Showing posts with label Hostel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hostel. Show all posts

08 September 2012

Happy Retirement Lopen

Lopen Namgay Phuntsho from Punakha was a teacher since 1973. It was an emotional moment when I saw about his retirement on the Facebook. He is finally done with his job. In last 40 years he made differences in lives of thousands. Those thousands include me. This great teacher and I crossed our paths in Drukgyel and I spent four best years of my life under his care.
During my days in Drukgyel I feared my share of fear and loved this man as much. It didn't take long before I understood his true content. He was the personification of truth and Justice and maintained these two greatest principles throughout, that no soul ever dared challenge this stainless man. He made us believe in truthfulness, and we trusted him for justice.
Teaching and Disciplining Since 1973
When I took my first step in Drukgyel the first advice I was given by my seniors was to tell the truth if I was caught doing mischief. His long experience has given him the super ability to detect lies, and thus becoming the first known biological Lie-Detector. He would throw a few question and if the culprit is lying he would turn very red (perhaps this is where he got his nick name- Asha Maap, which mean uncle Red) and remove his HMT watch and the show goes on until the truth comes out.
The best part of the man is that he honours truth. He would stop when the truth comes out, and it was up to us to decide when to tell it. That taught us life's best lesson. I was caught drunk with two of my friends and even before he asked I told him I drank beer. He said, "Even beer can make you drunk, but it's better than whiskey." He took us home and offered tea and he never mentioned about the beer. That's it. I never dared another bottle of beer until the last few days in Drukgyel.
About justice, this man was the leveler. In his hostel it's ok to be a villager's son to enjoy equal privileges. My three years of torture in Gaupay and three years even before that in Dawakha had made me believe that we were lesser human and that we only deserved lesser than those from richer families. But in Drukgyel Lopen Namgay Phuntsho called us all by our names and he took us for who we are and not for who our parents were. Every punishment is justifiable against our mischief and nobody cries foul, we just cry. He did not have a list of favorites, nor did he have a blacklist. Life in Drukgyel was fun and scary but not insecure, thanks to this man.
I faintly remember an incident where he was firing a boy and the boy was begging for mercy, and from his house came his old mother with a stick and our deadly warden ran like a little boy. That boy was rescued. I loved that incident, not because the boy was spared but because it showed how he still remained his mama's boy.
After nine year, that was last year, I met him in Lobesa. At first I nearly ran away then I remembered I was a married man with a daughter now and that I have also become a teacher, but that one instant when I saw him it transported be back to Drukgyel. To my grandest surprise he shook my hand and said, "Passa Tsheri, you are teacher in Bajothang no? Kinley Dorji has finally become an army officer..." He not only remembered my name and found my address, he went on telling about all my friends whom even I didn't know where they were. He was a human encyclopedia. I was spellbound. So, next time you meet him be prepared for surprises!
I thank him for being there in my life and playing very important role in my transition from a boy to a man. He also has a great role in the type of teacher I have become though I can never be half as good as him. Only thing about him that I didn't consider in shaping my life was his English, that was better left for himself.

21 February 2012

I Quit!

No, it's not about me, don't worry. I saw "I Quit" scribbled on the wall in Joy Lobo's room in 3 Idiots. Call me crazy for watching the movie over thirty times and still wanting to watch it, but I have learned so much from it that if I had the power I would honour 3 Idiots with  the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Joy Lobo's song became my favorite and his part in movie portrays how weak students respond to challenges. He throws his great invention in the rubbish bin and hangs himself. Imagine if he completed his project and flew his spy-chopper into Virus' office, wouldn't it justify the delay? Of course it's just a movie, and if that happened in the movie the whole charm would die away. But what Rancho does with Lobo's rubbish is something we should applaud at.
From 3 Idiots 
On the contrary, I was shocked at what I saw on the hostel wall where I went to drop my son last week. "I Quit" was written in bold right at the entrance of his hostel, and I could only hope that whoever wrote it might have written it in good humor. Otherwise, look what our kids are picking on! Of the thousand good lessons in the movie, just that thing which was meant not to play with was picked on.

Seen on Hostel Wall