Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts

15 September 2013

Incomplete Wangdue Tshechu

In June 2012, We lost Wangdue Dzong in a tragic fire accident but things moved on unexpectedly quick. In just a year the tragedy is forgotten, which is evident from the uneventful first anniversary of the fire. Perhaps it's our extraordinary strength to move on. Even for a person like me who sees the ruins everyday, the heavy feeling has disappeared and I can look at it with no significant emotion now.

But Wangdue Tshechu is a harsh reminder of what we lost. It digs into the cold ashes of the past. It reminds people of the great Dzong we don't have anymore. Some elderly folks take it very emotionally because they had worshipped it for decades. The excitement of Tshechu is no more the same, and I haven't been to both the Tshechus held in Tencholing ground. Without the Dzong the essence of Tshechu is hardly felt, I couldn't straighten my mood to get into my best gho and walk to the festival.

Today, 5th Sept, is the last day of three day Wangdue Tshechu and all of sudden I started wondering how Thongdrel is hung in Tencholing ground. I haven't heard of any structure being built and even if there was one built I wondered how would it withstand the power of Wangdue wind.
The Wangdue Thongdrel (Pic from
Not long after, it dawned on me that the gigantic Wangdue Thongdrel too was lost with the dzong and there is no more Thongdrel on the third day of Wangdue tshechu. Not having the Dzong and not having Thongdrel make Wangdue Tshechu painfully incomplete.
Where the Thongdrel used to be (Pic from Kuensel, edited for PaSsuDiary)
Watch the following Youtube video of Wangdue Thongdrel I shot in good times- 2009 Tshechu.

09 January 2013

Tragedy of Haa Bus

When I heard about the passenger bus fire incident of Jan 6 I knew it could only be Haa Bus. But I felt good about it. It's not a tragedy, it's the wake up call. The real tragedy is the type of buses that run on Haa road. For years the dumbest buses rode our road. May be it's time now to give people of Haa some comfortable transportation like the other Dzongkhags.
Haa Bus- Obviously  (picture from Kuensel) 
As a child I used to think Haa is the farthest place from Thimphu, because we get in the bus in the morning and reach Haa at night. We would fall sick for day after the journey. Only recently I realized that the journey is only of four hours at the most. But the type of Buses that run on our road are the ugliest and the slowest, they break down often. I used to wish for a coaster bus to Haa but it never happened.
It is rumored that people of Haa are very rough to deserve Coaster buses, our people litter the bus with doma, and tear the seat covers-I hope they are joking, and they even say we carry lots of luggage which is not suitable for coaster buses. I hope these funny logic is not the real reason behind why all clumsy buses are sent to Haa.
Everything has time and limit, but go to Lungtenzampa and see, Haa bus is easily recognizable because like the rest of the culture it is also preserved for ages. I hope people responsible recognize the need to change the buses to Haa.

11 September 2010

9/11- Burn a Quran Day

9/11/2001- seconds before the second plane hit
On this day 9 years ago four American Airlines jet hijacked by terrorist group masterminded by Bin Laden suicide-attacked the US. Two of the four hit on the World Trade Center twin towers, one hit the Pentagon and the last which was headed for White House crashed in a field. Today is a day to remember ...but...

One lone voice of some Pastor Jones of a small congregation in Florida with only about 50 followers disturbed the minds of million in the world. This man wanted to remember 9/11 victims by burning copies of Quran today. Quran or Koran is the holy book of Islam.

To Pastor Jones and his followers:

Pastor Jones- the man with bad idea
Why are you burning Quran? Quran is not Bin Laden’s Diary or his preaching. Quran is the holy book of Islam and Islam wasn't responsible for 9/11. Terrorists were Muslims but all Muslims are not terrorists. You can’t hate all the mothers in the world just because your mother ill-treated you. If you really want to burn it do it in the corner of your house and stop creating unrest in the world. You are a bad man. You are not different from terrorists; they misunderstood Islam and your misunderstood Christianity.

To Muslim who were disturbed by the plan:

Muiz Nasrallah wrote in Facebook, "You may burn thousands, millions of Koran, but you cannot burn our religion." and I say yes, Quran is just a book, faith is all that matters. Why make big issue out of a crazy man’s plan. It is all about being hyper-reactive; we don’t tickle a person on the forehead, we do under his arms because that part reacts. It’s a good chance to show to the world that Islam is not what they think, Islam is tolerant and Islam loves peace too. People have burnt Buddhist temples and bombed Buddha’s statues but nothing happened, so they were bored and they bombed no more.

To Media:

Media is responsible for the unrest. Otherwise what difference would one man with 50 followers matter in the world so big? Why did they make his crazy plan hot news? If it was not broadcast, no one would know and nothing would happen.

I was in Drukgyel High School when the Twin Tower came crumbling down, which triggered the war in Afghanistan; nine years on today so many people were killed and what have we got? There should be a better way to remember 9/11!

P:S: Today is the last day of the holy month of Muslims. Muslims labour working in Bajo Construction took our school's big speak for their prayer ceremony. Wish them good day!

17 May 2010

27 Years in Teaching and Divided From Family- My Aunt's Story

One Saturday, during my regular weekend visit to my aunty at Punakha she showed me a certificate from 1990. It was awarded to her for successful completion of NAPE course then. What is surprising is that the certificate was wrongly addressed and she just got it from her contemporary after 20 years. The paper was neatly kept and looks as fresh as it was delivered this morning, though in these many years my aunty has become grandmother to two granddaughters. Perhaps now you can guess how many years she served as teacher.

She is new in Punakha and houses in Kuruthang are not at all welcoming. She has lost some weight over the week climbing to the tiny room beneath the roof. We scanned the whole town with all the relatives we have around in search of a decent house, and this is what we had to agree with; a three unit attic with lights coming in only through the transparent roof. The new place and the tiny house have stolen away my aunt’s soul. She looked defeated and depressed, and that’s why I always find time to give her company with my family.

Twenty five years ago, or ten years ago if she was posted to Punakha it would have been very usual and she would have taken it with joy. At this age when joints start paining it is hard for her to believe that she has to move out of Thimphu on compulsory transfer. It is a policy well thought over by the ministry when it comes to making it fair for the system but what about the humane side?

Many of her mates are directors and secretaries, a few are even ministers now, sad but true some have passed away but she is still living and teaching. Recently she tells me that even her students are there among directors and secretaries, sadly they won't remember her because she taught them in PP. Young teachers have new system in place whereby there is a strong career ladder. If it was there during her time by now she would be reigning somewhere on the top. But since 1985 she has only grown horizontally. She has no complains. She knew her service is delivered and therefore would be acknowledged. Not in her wildest dream did she see herself being punished for 25 years of service.

Her children suggested her to resign and take rest because she has already shown sign of wearing of her lung and vocal cord from quarter century of shouting with little children. Money has never been their problem and will not be, now that uncle earns triple his old salary with the new job and their daughter is in job. It is about dedication to work. With her degree of perseverance and experience I would be expecting a medal of honor from the ministry and not punishment.

Why am I calling it a punishment? My aunty and uncle are all by themselves far from the crowd of Thimphu. They planned the cottage on their own to spend their old age. Uncle is in late fifties and worse he is a bad cook. Tears welled in my eyes when he started learning how to cook last winter after aunt’s transfer was confirmed. Their three children are away on job and studies. Uncle may be used to staying alone from his lifelong experience in arm force but not hungry. If he falls sick there is nobody around to offer him a cup of water.

On the other side of Dochula my aunty, who has always lived in crowd of children, has to sleep with TV still on, she is a good cook but with her husband surviving on Maggie she can hardly enjoy a meal. She is overweight and very much vulnerable to sudden illness. But if she wishes to lose weight now, her wish is granted already. I have never been old so far, therefore I don’t know how true it is when old people say they feel lonely. If it is true I feel sorry for them that the system has made it worse.

Writer’s Note: With this article I don’t mean to question the policy because I know any policy is bound to hurt some people. It must look at the majority, for even God himself couldn’t create something that could please everybody. I only wrote it in sympathy and love for my aunty.

01 August 2009

Tragedy in Bajo

Death is inevitable, we accept, but when it comes in a life of a young boy I lose faith in god. Sigay is a class XI science boy. This afternoon he had gone for a dip in the punatshangchhu along with two of his friends; none a good swimmer. Before long he has disappeared into the muddy river. It breaks my heart to think what must have been his plan after the cool dip for the sunny Saturday afternoon?
Sigay has made his parents proud last winter and may be they are counting on him ever more, but here we are searching along the Punatshangchhu bank for his body- may be we would not get it even. What are we to tell his parents? God, what will come over them when they hear that their son has drowned?

While he was among us he was just another boy but now as he goes everybody is after him, whole Wangdue is talking about him: how he was? what he said in the morning? how is he in studies? More so all his teachers, friends, high officials and arm forces who has never known him are scanning the river bank for him. For the world just another boy is dead but for For him and his family the whole world has ended. I pray for his soul and hope god give his family strength to overcome the cruel fate.