29 November 2010

Dear Daughter- On Your First Birthday

Today is your first birthday. I can’t believe a year has swiftly passed by amidst smiles and laughter. Last year this day your mother and I drove to Sunday market in the morning. She already knew you would be coming today so she did a quick shopping. She cooked lunch herself and asked me to drive her to the hospital. The doctor informed us that you were already on your way. We were asked to get admitted by 8PM and expect you by midnight but you were quicker. We ran back to hospital at 6 PM and waited for you in joyful agony. Your grandmother was with your mother and I was sent out to make bed in the ward for your mother and you. I paced in and out of the ward for two longest hours of my life and then at 9:09 PM I heard your first cry. Everybody in the ward looked at me and I felt like a celebrity; I simply said that’s my babe.

You continued crying but the door never opened. I was right outside the door waiting to look at you. A Nurse came out and closed the door behind her. She asked me to guess your gender. I told her it didn't matter. She insisted me to choose and I chose ‘a girl’ because your mother always wanted one. The nurse beamed at me and said, ‘Your wish is fulfilled’. The door opened and I was asked to come in. I couldn’t imagine how your mother would be but to my surprise she was smiling at me when I saw her. You were on a small bed suckling your thumb,one eye was wide open and the other was yet to open. You looked very funny and cute and I couldn’t help kissing you. That night three of us slept in the ward and your mother was shocked that I slept well while two of you remained awake.

Throughout this one year, it was always your mother who sacrificed her sleep while I enjoyed the luxury of not having a breast. However I always slept by your side and patted on your chest except for 15 unavoidable days I was out on duty. When I returned you didn’t forgive me for one whole night but next morning you crawled over me again and from that day on, I promised never to leave you.

As your birthday approached you showed us how strong you are; you started walking on your own and even your teeth are showing finally. But, by the day you are becoming naughtier, louder and faster; my face and your mother’s chest are full of scratches from your nails. In crowd, you embarrass us with your big farts, people think it’s us. Every day is fun with you among us and can’t believe I have lived without you until last year. Only today I truly understood the meaning of ‘many many happy returns of the day’. Happy birthday darling, may you grow into a wise respectable lady.

25 November 2010

Yangthang behind the bars

Next year when governments implements the tobacco law, which roughly says that any tobacco user without the permit will be sentenced to jail, my village Yangthang will be behind the bars. Since any jail will be small to fit in over 50 households I think it would be wise to construct walls around my village because only in one of the homes tobacco is not used.

I tried to figure out how my entire village got addicted to tobacco; my theory was that it could have been influenced by Indian army base in Ha but old folks told me that tobacco was there even before IMTART came in. While it has a long history, today tobacco play an important role in the performance of my village workforce. They claim that they can't work without it. Some say they lose temper very quickly when they run short of stock. There are some who lose their mind without it.

The recent ban on tobacco has changed nothing in my village, they only had to pay higher but they are supplied somehow. And in my opinion these people, if not helped, will suffer if the law comes into act. Their income may not be enough to buy them the taxed tobacco and therefore resort to black marketing which will land the entire village behind the bar.

22 November 2010

Water Bill- Let Every River Count

Today National Council discussed on Water Bill. I am unsure of what all comes under Water Bill and what they discussed in the house but as much as I could grab from BBS news they were trying to create a separate commission for water. However, the house failed to come out with a resolution since many thought it was too early for the move. Had I been there I would say it's quite LATE to think of this but we could make up if we do it now.

Isn't it a matter of grave concern and shame that many homes are deprived of decent supply of water in a country where fresh water rivers flow through every valley? Many wetlands run dry and barren due to water scarcity. From Thimphu to Tashigang, there is no place in Bhutan where water isn't the problem. It isn't lack of effort from the government, it's but lack of enough effort. It is lack of focused action. Environment Commission has lots of things to worry about and thus water issue receives divided attention, which is just not enough.

Dam up the river: ultimate source of water.
It is not too late to acknowledge the seriousness of the matter; water is not just water anymore, it is livelihood, it is health, it is happiness. It's not too late to appreciate the call of rivers. Across the world sea water is harvested, sewage is recycled, deserts are dug... here in Bhutan fresh water is waiting to be dammed up and treated- as easy as this. It's going to be one time investment for sustainable supply of water both for drinking and irrigation. How can we claim 'every drop counts' when rivers are left to flow down to sea unused. Let every river count too.

19 November 2010

My Brother's Shoe

My brothers: Tenzin & Samtey
Both my little brothers outgrew my height. I feel secure walking with them. Can't believe I carried them on my back once, fought for them, and thrashed them often. I am happy they grew into gentlemen I could be proud of. But I never thought their feet will outgrow the shoes in market, especially Samten's.

He had to leave school for about a month when he was in class eight just because we couldn't get him a shoe of his size. Despite the help of all our relatives in Thimphu we couldn't get one there. Finally I had to go to Phuntsholing to try my luck. I got one, ugly and shapeless but big enough to room his feet. If it continued that way I thought my brother could never complete his studies, he still had many more years to grow. Luckily, Origin shoes arrived in gigantic sizes and we never had problems.

Smaller on is mine and I wear no.8, Guess his size?
But now, days of wearing Origin shoes are gone for him and no shoe stores in Wangdue, Punakha and Thimphu sell formal shoes bigger than number 8. I didn't realized it until I went looking for it in Thimphu. I went to every shop that sold shoes and they all tell me the same story.

Today is my lucky day, I got one for him finally... style, color, and quality do not matter as long as it fits him and it did. So this article is to celebrate the occasion along with my wife's Birthday. She is happy too that I got a shoe for him and she wants no gift more than this.

15 November 2010

Beggars in Wangdue

When my mother and I visited Phuntsholing about a decade ago I was shocked by the number of people walking on the dusty street of Jaigong. It was my first time seeing so many people at a time. Adventure began as soon as our bus entered the parking- four or five Indian men climbed our bus even before it came to complete halt. I thought some bandits attacked us. My mother calmed me down and told me they were coolies.
Once on the street, baggers started bothering us. I was amused while my mother ignored them. She told me that if we start giving money to each bagger we would have to become bagger ourselves by the time we reach the end of the street.  She was right; there were many of them to count. However, my mother made exceptions with crippled and blind. She justified, “these are helpless people. They have to beg because they can’t work.” These words became a part of me during all my countless visits to Phuntsholing. Later I was amazed to learn even my wife shared almost the same philosophy. She pitied the man with thin twisted leg at the gate, while she shoo away the able baggers who come chasing us.
Who would expect any bagger in so prosperous place like Wangdue? Worse they come knocking at our doors. Something common in all of them is their mode of begging- all of them have taken religion hostage. They fake themselves into goemchens knowing our weakness for disciples of god. Three years ago I would be kind to them, inviting them in for tea. As a child I have learnt that you should never turn away a person who comes asking at your door. And now that I know who they really are, it leaves me with no good reason to be kind to them.
They are ordinary villagers who come on business trips. While they are around they just take out their dirty maroon kabney and start going from door to door. The prayers they say contain no word, it’s all murmuring sound. In their hand they will show their collection wrapped inside hundred ngultrum note- look what they are after? From some we can smell alcohol at a distance. And towards evening you would see what your money has done to these men- they will be sleeping on the road with flies all over their faces.
 They are strong able men and they can work for their food. But how can we deny them alms when they come at our doors. But despite our complacence some of them are way too demanding, leaving us regretful of what we gave and fearing that they might curse us.
“Paow, only Nu.10? You are a civil servant and you should be better of than this.” Demanded one gomchen at my door.
And I told him, “You should be happy I gave you so much. Why don’t you earn for yourself?”
He turned furious and replied, “How could you scold me for Nu.10? How do you suppose you will gather merit by that?” which is when I asked, “How much do I have to pay to gather merit? Is there a fixed rate? Am I asking for discount?”
He left shouting, “pa pa pa…” That was his third visit in half a year and perhaps the last because next time he comes I am going to slam the door at his face, I know god will forgive me. In Phuntsholing, even a coin means a lot to a bagger and here baggers are beginning to claim their share out of my salary.

11 November 2010

November Eleven, the Date that is writ in Heart

If you ask a person of my age in Bhutan: What day is the most auspicious in a Bhutanese year? The answer is November Eleven. Early on, we loved that day because it was time for celebration, it was a beginning of a three day holiday, it was the last holiday before the exam, and it was the day we had school picnic. But as we grew up we realized it was more than just that; it was the day our king was born. 

The king who had to leave his playground at 16 to lead our country, the king who put lots of importance on children, the king who put people's happiness before country's wealth, the king who gave the people to rule the country, the king who so happily stepped down the throne...the king who so much manifests god himself.

November Eleven became a phrase among us that described the best holiday of the year. There were people who claimed to be born on the day, some who changed their birthdays, anyway we envied them a lot. I prayed for my baby to be born on eleventh of November, she delayed by 18 days. 

It breaks my heart when we no more march to the beat of the drum on November 11 but yet the feeling never changed: November Eleven is writ in Heart. How great it feels not to be gifted with a new king and Twenty First February to celebrate.

Happy Birthday my king.

I couldn't locate the authentic source of the great photograph I have used here, however I am grateful.

How to Show Folder hidden by Virus

This evening, out of the blue two students visited me with intention to learn JavaScript. They were with their laptop. They told me that they could not find their files on their thumb drive. I thought files were hidden and decided to locate them but I could not find them. Since I had many JavaScript solved examples on my drive I inserted my drive into their laptop only to find that all my files are gone too. Only unobtainable shortcuts are left. I took back my drive and scanned it immediately on my laptop. A virus called zouwoo.exe was detected. Even after it was removed my folders were missing. I nearly kicked of the two boys. They left without a cup of tea.

I tried hundred ways to retrieve my folders only to find myself defeated and fearing the worst. But deep in my mind I was praying to Google. I knew Google Rimpochee will have a solution. And yes, after three or four tries I landed up with the following solution that WORKED.

Provided by: jack4rall on Aug 14, 2010

Over 9000 Files- Lost and Found!
If you did not format your flash drive, then check whether the files are not in 
hidden mode. 

Click on "Start" -->Run-->type cmd and click on OK. 
Here I assume your pendrive as

Enter this command. 

attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* 

Note : Replace the letter g with your flash drive letter. 
Now check for your files in Pen Drive. 

Source: Kioskea.net
To all your life's problems there is Google Rimpochee!

09 November 2010

Uneconomical Worship

I heard tearing or burning or for that matter any action resulting in making a currency note unusable affects the country's economy. But my love for computer subject since class nine deprived me of studying economics and thus understanding that fact or any other issue related to business and economy.

However I at least understand that a country cannot print as much money as it likes, it has to go by its gold deposit. I have no idea where the gold has to be deposited and how much money Bhutan can print. But every note we destroy counts down the national money. Every single note is expect to go around, hand to hand, buying things, making profit, ...and being useful and therefore one note destroyed means the end to its long useful journey.
Kids envying the floating money!

Even as an educated adult I can't quite comprehend it wisely let alone the illiterates and kids. The picture shows a beautiful pond with a statue of Khandrom pouring water into the pond from her Bumpa. And what is shocking is that the pond was filling up with money that day I visited. I could see lots of Nu.20 and Nu.10 notes aging at the bottom of the pond, soon to be joined by hundreds of fresh notes floating on the surface. I nearly jumped to collect the money, seriously it was lot of money being destroyed if not rescued soon. There should be a signboard: "This is not wish fulfilling pond, please don't throw your money."

02 November 2010

My Daughter is not teething

Many of you have seen my baby grow through my blog and you would agree that she is a very healthy girl. She is far more intelligent than any baby I ever saw, not to mention her physical strength and sound making ability. She can already tease us and make us laugh just when she wants. Just five days ago she was gliding over the floor on her belly and as if to mark her 11th month she crawled that evening. She is 11 months 4 days today and can walk on her feet with little support from things around her. By all this my daughter is an illustration of perfect healthy baby... if only she had some teeth in her little mouth. My daughter doesn't have her first pair of teeth yet.
29th Oct 2010- 11 months old and toothless angel of mine

Dear readers (senior parents, doctors and anybody who knows about it), is it something I should be worrying about? Should I just wait or rush to hospital for some sort of medication, if any? I am writing to parenting@bbs.com.bt though but it would be nice if you could give me your piece of mind.

01 November 2010

Coronation Day- the moment that stopped the world

November 6, 2008: Thimphu was filled to the neck, so we decided to enjoy ourselves in the school. We had our school picnic to make the day memorable. The ceremony in Thimphu was telecast live on BBS. I quickly Googled a way to project the TV on wall and made it possible before they could boil the morning tea. Now, school hall gathered huge crowd. I was proudly waiting for the crowning ceremony; didn't have a clue how it would happen- father king crowning his son. Never saw one before- none would have possibly seen in the entire history of mankind.

Crowning Glory- the moment that stopped the world
I was shivering with excitement. Picture of fifth king with crown was already publicized but still the thrill of seeing His Majesty wearing the raven crown on TV was killing me. Everything seem to happen in slow motion- Je Khenpo lifted the crown (I thought it would be heavy but it wasn't) and offered to our fourth king. My eyes were gathering tears suddenly, I didn't know why. My heart raced and then it stopped all together when our new king bowed to his father and received the raven crown. The hall went dead silent and world stopped moving. Then came the loud cheering and clapping and shaking hands and hugging. World just witnessed the magic of the millennium.

Today we celebrate the 2nd coronation day and I wish my king immortality and perfect happiness. 

His majesty is celebrating his coronation with the victims of Chamkhar Fire today. 

For the Record: November 1st is observed as the coronation because that was when the ceremony began from sacred chamber (Marchen) of Punakha Dzong. 

Picture Source: http://cache.boston.com