20 October 2011

Gaddafi Killed, World Healed

God gave Gaddafi everything a man could desire for in life, only he failed to understand his purpose of life. Over years he thought he was the god, deciding who should live and who should die- same thing that bloody Hitler did over half a century ago, and same thing his contemporary Saddam pursued. But the cow dung didn't learn anything from their fateful ends. He rather died a dog's death, much like this kinder spirit Bin Laden. Even when a dog dies next door we stop to pray for it but not a teardrop deserves to be wasted for these blunders of God. Their brutal deaths are God's apology to humanity for His having created them, and having bestowed them with powered they could handle. World is a better place without them. Hope they don't gang up in hell and restart their regimes there.

I wish Libya recovers from the months of war and join hands for a better future, and I wish the new government shows mercy on the captured Gaddafi Loyalists and allow them to make fresh beginnings. Punishing them in anyway makes the new government no better then the old regime. Let the sun shine brighter on the Libyan soil from tomorrow.

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.

10 October 2011

Diseased Turnip: Call for Help!

Turnip may not be one among the best vegetables- some people in town may not have seen one yet, but people of Haa have woven their lives with it. Infertile soil deprived of favorable weather conditions forced Haaps to make their living by herding yaks and turnip is one among a handful of crops grown in Haa. Turnips goes in making the region's famous recipe- Haapy Hoenty. The leaves of turnip are dried to make Lhoom, which then becomes very good combination with phaksha seekham and shakam.
However, the harvest looks bad this year. During my recent home going, I found all the turnips in our garden yellowed and dying. My mother wasn't surprised, she told me that a disease had been spreading in the region for last two years. Once infected the turnip buds turns into chain of three balls(see the picture), something similar to radish and then dies out gradually. I inquired if they have reported to the agricultural officer of the region, to which they gave a casual no. Perhaps they didn't know that they needed help. How come people don't know that there is an office who could help? How come the three year old disease didn't receive remedy so far?
Boy posing with Healthy turnip bud (right hand) and two diseased turnips (left hand)
(the symbolism of healthy boy and injured boy in the backdrop is accidental)

28 September 2011

My Mother is giving up

My mother was in Thimphu during the earthquake. She told me, "Since you all are away there is nothing to worry about in the village". She went home after six days to check on our house. Though the house was still standing there were several large cracks running down the entire mud wall. Rooms were filled with debris from the broken walls. But she returned to Thimphu that same day, without even cleaning the rooms.
She later told me, "If this house falls to ground as well, I am not going to build another house." I could see tears welling in her eyes.
Our village Yangthang rose from ashes after 2002 Fire. It took years before we had a roof over our heads. We  not just lost our homes in that fire, but our history and memories. What we lost after the fire changed the whole course of our lives. During construction we were living in huts, where we lost all our ancestral inheritance. We learnt to live without it, just then we lost our father. By the time we entered our new home we had nothing.
My mother is giving up, she doesn't want lose so much again. I wish our house will stand strong and not let my mother relive the trauma of building a new home again.

24 September 2011

Bhutanese Twitter Accounts Hacked

My mailbox is flooded with direct messages from Bhutanese twitter friends, and after checking two of them I was confirmed that it was spam. It seems like all the accounts are hacked including mine, from where many messages have gone out as well.
Experienced internet users like Boaz, Murray Gunn and Sonam Ongmo knew it right away and took time to alert friends but many might fall victims to whatever the hackers are after. Murray seems to have followed the link and got "sucked"- he wrote to me. It may be for a promotion of something or may infect your computer...

How NOT to get "sucked":

  1. Change your password right away.
  2. Don't click on the link mentioned in the tweet.
That's all I know and I did. For more secure advice ask Boaz @www.Thimphutech.com.
P:S: Apologies to all my Twitter followers who received direct message from my account that sucked!

22 September 2011

Troy Davis Murdered by the US

As far as I understand Troy Davis' murder case of 1989, there is hardly any evidence against him and he maintained his innocence for the last many years. We are not sure if he really killed police officer MacPhail but we are very sure that Troy Davis is murdered by the US, despite millions of petition. We have witness and evidences to prove that the most civilized country in the world has murdered Troy Davis in Georgia.
Troy Davis
Who will punish the ancient judge? Who will punish the men behind the barbaric law? Who will punish the man who injected poison into Troy Davis? It's a very organized crime and they call it justification of death. Who says the US is a civilized country?

19 September 2011

Bhutan's Biggest Earthquake

This was the strongest and the longest earthquake I felt in this life of mine. I was with my wife and daughter at a hotel visiting my brother and our Japanese in-law. At first I was calm, telling my wife not to worry but as it went on and on I was the first to run underneath the door frame and then gathered everyone around me. My in-law was unexpectedly cool about it, she shares how such quakes happen often in Japan. But what she doesn't know is that the pillar she is holding on to may not be as strong as those in Japan.
Our son was all by himself and away from us, we desperately tried to connect to him but in such times even mobile fails us. Then I got worried about my mother but it was five hour later that I could talk to her. She tells me this was the biggest quake she felt in her 50 years on earth. Upon reaching home it was a big relieve to see nothing happened and that we could share news to friends and family via Facebook.
Our Prime Minister, who is currently in New York quickly clammed us all by sharing news from across the country through Facebook. He was even aware of the status of Mobile Phone service in the country, to which I asked what alternatives do we have in such times. His excellency was kind enough to make a reply on my wall. But despite his comforting promise I wonder how could we possibly ensure a secure communication line in such times, when we saw earlier this year how super countries like Japan could fail.
PM's reply.
Another major concern is our lack of preparedness despite so much of awareness done through different medias. Listening to how people reacted today, everybody seems to have ran out of their home for their lives, but that is the unsafest way out- many know about it and only few trust it.
The final and the most dangerous practice in our communities is our quickness in cooking up rumors and spreading them. In times of disasters we must try and help calm people around us, ensuring everybody's safety, get needful information from authentic sources and report casualties to authorities without waiting for someone else to do it. On the contrary, we are good at panicking ourselves and dragging others into it by listening to and spreading rumors. Today, many families are sleeping outside fearing the aftershock which was rumored to happen by midnight. Some people are already talking about GLOF triggered by the earthquake and few crazy people have started talking about the end of the world. As an educated individual it becomes our personal responsibility to verify the rumors and make it stop from spreading further because sometimes it could cause more damage than the disaster itself.
It may shake us but it can't break us.

16 September 2011

Oil on Canvas for my King and Queen

As I watched my friend Hemlal giving finishing touch to the portrait of their majesties the king and queen for their wedding celebration, I wondered how I should express those million feelings that are singing in my heart. I could see people around me writing beautiful poems and composing sweet musics, there are already so many lines written on Facebook walls and blogs, how could I write something so differently satisfying? Eventually, after months of pondering I realized however I write I am only going to dilute my strong feelings.
Then during one of my visits to Hemlal's makeshift studio I suddenly remembered my childhood passion for painting. But since he has done the portrait so well I had to think of another way; something through which I could bring out the character of the compassionate king and the divine romance of the wedding.
I recollected all the kings I know from history and none really qualified my criteria- some weren't kind, some were brutal, some fully consumed by greed and others by lust, the few kind kings I remembered weren't either wise or handsome. There was no one worldly king I could think of who could be used as a legendary reflection of our beloved king.
Penciling my feelings.

The only king I know who so much characterizes our king was but an imaginary king from Disney Renaissance; an image of the perfect king envisioned by Walt Disney Feature Animation- yes the Lion King. The king I loved for ages. There among the many pictures of Lion King I saw one which emits the radiance of pure love and eternal comfort, which is exactly what I wish for our king. Thus I picked it up and started sharing the room with Hemlal.
The Finished canvas.