30 November 2011

My Daughter Becomes Two

On 29th November 9:29PM my daughter became 2. They say the height of a two year old multiplied by two will give their adult height. So I measured her the very minute she became two and found she's 87 cm tall, which means she will be 174 cm tall by the time she becomes 20- She is going to be 2 cm taller than me.
The long fearful wait for her teeth is finally over. I didn't count but there are enough teeth in her mouth now. Sometimes I regret shaving her head, even after five months her hair is not back, forget having thicker hair. Only her girlish outfit identifies her as a girl, and on many other occasions I had to correct strangers that my babe is a girl.
On her birthday, it's time to reflect on her two years among us, it's strange to realize that someone from nowhere comes into our lives and suddenly takes ownership of everything we ever had and we gladly give in. There were times my wife and I sit and talk about "if's": if our babe could sit up, if our babe could walk on her own, if our babe could talk... but later we realized that everything happens when it's time and there is so much joy in appreciating what she could do at the moment than thinking of what she can't do yet! My cousin became mother recently and she wishes if her babe could run around and play like my daughter, but I told her to enjoy her babe when she is still there on her lap and smiling because that moment is never going to come back.
For Memory!
What I don't like about my daughter is her mad love for technology. It was our fault, we tried to amuse her with some interactive games on iPad and now we are having it! Her favorite game is Angry Bird and she doesn't understand that it's not our favorite game and that we have many other works to do- she lets us play with her for hours and if we deny at any point she turns into Angry Bird herself. I am thoroughly beaten by my daughter- her punches and slaps are something I don't want to mess with.
She knows Youtube is for videos and my broadband accounts exhausts within a week from her Angry Bird commercial movies- I didn't know Angry birds was so popular until she took me there. Now she is also contributing to its popularity of billion views! 
Something My daughter loves!
Her second birthday was attended by my friends Ugyen and family, Juggu and Family, and Lop Tshering Gyeltshen over a small cake and dinner.

29 November 2011

Social Stigma- Can we afford one more?

Every once in a long while there comes a disease that changes the fate of millions and test the rest of mankind. The last such disease was leprosy that infected the human civilization for over 4000 years. This disease divided human race into two, human and leper. The leprosy stigma was so strong that lepers were forced segregated and quarantined, deprived of basic rights and warmth. In medieval times sufferers were worn leper bells, like cowbells, to signal their presence. Even in recent times, after the disease became treatable, lepers suffered equally strong stigma- termination from jobs, ban from public places, deprivation of healthcare and worse of all their families giving up on them.
Leper Bell! (Picture:: Wikipedia)
Bhutan has its own history of leprosy; stigma drove sufferers into isolation into the remote caves to wait for their ends. One such recorded history is that of Gelong Ma Pema's. Even today, after all the education, medical breakthrough, and understanding nobody wants to be associated with a leper; the stigma finds it hard to leave the society that has it rooted deep within its .
The bacterial disease is finally gone, or as good as gone but a virus has come and it's given a very technical name- HIV AIDS. Like I said, every once in a long while comes a disease that changes the fate of millions and test the rest of mankind- while leprosy surely changed the fate of millions but the rest of mankind failed the test. Now the time has come for another test, AIDS has changed the fate of millions but will the rest of us repeat the same mistake of depriving the sufferers of our love and compassion? Are we going to force segregate and isolate them in social caves? Are we going to wear them virtual cowbells?
Let us realize that the disease hasn't come for nothing, it's god's way of testing mankind of our virtues. If we are going to repeat what we have done to lepers with AIDS patients God may never forgive us. It's not about who sees the death first, many people die each day while infected people are living for years, but it's about the emotional support they need each moment of their lives fighting the disease and we owe them that much. Let's not wait for 4000 more years to realize that they are our family.

In two days we are going to see four HIV positives Bhutanese on National TV to share their experiences. We are all waiting with mixed feelings but one thing we must remember is they are sick of hiding and fighting alone. They are counting on us to help them fight the disease stronger and freely. 

28 November 2011

Encyclopedic of Bhutanese Hotels

I didn't know there were so many hotels in our country until I came across hotel.bt. Out of curiosity I checked a few hotels I know to see how good the site is, and I am thoroughly amazed at the collection of precise information backed up by beautiful pictures. It covers the hotels across the country and now I can already choose a hotel in any part of the country depending on my budget. And since it's online tourist from outside the country can make their choices too.

Click on the picture to visit the site.

The idea and the design re-inspired me to go back to my drawing board and work on my Question bank project which I dropped after MoE announced their project, which of course didn't materialize as well.

18 November 2011

Rising Star- Promote Little Tshering Dorji

Little Tshering Dorji is a fifth grader with magical voice. There are about five YouTube videos uploaded by pemajigs in last three days, and I couldn't help watching them over and over. The boy has that charm in his voice which I never felt in most Bhutanese singers. He is as good as those kids on SaReGaMaPa Lil Champs, only he needs some training and support.

If you haven't heard him yet, you won't believe me. Just watch the video and help him by spreading the words. Somewhere there may a musician who may invest in his voice and give us a singer who will pay us back with songs that could touch our souls. We must help him because he deserves it.

Update (2 Feb 2012): Tshering Dorji has found the stage with National Talent Hunt, and is winning the hearts of every Bhutanese with his seasoned voice on BBS 2. Like they say, he is going to Do Something!

16 November 2011

Dear Daughter, you were wonderful today

You just slept. It took a long time, you were feeling strange, I know, it's your first day without milk in your entire life. But we could see you were trying so hard, you already finished over five bottles of orange juice by the time you closed your eyes. Thank you babe, for being such a nice girl today. You have always been so cooperative when it came to taking big steps in your life like the toilet training last week. We sat you on the potty one time and the next time you asked for it. These for many other kids proved to be very difficult and often painful but you are special.
My Daughter's Recent Picture
 There are 14 days left for your second birthday, which is when we had planned to quit breastfeeding you but today out of the blue your mummy excitedly shared with me what she has done to you in my absence- she applied soya sauce over her nipple and showed to you saying it's so painful. You looked at her with worried expression and asked her to cover it up. You then asked for bottle. By the time I came home for lunch you have already passed six hours test without milk. By then you were resolute, you were saying No even when you mummy teasingly tempted you.
Darling, we are very sorry to have done this on to you but you must understand that this has to be done one day or the other and it is always better to be done earlier. We were with you undergoing the same pain every minute today, trying to comfort you each time you were frustrated.
Babe, you have to know that you are the only lucky baby in whole of locality who had the luxury to suckling for entire first six months of your life without mixing with a drop of water. Your mother was very insistent on doing this so that you live a very healthy life. You are the storeroom of million surprises babe, for the last one month you constructed many sentences and even had your four new teeth. You have shown craze for technology, which I think I should control and of all the thing today you surprise us by being so nice, which we thought would be very difficult. Now you have climbed one stage up in your life, and thank you for making it so easy for us. Love you.

11 November 2011

11.11.11- Remembering Young Jigme at 17

At 17 I was in high school trying to figure out why my mathematics teacher didn't like me, why the warden had to be so strict, why all the beautiful girls were scared of me, and what was I doing there in school. I had all the time to live my school life day by day. Little short of financial luxury but I had nothing to worry much about, it was a beautiful school and food was sufficient, hostel room was cozy, I only had to wake up in the morning and sleep at night- much of the waking hours went in sleeping and rest hardly mattered.
But at 17 young crown prince Jigme Singye Wangchuck not only lost his father, but also his king. Bhutan turned numb at the news but young Jigme had to wipe off his tears midway down the cheeks and answer to his country's calling. He had to leave his playground too soon. He was born a crown prince but was deprived of all boyhood fun, life didn't give him time to grow one day at a time.

At 17, I was only half worried about my exam, and damn excited about my winter vacation but at 17 young Jigme ascended the golden throne and gave hope to every Bhutanese. At 17 he became the Fourth King of Bhutan and brought back the warmth in Bhutanese hearts, which they feared they lost forever.
At 17, I was trying to make sense of many things in my history textbook. At 17, His Majesty the Fourth King made history by becoming the youngest monarch.

At 17, I finally knew a few tricks to survive in hostel thereby ensuring my happiness, but I was yet to understand what makes my teachers happy, and what it takes to keep my mother happy. But at 17, His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk kept aside his broken heart and pronounced his dream of happiness for his country and the people, and ever since, every Bhutanese felt the impact of his dreams in our lives. The dream, which the rest of the world could comprehend only now.

At 17, what were you doing? At 17 what are our kids doing now? Remember at 17, His majesty ensured happiness for all of us till the end of time. The best way to celebrate the life of the Great IV is to leave behind our excuses and start giving our best!

04 November 2011

Singaporeans Believe in Bhutan

Two weeks ago, when Mr Khaw made a conclusion about Bhutan, I was disheartened. I thought he took away a wonderful friend from us because we count on Singapore when it comes to technological development. I knew his beliefs were his own yet I couldn't deny that those words were spoken in the parliament. I just sat down and wrote a letter to him, fully aware that my words won't make it anywhere near him in this vast universe of information. After over ten regular days, my blog stats suddenly started shooting up like a timer and comments flooded in. At first, it brought me immense joy and satisfaction as a blogger, and my message made it through. When the hits shot over 45,000, I began to worry. What have I done?

I only wanted Mr Khaw to know that we are happy, and far beyond my intention, it has gone viral, disturbing the minds of many Singaporeans. Many turned up to apologize on behalf of their minister, and discussions were heated on many forums. In trying to convince him that we were happy, I landed up making him unhappy; while I don't regret my words, I apologize for the unprecedented noise it made.

Our King and Queen just visited Singapore, and perhaps Singapore must have seen the very reflection of our simple happiness in the humility of our King. Over ninety positive Singaporean comments on my blog convinced me that they believe in Bhutan, that they believe in happiness, and that they are sorry about Mr Khaw being cynical. 

I am not used to so many comments on my blog; therefore, I am sorry I can't reply to each one of you, but I am very thankful that so many of you read my blog and took the time to leave your comments. I wish you happiness.

Thanks, Kuenzang Thinley, for the wonderful Award.