Saturday, 19 April 2014

BOB Incident


Have you ever felt that Bank of Bhutan is deceiving you? I don’t know if it is legally and corporately right about this: charging double for lending an ATM card. Did you ever experience with Bank of Bhutan officials where you were charged double while getting your ATM cards issued after you open a saving account? It happened with me at Paro BOB branch office. I maybe wrong and if I am, I beg my pardon; otherwise I really can’t imagine where the money is going. Although it is just two hundred bucks, how many people are there availing this service?
It was a month ago when I accompanied my sister who was opening saving account. I was her witness. We filled the form duly and the counter lady told us to get the ATM card issued, pointing to a gentleman with white gho who was perhaps an IT personnel.  We were quite happy that ATM card was being issued instantly. It was saving of time for not only us as customer, but also for them. The white man called us to his office, entered something in his desktop and took out an ATM card from his drawer. He made my sister sign and handed over the card to her. He then asked us to pay Nu. 200/- . At first I wasn’t that serious because I thought he was flirting with my sister. I pretended as if I did not care. My sister was serious and getting her purse from her hand bag; In between, I interrupted and said:
 “Seriously sir, because I did not pay at Thimphu; the BOB cuts from the account balance na or is it different here?”
And he was laughing hysterically saying that ATM cards don’t come free of cost as if I was dumb ass and do not know. I told that the money is already deposited in the account and that they can cut from that deposited amount; which is done with Thimphu BOB office. But he was adamant. Then he started lecturing me that it was company’s rule, it is what they do and that we had to pay by any means. There weren’t any logic and concrete reasons. Why do we have to pay double? Any way I did not argue much and let my sister pay, for it was just two hundred bucks.
Then it was again recently where the same thing happened with my cousin brother at the same BOB branch office.
It was completely different when I created my BOB account in the June month at Thimphu BOB headquarter. I deposited some cash that very day and when I got ATM card after about two weeks, I found my balance being de-credited with Nu. 200/- . That was when I knew we had to pay Ngultrum two hundred for domestic visa ATM card. 

Is this not confusing? Perhaps we are made to pay double when we are availed with card instantly. Otherwise what sense does it make? Or is it because there it is head office and here it is just branch office?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Phallus Tower

There is famous Eiffel tower at Paris in France which is the symbol of love, where people from across the world visits to rejuvenate and celebrate their love. Who doesn’t dream about the visiting and experience such beautiful moments in such a majestic monument? Similarly in India we have beautiful Taj Mahal, also a symbol of everlasting love built by the great mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his dear wife Mumtaz Mahal. And this has left me thinking like what about something like the Phallus tower in Bhutan? Ever thought about it? Would it ever do justice with its engraved reasons behind?  Would it serve its very purpose?

We have unique culture, customs and traditions, which for the centuries has kept us in the shower of peace and happiness and which has ensured the very sovereignty and independence. Phallus is nothing new or different. It has a deep religious connection and symbolism in Bhutan.  The exciting stories about its significance are heard and known through the biography of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, famously called the divine mad-man. Its painting and wooden sculpted pictures are found in every door and walls of the Bhutanese households. It is believed to ward-off the evils and devils. So something like phallus tower in Bhutan would not only keep intact our preserved culture and beliefs, it would also protect us from the evils…lol

With the country going through rough path economically, something like this would be very helpful and viable! It would attract huge number of visitors, the foreigners in particular who are so curious about such unique existence in our country.


PS: this is an elaborate response to a conversation with Yangchen C Rinzin, kuensel reporter at Phuntsholing in twitter (@yrinzin) who came up about #phallus_tower topic a week ago.