Friday, February 23, 2018

Speaking: Not everyone's cuppa tea!


Contrary to what most mention about time, which is of course short, I have time to listen to and watch the fiery speakers and authors of today exclusively on YouTube. As inspirational and stimulating as it may seem on the onset of any speakers, the power of words and the ability to put the right words in the right moment is intelligence as well as a handy skill. Not many that I have come across possess such skill which of course includes me. As an educator for many years public speaking is and still remains a daunting challenge for me. Learning to listen to speakers of motivation is what I found and seek refuge in while trying to speak on academics and not necessarily politics.

I have had our very own TS Powdyel sir whom I love to listen to this day. The former Prime Minister, JYT is another fiery speaker who I admire. President Barack Obama is world leader and I am fascinated with his speeches especially, “This is not a nation of White America, brown America, Hispanic America, Asian America, republican America or a Democratic America, This is the United States of America” and this very line among others catapulted him to be the first African- American president of the United States.

Aspiring to be a full time writer someday in my coming years, I now grudgingly believe writing and speaking must go hand in hand. Even Adolf Hitler had his ‘Mein Kampf’ published before he became the fieriest speaker of the pre WWII era. Another recent favorite of mine is a friend of Bhutan, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, an acclaimed Author and a diplomat from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Southern India. If you may, besides the chores that keep you busy, try YouTube-ing his name and you will be amazed at how he mesmerizes his audience. I now aspire to speak like him, not sure if that may sound funny to you.






All in all, I am here in this video trying to think of all of my inspirations till date while speaking for seven minutes at an educational conference at a place called Khao Yai in Thialand. A three hour drive from where my university is. I have some pictures posted for you to see of this magical place which of course is a tourist destination. I would love to hear from you and don’t forget to leave your comments in the section below. Happy Listening!

Due to the large size of the video, I couldn't upload it here but do click the link below for the video and not forgetting Deki and Gaki for the video, thank you guys! 



Click this link: Conference Paper. 



Monday, December 18, 2017

It's Neat!

Kuzozangpo and Sawadhekhrup! Before the year comes to an abrupt end without mentioning anything of the culture shock here, I cannot make this post a new year’s update, you know why? It’s spooky in many sense. Yeah, yeah! I know….. you know most and you know well about Thailand especially Bangkok with all shopping stuff, malls, amusement areas, Tuk Tuk, Khao San Road, Patpong, Pattaya, Som Tam, Chang, and not to forget Ann, who speaks a little Dzongkha and most Bhutanese know her, the Tokyo mall in MBK, Watson's, Tesco Lotus, Seven-Elevens, etc… 

I know you know many more than the mentioned. What many don’t know is, this is not for the ladies anyways, beauty and grooming parlors are dotted everywhere for women and equally dotted are massage parlors, I haven’t been to any.

Look for hair cutting shops as you stroll around and walk aimlessly with no sense of direction. Many a Bhutanese, including me still have doubts about which is east, where the hell is north and so on. And in downtown Bangkok, forget directions, one’s own hotel disappears within minutes if you are not careful. People literally squeeze in between jammed cars to walk ahead. OK, back to hair-cut!

For men, getting a decent hair cut here can be pretty cumbersome. Now, don’t jump into conclusions for those of you who know me-a supposed bald preaching of hair-cut. If you are smart enough, you can look for hair cutting shops on Google Maps and even if you find one, you will pay way above the normal.

As minimal as hairs on my head, men’s hair cutting shops are also minimal. After you have found one, get in, speak some Thai-English and get yourself a hair-cut. I am talking about me, not generalizing. The person who cut my hair or trimmed anyways, gets a calculator and shows me, 300 Baht. What the heck? But that included washing your head and a little massage. Imagine, if you aren’t bald.

Next stop, weeks later, I stumbled upon a clipper in a Tech-mall. Asked, ‘Thau R-layi’ and I get the answer, 429 baht. This should be a sensible investment and I bought myself a clipper.

How's that for a first timer? 
After that, I never visited any shops for my hair cut and on two occasions, I requested my neighbor, Sherub for running the clipper on my head. This is the third time I have used it and guess what, I did it myself. Just before plugging in, watched YouTube on how to clipper your own hair and watching religiously, there you have it, a clean clipped hair and not so good head. Necessity is grudgingly the mother of all inventions. So, if you thinking of holidaying in Bangkok and its outskirts, get yourself trimmed or try my idea or you choose 300, Clipper worth 429…and learn some handy skills. One thing about being bald is, it's neat! 


Self-conscious a too little? Looks, Hairs, dresses etc…Well, no one notices all these now...People are busy getting from A to B, because you are in Bangkok, the most visited city in the world. So who the hell will say, blink or even notice if you cut your own hair...

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy holidays! Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

To live is an act of courage: Reasoning Suicides!

Let us not make GNH a jargon and relate it to every possible misfortune that Bhutan faces. Youngsters aren’t happy that’s why the suicides, as common as that. Since, GNH stands out and we are still fascinating the world with our philosophy, everything that happens in Bhutan is somehow linked and reasoned to this concept. I know perfectly some link must be maintained but let us not make a metaphysics or for that matter a metaphorical irony of out every other problem that we undergo.

Sorry, I came late to this topic and I have thought about this for a while and spent some time pondering on what has been mentioned in Kuenselonline.com about suicides. I am very amazed at the fact that how can suicide rate be medium in Bhutan considering the population. People in other countries have a rate mentioned and let’s consider this, millions if not billions live in the countries cited and governments take suicides very seriously.

Some major causes of suicides among many, as I have read are;

§  major psychiatric illness - in particular, mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia)
§  substance abuse (primarily alcohol abuse)
§  family history of suicide
§  long term difficulties with relationships with friends and family
§  losing hope or the will to live
§  significant losses in a person's life, such as the death of a loved one, loss of an important relationship, loss of employment or self-esteem
§  unbearable emotional or physical pain
Some platforms and activities to reduce the above mentioned causes is the need of the hour. Isn’t it worrying that young people are taking their own lives with reasons? There are reasons that’s why the death. Young people are dying, isn’t this serious… A sensible thing the authorities can do is conduct a nationwide suicide prevention campaign across schools and colleges instead of mentioning services like helicopter and insufficient counsellors in schools, overworked psychiatrists and very few mental health centers. 

Home is where most of the problems begin and what if something is done to educate adults on this, take for instance, sex education at homes is a taboo even for the ones reading this. This culture must be adopted to talk to young people at homes. Let us make our young people believe that, sometimes even to live, is an act of courage. And yes, sorry for the wacky title-because it doesn’t have to be rocket science to detect common sense whether be it governments, communities, organizations or individuals.


Kadrinchey for dropping by.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Have you heard about Murphy’s Law?

Please don’t have a pre-conceived notion and attitude about what is being written as a supposed ‘wacky’ title above. Now Murphy’s Law in the English language is defined as, if something bad/wrong is going to happen, it will. This concept of accepting what is going to happen will happen no matter what.

Google
Have you had one of those days, weeks, months, years where no matter what you do, nothing seems to go right.  People consider they are cursed or are considered to be pessimistic. What if there was a “law” to explain such a state? This is what is called the ‘Murphy’s Law’ in English language.

Yep, this is what we call Murphy’s Law. Basically, Murphy’s Law means that if something can go wrong, it will.  What a slogan for a pessimist! The origins of Murphy’s Law are stories came from Edwards Air-Force Base in 1949. An Air-force Engineer by the name of Capt. Edward A. Murphy worked on a project designed to how much sudden acceleration a person can stand in a crash. One of his technicians had wired an electrical part wrong, and he became upset with the technician and said: “If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.
Some examples to use Murphy’s Law are in situations like;
      1.      No such luck
This idiom is used to express hopelessness that something has not happened or probably won’t happen.
2.      The luck of the draw 
When we use the phrase luck of the draw a person is saying that things and events happen because one person is lucky or unlucky.
3.      As luck would have it 
This is used to suggest that something has happened as the result of chance and luck, usually in a negative context.
4.      Have a run of bad luck
We use this to describe a situation where a person experiences several experiences of bad luck and failure.
5.      Bread will always fall jelly side down
This is a phrase use to describe pessimistic beliefs about life events.
6.      When it rains’ it pours
Someone might use this to describe a series of misfortunes of difficult situations that come one right after another.
Well guys, I hope you learned something new or did you already know about this. Thanks for dropping by…



Thursday, October 26, 2017

And that's where it'll stay...Always!

In the midst of the busy hectic week I squeezed in this little tribute for I thought and still think, I must write something or else I would lament with a heavy heart for not being able to part-take in the national mourning of the late Thai king HM Bhumibol Adulyadej. I am equally delighted to learn from the online streaming of the whole day’s program that there are 40 different head of states and royals in attendance at the Grand Palace, Bangkok. My very own King, HM Jigme Khesar and family include the royal guests as I saw it from the stream on YouTube.

If someone wants to find out the degree of respect and reverence for a king, one must not forget to see the people of Thailand. The anchor speaking in English through the live stream was a woman and her voice was trembling and could sense her teary-voice. People all over Thailand are in unison today to mark the royal cremation of the former king.

Managed a snip shot from my computer!
I received a call from one of our University professors to watch TV which I was already doing since the morning and I assured her about the deep sense of respect we here have for the former King. I would like to make a mincemeat of the verses that I faintly remember as a tribute for this day and I stand in unison with the people of Thailand in marking this very important day. I know the loss which befell the Kingdom of Thailand can never be replaced but, I wish for a swift rebirth of the former king in Thailand to lead the people of Thailand once again. I hope you like it...

 And That's where it'll stay, Always...
Facebook
In its entirety
I know you’ve seen God.
If that’s where you are
I know you are watching us.
As you always will,
Within our memories,
Time stands still…

If I write your name in sand
I know the waves will wash it away.
If I write your name in the sky
I know the wind will blow it away.
I shall write your name in my heart
and that’s where it 'll stay, always…


And that's where it'll stay, always...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rains, Dumplings and then? Rains of course!

A couple of weeks back our course director mentioned of the orientation program to be held on the 30th of September. That is today, the last Saturday of September 2017. And here we are, dressed in our traditional attire. No sooner did we enter our faculty room, it started raining cats and dogs. I am a lover of rain and I think I need to change my perspectives on rain after what I see in Thailand. Roads flooded, drains clogged, street food corners shut and stinks.  As we entered the hall, I think we were the last ones to take our seats and a gentleman was presenting on reading, hard work and attitudes on learning with examples. He was speaking in Thai.


I nearly slipped into boredom when suddenly our course director started sending us messages in English, translating the speaker to our respective cell phones to my much needed relief. I thanked her with, “Oh thank God Ajarn…you came to our rescue.” From then on familiar faces began to appear on the screen, of course with some talks in Thai. Will Smith, Steve Jobs, Malala Yousefzai, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and a Chinese man in a video mentioning his perseverance. All inspiring until now.

The next incidence is to today’s update. The speaker now showed a video with some Thai writings where the late King Bhumibol was pictured…Remember, I am in Thailand and must do what Thais do. The audience in front of me started sobbing and most were wiping their tears. I couldn’t help but joined them with a tear or two.

I watched a video and read a short biography on King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was a king of extraordinary charm and the Thais reverence to him is unmatched-How can one argue with that? This is beyond words. Check out YouTube on the late Thai king.

Now my reason for joining the bandwagon with some tears is, I also belong to a kingdom and we share so many things in common. If you can draw your own conclusions over what I am intending and underpinning to say. Come October and my Ajarn tells me there will be some sort of mourning again since it’s been exactly a year since the late king passed away.

End of the program-grabbed some dumplings, some chocolate cakes and lemon grass juice. Took some pictures even with strangers because most of them were fascinated with our dress… besides the knowledge and the positivity of things just happened today, this is what all summed up to…Rain, dumplings and Rains again. We left the hall only to do this on  our way back home...



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Is this hacked?

www.education.gov.bt
Watching Aljazeera online streaming is what I did today with nothing to do at home. Internet is amazing and informational but at the same time what is good and what to consume is at the discretion of its users. My other friend Tashi, came to my room saying the WiFi in his room isn’t working. I made him a coffee and he was watching some academic stuff on YouTube. I was on Facebook and was just done with video calling my family back home.

Out of the blue I wanted to check and see what was happening with the education fraternity back home and saw this despite numerous push on the ‘Enter’ button.



www.rcsc.gov.bt
 Later, I also wanted to see what was happening with the civil service and saw this! I have never seen a hacked website and I wonder if I may see one in the future. I doubt whether this is a hack or not. I am naming the only Internet and computer savvy people I know; Passu and Pema Gyamtsho. Will you check and see if what I am mentioning is true?


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A piece of Myanmar…

The ingredients
This is my very first update on cookery in my six years of blogging. I have a very good friend named Moses and he happens to be my immediate neighbor. Today after my classes at the university, I heard some noises at his apartment and I checked on him with a sense of curiosity. 

My apartment has residents from all over the world, viz: Germany, Africa, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), Finland and not to forget our very own Bhutanese.

Checking on him, he was cooking or rather boiling some fish with lemon grass. Inside he had some chillies mashed, some ginger, coriander leaves, lemon grass leaves, crab meat and some fried onions. This broth or rather soup must be eaten with rice noodles and I skipped the noodles but the soup tasted awesome.

The soup
Moses
To make it a little limey, one can choose to add some lemon juice. That’s exactly what Moses did. And yes not to forget the salt.










The final Dish
Now for some history, this dish is called Rakhine Moudi. This is the traditional dish of the ethnic people of Rakhine state as he tells me. Now, one can find this dish in every corner of Myanmar.



With international headlines on Rakhine and the Rohingyas these days, I get to savor a piece of Myanmar in the silent city of Rangsit. Look at those pictures, doesn’t it look flavorful?


Until then, happy savoring folks!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Smile, you are going to lose weight!

Sawadhekhrab! Here’s the second update. Well, inspiration and ideas come in the weirdest ways when you fall short of words, lines and subjects to write about. I was soul searching for a couple of days after my first update here in the land of smiles. This is my 24th night here in the scorching city of north Bangkok. Well, again coming to the point, sleep wasn’t coming easily as often is the case with me, I went to relieve myself in the toilet of my apartment and only today, that’s the night of 11th September at 11:24 pm (Bangkok Time) I saw what was written just above the toilet pot. This is to today’s update.

Only today did I come to know about the toilet ‘bowl’.  Until just a moment ago, I was pretty sure that it is called the toilet pot-just for the sake of understanding for those like me for whom English is the second language. The English teacher in me wasn’t agreeing to this ‘bowl’ thing and was rather comfortable with ‘pot’. Checked into searching the right thing and it was indeed right. But my ‘pot’ was also right.

I know this may sound a little weird when a supposed blogger knew ‘bowl’ today but even weirder is, it’s a toilet inspiration. Certainly, sitting up and down the same pot, (sorry ‘bowl’ or whatever) numerous times and you have no freaking idea of its appropriate name. This is a certain un-learning attitude. Folks! Remember, it is a ‘bowl’ and also a ‘pot’. If toilet bowl thing is to be personified, it would say, “Smile, you are going to lose weight”. Or, I just read it on the internet, “Keep me clean, use me well, what I see, I never tell.”

Ok just a weird thought on a weird night enveloped in this weird heat and hoping positively not to have a weird sleep later. BOWL”, “POT” Same-same (if I was indeed shopping for a pot here in Thailand). Here’s a measure for measure-It’s stuffs inside the bowl that later gets flushed in to the pot. Confused? I am too.

Good night folks and remember, “Keep me clean, use me well, what I see, I never tell”.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Hot, Hotter and Hottest!

Sawadhekhab!
Greetings from the land of smiles. This is my very first update after coming to Thailand. I am one of the hundreds of Bhutanese students studying in Thailand and my batch here includes eleven, of which four are ladies. When I was interviewed for the scholarship I was asked, how will you manage to communicate with the Thais who are not very fluent with English? He already answered his question. I said, “I can manage”.

True to what the interviewer asked I am having difficulty speaking but what they write in English is a whole different story. I am beginning to pick some basics already. I have come to realize that their written English is sky high especially of Ajarns (Teacher/Professor). Logging into my university’s website I was amazed at the educational background of the faculty here; Harvard, Oxford, Princeton etc… Perhaps a reminder that good/big things come in small packages. Another striking feature of my Ajarns-no male Ajarns. My faculty, education is women power-all women show. No wonder my course director remarks, “This year we have a lot of guys”.

A week into coming to Rangsit University situated in Pathum Thani, an hour north of Bangkok I come face to face with my first culture shocks.

1.      Whether you board a public transport, a sky train(BTS) or any other modes of transport, most Thais especially the young never talk to each other instead fiddle their cell phones until their stop is reached. I am yet to experience the motorcycle Taxi.
2.      I reside in an apartment named ‘Penthip House’ where students of many different nationalities reside. We Bhutanese and Moses, a Burmese friend are the only ones to cook and eat. Rest of the dwellers just walk, grab something, eat and come back.
3.      Everyone smiles here-back in Bhutan only familiar faces smile.
4.      The sound- Just by listening to the roar of an engine one cannot make out whether it’s an SUV or a motorcycle. Here, they fuel up their cars with some sort of gas-a literal air which I am not aware of.
5.      Bangkok and its outskirts are known for its vast super expressways and highways. Traffic jams and convoy are a daily sight. Despite the speeding cars and Lorries, no one honks at each other which is not in our case. Perhaps, something to learn from the drivers here. But if one is caught up in an accident the survival rate is second only to none.
6.      Food-Even before coming to Thailand, I have had experiences of eating Thai foods and what is salt to us is sugar for them and lots of it. I see many a young a little plump than their age because Thais love their food. One can see food stalls in whichever market and whatever malls.

This is my 15th night here in Thailand and I am anticipating more of such shocks. I will keep updated on things happening and yeah like everyone else here I do miss my family back home and I tell you there’s nothing like the air of our country. Here, they say, Thailand has only two seasons; hot and very hot. Happy breathing folks for those of you back home and happy blistering for the ones like me here.
Thank you for visiting…Khab poon khab…