24 June 2011

Email Robbery

This afternoon I received the following email from Ms. Binita Lhaden. I don't know her but faintly remember sending a complain letter to her once regarding some trade issue. I know Ms. Binita herself will be surprised to know about this because it's not her who sent the message. Her yahoo mail account is probably hacked. The hackers will send the same mail to all the people whose email addresses are saved in her account. That's why I received the mail.

Why are they doing this?
Hackers are expecting some friends of Ms. Binita to respond to her mail and send the asked money. Just respond and see how these people can fool you so convincingly.
The email!

How to prevent this?
This can happen to your account also. You should be careful when typing your password on public computers. Always log out from your account while leaving. Change your password from time to time. Make your password strong-text mixed with numbers.

*If any of you know Ms. Binita, please inform her (not by email though)that her yahoo account has become a beggar online and she should do something about it immediately.

20 June 2011

Geography of My Kitchen Garden

When I wrote Lost Path last June our door step was one foot under the sand. I personally witnessed how the flash floods from the farm road covered our campus with sand thrice, and therefore I know that the place I am calling my kitchen garden is sandy.
My First bean.
If you have followed my blog regularly you would know that I had to build fences around my soul before I could fence my garden. And as if that wasn't enough, my sandy soil brought in lots of skeptical advisers kindly assuring me that nothing would grow in my garden. If they are right, then why am I wasting time? Well, geography says sand is not fertile but geography also say that the flood plain in Bangladesh is very fertile. The sand in my garden was brought there by flood and it ought to be fertile as well.
Chili and Egg Plant

Kingdom of tomatoes- I didn't plant on the side of the box!

 Nobody says anything these days, it has only been over a month and my green garden is answer to all their doubts. Spring onion was the first to answer followed by tomato. Garlic leaves and beans are swaying in the wind. Egg plants are growing huge leaves overshadowing my spinach (spinach reminds me of Popeye the sailor man). Coriander leaves, carrot and broccoli are just germinating while maize and ola choto are touching the fence. Chili trees look promising- I have the Indian chili plants. My most favorite plants in my garden are the two Coffee plants and two Dalle plants. Looking at the list, it may seem like I have acres of land but in fact I only have about ten square feet- including the soil in wooden box.
Spring Onion among Egg Plant, and Coriander in the box.
These many plants growing out of my sandy garden assure me that I have read the geography of Bangladesh carefully.
First harvest!
An afterthought:
* Two coffee plants may give me two cups of coffee, or may be more or may be the wind will never let them grow their fleshy leaves. but twenty years from now, when you drink a Bhutanese coffee brand called "PaSsu" please remember to share with your kids how uncle PaSsu began with just two plants of Coffee ha ha ha.
My two Coffee plants- half ragged by wind!

18 June 2011

Finding Happiness in Kitchen Garden

The long excited wait for the end of the month ends in an hour of bliss, this is the story of every ordinary Bhutanese working on salary. Our salary, which lands in our hand in slow motion disappears like a ghost. That one hour of ownership you have over your salary, before it goes on to fill up the holes you have created throughout the month, is all the joy you could have by right.
How do you extend your ownership over your salary? You are not a delivery boy who collect the salary from your office and go from shops to fuel pump to BPC to Telecom to your landlord to deliver their share as if it were their salary you collected. You money has the right to say in your purse for a night at least.
Since you can't produce petrol you have to buy it. If you don't own a house you have to rent one. Telephone and power bills are unavoidable. You have to pay for clothes since you can't weave on your own. But what about a tomato? or an onion? a bunch of Coriander leaves? Can't we grow them? or do you want to put so much pressure on your salary?
You will call me miser but I call myself awake. I started a kitchen garden- a small one. It gives me a reason to wake up early and feel the dewdrops on the leaves. It gives me time to relax in the evening with a cup of tea along with my wife. It shall give all the basic vegetables I will ever need in a few weeks time- green and fresh.

14 June 2011

Wind-hole in Wangdue

Legend has it that the Wind in Wangdue comes from a hole in the elephant hill. And many still believe so, finding no geographical justification to why Wangdue should be so windy when places around it are calm. To add more gravity to the legend, the wind at the southern end of the Wangdue Dzong is man-blowing; if you haven’t been there you don’t really know how windy the windy Wangdue is.
Man-blowing wind.
The gigantic prayer flag on the hill waves ferociously with sound enough to surpass twenty scooters starting at once, every blade of grass points in the direction of the wind, trees seem to have lost much of their leaves to the wind… every inch of the hill spells out the power of the wind.
I went looking for the hole, from the head to the tip of the trunk of the elephant hill. I wanted to photograph the wind at its source, but the legend remained a legend- I couldn’t find the hole this time. But the wind blew me into wonder- is so much power going to go wasted everyday in blowing dust around? Or embarrassing and shy girl by blowing up her kira, or by blowing off a bald man’s hat? Can’t it be harnessed into useful energy- to pump water or generate electricity? Because even if there is no wind hole in the hill there is undeniable power of wind sweeping the hill at all times.

11 June 2011

Full Landscape of Bajothang

Inspired by the National Geographic photographer, who combines over eighty different shots to get the full view of 1600 year old tree, I tried with two shots. But as always I failed. The two shots are of different size and different lighting, making it difficult to merge. The end result looks funny but until I plan a better one this one is for the record.
As seen from North
You can see Bajo School, Bajo town, the Punatshangchhu River, Tencholing Army Camp, Wangdue town, Wangdue Dzong and Ninzergang Lhakhang. Well, if you don't see them clear, forgive me and wait for the next try!

08 June 2011

My Daughter got shaved

A theory has it that if a child has thin hair, only way to get it thick is to shave it off once. We agreed and thought of doing it to our daughter long ago. Last winter, my wife said it's too cold to have her shaved, and when summer came she said it's hot and our babe can't wear cap. Thus, we kept pushing away the idea, because deep inside both of us didn't want to do it.
Last Sunday we saw a clean shaved toddler in Punakha that inspired us and we decided. Our girl was sleeping when we drove her to the saloon. I told the barber, I will do his job and pay him the price-fearing my daughter might not like him, but interestingly she never woke through out the process.
As the machine ran through her hair I felt very sorry, and my wife nearly cried. She looked so pitiably adorable yet we felt bad for snatching her girlish looks. After it was all over she woke up- now she looked very naughty. The barber warned us not to let her look in the mirror for sometime, he told us of stories where babies scared themselves to sickness.
If you tease her about her hair, this is what she does!
We made her feel her new head with her hand and gradually took her to mirror. Alas, even a girl of her age feels the difference, she looked sad and ran away from the mirror- and yes, agreed to wear cap for the first time in 18 months. We often see her go to the mirror and return with hanging face. Now she asks for cap every time she wants to go out.
Years from now, when she walks with her silky hair she would look in the mirror and love us for having shaved her once. For now, babe, we are sorry. But you look so so so Cute!

07 June 2011

Thousand Wishes on My Birthday

There were so many years I lived without even knowing my birthday, and then there was a period where nobody remembered my birthday except myself. I use to cry like a baby. I wasn't lucky to have a cake on my birthday, and wasn't lucky to have people who cared to come and gift me. I am from among people who die for the riches.

Now, it's all a different story, I have a birthday to celebrate, loving people to sit with, money to buy cake and go out. Thanks to Facebook, everybody remembers my birthday. I received over 300 messages on my wall and it made me feel really good. My sister, who used to wish me on wrong days, called me yesterday morning. BOBL has a nice automated SMSing system in place- it wished me yesterday.

It was the nicest birthday I ever had. If birthdays are so much fun, I don't mind growing old!

05 June 2011

Greener Dream of Bajo

Bajo has as many trees as twenty schools in Thimphu could dream for and all the thanks to its alumni who had spared no June 2 since 1997. It's sad that the day is no more a national holiday but Bajo has no hard feelings against whoever is responsible. We have enough tree to breath for next hundred years.

Bajo Campus!
But not all part of Wangdue is as lucky. The magnificent dzong is exposed to the full fury of the wind, which has left it as the last dzong without CGI roof. Everything around the dzong points in the direction of the wind. There is hardly any tree left to shield the massive structure from the wind, and therefore over three hundred students from Bajo School joined the foresters and Dzong project workers in planting over thousand tree saplings around the dzong. If the wind would spare it, in next twenty years you would see how beautiful Wangdue dzong looks in the green wood rather than wild cactus.
Bajo Students on the mission!