and yes, the time we spent together will be missed, but nevertheless it will be forever printed and remembered. 

Thank You All...

Tshewang Dorji


Monday, 8 April 2013

Retain Rights, Revamp Responsibilities

On April 3rd, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa party announced its first ever Slogan teaser competition on its Fan page to make the interactions livelier and to stimulate our imagination on the yet another exciting democratic process unfolding in our country. I was curious to participate. I thought for a while; considering all the circumstances that DPT as a party is going through; with so many of its high profile members in the headlines of media for involvement in various scams. I was thinking in my small views as to what DPT should counter think and be concerned with, to make people believe that they are being dilated if not misinformed; that DPT really is a cause for the Tsa-wa Sum; that DPT is NOT what media and various critics think of; that DPT is genuine with rendering its services, commitments and responsibilities. It is a critical Juncture! That’s when I came with this slogan: “Retain Rights, Revamp responsibilities” which happened to be the winner of the contest.

Yes, if DPT has maligned its own name, it must prove and back all the good things that they have done past five years. It must also accept the fact that there are certain things which the majority portion of society claims failure and they must accept it with dignity and aim to revamp to the higher and better levels.

 With the second parliamentary election of the country nearing the date, a lot of good and bad things seem to be happening in various parts of the country. Although I am in another land, thanks to the various social media like face book and twitter, I can feel every beat and breath of vibes; hear every rhythm of vibrations, the excitements, the struggles, the hue and cries and the various sentiments. Politics seem to be the talk everywhere. It’s interesting to learn about the political fray the country is going through. New parties are struggling to get potential and capable candidates, while the old  are consolidating and expanding their horizon, exchanging the party tickets. There is rumor in every matters, some are serious and very much concerning, while others are casual and mere comic. What does all this mean? To me, it only means that Bhutanese people are serious about their own welfare, that the people now understand the very concept of rights, roles and responsibilities and that its just the beginning and we still have bigger pie to taste in the times to come.

I feel any ruling government is under the very scrutiny of a large number of audiences and critics. Take examples like India and USA. And that’s but very fact and good for it only means a commitment to better function and coordination. It only means a better and larger view after all democracy is about not only knowing our own rights, but our responsibilities too.

Well, I am honoured to be the first ever winner of the Slogan teaser contest; I hope the DPT will consider the simple thoughts of an ordinary mind and that it will deliver and revamp its commitments keeping the rights of people intact. All the best!...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Will I ever fall in Love again?

As she scrolls down the News Feed page of Face book on her laptop, Dema comes across a photo of her friend at the intermediate school with her lovely husband married recently in their best attire with Khadars (white scarf) all around their shoulders. “Oh! Perfect matching” envies Dema. She pictures herself into that frame but sees a big shadow, she sees the pain instead, a big doubt, because she knows in her own sense that her future is but a bleak. A cold gust of guilt and haplessness runs down her nerves. She tries to forget but the picture provokes her. The more she sees it, the more she becomes edgy and sad. “Why is there impartiality in love? Why can’t we have our own choice? Why stereotypical norms and caste system in the society? When we can love why can’t we continue forever?” She wonders.

She enviously presses the Like button below the picture and scrolls down the page. She comes across a status update which says: “Yesterday is but a history, tomorrow a mystery while today is a gift, which is why we call it, the present”. This beams Dema’s face, because the lines reassures and consoles her bitterly wounded heart. It takes away the pain and shallow future she was picturing herself a moment ago. Why should I brood about the future, for it is but uncertain? She then thinks of her past which has been wonderful, (at least) after Arjun came to her life; she is taken back to the good times they shared which they still do (for the moment though).

The first time Dema bumped into him was on her way to the academic hall one afternoon. Then they met in person during the dance practice for the annual cultural festival of the college. Arjun was then in second year while Dema herself was in first year. Arjun was a cool and smart guy. So many college girls were after him. And Dema was one of them. It was love at first sight. He was everything a girl could ever desire and dream of.
Arjun was born and raised to a typical Indian family of caste and creed. The family respects the age old tradition and culture. His father in particular- a prominent and respected figure of the town maintains and strictly expects the family to keep up their name without disruption. He is strongly against the marriage of any of his family member with outside community of theirs. This necessitates Arjun to be abided by the ethics and codes of his own after all it’s a family. As for Dema, the so-called Love has blinded her very priorities and realities. Her family may not be totally against such harsh conditions for ultimately it is her life, yet it all comes  with so many social disgrace and difficulties.

And Love neither has creed or caste, nor distinction of any kind like country, culture or haves and have-nots. Fortunately or unfortunately Arjun also couldn’t resist his feelings for her after a month of dance practice with her. He was overwhelmed by the beauty and simplicity of Dema. He never missed a day for practice that was held daily in the evening after the class. That was how their feelings for each other bloomed with each passing day until they became inseparable. This makes her smile and reminds of how much she finds peace under Arjun’s arm and how a beautiful life can be for two perfectly matched hearts.

It is almost three years now that they have been together. Together they have sailed both good and bad times, together they watched movies, had meals in one plate, went shopping, studied, laughed and even cried together knowing the uncertain and clouded future as one. They can’t imagine the life they will lead after the college life; separated by miles of mountains and valleys knowing not even if they will ever meet once. Sometimes she even wishes if she can stop or amend the tick of time and the typical norms of this real world.

As the days of college knocks the end, Dema can’t think of the future that waits, because she knows in her heart that even if her parents accept, Arjun’s would never. She knows that her time with Arjun will just be a chapter of her life. Therefore she is into living the present trying hard  not to think of the future. Of course she is afraid to accept the realities of life that will unfold; she is ready to face it.

Meanwhile the bottom left bar of the Face book page is popped with several ‘Hi’ and ‘Hellos’, some are her friends and others are strangers; she ignores them all, logs off the Face book and asks herself: “Will I ever fall in Love again?”

Monday, 1 April 2013

A for April Fool

“Tok tok…..Tok tok….. Sir someone is seriously injured and unconscious; we need your help, you need to come” It was 5:00 AM in the morning and N Buddhan sir was disturbed by that incessant knock on his door. He reluctantly got from the bed to the door; when he heard about one of his students being injured; his sleep instantly vanished. It was Dorji Phuntsho, one of his students in class VIII. “What happened?” asked Buddhan sir.
“Sir you need to go to football ground, one student is unconscious” added Dorji Phuntsho vehemently.

That was how my science teacher- Mr N Budhhan sir,who was also the health-In-charge, was brought to the morning PT (Physical Training) by one of his students, my batch- Dorji Phuntsho back in the year 2004 on this day at Minjiwoong Lower Secondary School under Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag. Recall this: Every boarding schools in Bhutan has a thing called morning PT before the day begins; where the games captain and other school captains coordinates and which is compulsory for all students to take part except those below class three or two. The peaceful sleep of students is disturbed by the noisy sound of Wessel early in the morning. I still remember those times at primary school, of course the bitter ones like how the captains of the school used to guard at the door. If we were late by just a second, we would be whipped by rough belts (or Keras) on our back! That was the power of captains in the primary schools.

Anyways, to continue the story, Dorji Phuntsho, who is a teacher himself now in one of the schools in Pemagatshel, accompanied sir to the football ground, where every other student were in full swing with the usual morning exercise. Each student was vigil on that day as no one wants to be fooled around by their friends; hence the students were aware that the day was April fool day except sir himself who was completely taken by the news of injured and unconscious student. When sir enquired about someone being injured, everyone shouted: “April Fool”

He seemed angry at first (we could make from his reaction!) for being lied by his own student. Who wants to be fooled anyway? But still he kept aside and forced a broad smile. He then joined the students into morning PT for an hour and even taught us some tips for the morning exercise.

I don’t know if that’s even right and if the day really is about making others fool. I Google-ed and the following is what I got:

 “April fool’s day, sometimes called All Fool’s day is one of the most lighted-days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of new Calendar. The most commonly cited theory holds that it dates from 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian calendar, which shifted the observance of New  Year’s Day from the end of March (around the time of the vernal equinox) to the first of January.
According to popular lore some folks, out of ignorance, stubbornness, or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1 and were made the butt of jokes and pranks on account of their  foolishness. This became an annual tradition, according to this version of events, which ultimately spread throughout Europe. A major weakness of the Calendar-change theory is that it fails to account for the historical record replete with traditions linking this time of the year to merriment and tomfoolery dating all the way back to antiquity.
          Another explanation of the origins of the April fool’s day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman Emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed edict calling for absurdity on that day and the custom became an annual event..”
                  
“Let us be thankful for the the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed” ~Mark Twain