30 September 2010

Dear Students,

This is my first letter to you and I want you to know I will be writing to you often over the years. I have many things to tell you but we hardly get time to sit down and talk in school, more over I don't meet many of you at all. I love writing letters but I can't remember when I wrote my last letter; after email and mobile came in I found it cheaper to talk and chat then to spend in stamps.
However I have written enough letters in my life that even if I can't write anymore I have the right to forgive myself. I have made friends across the country through letters, I have kept my friendship alive through letters, I kept my parents informed through letters, and most funnily I wrote to many of my fortunate relatives asking for some clothes, a pair of shoe, or a few hundred Ngultrum, guess what! they were the only people who weren't impressed with my letters. At the end of the day when I do maths I would wish if I had kept the money I had instead of wasting them in stamps and envelops. I would write again though, like gambling, to recover my loss only to lose more.
Over eight years passed since I posted my last letter...and today I finally decided I will write letters again, and this time I will write to you, telling stories from my life, my childhood and my high school to let you all know how lucky you all are today.
This letter is just an introduction and therefore I will not talk on anything. I am just happy that I don't have to find an envelop or buy a stamp. I know you may never read this but I am satisfied that I wrote it.

29 September 2010

Living After Death-II

This article is inspired by Dawa's Live talk show on BBS with three doctors on 27th Sept. I regard the three of them as Angels of Light. 
Transplanted Cornea- Photo Wikipedia
In my "Living after Death" I expressed my willingness to donate my body parts after I die, and I meant it. But I wasn't quite sure about which all organs could be of use then, which is why even lungs and brain are in the list. However I am surprised that even the thin watery tissue (called Cornea) over my eye balls could be a life changing donation. It could help a blind see the light of the world. So dear Dr. Gado, please register me as your donor.
In medical history the first cornea transplant was performed in 1905 by Eduard Zirm, and after 105 year Bhutan is blessed. It is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue.
The tissue has to be removed from a recently deceased individual which make it hard to find donors unlike blood.
Bhutan is going to have an eye bank by next year where the donated cornea will be stored. But as of now we are getting it from Tilganga Eye Hospital in Nepal and we may have to depend on international donations until we could change the mindset of the people . It is said that many Bhutanese feel if their eye is removed after they die they may be born blind in their next life. But I have never seen any woman giving birth to a piece of charcoal, which ought to be since we are reduced to charcoal after we die. His holiness the Je Khenpo boldly denounced the superstitious beliefs and encouraged organ donation (in his statement to Business Bhutan). 
As for myself, I am not worried about being born blind in my next life since the eye bank will be waiting. I am so thankful that I lived a complete life and as I go I want someone to see the beautiful world I saw. Long after I said goodbye I would be seeing the world through my donated eye. I want to live after death. 

P:S: National Health Policy seems to be silent on Organ Donation and transplant for whatever reason...(read Business Bhutan)

27 September 2010

Exam for the Future

This morning I made Nu.300 invigilating Dzongkha Language Proficiency Test in my school. Thank you ECB for the occasional treat, otherwise we teachers hardly get to see anything more than our salary.

I don't know if my translation of the test as DLPT is anywhere close to what it really is but from its objective I can understand just that. In Bajo alone 404 candidates sat for the exam which shall give them the license to run for Local Government leaders' post sometime soon. Of course popularity in their own villages should be a bigger test since it is voting that will decide finally.

It is reported that there are close to 5000 people sitting for the test across the nation today and I am keen to know how many of them knew why they were doing it. In my center here, a few of them where truly surprised when they were asked to read and write. While it was inspiring to discover that one of our students also sat for the test along with her sister and father.

It took us far more time and energy to get the folks into the hall than anticipated, but at least in my hall I was given full cooperation despite occasional jokes from old men, which shook the house with laughter. Today all of them are just another group of dreamers but someday a few of them will be our leaders.

25 September 2010


It was a noisy day among the excited children in the sports fields. I was running after balls and people with my camera, and of all the shots today I loved the butterfly sitting calmly on a flower.
My favorite Shot of the day- photo by PaSsu

20 September 2010

Dear Teachers, whip my son when required

I am a teacher myself and I quite understand your life in school, therefore I grant you the permission to whip my son when required; the law forbidding that is devised by people residing out of school, so ignore it.

Thrash him if he is not serious about his studies when you tell him politely, thrash him if he doesn’t bring his home work on time repeatedly, thrash him if he tries to cheat on you in anyways, and thrash him if he breaks school rules intentionally, but forgive him after that, give him chance to improve.

Like any other parents I will blame you if he fails in your subject but unlike them I will acknowledge you more if he does well. He is your responsibility. He is an intelligent child in search of an inspirational teacher and I hope you will give him the wings.

He has a dream of his own and I urge you not to force your dream onto him, let him understand his dream and let him find his way.

I love my child and I don’t want you to hate him. Tell me in advance if you hate him so that I could change his class for I can’t change the attitude of hateful teacher. While I permit you to beat him I also want you to have objectives attached with each spank and let it not miss on to his vital organs.

And most importantly, don’t not touch my child in anger, for anger is unreasonable and I don’t want my child beaten by a fool, in such case I can be worse.

Love and regards

14 September 2010

Wangdue Tshechu- a time to remember Uma Lengo

Two years ago I wrote an article on Uma Lengo for Bhutan Windows, a magazine that faded away after its first publication. Although I am still unpaid for that work I have no regrets; that assignment gave me opportunity to learn about a personality who lived a mysterious life.

Uma Lengo and Tshomem- an illustration I did for the story

Wangdue Tshechu used to be an event Uma Lengo would look forward to. He would pose himself as Kudu with a leather whip and wander around the courtyard of the dzong. People believe that during this times he must have been escorting the Tshomem, his consort.

The full article will be published here if I can locate it.

11 September 2010

9/11- Burn a Quran Day

9/11/2001- seconds before the second plane hit
On this day 9 years ago four American Airlines jet hijacked by terrorist group masterminded by Bin Laden suicide-attacked the US. Two of the four hit on the World Trade Center twin towers, one hit the Pentagon and the last which was headed for White House crashed in a field. Today is a day to remember ...but...

One lone voice of some Pastor Jones of a small congregation in Florida with only about 50 followers disturbed the minds of million in the world. This man wanted to remember 9/11 victims by burning copies of Quran today. Quran or Koran is the holy book of Islam.

To Pastor Jones and his followers:

Pastor Jones- the man with bad idea
Why are you burning Quran? Quran is not Bin Laden’s Diary or his preaching. Quran is the holy book of Islam and Islam wasn't responsible for 9/11. Terrorists were Muslims but all Muslims are not terrorists. You can’t hate all the mothers in the world just because your mother ill-treated you. If you really want to burn it do it in the corner of your house and stop creating unrest in the world. You are a bad man. You are not different from terrorists; they misunderstood Islam and your misunderstood Christianity.

To Muslim who were disturbed by the plan:

Muiz Nasrallah wrote in Facebook, "You may burn thousands, millions of Koran, but you cannot burn our religion." and I say yes, Quran is just a book, faith is all that matters. Why make big issue out of a crazy man’s plan. It is all about being hyper-reactive; we don’t tickle a person on the forehead, we do under his arms because that part reacts. It’s a good chance to show to the world that Islam is not what they think, Islam is tolerant and Islam loves peace too. People have burnt Buddhist temples and bombed Buddha’s statues but nothing happened, so they were bored and they bombed no more.

To Media:

Media is responsible for the unrest. Otherwise what difference would one man with 50 followers matter in the world so big? Why did they make his crazy plan hot news? If it was not broadcast, no one would know and nothing would happen.

I was in Drukgyel High School when the Twin Tower came crumbling down, which triggered the war in Afghanistan; nine years on today so many people were killed and what have we got? There should be a better way to remember 9/11!

P:S: Today is the last day of the holy month of Muslims. Muslims labour working in Bajo Construction took our school's big speak for their prayer ceremony. Wish them good day!

09 September 2010

My King and I- The Best Moment of my Life.

My Short visit to Heaven

I graduated in 2006 December, employed in 2007 January, got paid in 2007 July onwards, and was called for convocation only in 2009 October. All my friends were coming and they called me up to come, which is the only reason why I had to agree on going back after three long years. It was too late for them to tell us that we have graduated. Some friends had passed away in those three years.

Upon reaching there I thanked god that I came, because His majesty the King graced the occasion. To add to the glory his majesty posed for photograph with each one of us. I was about 700 teachers behind and yet shivering with excitement. As my turn neared I was almost flying and fading. When I finally gave the closest bow to my king, received the scroll and stood next to him I couldn’t feel myself anymore until I felt the royal pat on my shoulder. If I had a little weaker heart I would have fainted. That was the moment I felt totally enlightened. When I recomposed myself I forgave the convocation and thanked it for giving me the life’s best moment.

I even forgive Kuensel for letting me come there over and over for the last one year and a half for the Picture.  And I forgive the person there for not giving me the softcopy of the picture. 

08 September 2010

My Daughter is a Reckless Driver

My daughter had an accident in her walker this morning; she got a bad bruise on her forehead which soon subsided after her mother ice-sponged it. After some investigation we found out that the driver, our daughter, didn’t have license for the six-wheeler she toppled in. The lone eyewitness, her mother, says the reckless driver was seen over speeding across the rooms before it toppled over the foot mat which blocked the way into the kitchen. It is further reported that the driver cried a lot. No action has been taken against her since she is the boss of the house.

Thank you god for keeping my child safe and giving me reasons to smile every day. 
Reckless Driver in her first six-wheeler

07 September 2010

A Change that made sense- Fishing License

By reading "Kuchu and Kumbu" story in our primary school we were supposed to learn a lesson but as always many things we were taught in school were for the sake of occupying the teaching time and should not be taken seriously. A tank in Phuntsholing is over populated with fishes and "authorities are finding ways to relocate them". Why waste money in something that should be bringing profit instead? Simple solution to the problem is to harvest the fishes but unfortunately those fishes are not meant for killing. They are for decoration? If we are really concerned about killing, why are we importing fishes from India? All in all it is another Potato and Chips story!

For that matter our rivers are so full of fishes but only flood can kill them. Million of new fishes are born each year to die their natural death. It's just matter of common sense, which we have least. After all we are buying fishes for outside, what is sense in forbidding fishing? 

I salute the minister of agriculture for being wise enough to grant fishing license to the villagers of a remote corner in Wangdue (from BBS TV). Throughout history the village lived on fishing but so far they were crippled by the law forbidding their livelihood. Minister educated the farmers (lets call them fishermen) on sustainable fishing, which made more sense. This day will go down in history as the "day Bhutanese made sense"!

Read Detailed report on the project in Business Bhutan

04 September 2010

An Old Book Can't Decide my Daughter's Destiny

After becoming father I was surprised to find myself turning into an orthodox man; I would touch fire or water before I see my daughter when I come at night, I would put a black mark on her face when taking her out in dark, and we would take her to a temple if we had a bad dream…

But one thing I could not agree on is writing her destiny- keytshe. People say it is crucial for us to ask an astrologer to see what destiny has in store for our daughter and get it written down. I am told that we have to give astrologer the date and time of birth and he will go through his book and find out the details of our daughter’s life; as in how long will she live? How would she live her life? What would she become? How would she die? What are her bad or good days and years?

My question is who wrote that damn book? And when was that book, which could tell everybody’s fate, written? I know God didn’t write that book, and I am sure it must be written hundreds of years ago during the times when people still thought earth was flat. And tell me how possibly could such book dare talk about a life of person living in the age of computers and rockets?

I want to bring up my daughter with the belief that her life is what she makes of it and not decided by her birth. I want her to know that she has options in life and each option has its own consequences. I want her to have dreams of her own and work hard towards them. She should grow up to know which pen she chooses to write her own book of destiny.

Sonam's Birthday on calendar
Date of her birth is important to us because it was then our daughter came among us with bundle of happiness, and therefore I have cut November month of 2009 calendar and laminated it to be presented to my daughter when she is grown up. As of myself, though born in modern times don’t even known my actual birthday and don’t have a picture of my childhood.

01 September 2010

Two things I want to own before I die

Otherwise I am a simple man with very limited demands and desire; I am ok with one pair of shoes in a year, black and white mobile phone, second hand car... but there are two things I wish for despite all my limitations. I don't want to die without a big canon Camera and an iPad. With a Bhutanese salary I know I can never buy any of these but I will work hard or may be I will have to finally agree on going for Masters if at all it should give me enough money to buy these two gadgets.

iPad, something I wanna walk with!
Camera of my Dream