Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blogging: the freedom of expression...

I am extremely pleased to read a full page coverage on the rising popularity of Bhutanese blogger in the "techno" page of Bhutan Times. Screen shots of four blogs are presented there and surprisingly all four of them are in my blog roll; why was I left out? Ha ha ha, just being funny. The story covers a lot of aspects through interviews with many blogger, some of them were blogging since 2007; it's sad they didn't know I was blogging since 2006 and not body called me up to get an interview.
The story is all pleasing and could draw new people into the techno-hobby. I didn't know Barack Obama was so positive about it but our opposition leader makes the best use of it to get public opinion on his views. Even companies with big websites are resorting to creating blog version of their websites to dash with the popularity of blogs.

The whole world is into it now, there is no greater gift of democracy. Bhutanese are finally learning to accept the gift from the Constitution of Kingdom of Bhutan- the freedom of expression, with clear vision of limit though. But the closing section of the article talks about "Regulating online content?" and I am shocked by some comments there, which are threatening to question the freedom of expression.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A moment from a birthday Party...

The aftershock of the Monday afternoon earthquake is still heavy in my heart; why are all four elements turning against us now? It began with the storm last year, then flood, now earthquake... something has gone terribly wrong somewhere and many of us know where!

Well forget that and look at this moment from a birthday party I attended on Thrul.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

At least once a year every bhutanese would bathe


We nearly had Thrulbub slashed of our calendar, which would leave no guarantee that all the Bhutanese would bathe once every year. It was a pleasant surprise when I heard the announcement that this year government is declaring it back, realizing the importance of hygiene.
I was explaining to my Indian friend about the day and he thought I was joking when I said that on Thrul the rivers are all blessed and therefore cannot be consumed. I explained that since most of us are bathing for the first time in the year and all our yearlong savings go down to river...

I took my family for swimming. My wife won't swim and I can't therefore it was fun watching my brother and son drive in the half-filled swimming pool. I couldn't resist after sometime and gave in to my temptation. Lucky some kids have  come with tubes. However I could not come out of the pool without having one two gulps of the blessed water; kids spit and pee in there, oh so blessed. Today I am a sick man now.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Now I am Allowed to Drive My Own Car


Last Sunday saw me in extremely different colors. Even Saturday gave me a sleepless night. I have been driving for last four months, cross my fingers, I didn't give chance for even a scratch. Over this period I have traveled to Ha, Paro and Thimphu with full confidence. But with all the confidence in tact I still panicked over the idea of going for driving test.
Until I bought my car driving was almost alien to me. My cousins have cars, my uncles and aunties have too but for the unfortunate fact that my parents don't have I am deprived of even sitting in the driver's seat of their cars. I never thought I could drive someday.
Before I decided to buy my car I already registered for my learner license. I have to be six months old in possession of the learner license before I could sit for the test, but I was told that if the blue book (ha ha blue book is green) is registered in my name I could be considered for the test just in three months, but you know I have test phobia.
The last time I registered, it was about the right time in all sense; my learner license was six months old and I was more experienced. But experience on the road is nowhere similar to that in the stupid box; god knows why they are testing us in there. So last Saturday I drove to the same spot where they would test us and did my practice. It was not so bad after all. All I had to do was to memorize the marks in the box; where to stop, where to start turning, where so and so. I was told that it's impossible to pass the test in Santro but after my practice I disagreed.
Seeing me worried, my neighbor angay shared her piece of mind, "The car is yours and the road belongs to the country, why in the world do you have to sit for the test and pay for the permission to drive your own car?" How true! I began to ponder over it and it still sounded true. Will there be an answer to this question?
Sleepless Saturday and an appetite-less Sunday morning made me sick. My wife went with me as a lucky charm. I sat for the written test; I already got several questions from outside from those who already sat it. There were 20 multiple choice question of 40 marks of which 24 is the pass mark, in schools it would be 16. Well I think I scored cent percent because I opened the learner license and referred to it, I don't know if it is even allowed; nobody stopped me anyway.
Then came my turn to enter the box, I looked at my lucky charm and saw her more worried than me but she has counted on me since she saw me do well during the practice session. The front-in-front-out was done like a professional but the back-in-back-out nearly got me in trouble. I was drenched in sweat by the time I came out successfully. The whole Sunday I kept smiling, called up so many people of which my mother was the first.
So, from last Sunday I am given the permission to drive my own car, ha ha ha..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On My Brother Tenzin's Birthday...


We are unfortunate no more, we can celebrate birthdays now. There were times we thought birthday celebration was a luxury. I didn't even know my birthday until I was in high school; I did some maths then and found it out approximately. I have been in many of our cousins' birthday parties envying the lavish expenses and the gifts, but my birthday was often forgotten. I was never wished nor gifted on my birthday, which made me cry on every birthday I let go in hostels.
Today is your birthday; probably you did some maths too. You used to tell me that your birthday falls on 15th August; anyway it doesn't matter when. It has to be a day in the year which reminds us that a year has passed by. You took sweets for your friends in school and as you give them, greetings will rain on you. That's when you will realize how important you are. In hostel, I would hardly have money but I made sure I save enough to purchase a packet of sweet just to get some friends to greet me, for no one would otherwise remember.
This is the first years in our lives we have been together for the whole year. Thus we are together on my birthday and yours too for the first time. This inspires me to write a few lines in my online diary hoping you would learn about it some day. There are many things about you that I share with my friends, which I want to write here knowing someday you would read like a piece of legend.
 When you were born I was already eight and away from home. We were together only during the winters but to my surprise you could remember all the detail account from our childhood. You could remember many things from my childhood that I can't and that makes me feel that you have a better brain than mine.
You were a boy born with a stone in your hand. I wonder how you have done but so many neighbors came banging on our door because you have stoned their children. It is hard to keep track of you unless you cried. You roar when you cried drawing my attention and me. I have fought for you hundreds of times regardless of your faults.
But I still remember the day I fought a big guy who tossed me left and right, you were just about four and Samtey could be eight. When you knew I was losing you ran home crying with Samtey. By then I was crying too and still fighting with dozens of men watching in pleasure. I thought I was going to be killed if I don't run away, but my pride as a fighter held me back. Just then the two of you appeared, Samtey was with a kitchen knife and you were holding a spoon. The two of you were too tiny to scare him away but I felt so secure though I lost that fight.
Tenzin, people in our village hated you as much as they hated me. We have been naughty beyond limits and have been the don of playground in our own times, unlike Samtey who was good all along. During my reign of the playground I didn't cause damage to myself so much as you did to yourself during your rule. You fell from the veranda countless times, you fell from roof of the gate twice, and in both these incidents you bled so much causing lot of damage to your face. But the most damage was done when you jumped from one wall to another of a ruined house. You missed your step and hit your mouth on the other wall breaking four teeth along with the gum. We found two of your broken teeth from inside of your swollen lips. You looked very ugly and cute then. Your lips never regained it actual shape nor your tiny teeth. The four teeth in front were replaced by two big ugly teeth. That was no the end, I know you remember why your ring finger has that odd form; you have sliced it into two. After stitching the shape looked funny, I thought it would come back to normal with time but where? It really looks like a phallus.
Thank god you grew up so fast, a few more years and you would have distorted whole your physical form.
One thing that made me a better Acho is a story from our childhood too. You and Samten are home and I was away in hostel. When I return home on vacations two of you would always have something to give me, a new shirt or a sock or a pen that someone had given you. When I ask why you did not use them yourselves, you would say it doesn't matter to you in village and that I should have it since I go amidst new people in new places. I know how seldom we get to own new things in our childhood but two of you were always happy wearing the rags as long as I am well dressed. I still wonder how big a heart god has put into your tiny chests.
Now you are growing pimples and must be worried about it. It will disappear over time, don’t worry. But over time you have changed too; the hyperactive Tenzin is lost into a silent loner. I am worried you are missing the brighter side of boyhood. The intelligent Tenzin is lost into a careless and dull boy who gives excuses for failing in multiple subjects. I remember how you would solve mathematical problems from you finger tips and the smelly toes shown from you torn socks. Change is good but you have choices, be objective about the road you choose.
You quite well know me, I haven’t been the best of students either but I have always known my responsibility as brother and as a son. Though a young boy, I have seen appreciation in your eyes when I walked home with a TV set bought from my little apprentice salary, I have heard how you praised me to your friends when I brought how new sets of plates and mugs from my temporary job wages. Those were the times I struggled along with thousands in the job market; in such times people lose their nerve and do drugs and drink and try to be happy. But I always remembered you all at home and kept myself intact.
When people of my age were wasting their youth in drugs I was working in a construction of a bridge as a labor, and when they were still wasting their life I was choosing new clothes for you. Life paid me well for my dedication and now I am a teacher with a respectable life.
Now you are about that age and today on your birthday I am writing you this note just to let you know that you will never have to work for a construction site nor you should worry about buying any thing for home because I have made it all set. All you have to do now is to know that your life is a gift and prepare yourself enough to be capable of cherishing it. Make us proud by being the best that you are capable of. I will be the happiest man when I see you lead a comfortable life.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sleeping on the Wall

My friend CK Gurung (I call him my friend but he was a teacher of someof my teachers) is not so lazy when it comes to his work but you should not be suprised if you see him sleeping on the wall with the whole school singing the national anthem beside him.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Forbidden Arm- an inerasable repentance

I read this news of a Russian girl with 54 stars tattooed on her face; thank god I have it on my arms. But mine are not ordinary arms that could be hidden under the sleeves of my shirts; mine are a teacher’s arms that are meant to lead.

I still feel the pricking pleasure of the needle pecking my skin ten years ago, the joy of having it done, and the pride of showing it off. Then I didn’t know my future. Life had this respectable future set aside in a surprise box and didn’t even give me a clue of what I deserved to be.

Three years as teacher now, I can no more hide my arm from the thousand curious eyes. My childhood pleasure has taken a sharp turn-It has given me a forbidden arms.

My wife always insists that I should wear a full sleeve shirt or a jacket while we have guest or while going out. She justifies that she does not want people to get an impression of me just by my tattooed arms. Irritated, sometimes I cry out to her, “I don’t care what people think of me .Those who know me don’t care about the tattoo”. But at back of my mind I realize that it matters. Bhutan is still innocent and tattoo still contradicts it culture.

When I look at my left arm filled with tattoo I laugh at how stupid I had been. As a young boy being naughty is unavoidable, which as we grow time forgives .But what have I done? Even time is helpless. Had I written on a stone “I am Naughty” I could have sand it off but I have done it on my skins, to last so long as I live.

The Russian girl has sued the tattooist for £10,000. Whom shall I sue? My stupidity? My childhood? I am undergoing a non-bail-able sentence of my own trial. There exists some laser technology to remove tattoo in developed countries which is but too far and too expensive. The Russian girl will have to pay $10,000 to undergo the surgery, which is equivalent to my seven years’ salary.

My students stare at my arms in sheer curiosity and pleasure. I can’t hide it completely from them. They are not disgusted by my tattoo and that gives me added fear. Students learn from what a teacher does far more than what he says. I am afraid I may have to go on paying higher price for a silly boyhood pleasure.

My schooldays friends loved my tattoo, they would ask me to do for them too. I had tattooed so many of them. They were happy and would take me on lavish treats. Time has changed me and so must my friends, they must hate me now, but I know I am paying the heaviest price. I am a teacher. My friends here pass different comments on different days on the same tattoo and I have nothing to defend myself but some word of apology. The same apology goes to everybody who would ever see me with my tattoo.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Inspirational View


Look at what I see from my veranda. What more inspiration do I want to relax and write master pieces.

Posted by PicasaThis view is from the back side of my house, which totally contradicts the front side view with all the parking problem, drunkards, constructions, garbage problem, potholes and dusty wind.

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