31 July 2013

Twitter Friends in Thimphu

Last weekend three prominent ladies on twitter- Aum Tshewang Tashi(@norththimphu) the vice president of BKP and born activist, Sonam Ongmo(@sonamongmo) the international journalist and editor of The Raven and the beautiful entrepreneur Chimi Zom Dorji(@czdorji) planned to overwhelm me when they called me for a debut meeting. 
I was excited and worried by the threats they made on twitter: "Don't Chicken out", but it was actually me who made it there first. I was prepared to run away if they really meant their threats but the latecomers were truly honorable and graceful. I loved every moment spent with them.
Then came in the true hero, Madam Karma Choden(@476Kaycee), another sage on Twitter. She made a thundering entry and overwhelmed three ladies. I was prepared but the ladies weren't expecting the sage to be so loud that they had to cover their ears throughout the gathering. They paid for the mischievous intention against me. They are only thankful that twitter has no option of posting voice tweets. They finally surrendered and chickened out with bruises on their arms and bells ringing in their ears. They hated me for not warning them but I was innocent, I was worried myself you know and I enjoyed the expressions on their beautiful faces.
Kuchey, We Surrender!
Days later I regretted, because I realised that I had spend the whole time laughing and drinking without talking anything significant with the ladies, but you know ladies never finish their own chats. I am looking forward to another meeting with them over coffee but time flies swift in Thimphu and I have my duties calling from Bajothang.

With graceful Chimi Zom Dorji
I am in Thimphu for the last two weeks working on the Education ICT Master Plan, and I will be working partly for this project for the next four months. Keeping the guilt of not being in the school aside, I am enjoying every day in Thimphu with my family.

21 July 2013

Perhaps the History of Mojo Dog

Mojo Park is undoubtedly the most happening night club in Thimphu. Having heard about it so much I have been there thrice since December. The last one was yesterday at their Summer Gaga. Unlike hundreds who were passionately participating by coming in theme dress and screaming along with bands, I was a mere visitor in my jeans and jumper standing in a corner. I am yet to understand and live the urban culture but I love observing and appreciating small things happening in big places.

There was a fat white dog outside Mojo Park Gate and I have seen him every time I went there and assumed he lived there. The regular visitors fondly talk to him and allow him to sleep between their legs. Of many dogs there what makes this white dog their favorite? The interesting answer to it is that dog hates cops. He growls and barks at the sight of cops. I have personally seen this happen twice. Cops on night patrol make their presence at the club gate when it's about time to close down, and the dog barks at them with dedication as if he was trained to do that.

I have no idea about how this dog actually learned to hate the cops but the very character that made the canine popular among visitors made him unpopular among the cops. Last night, It broke my heart to see three cops waiting at the club gate, long after it was close, to put an end to this poor dog. I was waiting for a friend to return to pick up another friend whom she forgot to take along, which made me an eye witness to the brutality. The poor dog knew what was going to happen to him and was feeling very insecure without his hosts, who already left. He took refuge under the bench I was sitting  and was making pleading sounds. The cops closed in and asked us to move aside to avoid accidental hit. My friend protested and so did a hippie Band member (The drummer of the last event) but the cops were all set to finish the animal. He took one big hit on his back but managed to escape, crying in pain. The cops went chasing him and what happened after that will largely depend on his luck.

When Mojo Park opens on Wednesday if the fat white dog is seen around know that he has escaped a murder attempt, and that it's your love that brought him back to you. Perhaps it's time to untrain him. But if your favorite dog doesn't appear this Wednesday, that's what happened to him. Please pray for him. I will come around to check on him too.

12 July 2013

PP Teacher Forever

My Aunty, Madam Lhaday, is over 90 kg and does little or no physical exercise but what keeps her healthy is her job. She teaches Class PP in Dechencholing. She has been teaching Class PP for last 30 years. Some of her PP students are now principals, directors, senior officers,... Today she is teaching children and also grandchildren of her once PP students. Her hair has turned grey but nothing has changed in the way she teaches and deals with children... Watch the video to see what I mean:

11 July 2013

Meeting the Greener Friend

Karma Yonten, the founder of Greener Way and of course the winner of Global Entrepreneurial Award of the year, is a friend of mine on social media for quite sometime. I was following his greener way with admiration and shown interest to meet him. Thus it happened last weekend at Simtokha. We sped past each other on the narrow road and both of us pulled over and began conversing like we knew each other for ages.
We met again yesterday over coffee and shared so much within the short span of time he had in hand. He is a young man who has already seen so much of life in so many different shades. Listening to the stories of his journey before he found the Greener Way is heart wrenching yet so inspiring. He is still struggling despite all the name and recognition but he is built to survive out of the comfort zone. He is among the few Bhutanese who will go down in history for having dare to think and work differently. When are we going to break out boxes?

06 July 2013

Politics in the Kitchen

Politics is the last topic I want to discuss during the election time, not because I-am-supposed-to-be apolitical but because I can never do justice to the subject. Whatever I write can offend as many as I can please, and I so far didn't see something called political middle path. Truth, like gold, maintains its property but can be molded into different shapes under the political hammer.
Food taste good on such oven
Spending endless hours reading everything political figures, supporters, critics, and parties write on social media I realized Bhutan is full of Political Pundits. It's hard to digest that we are citizens of the youngest democracy in the world.
This time, Critics have pushed politics right into the kitchen. I don't know if there is anything political about the Cooking gas subsidy withdrawal but the timing was shockingly suspicious. Just a week ahead of poll what else can be more damaging. Kitchen is the heart of a home, mood of a family is cooked in the kitchen and when politics comes into the kitchen every member of the family will have to taste the salty political food.
Big lesson to learn: next time you want to hurt a nation, remember to hit the kitchen ;)
I, personally have two months at my disposal before I begin to think about what next to do because I have two filled cylinders in my kitchen, which is why I sound so cool. By then I am hoping subsidy will be back in place, but if it's not I seriously can't afford another refill. I am not going to pay so much for stinking gas. I would rather sell my two empty cylinders and buy a nice electrical stove. For once I want to make myself believe that we are rich in electricity. Now, don't joke about increasing power tariff- that would be a national insult.
I am now starting to wonder how much a plate of momo will cost by next month because I remember cab drivers increasing the fare by Nu.50 when petrol price inflates by Nu.1. I think we should order for momo cooked on electric stove.
If subsidy withdrawal sustains then scrap dealers will make good money out of metal cylinders because Nu.1200 is still big in rural Bhutan. They will surely go back to forest and collect firewood, after all food taste good on mud oven.

01 July 2013

Monthly Birthday Gift to my Daughter

My daughter, Ninzi Tshomo, in her three and a half years of the journey into life has only seen the best part of human life. It was her luck that she came into our life when Kezang and I are of the right age to become parents and when two of us are well settled in life to offer her the best. It was our luck that after the day she was born we got to see the best days of our life. She was someone on whom we could invest all our love and harvest unlimited joy. It’s a perfect life we are living, but this perfect moment asks me an imperfect question: Will this last forever?

                                           Compilation of Ninzi’s Self-made videos

It’s a very simple question, yet it breaks my heart. Everything that begins somewhere will end anywhere and nobody knows where and nothing can stop. As long as I and Kezang last she will be our princess but the sad reality is that we are designed to perish. My greatest fear is that the princess might have to face life on her own someday before we could make her ready.

If such a day comes sooner my daughter will be made to pay for all the good times she had with us, because we have lived for today and have done nothing for her tomorrow. There is no home she can call hers, not a patch of land to set her feet on and no savings to shelter her from the hard reality.

As young parents, we threw lavish parties on her first two birthdays but on the third birthday it suddenly occurred to me that my daughter would need more than just a birthday party because life is not a birthday cake, it’s rather like the candle on that cake that is blown off when the crowd sings. 

So on her third birthday (29th Nov 2012) I signed my daughter’s education insurance policy papers and sealed it with a big kiss. I can’t buy her a house or land but I have readied her college fees that day. On her 18th birthday she will receive her first premium of over hundred thousand ngultrums to pay for her college, and every year she will receive the same amount till she completes her college. On her 21st birthday, she will receive the full bonus and have four hundred thousand at her disposal until she decides what to do with her life. Every month on her birthday, i.e. 29th, I gift her with the monthly instalment. If someday I live no more the insurance company will still have to pay her college fees, as is mentioned in terms and condition. 

If I am lucky enough, I will pray for that and even the insurance company will pray, to see my daughter go to college, be there on her graduation day, then perhaps we will use that money to go on vacation every year, and on her 21st birthday she can buy a car for herself and take Kezang and me on a ride because by then my Santro car will be too old.