Thursday, September 25, 2014


“Sir kho ghi awa tang nu la,” said a little girl with a curious little pair of eyes from a corner, and the one who was the “awa tangmi” was red ashamed in the other corner. This was how I was greeted when I became a teacher. What I would do next? Simple! Clean the boy, made him wash like any other mother. And yes this is what I exactly did.

Teaching in its conventional sense is much more than teaching. Teaching is the epitome of all service working profession. It can be termed otherwise as the ‘bolt of lightning that illuminates the cloud of ignorance’. Teaching also is the ‘noblest’ of all professions and this is viewed by the educated lot in our country as the true service working profession. It is being said that the true ‘Lopen’ is only a title for the Buddhist saint Guru Padmasambhava and this reverence is given to the teachers as well. Such “noble” and “holy” is the profession teaching.

Some say teaching is an art; some say teaching is a learned skill. One thing is for sure, if you are not serious about teaching, you will not succeed. As your career advances, your skills at actual teaching will improve. But what about other things involved with being a teacher? Just because you can stand up in front of a class and supposedly “teach”, it doesn’t mean that you are actually a teacher! And you have to become a teacher for the right reasons with a passion for children.

The cover of the book Centenarian
Teaching to me is much more than teaching content. It takes so much to be a teacher because once a teacher, your character teaches your children. And they are real quick in picking things up from the teacher. There is a very thin negligible line between the personal and professional life of a teacher. A teacher is under constant surveillance at school. Whatever one does as a teacher has a deep and an insightful impact on the children. This is how I perceive teaching as a teacher myself.

My humble opinion about this profession is very simple; it’s the holiest of all the professions in these ever controversial debates on profession these days. Teachers and the teaching profession deserve support, not blame in light of what is happening to teachers lately. Despite all the criticisms and the ‘blame game’ today teaching also has its special pleasures. Teachers get to be present when children discover new and exciting things about their world. They also help them unravel problems that might otherwise have kept them stuck at a certain level of intellectual development. It’s an opportunity to teach aspects of morality and professionalism that will benefit students for a lifetime.

As a teacher myself, I love teaching and I take pride in the profession that forms the largest number of civil servants in our GNH driven country.

Long live the teachers of Bhutan!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A man’s best friend!

Thimphu like any other place is dotted with stray dogs and to my relief just the other day; some youngsters came to trap them. Later in the evening they were released with a tag on their ears. It made me easier to identify them. I reside in the south of Thimphu city.
Well, the menace caused by the dogs late at night is irritating especially when you have someone ill at home. You feel like poisoning them to have some silence. But, thinking out of the box, these dogs are doing what they are supposed to do-bark! Bark at suspicious activities and people.

The barking is again aggravated by loitering people. I have identified some of the people. If it was not for the dogs, I wouldn't have words to make this update. The following are events which usually happen at nights.

The tapping boot makes me identify her as a working woman in her thirties after the disco hours.  The boot taps three times a week-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. That’s when the barking ensues.

A young couple, I don’t know where they live but comes merrily at around midnight and lights a cigarette and stays near the car parking chatting (smilingly) with each other. Their movements make the dogs bark.

Some construction workers stay until 11 pm daily making loud noises in a typical Bengali accent and whenever their pitch goes a little high, the barking ensues.

An alto taxi arrives past midnight. He opens the door, counts his earnings with his right leg out on the road, completely drunk. Slams his car door hard and walks as if a child was asked to free write on paper. He resembles to that of a mask dancer as he is always half ‘Gho-ed’. His walking makes the dogs bark. He at times chases these dogs making me laugh my heads off.

A young man and a child of may be 8 or 9 makes the nightly walk and on their return, they are greeted with loud barks.  

A lady comes late at night in a taxi, pays the fare and looks around for dogs. If there aren’t any, she walks straight home to the next building. But if she spots some, she asks the taxi to reach her next to the stairway to her apartment.

My neighbor, who lives on the attic of where I stay, drives a posh car. She brings a lot of her friends’ home late at nights. As they chat and laugh while climbing the stairway, their noise wakes the dogs up and hence the barks.

My other neighbor, opens her curtains, lights a cigarette and puffs some fag, she throws the bud and pours water on it not to invite fire, I suppose. The sound of the water splashing on the floor wakes the dogs up. Again the barks!

These nocturnal barks of the dogs in a way helps people, cautioning them of the outside activities, certainly of some burglary and theft, late night squabbles and quarrels. Dogs as I have viewed them have made me love them and I do for the obvious reasons.

Not lastly, I can only conclude that ‘dogs are mans best friends’.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who you love? You or your children!

I met an old friend after years and we talked about family, relationships and compromises over some beer. As our talk delved into seriousness, we talked about children and their future. Of course, I don’t have any now! He is a father of two beautiful girls. We then got into talking about the future of his girls. He expects his daughters to look after him when old and frail. I retaliated saying how can you expect your children to do that? Kids change and they change fast and I could put this shrewd fact into his brains.

Men marry in haste and women in curiosity! At least that’s what I have mostly found out to be. You have put on so much effort to keep your raison d’ĂȘtre intact of being in love, getting married and having children.

Upon comparison, friends declare, I have my kid in the 3rd grade. I think you and others like you will have children when you grow old and who will look after you. I don’t know but I am not expecting my children to look after me when I am old. What worth are you when you as the supposed bread winner can’t secure an old age retirement scheme besides securing your children’s future!

Expecting your young to look after you is absurd in today’s natural world. I don’t want to offend the ones who do look after their parents now with passion. But the fact is, will all of today’s children be a responsible adult in future?  I cannot even imagine how will be mine!
In a fairly traditional family set up like ours, the supposed husbands or ‘Magpas’ don’t have the right when it comes to the wife’s family affairs. This system has been hereditary and people still hold onto such belief no matter however modern one is. The townspeople now may find this ridiculous but ask any country bumpkin about this practice. The wealth of the family should be kept within the family-that’s why the women folks not the men.

The point is people change, time changes, generations change and with it changes occur in every sphere of one’s life. So it’s high time that parents now must work a little extra to save it for the grey old days for themselves, otherwise you never know! And expecting your children to look after you when frail is now a thing of the past. Also, you cannot even defend for sure whether or not you child will be there to home you later in life! Perhaps a huge food for thought and a thing to ponder upon!

Will you now start working for the benefit of you and your children?

PS: This is just a lopsided opinion of my conversation with an old mate and readers can draw your own conclusions about the future of your own besides working for your children’s future.