Friday, March 27, 2015

Snow isn’t coming but the rains will

This year snow has failed to come. The annual white blanket that paints Thimphu is nowhere coming. And it is already April. I now think ‘Mr. Jack Frost’ needs to bless this mountain country. So I decided to write something down on Monsoon which I left unfinished in the fall last year.

Time to get those remedies on for what we see in the rainy season, as the monsoon brings everything possible to make humans like me stay home. This is the season of the wet. Umbrellas, flip-flops, perhaps a rectangular polythene might do the work just as well. Rains are a bounty for the farmers and for the rest of us it’s just a way of life. No complaints whatsoever for the rains. For travelers it’s a nightmare even to think of getting stranded on a road block. Such varied and difficult the monsoon can be!

I used to be a teacher in a very remote school once. Supposedly for being a very remote place, it had mule tracks for transportation, kerosene lamp for light and the traditional fire for cooking. This place is Degala in Zhemgang and it had all the attributes to make a typical Kheng village. One summer, I and other civil servants had to feed on ‘Kharang’ for a month because the mule tracks were washed away, porters weren’t willing to fetch our goods from the nearest road point. We ran low on provisions and I am sure every civil servant in a remote village undergoes this. Such is the power of monsoon.

Here in Thimphu I see the obvious umbrellas everywhere but these are fancy. Children who forgot their umbrellas would be drenched from head till toe. Drains clog and stink, cars splash water everywhere. In some parts of the city, car tires will be submerged as one drives. Thimphu in the outskirts looks clean. BBS will have more news and updates on road blocks and the most terrifying of all, the ‘Reotala’ stretch will again roar this summer. Careful to those residing before and after the stretch!

Monsoon brings a warm joy and one common thing it does is everyone stays indoors. It makes people do things at home unless something inevitable must come. The warmth and coziness of one’s home is such a beautiful thought. It gives families and closed ones to come together and chat over some meals or drinks. Why drinks? It has become customary even in towns to offer drinks to the guests.

So happy Monsoon-ing folks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Does being rich mean you have to be cruel?

Just last week, I was watching little kids playing in their pre-school ground. I saw a plump-y 4 year old bullying everyone and the care givers were having a frustrating time managing the girl. I reside near a pre-school or rather an ECCD (Early Childhood Care and Development) centre. It was fun watching these kids. I saw a very patient mom who dropped her kid at the centre and waited until late in the afternoon, sometimes fiddling her cell phone and listening to some music in her little car. I have never seen a mother who didn’t move until her kid was out of the centre-such patience surprised me.

And finally when kids were sent home, parents flocked near the gate to escort their kids. Most parents drove cars and there were a few grannies too. These grannies preferred walking holding their kids especially while crossing roads. Parents mostly had imported cars and by their look and pride, I knew they belonged to the upper middle class or the wealthy.

Now here’s an incident that made me update this one in my blog. One by one, kids were handed over to their parents and grannies. A stooping granny holding her little granddaughter’s hands were walking by the side of the road. Behind them came a black SUV and the car was big for the road. The driver who I presume to be a parent of the child in his car yelled at the granny, “Wai Angay, atsi zoo metsup bay ya! Shuee Wai”. He was sun glassed and his look made me conclude if his child is safe, he doesn’t give a damn about kids on the roads. His black imported SUV was too big for the road. Actually he shouldn’t be driving on that side of the road. The highway was just above where he drove. If he has a mother at home would he say that? The granny said nothing in reply and just smiled holding her little girl. And the granny was not even crossing the road. I have many incidences to mention about the supposed wealthy being cruel. And there are lots of these minded people in Thimphu. Prove me wrong!

Does being rich mean you have to be cruel? A thing to ponder upon, as these people has lost their innate human values and ethics while thinking of money and materialism. And what about the granny…I drove them to their house and she offered me a sweet “Kadrinchey la”. That made my day up.

Thanks for reading my thought, does being rich mean you have to be cruel?

“If you have lost the respect for elders, then you will lose their blessing which in turn will make you experience dissatisfaction in everything you undertake”-Loosely translated from a Hindi saying.

Good day folks!