Sunday, 30 January 2022

Remembering Primary school days

A Facebook friend from where I come from  shared the latest pictures of the primary school that I attended in late nineties. Just seeing it brought me back all the good (and bad memories) that I had during seven years of my early and initial school life. Though it has changed and evolved with new structures over the time, I still feel it the same, the memories suddenly pops in. It was at this school that has all the beginnings of my life- education and life as a whole.

I was put into boarder life from class II, aged 7 and was beginning of the start of real experiences and characters that often stays with you; you get to pick up a lot of habits most of which are to do with the survival instincts for having to deal everything with your self, decide for yourself starting from as simple as wearing ghos yourself and lacing your shoes to managing money for yourself. I don't remember all the details of boarder life, but memories of good and some real bad and tough ones still stays with you or are triggered and rings the bell when you see or something related to it occurs. It sometimes make me sad to rewind those times; but it also gives me that extra cushion of hope and the strength to get on with the life. I never thought I would one day put these into words but, it actually feels good writing this which is being experienced by people like me, people of my generation specially from remote parts of the country. We all had this similar kinda of experience in schools. I consider the people of my generation the luckiest and one of the last standing ones as we got to experience not only that older and typical rural culture and traditions before the modern amenities came and extinct it all; but also the latest and modern amenities after  road and electricity came and these technological advances in the form of modern gadgets and so on.

My parents were (are) simple farmers sustaining through subsistence farming but they never let me feel it was something of a disadvantage or an obstruction that would block me from getting the modern education; as the first child to be enrolled to modern school from the family, I had their full support and perhaps because if it, out of sheer love they put me to boarder life to be able to learn to stand on yourself. Also the distance between my house and school was bit long ( took more than hour to reach by foot). Everyday I had to walk more than two hours (to and fro) which is hard for the young kids.

Boarder life was a tough, it is tough for every one. The most vivid memory is about always being hungry. The food served at the school was never sufficient, I would always go hungry. I don't know why? Despite the second shares and bonus beaten maize and the puffed soya beans that my mom sent to supplement; I was always yearning for more and would go hungry most of the time. That's not to say that the school didn't provide enough. I thank and am really grateful for the school mess system - school feeding program arranged and provided by the government, the World Food Programme (WFP). Were it not the FREE systems I wonder where I would be right now? I wonder where anyone from those remote village such as ours would be? The school feeding programme included tinned fish from Japan and Norway amongst many other items. It's silly and even embarrassing to remember incidents where by some of the fellow friends would fall into those big empty pots of the school while rushing in to get second share during meal times. 

Boarder life also taught us to live through and survive through thick and thin. Sleeping on the plastic Indian carpet which was a centimeter thick and blanket woven from the wool by my mother and using lamp made from half Bottle Rum filled with kerosene to study ( afterwards lantern came) and revise at night was the real highlight. Also often getting lashed up by the so-called captains if one was late even by a second on their call. Captains of the primary school were really powerful those days. I don't know if the situation is same in today's boarder school? And we had so many captains I remember. Apart from usual school, respective house and class captains, we had prayer captain to conduct and organise evening prayers and coordinate annual school rimdos; then we had firewood captain who would measure the amount of firewood class II and above were required to collect every Saturday. If you are short of the mark set between two poles, you had to go back and get the remaining. Then we had the Games captain who had his own power specially during the morning Physical Training (PT). The captain would stay with the belt on the door(the hostel was a large common room with just one door) and If you were late even by second at the ground for physical exercises, you would get lashes there as well. 

I wasn't mischievous like others and not too bad in studies as well; but still, I remember getting lot of lashes from the captains in that six years of boarder life. That was the longest duration and period that I have of the memories that had somehow shaped my life. The above  narrations are but the facts and not in any way criticism to the system that were in place those times. In fact I am proud to have been able to experience such a thing in my life; some of the valuable lessons of life has been learnt and picked up from the these experiences in that school. 

How was your primary school days like?

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lockdown for how long and how effective is it?

Bhutan went under lockdown  yet again due to Omicron on the 16th January 2022. First 72 hours were announced as the blackout whereby the government was said to be assessing the spread of the virus; of the community transmission at low risk area wangduephodrang, Riruchu.

Since then the 72 hours blackout was turned to lockdown for a week and which again got extended to the two weeks( till 31st January). I don't know how effective the lockdown is and for how long it will go on as the strange thing is that despite complete lockdown, we continue to get increasing number of affected ones in each places and also in places like thimphu where the community spread was detected only after a week of lockdown. What does this indicate? Now Paro dzongkhag which is yellow zone as designated by the government is also on high alert after a driver, the primary contact of the affected one at chukka has been detected positive. I am sure the lockdown is here to stay; but for how long? Is it the only solution? There are more questions than answers! Usually with the lockdown in effect, should the number of positive cases be not decreasing? 

However on our parts, as a law abiding citizen, it's not important to answer those questions, what we must do is abide by the government directives for we fully trust in the wisdom of the government. We ought to follow the protocols put in place by the government and think what we can do to help the government so we can all get through this havoc. But then again the question is for how long? Hard times like this okie for those getting salary at the end of each month, but what about those who depend upon the daily wages? What about those laid off by the companies? Is the lockdown only solution? Perhaps it's time to live with it, the new normal? The questions go on...

Whatsoever, let's be patient and cooperate with the government; for together we can and I am sure there is light at the end of this tunnel. Although there are more questions than answers, what we definitely require for now is to fight against this invisible virus together.

With this I would also like to thank the frontliners who are working day in and day out to keep others like is safe and sound, while they beat the sleepless  chilly winter nights. Thank you health professionals for your tireless effort in combating this virus and. Thank you everyone!  May this pandemic end soon! 

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Being part of Druk Thuksey Award

Its almost nine years since I first joined Drukair corporation Ltd. Yes, there has been some hiccups in between, some disappointments on the personal level; but it has also been a great learning experience; a joyous ride; being part of an organization that's the gate way to the outside world. Even though from that shadow of the wheels; in rains and in sun, I have got to experience some of the most unimaginable and valuable experiences and lessons one can ever get in life.  Life isn't always about the good days and memories, it's the other side also, the scars, the least imagined moments that often stays with you and when you look back, it's like how did you get through that and something that brings smile to your face! 

Drukair as a company has been flying high with number one priority as the safety; safety for the aircraft and the safety for the people for the last glorious forty years with no major accidents or incidents. Safety is and should be the priority for the Drukair for it will automatically bring in the other two "Ss" as his majesty the king often stresses: Safety, Standard and Service. COVID 19 pandemic did wreck the whole aviation industry world wide, Drukair being no exception; yet Drukair has been fortunate enough to have been able to to carry out its sacred duty. As a national flag carrier, Drukair has been able to operate minimal flights ( repatriation and Cargo -  mainly the medical supplies for government) in such rough and tough times thanks to the magnanimous guidance from the throne, the government's relentless effort to keep it at bay. Drukair has been able fulfill its mandate despite the wreckage left by the pandemic. Aviation industries are still running on losses due to pandemic and are yet to recover now that the new variant "Omicron" has come up. 

And in the midst of it all its such an honor when his majesty the king, our very savior, our godly compassionate guiding star  awards the company with one of the highest award- Druk Thuksey award along with other organizations: RHBSL, UNDP and BEAR. Its great to be part of the organization that receives it. It gives an immense sense of joy and an extra energy to rededicate  and improve our service. 

My personal take on this award is that it is an indication of not only recognition of the tremendous service performed by the organization in the last forty years as a national flag carrier that opened the gate to the people outside; for the showcase of "brand" Bhutan- the last Shangri-la to the outside world, thereby promoting  national sovereignty but also shouldering us and wishing us to do and be more. It is the Royal's hope to work even more harder, smarter and most importantly the royal's fervent wish to get up and get through the hard times that the organization is going through right now particularly due to the impact of pandemic. This cannot be the excuse for our failure. For us, as part of it, for the employee and colleagues, it's an extra responsibility to keep up with the royal wishes; to mind our own business and continue fulfilling our sacred mandate- discharge our services, as humble service providers.

It's a precarious road ahead for the aviation industry world wide, though it's slowly recovering. For a tiny airline like Drukair, it is even more harder and a challenge. Yet like I said before, by the grace of koenchog sum, summed up by the gracious royal guidance, Drukair has sailed thus far without having to lay off any employees unlike other airlines. Its such a wonderful time to reflect upon ourselves about the tremendous responsibilities that comes with huge recognition such as this and work towards keeping it up and maintaining that bar set up by the award such as this. It is the perfect time to leap bound and bounce back stronger. 

For a small airline like Drukair, we may not have luxuries and resources like others, but we have their majesties, our beacon of hope. The most important thing is to keep in mind the three "Ss" as our priority; our guiding principle like i said before and work towards upholding and promoting it. 

As the new year has already knocked on our doors, I resolute my self to once again to rededicate, commit and put on extra effort in my everyday work and be mindful of the his majesty's golden address on the 114th national day.

Jela- Dho Chorten-Bemri Trek (25/6/2022)

 It was along time dream to experience this famous trek from Jela- dzong to Bemri via Dho-chorten. It is a beautiful trek indeed. We booked...