25 July 2010

Children Initiative

These kids are sometimes destructive and sometimes they run away with our clothes but I don’t blame them. Kids are so full of energy. Where to use it when they have no playground where they could rightfully play? I was impressed this morning by the initiative they were taking in repairing their temporary football field which was damaged by rain. The area belongs to our school and therefore they could use it until we enclose it within our fence. I am happy that I diverted a drain out of this ground to make it a playable ground, earlier it was a stinking swamp. 

This little kid stumbled over the water line. They fall and rise unlike us. 

Rain or shine, they are unstoppable 

Freestyle stunts, Amazingly all of them have their own styles.

Moving sand into the swamp

Team work, they don't need a leader

Work in progress!

24 July 2010

Best City Award- Best Irony

Of all the cities in the world Bangkok wins the Best City Award and I can clearly smell the fish. The panel of judges must have had the best night of their lives away from their families with the girls who could blow whistle from their bottom. Otherwise no fool would pick up on that filthy thief’s city.

Even I heard so heavenly about that city from the Bhutanese who had been there but now I wonder if they haven’t see Jaigon enough. The streets are dusty and cramped with noisy people and outdated vehicles, with no traffic rules applied. Buildings are long in need of repaint. Taxi drivers and tuktuk drivers are the most stubborn people I ever encountered; we have to go to places they want or pay ten times. Every shop expects you to bargain no lesser than in JB, except for some big malls. For last many months red shirt filled up the streets in protest against the government, which led violence and bloodshed. Do we call such city the best city?

Why do I call it a thief’s city? Many Bhutanese who have been there must know that we are the easy prey and many might have been among the unfortunate travelers who fall victim of the fake Bhutan-enthusiast foreigners. They are not original Thai people but sadly they now become part unless they are kicked out. They typically start their conversation by asking you,

“Where are you from sir/ madam?”

And we are proud of saying, “I am from Bhutan.”

That makes him excited because he knows we come there with lot of money and most of all we are kind to strangers.

“Oh, I am going to Bhutan this week, can you help me with some information?” By then he would have cornered you but we agree with any sort of behavior when it comes to foreigners.

“May I have a look at your currency?” Here he means to look at your fat wallet, and any normal Bhutanese would kindly open their purse and show them our currency. During this split second moment he would touch your purse to push down the ngultrum note you took out and acknowledge you and walk away.

Back in the hotel room no matter how you calculate a few of your hundred dollar bills are missing and then you will realize that you are robbed in the broad day light.

How do I know all this? Experience! Luckily I was walking with only Thai Baht. But three of my friends weren’t as lucky. That evening some of the experienced friends told us that it was common but they were late. After reaching back here I heard one group from my village suffered the same fate. But nobody wants to share their embarrassing experience thus leading to further incidences. Simple rule: Bhutanese should keep aside our kindness while walking in Bangkok, the best city!

22 July 2010

Amazing Software- TeamViewer

They claim 60,000,000 people around the world are using TeamViewer and I say why not? It is such an amazing software. If you are already using it then I am reminding you but for the rest of you this shall be a treat. You can download it for free, unless you are going to use it for commercial purpose. It is just a 3.7 MB application file which needs no installation, you can keep it on the desktop and start using it right away.

What does it do? The software lets you run and work on another computer from your computer through internet. It is called remote support. You can transfer files to and fro. And the best part is any ordinary person can handle it. I no more bring my work home; I just connect to my office computer from home and do my incomplete works with hot cup of tea on my side. If I need some files from office computer to be transfered to home I can do it right away. Basically, it's like having the screen at home and system unit in the office. Speed is amazing.

You could best use it for seeking help from an expert online; you have problem installing some software or doing some technical things that you are not good at you could call a friend who could help you and let him open your computer from his place and debug it, while you could watch him do it on your screen like watching TV. Interestingly you could record the session too. Not to mention the chat option.

Excuse me I am working on students' result on my office computer from home. Tell me how you liked it in case you use it.

20 July 2010

Olympic Day in Bajothang

You can't expect great photographs from me yet, I am just beginning to make sense. And such formal occasions give no choice of subject unless I am so great. There are 810 shots I took under the hot sun and here I find none so deserving of publishing yet...
Co-organizer Lynpo Nado Rinchen 

Dasho Dzongda wishing for the bulls eye

All eyes wide open

Flying Khuru

Early Morning Flag off
Dedicated audience

17 July 2010

Sports Photographer

Photographer and the borrowed camera

I was called for Olympic Day Celebration coordination meeting two days ago and I was pleasantly surprise to known that I was assigned to photograph the whole event on 18th July Celebration in our school. This unapplied assignment comes following my first assignment in Samtengang School. Everybody was cynical about my role, including myself, during that regional sports meet when I said I was there to shoot photographs while the others were either game officials or student escorts. I had to give way to the BBS guy and had to tolerate him blocking my shots. I felt as small as my little digital camera was.

At the end of the three days, there was about ten seconds news on BBS and I had twenty two pages photographic report on the regional sports meet, which went on to please everyone, and which went further to give me this second assignment.

And tomorrow I am going to get the best shots ever with the (still borrowed) Canon SLR and am going to earn my next assignment too. Whoa, l never intended this but I am becoming a sports photographer. I will upload some shots tomorrow evening.

11 July 2010

Home Going

Yangthang in snow, Dec 2009

Hurray… I am going home. There is no greater feeling. One thing I hate about having a job is not getting to stay where you belong. But thank god I am a teacher that I get regular vacations. The studently excitement of mid term break and winter vacation die hard and thankfully the right to them is intact in my case.

Over the years everything changed; I have no friends in the village, kids there don’t know me, old people hardly recognize me, even the village itself is unwelcoming after its rebirth from the ashes of February 2002, and at times I get a feeling that I no more belong there. But someone there remained unchanged ever since I could remember, my mother, for whom my heart is fully inclined. She always awaits my arrival at this time of the year, perhaps for the last eighteen years. Today mobile phone keeps us almost together though but home going is something so special that I can never misplace it in the chaos of time and change.

I love to see my mother beam with joy and pride when I am at home. We have stories to share still. This is our best gift for each other. And I wish my sister could realize it sooner. 

My Daughter Forgave Me

That night I failed miserably. She kept looking at me, as if trying to recall why I looked, smelled and sounded too familiar. She even smiled  at me often but every time I went closer she gripped harder on her mother. I saw her effort in trying to remember me as much as I was trying to make her remember.
It reminded me of the many movies I watched of people who lost memory, Notebook in particular. I then tried some filmy tactics; redoing every little thing I did with her, making my signature sounds... but before she could jump on to me it was her bedtime. I was angry and sad and miserable but my wife guaranteed that next morning everything would be fine. And guess what, it was! My darling crawled on to me and demanded me to take her out. Finally she forgave me for the seven days.
But I am afraid how can a child ever forgive their parents who left them for years!

08 July 2010

My daughter forgot me in seven days

Last week I was my daughter's favorite person at home, she would cry for me and when she was in my arms she was the happiest. I remember how badly she cried when I left for these seven days workshop. All these week I called home every evening and listened to my daughter's sounds, and she heard me too.

This evening I reached home and I cancelled all my online occupations just to spend time with her but the fact that I am blogging now is my daughter won't come to me. She looks at me a cries bad. She forgot me in seven days, god. I am hurt. All my excitement died for now, but I will work hard to regain her love. And most of all I will never leave her anymore.

05 July 2010

Showing Middle Finger at 65

Dr. Low with monkey hanging on her neck at Chukha

At 65 I would be complaining about my joint pains, grumbling about my children, carrying loads of medicine and worse of all doing just nothing, simply waiting for death. Or may be not; I can change that today! I sat down listening to Dr. Low’s powerful lecture and breathtaking presentations on dreaming big. My thirst for seeing Shiv Khera in person is quenched after these two days of workshop with 65 years young lady.

Her part of the workshop was actually meant for principals but since the last minute adjustment excluded them she carried on with us, and thank god she did. It wasn’t a classical workshop where we wait for the tea breaks and lunch break and eagerly fill up the allowance bill and then rush back home. We thank god that we were here.

Dr. Low inspiring People back in Singapore
She didn’t appear 65 in anyway; she emits rays of energy, happiness and satisfaction.  She dances, jumps, puts her foot on the table, shows her middle finger … She makes us laugh our lungs out, makes us play some funny games and puts us in deep realization and then gives us the want to do things that we dare not wish for. She is a living example of a person who dreamed big and let dreams happen.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now, put foundations under them       - Henry David Thoreau
At 65 I don’t want to complain about my joint pains, grumble about my kids and survive on drugs anymore, I want to be strong enough to show my middle finger, run and scream with my grand children, help my children in buying their first cars, go on vacation with my wife and be a source of happiness to people around me. And it all starts now with a vision.

Note: Dr. Low Guat Tin is from Singapore, she is a trainer of managers. She is here in Bhutan to facilitate a workshop for Singapore International Foundation’s project in Bhutanese Schools.

03 July 2010

Tshimalakha: Place Frozen in Time and Hidden in Fog

Foggy Evening View
I have been to Phuntsholing more than I have been to any other Dzongkhag, but because road runs straight down through Tshimasham and I didn’t have reason to divert away from the highway I could never come to this place I am at. Thanks to this workshop which brought us here.

Tshimalakha was muffled in dense fog when we reached here yesterday, not so surprising since I always heard about the place. But reaching here and seeing the place for myself made me realized how much I have assumed. When the fog disappeared this morning I was startled by almost everything, the place is so unique from the rest of the places I ever been to. Of course the whole place came in at once when Chukha Hydro project was on. Nobody passing by the highway would expect such a huge settlement hidden in the heart of the hills.

The place defines a time period in the history of Bhutan, and today when I look at the place I see the time frozen on the face of the structures still standing. Sometimes the so many old building standing against the force of time gives an impression of a world that has survived a nuclear war. I suddenly feel a sense of attachment to the place, as if I have been here before. I love this place so much but I won’t like to live here.