Showing posts with label K5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label K5. Show all posts

12 August 2014

Audience With His Majesty

My greatest dream in life, like any Bhutanese dream, is to stand in front of my king someday with the guiltless satisfaction of having done my job well. For that I have been working every day in preparation, honing my skills, molding my attitude and defining my dreams. But I never thought I would be so lucky to blessed right here in the beginning of my journey. I was greatly honored and humbled to be granted a personal audience with His Majesty the King yesterday, August 10, 2014. This day shall inspire me in seeking meaning in my living, and I thank all the people who wished me well to see this day.

I had a sleepless night of countless thoughts, I was struggling for words to describe that powerful emotion within me, it's like having won the Nobel prize. I was recollecting every word His Majesty said to me during the overwhelming two hours I spent at the Lingkana Palace. It gave me goosebumps remembering how much His Majesty knew about his ordinary subjects like me. It's so heartwarming to realize that the king is watching everyone of us everyday, he cares about our efforts. He knows who is doing what, no matter where in the world we are. He understands our ordinariness, and therefore the royal expectation of us is nothing extraordinary. He wants us to do the best that is ordinarily possible of us. Because so much is possible.

His Majesty's expectation of his people reminds me of Martin Luther King Jr.'s words,
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

His Majesty expressed his regard for my humble efforts, and reminded me of the long way that lies ahead of me. His Majesty wishes to see consistency, dedication and humility in what I do. His Majesty gave his blessings on my blogging passion and inspired me to be socially active and responsible citizen. He advised me to remain locally useful and globally relevant at all times.

The joy and fear of carrying the king's earnest words weigh equally and heavily on my soul, and I am going to put every piece of myself and every piece of this life to thank His Majesty in action. There is so much to do, and long way to go before I truly deserve the royal audience I was granted.
With His Majesty, 2009 Convocation 

25 June 2013

Wangdue Dzong Design

Today, 24 June 2013, is the first anniversary of Wangdue Dzong Fire disaster, which seemingly was forgotten too quickly by many Bhutanese, including media. Disasters across the world are remembered for ages and each anniversary they find out how much people and things have moved on, but today there was nothing about Wangdue Dzong in newspaper nor on television, perhaps we have moved on so much that there is nothing to reflect on or recount about.

I am as insignificant as any one of you when it comes to having any stake in the reconstruction of the Dzong with a contribution of just a few thousand Ngultrum, but having seen the disaster firsthand it created a lasting impression on me. I often have nightmares. I see the ruins everyday and everyday I am reminded of that fateful day. Everyday I wonder how the new dzong would be like, everyday I design the new dzong in my head, and everyday I wish if someone could consider my
Today, on the first anniversary I would like talk about my wishes for the new Wangdue Dzong. I have seen demolishing work in progress and I have heard of timbers be readied for the construction. I also know many great architects are putting their head together in coming up with the most magnificent design for new dzong. But at the back of my head I am deeply worried they might land up replicating Zhabdrung's design because I know how literally we relate Dzongs to Zhabdrung.
Today when we look at a Dzong, it relates us to Zhabdrung and his times, of people and their lives in seventeenth century. Hundreds of years from now when people look at Wangdue Dzong, they should be able to relate to us in twenty first century, and our lives. It must tell history of our Kings and not of Zhabdrung, because it's not the Dzong from Zhabdrung's time, it's built during the reign of our Fifth king and it's must be the history of our time. There are many other Dzongs that will tell tales of Zhabdrung. The purpose of Dzong has changed completely.
Wangdue Dzongkha Office after Fire-An Example

In this light, let's define 21st Century Dzong. It's must be a modern state of art with technology that defines our time. The walls need not be three meters thick anymore because we have no wars to fight now. The southern tower of the Dzong should accommodate a windmill to harvest the enormous power of wind that comes from there. The roof of the dzong should be made of solar panels to harvest solar energy.
The interior of the Dzong should house a theater for any form of art and cultural performance, not restricting to just tshechu. Royal Textile Academy infrastructure in Thimphu is a great example. It should have an international standard conference hall to host any regional and international meetings. The basement should have space for storage and parking, and access road to any part of the dzong, incase of emergencies like the last fire.
As museum is a must in the Dzong with outlet for handicraft sales that can showcase Bhutanese history and art to our people and to the outside world. National Library should find a space in new Wangdue Dzong too.
One pressing question is, should Dzong be housing all the Dzongkhag offices? I recently visited Wangdue Dzongkhag office, which is temporarily set up in Dzongkhag Choekhang, where a huge hall is divided into cubicles. It looked like a international corporate office, fine example of how future Dzongkhag office should be. And it can be outside the Dzong so that security and safety could be maintained easily.
The future Dzong should not waste space like it does now, it should create spaces that will generate revenue to sustain itself for all times to come- like Theater, Museum, Handicraft, Conference Hall, and Library. It should be the most sort-after public space ever seen in Bhutan.
It may take billions of Ngultrum but it's worth investing because Dzong are not built everyday. In building this Dzong we are writing the history of His Majesty the King and people of his time on the face of time. It must be the greatest structure ever built in Bhutan. So much I wish for...

21 February 2013

A National Birthday

November 11 was the last of holidays before we wind up our school and sit for exam during our times as children. It used to be the holiday we would wait all year long. It was the time we finally become resolute about sitting down and getting serious about our exams. It was the national birthday we would celebrate with all our hearts.
Now comes February 21, which is the first of holidays in spring, before we turn the first page of our books in school. Perhaps early national birthday has a significance of its own, time has changed. The Changed time demands earlier realization, right in spring. The luxury of relaxing till November is gone with our times.
Image from Wisdom Quarterly
On this joyous occasion I would like to offer my deepest prayer and humble wishes to his majesty on his 33rd birthday and say my thank you for the great 33 years in the history of Bhutan.

17 October 2011

Father King's Gift of Happiness to Bhutan

On December 14th, 2006, when His Majesty the Fourth King handed over his duties as king to his son, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the ministers and senior government officials who were attending the ceremony shed their tears silently, common people across the country were shocked and felt helpless, unable to comprehend. I thought it was a bad dream. For us, the Fourth King was the personification of God himself and I had a wish to live and die under his rule. It was the hardest to accept that the King we loved all our lives was resigning at the age of 51, changing the course of history and tradition.

But what we didn't realize was his vision of happiness for his people. And today, after two major events in the history of the nation- the coronation of the His Majesty the King of Bhutan and the Royal Wedding, when I look back it brings tears to my eyes as I understand how great a gift our Fourth King has given us on that fateful day in 2006.

First Time in the History of Humanity
Never in the history of our country, or any other country, a father king crowned his son. It was always after the passing away of the father that son gets crowned. For the first time in the history the raven crown was worn on the head of king who was perfectly happy during the crowning ceremony. And that glory reflected in lives of every Bhutanese. That was the Gift from the Fouth King that we didn't understand back in 2006.

The Royal Kiss in Changlingmethang

Never in the history of our country a queen was crowned in the presence of her father in-law. Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuk was the first queen who received Dhar Negnar from the dotting father King. The Royal Wedding became so special just because there was the father king to bless them and this is the blessing to the people of Bhutan that we didn't understand back in 2006.

And every morning we wake up to the love and grace of the charming young King without having to miss our former King just because we know he is still there watching us, and that is the daily happiness we enjoy and it's the gift from the Fourth King that we didn't understand back in 2006.

Now, there will be another moment in our own time when our Crown Prince will be born, who will be the first crown prince to receive the blessings and wisdom of his Grandfather. That shall bring immense joy to us all.

Thank you Your Majesty, now we know why you did what you did in 2006. You are truly the God of happiness.

13 October 2011

Bhutan's Queen Crowned Today

How much ever I write today, it is bound to fall far short of what actually happened.Queen of Bhutan is crowned and people far beyond our country have seen the crowning glory. Just for the record, I want to post this so that someday my daughter will grow up to read this and know that she was present at the ceremony.
I watched the whole ceremony live on BBS with my family and just when the King and Queen walked out into the crowd to meet the people, we dressed up and rushed to the Latshothang to see them. I nearly lost my camera at the security gate, but I convinced them that I am a responsible photographer and that I have taken it just to shoot my wife and daughter. After two shots of my family the battery died out, that's how responsible I was.
It was so exciting to see the newly wed King and Queen, Fourth King and Ashis, Princes, Princesses, Sogyal Rinpochee, popular political figures like Loenchen, OL Tshering Tobgay, Sonam Kuenga, Sangay Khandu (We shook hands) and many many more. Something special about Bhutan is that we consider these people as celebrities and not actors and singers.

The Royal Couple posing for Media. BBS Photo.
There are two events I will never forget in my life; First, The crowning of His Majesty the King, Jigme Khesar Namgay Wangchuk by his father, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singey Wangchuk and Second the crowning of Ashi Jetsun Pema by His Majesty.

And Dear Daughter, you were a little sick and cried a lot but you were there with us in Punakha during the Royal Wedding (October 13, 2011).

12 October 2011

My visit to Lingkana Palace

In Bhutan you don't have to be special to visit the Royal Palace, meet your King, and converse with Him. His Majesty makes it his personal interest to invite different groups of people to his palace and talk heart to heart with them over tea, which often he prepares himself.
With Royal Couple in their Palace
On the eve of royal wedding I am proud to share about my visit to the palace and meeting His Majesty and Ashi Jetsun Pema. His Majesty wished to sit down with people from different media groups and thus there were people from newspapers, radio, TV, film industry, Media Foundation and me- well I was to represent the bloggers. Blogging is picking up in Bhutan and now it is claiming its space alongside the mainstream media in the country.
During the conversation His Majesty shared with us about how he wants his wedding to be- humble and truly Bhutanese. He wants no chairs, no plates, no cold drinks, no beer, no wines, no international cuisines. He beamed as he described the display of local delicacies from 20 dzongkhags and palangs of local beverages. From the way he described his wedding plan it sounded to me like a wedding of an ordinary Bhutanese, and it made me so proud to be a Bhutanese.
His Majesty talked to us on various subjects ranging from his choice of music to books he read, from ancient Indian kings to first recorded Bhutanese song, from Ashi and him fighting for TV remote and laptop (they only have one TV and one laptop) to discovery of Third King's storeroom in Tashichhoedzong. When he shared the letter third king wrote to his Majesty the fourth king, who was then studying in London, I couldn't hold my tears.
His majesty and Ashi talked to each of us by calling our names and asking about things we do. Ashi Jetsun showed interest in my blog and asked for the blog address. She said, " I should read your blog.", which sounded to me like " The Oscar for the best Best Blog goes to PaSsu!!"
Throughout the audience I couldn't help watching his majesty's expression of love to ashi through his words, his smile, his touch and playfulness. Nothing in the world seemed to me so perfect than the choice our king made, and nothing in the world felt so powerful than the love I saw between the royal couple. His Majesty fondly told us that ashi takes good care of him despite being ten years younger to him and I thought that's the best service a queen could render to her country.
Tonight I pray to all gods in heaven with all my heart to bless our king and queen all the happiness in the world. And May the divine Royal love reflect in lives of every Bhutanese couple for all the times to come.

P:S: My visit to Lingkana Palace was about a month ago, I am sharing it on the eve of Royal Wedding.

26 August 2011

Oil and Canvas for Royal Wedding

There are million things happening at a time in Bhutan for the celebration of Royal Wedding and I am involved in half a million of them- at least I like to be. I am chasing deadline after deadline, personal to official, and moving out of my comfort zone in making the occasion something I can cherish forever as my personal achievement.
I am being approached by two groups of students to help them record their song, direct their MTV, Edit the Video and send it to BMF for the Book of Congratulations. They won't believe when I say I can't and therefore I am into it. I promised them that even if their MTV doesn't make it for the book it will go to Youtube. Then there are poets who want me to edit their poems, type it and send. On the other hand I am collecting pictures from students for the Bhutan Observer collage creation.
I am advising our school carpenter on the engineering of a giant structure he is building for the royal wedding dance, helping Dzongkhag in writing felicitation message to be published in Newspapers, assisting school administration in coming up with ideas to celebrate in our own school... I have copies of all the letters addressed to school for the celebration and I am celebrating it already.

Far in the corner of storeroom, my colleague Hemlal Pokhrel is doing his magic on Canvas. He is the artistic branch of our school and for the last few days he has set up his studio in the desolate room. He is doing a larger then life portrait of the royal couple to be used as the central piece during the celebration in Punakha. I visit him often in his studio to appreciate his work and push him ahead.

Hemlal going larger than life

I haven't yet thought of what I and my family would do to celebrate the auspicious wedding...