Monday, April 25, 2016

Remembering Shakespeare on his 400th Anniversary

I don’t know what made us the Bhutanese strike off Shakespeare from our curriculum but when they did it, I was in the 1st year of my college. I was not in favor of this move and I always wanted Shakespeare to remain as long as English was taught in the Bhutanese schools. Back in the college days we celebrated Shakespeare as a festival. I remember Mr. Leki Wangdi, now a Principal at Wangdi acted out the role of the Bard and in the end our class won the festival prize. We acted out so many different characters from his numerous plays and we termed our class program as ‘Characters come alive’ wherein I was the anchor introducing all the characters. I was dressed as Julius Caesar.

In my first year, I was nominated for a declamation contest. There were eight of us enacting different famous characters from around the world and I was the only one from the Shakespearean era. I was in front of the whole college and I was reciting the famous lines of Mark Antony. I was the second speaker. Pardon me I don't remember much…

Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar not to praise him. 
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred in their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
For Brutus is an honourable man……

A souvenir remembering the Bard (2016) Google 
Perhaps this is literature, to arouse emotions and delight in the mind of readers….an epitome of imagination. This is what is lost in modern Bhutan’s English classes. On an average a middle school child has difficulty in learning and using figures of speech which Shakespearean plays were filled with. We have lost Shakespeare from our curriculum but the bard lives in my mind. Just to use a metaphor from Hamlet to personify my argument… “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come”.

Around the world, Shakespeare is celebrated and millions of visitors flock to Strad Ford- Avon to pay respects to this playwright and poet. How I wish if Shakespeare was re introduced into our curriculum. The reason I wanted to write something about William Shakespeare is this year, 2016 is celebrated as the 400th year of his death. This is being done to honor Shakespeare for his 38 Plays, 154 sonnets and two long narrative poems. I am remembering him for all the wisdom that connects me to the Elizabethan England and watching ‘Shakespeare in Love’ only bolsters my urge to study Shakespeare as part of our curriculum. I know it may sound irrelevant to our educationist to have Shakespeare back but my stand is “Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear” -All’s well that ends well.
I want to join the world in remembering Shakespeare who taught us not only language but also life to this day, not in death but in life you live in our minds. I dream of having Shakespeare back in our schools.

The course of true love never did run smooth- (A midsummer’s night’s dream). Thank you William Shakespeare!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Writing: Ema Datshi!

Google images
Sometimes a spark of an idea is enough to put those bubbles of the mind into writing but I sometimes I do encounter instances where you have the idea but simply cannot put those into writing. It takes days and even weeks to pen it down and most ideas just fade because you either don’t have the apt word to describe or is simply forgotten with time.
I always believed in the thought that an idea may come at any given moment and before that little idea is lost forever in the hum drum of time, why not scribble it down. That’s how print in me is kept alive. I have been asked, what makes you write? My mantra for this simple hobby is as simple as dishing out Ema Datshi.

Get the chilies and get it right…

Thinking of what to write is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This comes from reading and lots of reading. On your reading journeys you will develop a taste for certain flavors that pleases you. For me I love nonfiction and travelogues. So my writing is based solely on experiences of first hand and no literary styles are used. I write it down as it comes to me. So first things first! Look for ideas and subjects that you feel for genuinely and simply write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t ever worry about the sequencing of ideas, paragraphing, grammar etc… concentrating on it will simply slow you down. Just write it down.

Adding Cheese, some garlic, water and oil…

Google Images
After you have written down your thoughts and ideas into a paper/computer, read it for yourself and make inferences whether you conveyed what you actually had in your mind. Sequence those ideas-a point/an idea, a paragraph. Read it over and over again. Do not forget the essence or the central idea of your write up. Check for grammatical errors. Show it to your friends and colleagues and get their opinion. Just the opinion! Listen to them and try incorporating in your writing only if you feel necessary. Otherwise adding everything which everyone says will only make a mince-meat of your write up. Your message by now should be brief, simple and to the point.

Adding salt finally…

Do not use words that are not too familiar. And do not forget, it is for the appreciation of the readers that you write. People mostly write so that it is easy for the readers to grab it.
When you end your write up, always end it with an opinion of yours. What do you think about the subject you chose to write about? Of course this differs if you are writing for academic purposes formally. Now think of a suitable title for your write up. I know this is the most difficult part of any write up. The title should give a glimpse into the entire write up of yours. After you have found one -there you have it, a written piece of yours!

An original Ema Datshi!