Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Life in the fast lane

If you remember what Virus (Boman Irani) said in 3 idiots, “Remember life is a race, Agar teez nahin bahgo ghe toh koi tuhme kuchal key agay nikal jayega”. Drawing from this famous speech in the movie, look around you! Hustle and hurry, is the new normal. Stay home stay safe-doesn’t really get into the heads of people. Every evening as I bid my time off to the days work, I see lots, literally lots jogging and solo walking. This Covid thing has made people come out in the evenings and all too much worried about health. That is good news by our standards, at least!

Initially, masks and sanitizers were in trend now only countable are seen with those. The weekend crowd has increased in numbers and the cars as well. I sometimes wonder if Covid 19 stay home, stay safe should have been for cars explicitly. Shops are now beginning to open up and youngsters have come out. This only means the covid-19 fear is loosening at least in Thimphu. I hear places other than the capital are strict with the government law enforcement. The cars outnumber people in all places.

Parents want the schools reopened, officers want to resume their tours, Facebook users here wants the Drangpon’s wife punished, many accuse the people patrolling our nights of knocking unnecessary doors, the price of smoke has sky rocketed a 120 Nu. pack now costs 380. A man with a sack full of it was apprehended near the CFM, while the SJ Dzongkhag has allowed the import lawfully and legally.

All the more, cars predominantly tops life in the fast lane. Parking has become a new hassle once again and the talks of cars is the new trend once again. Cars on the roads are increasing by the day when covid-19 positive cases are also increasing by the day.
Come on folks, make it slower! The only good thing that has happened for now at least is the fuel price, no wonder the Lungtenzampa parking has expensive cars with teen drivers in the evenings congregating. The so-called patrolling doesn’t see them. Our country now is a driving culture with all of us loving cars. No wonder the Americans coined the expression ‘Life in the fast lane’. They also coined another ‘fork in the road’ for everyone to learn and not repeat what they regretted doing.

‘3 idiots’ was for entertainment, ‘stay-home stay-safe’ was for safety and well being of everybody, life in the fast lane was for the westerners and not for us because we surely will hit fork in the road. We must decide to stay in the fast lane or slow down to possibly have a longer and meaningful life. Some never listen and some never learn. For those in the fast lane, slow down a bit before you hit the end of the road.

PS# This update was inspired by the late Glenn Frey’s song, Life in the fast lane from the Eagles. RIP Glenn!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A conscious attempt to honor our oneness for Covid-19!

Spirituality and thinking about self-reflection come once in a blue moon to me. I am being honest in my time for spirituality and I appreciate the ones who do it religiously and hence the maxim-do it religiously.  Now that some professional work is at ease for now, we sneaked some time as suggested by Ata Apple to the Tango University of Buddhist Studies, Dordena for a special three-day ཚེ་དབང་། 

There, we had the opportunity to be in the audience of both the Je Khenpo and the Gyalsay Trulku. A blessing perhaps for some spiritual cleansing in these times., the Covid-19 times. I am sure people will make visits and remember folks today is Day One. Also, in attendance was one of the Four Lopens, pardon me I forgot which of the four.
Be mindful of the Druk Trace App and to maintain some physical distance as well because, the men in blue keep a close watch on the line, sanitizers and the gun- like digital Thermometer. The three-day long Tshe-Wang is presided over by…you knew it… (in the first sentence, 2nd paragraph!)

After the audience and after some prostrations, we went round the whole sanctum-sanctorum only to be met by this smiling girl. Tshering Pelden and she is one of the youngest bloggers in Bhutan. She blogs at www.peldenwrites.wordpress.comSo, just a reminder to those who seek spiritual solace to make a visit to the Dordena University and I am sure you will. Until then, stay-safe and wash your hands. I now see the hand washing trend diminishing than when it appeared first. Well, do make a visit as we consciously  attempt to honor the oneness of being uniquely Bhutanese to fight off the dreadful Covid-19 pandemic. 

Once again stay-safe folks.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Weekend Worthy of a Hike

Hello Everyone! I didn’t stop blogging or writing for that matter but took a year long vacation from writing. Just this weekend I paid a visit to a site where Guru Rimpoche is said to have meditated for some time. It is called Dom Tshang as in Taktshang. I hope the name’s correct.

I was there at the invitation of my friend Yeshi and family. I have been a Thimphu resident for 5 years now and I have never been to Bjemina except on one occasion to the hospital. I read about the stone quarry and brick factory mostly in the papers and that was it.

The way up!
Entrance to the Ney
Well, what am I doing here? I volunteered for the video lessons for e-learning and now that’s being done already, I and a couple of teachers are working for SIM-Self Instructional Materials. These are for the children who do not have access to BBS TV or the internet in these dreadful times. I mean these Covid-19 times. Amphan did severe damages in the Indian sub-continent as per the news and here, incessant rains made people stay indoors. We are about to wrap-up the SIM and works related to it are becoming lighter by the day-becoming lighter is an understatement though.

Yeshi and Family
Yeshi and his family had some pork curry made and after devouring a plateful of the sumptuous lunch we headed for the Ney. Here are some picture of the weekend made worthy of the hike.

Prayed for those 24 affected in the isolation room and also for those affected by Amphan. While climbing down, calls after calls from one like minded colleague made me reach my station in about 25 minutes. Waiting for me there was a bottle of Scotch and some beers. What an ending to a days fatigue? 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Is official correspondence the only way to promote Dzongkha?

This is the umpteenth time I am hearing of this news since I was a kid.  There were such similar attempts in the past even when I was in school. And the authorities haven’t identified if the Dzongkha language like the much clichéd education quality has gone down or deteriorated. Just last week I read the news of an APA between the government and the DDC, signed or yet to sign, I am not really sure. I am neither an anti-Dzongkha freak nor a linguist to comment on whether or not if Dzongkha has gone down in its usage or its becoming archaic.

The BBS TV plays its part in promoting Dzongkha, the films, radio and newspapers as well. The library books in Dzognkha are also doing its part in schools and colleges. I am still wondering if Dzongkha needs development, improvement, upgrading, stepping-up or whatever…you name it!

Official correspondences do come in Dzongkha but in limited frequency. If all government documents and correspondences be made in the Dzongkha language, the delayed correspondence which is already prevailing in our offices needs a little more time for yet another delay. If this move by the DDC is for the future generations; if our youth can learn Korean just by watching movies, I grudgingly feel Dzongkha is a NO BIG DEAL anyway.

Let us think out of the box if at all the lingua franca of Bhutan needs some attention otherwise it doesn’t have to be rocket science to know that people got into their jobs because they have been interviewed equally in Dzongkha as well. Even if we do have Dzongkha correspondences, office goers aren’t handicapped who doesn’t even know how to read and write in Dzongkha.

And if at all the national language is deteriorating, is official correspondence the only way to promote Dzongkha. Is that the only one? Did everything else fail?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Some Crazy posts and imprints I have come across so far !

Do you believe in Sense of Humor? Well sure I do and if not for all these inanimate signs and prints where is the charm to smile and ponder with amusement. These are just my collections of what I bumped into here on my studies. These did make me laugh my heads. Have a look!

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.

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...
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...