07 August 2009

More than Spiderman

My son Jigme is just 14. He is a super footballer; I know he will play for our country one day. But what I didn't know about him was; back from school he came straight to and made me promise that I won't share with anybody about what he was going to tell me,
"Promise dad?"
"Are you sure about your promise?"
"Yes, I cross my heart and hope to die,"

He then came close to my ear and whispered, " I am Spiderman!"

There are many a moments in my days when he reminds me to laugh with his wit. I know he is not a spiderman, he is more than that! I don't know what he will bring home today, everyday is a surprise with this boy!

Gifting me my Lost Dream

Eight years ago, I proudly walked the gate of Kuensel for my first “Best Story of the Month” certificate. That was just the beginning of the long road. The next month I saw my name again. I had been unkind to Writing then; from the prize money I bought watercolor and brushes. I was appreciated more for my paintings those days. Of all the prizes for poem, short story and paintings that followedI was moved by the “Best Short Story Writer of the Year” award Drukgyel school gave me. I changed my dream. I wanted to become a writer. I used to say, my dreams may change me but I won’t change my dream.

By the end of another year I had completed 30 short stories, edited them over hundred times, and kept them aside for publishing. I designed a cover for the book, wrote the introduction, even the acknowledgement. Everything had to be edited over years…many names changed in my acknowledgement. Perhaps there are none now.

How many stories you have finished by now? If someone asks me this question, my answer is: 30. I never wrote again. It’s not that I gave up so quick, I had to give up eventually. I went from publisher to publisher, printing press to government agency with no money in my pocket. I finished several shoe soles to return disappointed every night. Everybody promised me something and none did anything actually. They say it is not profitable. I even said I want no money out of that!

I spent thousands in printing manuscript and binding them for submission and many of the publishers have a copy with them, may be not anymore (they may not know that I spent all my pocket money on those). What left me disheartened and discouraged is not that they didn’t accept it but they rejected without even reading a story. I know it is not my fault at all but why to write in a place where even publishers can’t read.

Thus, I lost my dream…

But dreams die hard. My friends and teachers from good times regard me as a writer, thank you so much, even if I am far from it. Sometimes I run into strangers who tell me that they read my story or poem and express how good I am, thank you for the pleasant surprises, in those brief moments you reminded me of something great. And most of all, my friend Nagwang never leaves me alone, just as Kezang Namgyel is. They squeeze stories out of me with their good intentions. I owe these two guys my best dream. Thank you for gifting me my lost Dream.

05 August 2009

Burglary on the Rise; Police taking forever to bring them down

Perhaps people would blame it on the unemployment crisis but thirty years from now almost no one was employed. Everyone earned their own living with what is possible with their honest ability and toil. Then youths were considered pure and innocent. What has happened now?

Villages are deserted with fertile lands deprived of farmers and people are roaming the streets of confused towns where they are unwanted. Towns themselves are filled with half-satisfied and I-want-more people how can they treat you good?

Once people used to say, “Don’t send your children to Thimphu, that place spoils them.” And it is the otherwise now or may be it always was, “Don’t send you children to Thimphu; they are spoiling the beautiful Town.”

It was never dreamt of that an ancient town like Wangdue could be infested with wasted children; threat to themselves for sure but threat to society. Leave aside those long-hair-red-eye boys hanging out in the evenings and picking up fights, Wangdue has serial Burglar at large.

There are different categories of thieves, those after car tyre and fuel and those that break into shops and houses for money and gold. What was happening in Phuntsholing sometime ago is now here in Wangdue. Police may have received about hundred complains of burglary of similar nature within this one year and they are still far from catching the culprit. Sometimes I feel if I am given the contract to hunt down this group of youth I can give a deadline. But deadline for police seems forever.

Fact File:

  1. They seem to have a cutting device to smoothly break the lock without much sound (no sound was heard by the neigbhours nor the broken-locks are left behind)
  2. They keep track of who goes on vacation (they always strike the right house)
  3. They are only after money and gold (Not even laptops are taken from the houses they broke in)
  4. They wear gloves (no finger prints are ever left behind)
  5. They drink (they have taken wine from several houses)
  6. They take their own time (they break open every single lockers and drawers)

My conclusion:

They are a group of youth with no work. They are into drugs, drinking and smoking for which they need money. They are inspired by their initial success and are now carrying on with better ideas like gloves and iron-cutters. They are careful about not taking the things which can be used against them as tracking device.

Million Dollar Question:

Why are they still at large and successfully operating week after week for years when police has all the clues and suspects?


Four days after the tragedy, some eyes are still full of tears. I may be among the many who still couldn't believe it at all. When I close my eyes to sleep I see roaring river rumbling downstream, hardly letting me sleep. I watch TV until sleep comes over me. Three days we were along the river but we still couldn't recover his body... Now finally we search no more and perhaps we consider him alive among us, for if he is dead we must have his body...
Sigay- Our beloved
(11.11.1990 to 01.08.2009)

We deeply mourn the sudden and untimely demise of our dear friend, student and brother Sigay who left us on the afternoon of August 1st 2009. We pray for his soul and may god bless his family with strength to over come the lose.

Bajo School Family

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.

31 July 2009

Students in Love

On my way to town last Sunday, I saw Sangay walking with Chokey with some other friends following them some distance apart. Sangay already had a girl friend from class nine, god know what he’s doing with Chokey. Maybe it was just a walk together.

Yesterday, while I was monitoring their work on JavaScript I saw Sangay’s left arm bearing Chokey’s name in fresh wound. When the class was over I caught hold of his arm and asked what it was all about. But what I didn’t realize was Chokey’s class was coming in for their HTML lesson. The coincidence left both thoroughly blushed.

That evening I called on sangay to tell him not to make his love bloody, and also to ask what happen to his little girl friend from class nine. I held his arm to see that Chokey’s name was buried under fresh wound. He showed me a letter from her saying she has lost faith in him and that she returning to her ex-boyfriend.

I really wanted to sort out things for them and teach them lessons on love but I am their teacher and what I am doing is against the school rules and may be against the mindset of my colleagues. Students are here to learn and not for honeymoon. If people knew I knew about their affair and left it without any disciplinary action against them I may be questioned. And what If school knew I know many such cases?

Well I am an individual and I have the right to exercise my own principles. In fact I may question them instead. Students are here to learn what is required for living. What are they going to do with algebra? Or why should they know about world war? What can they do with their knowledge of chemical reactions? We don’t teach them what they exactly require in life. All of them will once marry, so we must teach them the value of love, faith, and ways to sort out problems in relationship.

Schools treat love affairs as illegal relations and thus never allow it in anyway, so a graduate comes out of college with no idea on how to deal with his first date, how to keep love alive in a relationship, how to propose for marriage, how to care for ones pregnant wife, … Divorce is on the rise! Is there something wrong in their schooling?

29 July 2009

Bhutanese Rescue Service

The news of seven boys in Chukha was shocking, it was only shocking until I knew they were washed away after hours of hanging on to life and before the eyes of their parents and police and the Dzongda. Deep inside I feel strongly that if I was there I could have rescued some of them, may be... But we can imagine the reality there, pitch dark night, fading torch, roaring river, nylon rope, and terrified children 30 feet away.

There may be many with my set of notion but how can we blame the people who were there? In fact they were there and we should be thankful, if at all being present is enough. Elsewhere in the world they have helicopters to rescue a cow and here seven children were hanging on to a nylon rope of their lives. Perhaps it is time for action; do Bhutan have a rescue team? or is it just the 113; normal people with normal ability without punctuality.

It it our share to cry, our heart to pray, our work to offer butter lamp and our right and duty to cast votes; Prime Minister, ministers and MP should not waste time doing variety shows, you all are placed there to ACT. Learn from mistakes and history, don't cry over them. Give us an extraordinary set of rescue men like those in the west (West is not always bad).

22 July 2009

Darkness after Sunrise

Excitement seized this morning. Though the school announced 9 a.m. assembly I was fresh by 6 a.m. waiting with my camera. I nearly cried when I opened my veranda door to gloomy sky. Usually we used to have glaring sunrays right in the morning but today (god! of all the days) was cloudy; I hate Wangdue for this! I put on the TV to watch the Live coverage of the Event from Thimphu; the weather didn't look too good even there, however they got glimpses of the sun time to time through the cloud.
Depressed I went into the kitchen to prepare tea then I felt the whole room turning dark. My wife screamed out for me from the veranda. We then watch the darkness after sunrise, which they call the event of the century, one that has happened after 375 years and that will happen only 105 years later.
My wife called her mother from the darkness to find her sad about the Sun being eaten by devil, I then called my mother but she had long joined the village folks to the temple for prayer.

03 July 2009

My First Long Drive...

I don't have driving license yet but I had to drive home during the summer vacation. I was not sure if I will be able to drive over such long distance without sleeping, I used to sleep half my journey so far. This time if I sleep, I tell my wife, everybody in the car will have to sleep too. There was my wife, son, my brother and Pem Dechen, a friend.
I drove from Wangdue to Paro via Thimphu without a scratch and I am proud. Someone said, if you are travelling with a first-timer don't worry. It is with those confident drivers that you have to be carefull.
Experience through the police check-posts without driving License is fun...though I have taken precautions, which are many, to fool smart people...I can't discuss it here. the bottomline is that I drive well, without harming any life.

Back to Drukgyel after seven years

2002 I passed out from Drukgyel with beautiful memories; this was the best school I have ever been to. I have done lots for the school and school has lots for me. It was the best of time and the worst of time... I now remember only the best. This school showed me great teachers like BB Mishera, Boj Raj, Surja lapcha and Gopilal Acherya. I became a teachers because i loved them.

I am here this time for a five-day training on Bhutan W.I.R.E.D project, even My teacher Surja lapcha is there... He is one among the only three teachers left from my times.

I can't help walking about the paths and looking at how tall the trees have grown over years, didn't even know time has passed so much. Some buildings are faded and others are recolored. There are new structures here and there but I love looking at those things that were there hwen i was here. I am still among the pages of school Magazine with my short stories and the poems. Oh! this coming back brought wave of joy and sadness...