Tuesday, 11 June 2019

The contributions and Donations

 Bhutan is a Buddhist country and Bhutanese the Mahayana Buddhist practitioners.The laws of cause and effect is engraved in every Bhutanese mind and we firmly believe in it.
We strive and work hard to make a decent and better living out of it. And hence in general, Bhutanese are warm and gentle in heart, peace loving people. Because of our belief in doing good for the well being not just ourselves but all sentient beings, we try to promote and propagate the good deeds-the very teachings of Buddha and perhaps that’s why there is a stride rise in thing called Donations for instances like construction of that or this monastery or statues, recitation of this or that and so on; perhaps the easiest way to accumulate good merit is in the form of such means. Aldo we hardly question the accountability of such means. But sometimes I wonder if this is not too much? Some people blindly believe and ends up becoming victim of scams. The question is if there will ever be an end to such means or if such is leading to unfair means?  Irrespective of the purpose it serves for good or bad, these kind of acts have only lead to rise in making of easy money. People have began to take advantage of such systems and started to loot instead. The scenarios of day light beggars at thimphu town knocking each and every doors of the building by people as young as aged in mid 20s and 30s says a lot about how such means have gradually changed to this and how people have started exploiting such means. And this has a rippling effect on the genuine ones who are in real need of such schemes. 

Frankly, it’s an embarrassment to seek donations from fellow friends and colleagues even if it is genuinely required, for the good of individual or a community. For instance, from where I come from in a remote village, we are in grave need of fund for the construction of a community lhakhang (monastery). Lhakhang is an inevitable and integral part of a people in every community. It’s a place where people pay homage, seek blessings and solace, where people derive peace, keeps their faith and hopes alive. But even after four long years, the community is unable to build a decent lhakhang.  Though physically the lhakhang is built wonderfully like real Zhangdopelri the interior still lacks the required design and intricates. The monastery still need structural designs, paintings and sculptural works inside.The community people can’t do much than the physical works. Therefore we have but no option to seek external assistance and donations. As a native from the village, it has become our moral responsibility to help revive the treasure of the community. Those of us from the village, the civil servants, business men and others have done a round of collection a year ago. But that wasn’t  enough. 

Hence I have initiated to seek donations from people I know who are willing. My friends have agreed to help me. Please help us revive the glory of the community. Please help the fellow people of our village regain their pride. If you are interested to help in any way, let me know and contact me. The donations howsoever small the amount may be shallnot go to waste. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Being part of Aviation Family

It has been more than five years now being part of an aviation family. There are many things to talk about, appreciate and celebrate about. There are also some rough and sad memories which has often led me question the very decision and choice I made to be part of this family, this organization in the first place. But that’s not what I am gonna wrote about.

The biggest perk of working in an airport is that you get to witness a lot of things. Airport is a big gateway to different worlds. We see all the kinds of people. It’s heartening to see people with warm smile as they step out of the aircraft door to breathe in the fresh and clean air of our country and enjoy the scenic beauty of Paro. The beautiful portrait of His majesty the king, queen and the Gyalsey at the front of Arrival terminal adds another charm. The portrait depicts the very glimpse of how peaceful, harmonious and happy as a society we exist, how we are guided by the principle of gross national happiness, although Bhutan is a tiny country sandwiched between the two giants. The occasional opportunity that we get to seek the blessings from many Rinpoches travelling to and fro is yet another perk to be proud of. Of course it’s sometimes sad and heartbreaking to witness sick and old on the stretcher on board. While some come back fully recovered with smiles unfortunately others comes as a mere cargo in the coffin back to the country. 

The most remarkable moment was the opportunity to see his majesty the great fourth in person. How unfortunate that I have only seen the great fourth in television and in kupars till now. I feel blessed, fortunate and happy. His majesty doesn’t walk on the red carpet, looks so humble yet powerful and majestic. We are indeed fortunate to be born in the land of drukyul under the dynamic and farsighted leaderships of Wangchuk dynasty.  We all know how much his majesty the great fourth has done for Bhutan and Bhutanese people. We are forever grateful and the best service that we can do in return is to be true to ourself bounded by lay jumdrey and tha damtsi. We don’t have to do extraordinary thing. Simple and basic things done with full conviction and dedication is all that is required. May your majest live long for eons. 

Moments like this gives us that extra energy to keep going, keep doing what’s best for not just yourself, but others as well. It provides us that extra push needed to propel through the usual drags that this life has to offer. It doesn’t deter or matters little even if it’s waking up as early as 0300 am or working late till mid night. It makes you you feel proud instead. Such is the power of good and encouraging moments in one’s life. We don’t need grand favors to be pro active in life, we only need small ones but genuine and real. But this real life ain’t something that works on one’s whims and wishes. The real life is sometimes strange and sometimes an unsolved mystery and we gotta understand it. 

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Mother’s Day Special

My mother like other isn’t educated but she has the most wholesome education that anyone could have. My mother isn’t rich like others but she has richest heart, willing to give anything she has. She is not one among those fortunate ones to go school and get education. She would have wanted to study and be someone on her life, but the fate has something else in store. Her father passed away when she wasn’t even ten years old. Imagine growing up under the hands of a single parent? Keep aside the education, she have had tough  time even to arrange a day’s meal.  But this disadvantage has only made her stronger I believe. She never confide us the story about the tragic loss of our grand father. We would silently enquire father others about it; perhaps she knew the pain and that it was best to remain with herself. Perhaps her biggest fault was not to share the pain with us.

Despite these odds, she stood firm and today she is a proud mom of five of us siblings. Despite being illiterate, she has never failed to give me (us) the advices that are essential in our life, she has never failed to impart the important values of cause and effect ( ལས་རྒྱུ་འབྲས) and loyalty (ཐ་དམ་ཚིག), the importance of being honest and true to yourself and to others, the importance of being friendly and polite, in other words the education that are more important than that we get books. I am forever grateful.

I still wonder like what my mom would be had she the opportunity to study? Her plight for education hasn’t died even after 60 years of age. Her interest and enthusiasm to learn to read and write at least in Dzongkha is still afresh and burning. That’s why last year she decided to get enrolled herself to NFE ( non-formal education) despite the works back at village, so that at least she can do morning and evening prayers. For  now she is doing pretty fine. What can I ask more than this? I feel proud and happy to see my mom reading and writing whom she thought once was impossible for her thanks to NFE programme under ministry of education. 

There is one moment that I still remember to this day also although it’s bit unclear. I only remember the crying part for not being able to admit to school. It was perhaps when I was 6 years of age, when my mom took me For class PP admission. I was considered too young to be enrolled for the school and the principal denied my admission. My mom and her cousin  sister who also took her son was also rejected. They jointly threatened the principal (I don’t know how) that they will leave two of us at the school and then we both got admitted that year. That was the mother’s magic moment. Anyway, I don’t know if this was the reason that we both got enrolled to the school or  there was others. Had she not against the decision of school authority, I wonder where I would be now? I wonder if she would have  bothered to seek admission the next year (I know she would have).

 So thank you mom for all you did and are still doing.Thank you fir all your fervent prayers and wishes. Thank you thank you. (Thanks to dad also by the way ....:p ) 

Saturday, 11 May 2019

When religion become bone of contention

Bhutan may be one of few countries where the constitution of Country gives people the freedom to practice any kind of religion. But just because we have that privilege doesn’t mean we have the right to criticize, defame  or make derogatory comments about others. It’s not only wrong but also kinda infringement of other’s choice and right, so to say. Do what ever you want or think what ever you like, but please don’t bother about what others are doing. I don’t think it’s even a bussiness of yours. Like the Dalai Lama says: “ if you can’t help, atleast don’t harm others”

Lately the social media is so full of shit about Rimpoches and khenpos, attacking them with so many derogatory comments. If we silently witness, some are just beating the bush around, following like a sheep, without even analyzing. How sad that the social media has become a platform to spread and promote such antagonistic wave of hatred and division. The very purpose of social media - to connect for goodis defeated. I wonder how people derive happiness being part of a bandwagon that only promote division, disharmony and unhappiness in a society through such means. A very small society like Bhutan cannot afford division through such negativities. The fact that the constitution grants freedom to practicing any kind of religion should instead bear the fruits of harmonious and porous society, but the sad reality is such freedom is often being being misused for all the wrong reasons, for personal gains, for chauvinistic purpose and so on. 

I am not defending anyone; I just cannot, for it’s the choice of an individual but what we ought to know as a human being in the first place is the basic rights and responsibilities. We are all bounded by certain choices and privileges which are solely ours. It’s sad that the Bhutanese whom we are branded as the happiest people on earth to the outside world have such infections instead. Everyone know how the religion is being used as means to divide and create problems in society. The obvious example is in the Middle East where religion is used to instil fear, wedge war and  invoke terror.That’s why it’s so dangerous to bring religion in the forefront of contention. Religion should instead heal people, bridge different views to a common ground but by and large, religion is becoming a bone of contention inviting hatred and disillusionment among the people, among the sections of communities. Does this indicate the degradation of our generation? Perhaps! 

At the end of day what matters is how good are we for ourself and not about others. It’s how fair and just we are for ourself first. When you point one finger to others, three are pointing back at you. Other’s is of a least concern to us as long as it doesn’t affect or concerns us. Ultimately why accumulate bad karma for ourselves unnecessarily? With this i beseech the almighty to forgive all those whose judgements are clouded by hatred and arrogance. I wish they find peace and happiness despite all these negativities. May the good prevail and overcome these hurdles (བར་ཆད) May the truth find wings to soar higher and further. May those unfortunate ones instead be blessed and cleansed of their negative emotions. May dharma flourish ever higher for greater good. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Re-living College days

Do you ever miss your college days? Those days when you get to experience all kinds that the life has to offer, some of which makes you wiser and smarter. Some of which moulds  you to being a good human. And some of which hits you hard until you realize it was but a big blunder. College life is one juncture of life that is full of memories both good and bad; One point of a life when you live like the whole world belongs to you, and you are the most carefree person with little tension and worry, with little or no responsibility at all, you have hell lot of time for leisure, perhaps the most cherished one although with less luxuries.  By the time you graduate, you have the enough resource to get on with life. You become matured both physically and mentally. Perhaps that’s why People often say college life as a golden period of their life.The mid night assignments and last hour preparations for the semester examination, the maximum hours of your time glued to television series on laptop screen, the unending flirts and chats on various social media, the meager amount of stipend that you survive on and the times of boring lecture periods at the back of benches some how moulds you to be ready to face the real world of quacks and qualms. It tests you to thrive through the sands of harsh and unfair realities. The years of grilling through project works and assignments make you find joys even in the midst of tough and rough times. The wide range of experiences that we go through in college day in a way prepares us to tackle and face the world after wards.

For me in particular, college life has been an eye opening experience. As a young kid coming from the remote and thick jungles, the crowded and polluted streets of an Indian town almost came as a shock, but despite that I learnt to assimilate and adjust for that’s what I learnt al least from the jungles while living with the cattle in rains and sun and storms.  The soaring temperatures above 40 degree Celsius only made it worse. But it was all worth i would say. Four years of engineering course is not a short one but in a good environment with right friends time flies so fast. We had seniors who helped and cared like own family, juniors who respected and we existed like a giant family. Even after the college days, we often get-together and find time to relive and share the memories from past and present. Despite all of us being settled with own families, priorities and work, we still try to come together over cup of tea or over glass of beer through occasions like the baby showers. It’s nice to re-live those moments, visit those good lanes of memories we have had as a family in the college.

 Just recently we had a good time in one of our friend’s house. Over cases of bear and wine, we talked a lot from school times to college to present stage where we are all scattered in different world of work. As saying on Dzongkha goes on: ཆང་མར་འཛུལ་གཏམ་ཡར་མཐོན་(as the wine (alcohol) goes down, talks come up). The secrets and stories were shared and we had actually an amazing moment even if were for a moment. It was almost 0200 am by the time we departed. Even the bottles of beer that we drank was gone. But the good quality time we have had, the moments that we rejoiced would remain in one corner of our hearts. 

Monday, 6 May 2019

Mail man

Do you remember we had someone called a mail man back in the days before the coming of communication gadgets? I fondly remember during our school days when we used to eagerly wait for the mail in a beautiful envelopes from the mail man each week. The head teacher (principals now) or the warden those days would scan the mail received for the week and dispense to the students gathered infront of the hostel some of who received  from their beloved friends and families from different Schools. We would be really sad  and disappointed if we didn’t receive a single envelope addressed to us while other friends would receive handful. Those time it was also a usual practice to receive mail from an unknown friend seeking a friendship from different school. Oh!! how a beautiful memory! Now the world of communication is changed drastically. We have social media and messaging apps to communicate. Hardly is there so- called love letters among the girls and boys in school. Instead mobile phone calls, social media and dating apps have replaced it conveniently. I remember friends being beaten up and shamed in the morning assembly by the teachers because of their involvement in love letter exchange, imagine that was in primary school!

After coming up of gadgets like telephone, mobile phones and now smart phones, it has killed the mailing system almost to the extinction! We have emails now that takes only a fraction of second to pass information. Is there a charm? I don’t know. The very charm of mail system in those days was the fact that it was manned on his back on foot  and seeing the smiles on the face of those who received. It was a difficult specially during the monsoon season when the mail man had to overcome all the hurdles of rain, floods and swollen rivers. The mail man is a defunct post now. How sad! How sad that the children of this generation will never experience the beauty of such a system that once ruled the communication world. This is but a change we must accept ultimately. 

 If you want to experience a pinch of those bygone days, live without a mobile phone for a day. It will be hard, really hard indeed as we are all tuned to and ruled by the privilege of such gadgets. These have become the very life line of our lives. I experienced one time a few days ago, of course not by the choice but by sheer accident. I forgot my mobile charger at Thimphu the previous evening and by lunch time next day, the battery was dead. At that instant I decided to stay for one day without phone and see what it feels like without it. I decided not to borrow friend’s charger as well.  
By evening it almost felt like I was suffering from some kinda disease, like something was missing, I felt restless and impatient, even the television didn’t take my time. The day seemed too long. It was by around 9 pm that I decided to charge my phone as it reached by that the time. Such is our life without phone now. See our kids today how they easily catch up to fiddle and the time they spend with phones and tabs. It’s sad that they spend more time with such gadgets than a quality time with parents. 
Well, it can’t be argued that the invention of such gadgets have made our life better and easier, however we can’t deny the negative effects it has brought along with it. We can’t ignore the fact that some of the obvious cause of common life style disease like obesity and  depression are also very much linked. 

The post of mail man maybe a defunct one, but it has been one of the essential part of developmental process in our country. A thing to be cherished and remember. 



Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Mirroring Life

Life isn’t always bad and disappointing. Obviously it’s short, but we have enough to bounce back and get along. It doesn’t always disappoint and discourage you. Despite the usual (as we perceive) hurdles and ugly circumstances, there are beauty behind that bars of belittles and betrayals, hope and redemption behind the losses, solace and symphathy behind that stress; smile behind the sadness. It’s from these little things that keeps our head and hopes high, that makes this short span of our life beautiful, that makes all the difference in how we take on life; that keeps us hooked and enagaged. Life isn’t bad after all.

It also doesn’t alsways fail to amuse and amaze you. Despite the constant falling down the dungeon of desperation and desolation, you still got that desire to dance back to the tunes of your favour. It’s a matter of choice that we make after all. Choice is though an illusion between those with power and those without. I often wonder if this life is fair at all and if it’s but blessing or a curse? And the answer is always vague. Perhaps that’s the fact. Time is a great healer. Despite all the odds and failures, there is something that drives us to strive harder, something that consoles us that it’s gonna be alright; that when one door closes another opens; and that we only need to be bit more patient and obidient. There is something that always give courage and inspires us and this is the very beauty of this life. We only need to mirror deep to see the other side of stories that defines our life.