14 October 2013

Because My Parents Are Divorced...

Once upon our time divorce was a strange word, and we were made to believe that stepparents are always evil. Interestingly I grew up with my stepfather who proved my beliefs wrong. As a child I waited for him to treat me bad so that I could challenge him and run away from home. I was 21 when he died. I thought I cried enough but I was wrong. Often during my sleepless nights I miss him, in fact I could never overcome the tragedy of his death. A part of me was broken forever.

Not all marriages are made in heaven, some people are never meant to be together, and divorce is not everybody's first choice but there comes a point in relationship where all all logical reasoning ends, where the best chance is to stay away from each other. Lucky are the people who could choose their separation this way, unlike my mother who was separated from my father and even my stepfather by the unforgiving hands of death.

Psychologists say that children from broken families are vulnerable to many social problems, and it's mostly true. Some children change overnight and some bury the pain inside until it snaps. But some children selflessly become part of the happiness that their parents gradually find outside of their irreparable marriage. Sometimes it's good for children to live with happily separated parents than to bear with unhappily married parents, who fight every night.

As a teacher I am witness to so many problems related to children in school and being in School Human Resource committee (discipline committee renamed) I had the opportunity to get to the depth of many issues. We have been very sensitive in dealing with children when they appear before us and before we decide on anything we do a thorough background check on them. But recently a new trend of blaming parents' separation as the cause of their mischief has become popular, probably it could could be because of their initial success with the excuse.

  • A boy bunking classes, says he is doing this because his parents are divorced.
  • A girl caught smoking during the lunch break says, she is smoking because her parents are divorced.
  • Boys caught smoking marijuana in the school dustbin tell they are doing this because their parent are divorced.
  • Girl who ran away from home with her lover says parents are divorced.
  • Boy who breaks class window with his punch says he misses his father because he stays with his mother. They are divorced.
  • Girl who drinks during the weekend and found sleeping on the road say she is depressed because of her parents separation.
All the above examples are not real but do have connection to real incidences compiled from different times and places.

With due regard and sympathy for the children who are really suffering, I would like to urge those children who break rules to be honest enough to accept the outcome of your misdeed on to yourselves rather than shamelessly dragging your parents along to take the blame of your selfish behaviours. Know that there are millions of children around the world without parents, without home and without food, and consider yourself very lucky that you have both parents. When you don't appreciate the enormous luck god gives you now and make mockery of it, you may have to live without it someday.

And remember you have to become parents one day...

11 October 2013

Malala is 16 and Special, so are you

Malala Yousafzai is a girl born among guns and bombs, grew up with fear and finally became enemy to world's worst terrorist group: Taliban. She was 14 when she began her war for education for girls in Pakistan, took several bullets in her head yet she fights for education.
16-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai Leaves Jon Stewart Speechless
Our children are born in peace, brought up in peace, education is given as right and yet some do not understand the true worth of school. Teachers give endless speeches, parents give all they have and our country is trying desperately and children blame the world for their problems, which they sort themselves.

What's going through Malala's head and what is going through our children's head? Malala is just 16, in case you think you are too young to think about yourself. You may think Malala is special, god's special child, so you are. You must stop blaming everything and anything, leave behind lame excuses and make yourself useful.

Watch Malala speak in this video and reflect on your age and on your attitude to life and education.

09 October 2013

My BBS Debut on YouTube

My BBS TV debut on Rigsum Sherig Collection is now on YouTube. For all those good friends who gave hundreds of good excuses for missing my program can now shut up and watch it. Before you click on the play button, be reminded that it was my first appearance and lower your expectations.

I assume you finished watching by now. How many "actuallys" did you count? Who all said that word generously? I have put up a quiz on Facebook to find out how many actually's I said on the show but not many seemed to have watched the show at all. My best friend Chencho's wife commented that he said 'that's my friend on TV' more than I said 'actually' on the show. I know only he can proudly do that.

08 October 2013

Adventure of Coming on BBS

It quite sound like fun coming on national television but for me I had surrendered to live with my camera-fear and declined numerous requests to participate in panel discussions before.
On Air.
This time, however, I had to keep aside my fear for many reasons; there were a few important people counting on me, I also had to do justice to the dedicated reporter who was working very hard for this program and most of all for Rigsum Sherig Collection itself, the cause I truly believed in.

Agreeing to come on the show was the first thing, next step was trying hundred ways to escape it. When I found no excuse in this world I began wishing for something to happen at BBS studio that could force them to stop the show. Well that’s it, there was no way out. I couldn't sallow a piece of best fried chicken at the dinner I was supposed to enjoy with my friends. It broke my heart to leave the special dinner and whiskey untouched.

On my way to BBS studio, I tried answering to some imaginary questions in pure Dzongkha. I sounded so fake that I stopped the car immediately. I didn't want to chicken out of it but I also didn't want to clown on national television. Suddenly the teacher in me came out and told me to relax and do it the way I do every day with my students. Why didn't I remember that?

At the studio Sherab Zangmo, the producer of the show was waiting. She was so much at ease when I was almost shitting in my pants. She sent me with another lady to the makeup room- yes makeup, after all you are going before camera. I was given a light ‘touch up’, many things were happening for the first time in my life that night.

I was finally on the BBS set with Karma Dorji, the man I always saw on TV and once I was there I felt very relaxed; after all there were only two cameramen watching was literally. I explored the set, the place from where the news was telecast everyday. I looked at everything, the paper in front of the new reader is just a copy of what is appearing on the screen and we could see ourselves on another screen. I was like a little boy in a toy shop.
After the show with Beautiful Namgay Zam
Later during the English News Hour with Namgay Zam, I was calm and experienced though I still had to struggle for words and end up with 'actually' (All four of us used 'actually' generously but I believe I used it the most.). We have known each other on Twitter but meeting for the first time in her 'comfort zone'. Surprisingly even Boaz and Namgay were meeting for the first time though they live in the same small city. Because I was by then an hour more experienced than Boaz and I enjoyed his nervousness. Perhaps Namgay must have enjoyed the best bullying two of us in her territory. But it was all worth it, and (Namgay, meeting you was the icing on the cake)

All thanks to Boaz, who gave me the inspiration and courage to fight my fear. Thanks Rigsum for giving us Sherig Collection, and Thanks Sherab Zangmo for the show and momo, which I could eat though.

03 October 2013

bBay Imitations

A Blogger buddy, @Thimphutech sent me a tweet:
"@PaSsu_Diary, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Check out the 'Bbay' page on Facebook.(link removed)"
I wasn't even curious to check out because I have already seen several imitations of my Facebook Group 'B-Bay Buying and Selling Second Hand Stuffs in Bhutan', but that tweet actually made me feel good. It indicates that I should be proud that people are imitating my work. And I did.

The Top is mine: Rest are imitations. 
But sometime ago I was upset at people who ran out of basic creativity and resorted to cheapest means by imitating. I even wrote to someone who not only imitated my group (except with typo) but also campaigned against my group policies. He copied my group to counter mine, because he was removed from the group after coming into conflict with our policy. I regretted having written to him.

The copyright issue is out of question but the question is about ethics and self respect. Facebook is a free platform and English is full of words yet some people cannot come up with something of their own. I adopted the word 'bBay' from 'eBay' and I acknowledged that it was inspired by eBay.

They think the magic is in the word 'BBay' but the real success comes from cleaning the Group Wall of spams, non-sense, and irrelevant items on everyday. We also filter members and accept only Bhutanese or foreigners living in Bhutan. We also filter abusive Bhutanese members, and also brokers. If we have allowed every request we would have over 40,000 members by now but we wanted the group to be useful to Bhutanese. I have employed my family to look after it and take the group seriously. That's the secret behind the success of the group. If someone else it willing to provide this service so sincerely I am willing to give up but I doubt anybody would commit so much time. They only see the finished work and not the effort that went into it.

I hereby declare that you are free to imitate bBay, but I request you to imitate my commitment too.

30 September 2013

Shearee Square

Shearee Square is bravely one of the only kind of Shopping Mall in Thimphu and entire Bhutan. When it open a year ago the huge glass structure with automatic door had bigger surprise inside- the elevator  and escalator. Suddenly Bhutan was taken into the future. It seemed like a whole new way of doing business in the capital city of Bhutan.

The Super Shopping Mall

But after a year the big dream failed to wake fully. The glamorous promise remained and reasons are anyone's guess. But surely it has done a huge service to the timid country:
It's now the informal training center for Bhutanese who are due to travelling abroad to practice how to use escalator and it also disney land for Bhutanese to experience escalator and elevator without having to travel outside. 

28 September 2013

Blowin' in the Wind at School Poetry Recitation

My class VIII C will be reciting Bob Dylan's "Blown' in the Wind" today at the Mass poetry recitation in Bajothang. Poetry recitation in my school has become an exciting event since last year after it was made mass event, where the whole class goes on stage. Junior classes love it so much.

My class was hunting for a poem without success, every poem they put their finger on seemed to be taken by another class. Then I suggested "Blowin' in the Wind", which many wouldn't even think of as poem. But eversince it was included in class VIII reading list I confidently regard it as one. But the lyrics in their text is all messed up so I had to download the original and let them listen to Bob Dylan on Sound Cloud.

We have divided the class into three groups for the three stanzas, where each will have three questions to ask and the answer will be given by the whole class:
"The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind."
However, I came to Thimphu on official assignment and my class was left on their own. The class captain updated me on the progress. Yesterday they called me to say they are done, I asked them to get ready and give me a miss call. When I received the signal I called them and listen to them over the phone. They really seemed ready. Today fourth period is the show time. They promised me some dramatization and banners, which I don't want to miss, so I have request a teacher friend to record on his cell phone for me. I will watch it when I get back.

All the best.