Sunday, September 16, 2012

What's in a name?

The birth of a new child is a big occasion for any level headed family. It is accompanied by anxiety, physical acrimony, and above all, joy. However, nothing can match the hype and fever that accompany the naming of the new born. There invariably is a tussle in the family in determining who can assert the most influence and whose choice prevails on the matter. There is an uncanny pride in being able to give the child your choice of name.
The Bhutanese social practice in this regards presents even more room for discord. Unlike elsewhere, there is no practice of giving the infant a paternal name after his father and there is no such thing as a family name. Therefore, every birth is an occasion to experiment with a new combination of Buddhist parts of speech, usually an adjective. The child can also be named after his perceptible physical characters like skin, colour, facial features and temperament.

Monday, August 13, 2012

To be a Dad

For my son the Supreme Conqueror Manifesting Auspicious Birth with Great Power of Speech, Eloquence and Persuasion (Ngawang Kezang Namgay).  
In the animal kingdom in which we are just another subject, the role of the male species in the collective effort of procreation leading to the continuity of the world is little more than depositing sperm. Once that is done, the male becomes a father. Whether he has any other responsibility towards the development of his offspring or not, he still remains a father. Nothing can change the biological status once he has played his part as the depositor which in itself is an act that serves to fulfill his own basic carnal urge.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In Support of the Pedestrian Day Initiative

~The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step~

Most of us today will see petroleum and other conventional energy sources run dry within our lifetime. By the end of the next couple of decades, our current way of life will come to an abrupt end. Our children will see diesel automobiles only as exhibits. We will then have no option but to revert to employing our physical faculties like our not so distant forefathers.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Immortal: The story of a bull

This is the story of a beloved bull who lived long before the monstrous Japan made power tillers displaced others of his kind from their position of pride as a Bhutanese farming household’s chief preoccupation. His name was Bjan Ka Zeb (bjan dkar dzerb), named after the white furs that lined his dewlap and brisket. He was bought by my grandmother from a herd of bulls that was put up for sale by cattle traders from far east Bhutan who periodically came for such purposes to the villages of Sha (shar) and Wang (wang).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GNH and Neo-liberalism

(This was submitted as an assignment during my PGDPA at RIM)
Until the turn of the 19th century, Bhutan was seen as a lost land. The people were seen as a sort of curious mountain tribe, “with a deep running devil-worship tradition” (Baillie, 2005), and with little personal hygiene to speak of. Of course, it all changed. Thanks largely to a succession of great hereditary monarchs since 1907.
The same Imperial forces that had once forgone the chance to take over this hidden and impoverished land, like they did so many kingdoms of its kind in the Himalayas, are now suddenly looking up to it to provide the glimmer of hope that they so desperately need. Their long standing belief in the forces of market is crumbling before their eyes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vanity Exercise

“Beauties in vain, their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul”-Alexander Pope
I haven’t been doing my regular exercises, which invariably included a heavy regime of weight training and stretches. Nor have I been on my regular diet consisting of a healthy mix of the three principal components of nutrition. This is bad.
However, what is worst is the alternative. Working out in Thimphu’s gyms with their varying levels of professionalism is more than just a matter of keeping good health. From wanting to build unworldly biceps to shedding the last remnants of fat, from pounding on the mega mass supplements to cutting down on all nutriments, and from the disorienting narcissisms to the gym blues, these clubs and their members are all on what one could call vanity exercise.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When Life Imitates Art

I have this problem with drinking. When I drink, all hell break loose. The inhibitions that usually do a decent job of keeping a tab on the most wayward of my feelings, and I have many of them, gets incapacitated and the emotions come pouring out.
I am a thinker. I think a lot. Ordinary things don’t satisfy me. And greatness doesn’t come often. So, in those periods between epiphany and the daily grinds, I am usually a frustrated man. The primordial self-interest keeps me from running havoc. I still care for a lot of things to dash headlong towards the uncertain future of my dreams.

On High Booze: The Story of Dru(n)k Yul

Disclaimer: Any autobiographical reading into this story would be unfounded
Dorji was a keen boy. He had a twinkle in his eyes that bespoke his mind. And he had a mind of his own. He would watch with intent as the men went out to the field, as the women went about their chores, as buildings were erected and as huts were pulled down, as officers adorned in their official grandeur made their rounds, as shopkeepers plied their trade, as children fooled around, as love blossomed with spring, as summer brought about its abundance, as autumn harkened its bounty and as winter-chilled mirth played out in his beloved hamlet.
He grew up as his parents’ chechey. They were already old and he was their only child. So, he grew up in the cocoon of their love and indulgence. They couldn’t bear to have him off their sight for that split second when something untoward could befall him. And they could imagine a thousand things that could go wrong with him at any moment. He came to love them for that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Money talk/s

Safe and sound
My Dollars sleep with me.
Great is your value
You keep the world moving
You make the poor happy
You bring joys upon the miserable
You are the Saviour
Let everybody worship you
Let them own you by all mean
Let them know your value
For without you

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lion in a cage

This is an essay written by my nephew who is in class V. He is only abt 9 years old. But I am amazed at the thoughts he put in and the feeling/emotions that made the thought possible...I am not sure, whether to feel proud or scared...How can a child think so much and how can he feel this way and with all its intricate details invoking a great image in the process...he is just a child...

"I look out at the cage. i pretend that I am free. I see humans. They treat me like a loser and embarrass me. I wish I was king right now but I am not. I wish I had the strength to break the cage. I wish my anger would scare the humans ans set me free. I wish I am not bigh right now because I could go through the spaces if i were small. One day, I will break free and kill the humans who trapped me and show them no mercy." UPW 

 His english madam commented "full of emotion. excellent work" BUT that doesnt matter...the write-up speaks for itself...Incidentally I wrote a story abt an animal too when i was his age...but it was more funny than anything else

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Happiness

Good morning: Today in this fine morning, I would like talk on the topic of happiness as in the philosophy of our country, Gross National Happiness. Well, we all want to be happy. I would like nothing more than to be absolutely happy in my life. I would like to be able to do what I like, the way I like and when I like. I would like all the wealth in the world and all that health can give me. But I am not selfish. By virtue of all these blessings, I would like to be able to help everybody around me. That would be the most wonderful thing in the world for me, and that would definitely make me very happy.
But when I think about it, it is not only me who wants these things. I would think that my whole class, my whole school, all the people in my country, as indeed, all the people in all the country would like just these things. But the fact is I cannot have them all. Nor can anybody in this whole wide world can have them. There is a limit to anything and the world certainly has a limit for everything. There will be only so much that I can have because there is only so much to go around in this world.
That is why as a collective whole, we need policies that will give everybody the their fair share of chances to be happy. We must allow our country to regulate our lives so that we can be as happy as possible now, that nobody is left out, and so that this happiness can be safeguarded for the generations that will come after us. If we allow things as they are, then almost certainly our self-interest will overrule our good intentions, overexploit our resources, undermine the harmony and destroy our environment.
That is why our beloved fourth Druk Gyalpo developed this philosophy of happiness called the Gross National Happiness so that all of us could be happy. He said that our development should make us stronger by virtue of our culture, that our development must make our governance stronger, that our environment must always remain and that we should all be able to live in sufficiency.
These has been the basis of our happiness and these have so far enabled us to be very successful. It would be up to us in the future to build our country upon this ideals of our King and live happily ever after. If in your happiness, I can be happy, and in my happiness you could be happy, then ultimately all of us will be happy. 
Thank you for listening.
Have a good day.
This is written as a speech for my nephew...spur of the moment...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Do what you like: Like what you do

It’s funny. I try to mug up statistics and understand quotes. Now I can either try to understand statistics and mug up quotes. Or I could just ignore the statistics altogether and focus on my quotes. There is no argument over which is better, Mugging up Or Understanding. When you can understand and are eager to understand, things just click. You can forget all about the slog of mugging up. Things will be still crystal clear, long after you are done with the exam.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kill the Death

Because You Can
Death is relative. You live each day hoping that you will never die. But in fear that you trip on the step and fall, the plane that deliver 99.9% of its passenger plunge against all the odds and take you down with it in your once in the blue moon flight, that the drunk behind the wheel hit crush you in front of a stupid crowd, the pill you pop for your headache goes bad and lay you for good or your dear wife slit the knife on your throat when you are dead asleep. You live in fear each moment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To be or not to be: The choice that the monks don’t have

A Novice Monk
The monk body in Bhutan is a revered institution. At the height of its power, it dictated everything from the religious to the political life of the country. Senior monks assumed political posts. Druk Desi Umze Tenzin Drugay, the first head of the first formal political set-up of a united Bhutan was, not surprisingly, a monk. Before him it was the great Zhabdrung who actually built the dual system of governance for the country. He, too, was a monk.  In fact, the monk body (sangha) as we know it now is his legacy. The first Bhutanese Dratshang was established at Chagri Dorjedhen in 1621 which was subsequently shifted to the Punthang Dewa Chengpoi Phodrang in Punakha.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A preliminary study of Lo-ju – Invocation of a warrior deity for enduring peace

A hawk’s vantage point of view: Abstract
(This is a preliminary article on Shar Gi Loju. The final, more academic version is published in Vol. 25 of the Journal for Bhutan Studies)

A Pazap Scene
Lo-ju (blo ‘gyur) is an ancient Pazap (dpa mdzangs pa) festival celebrated every three years across the villages of Shar valley in Wangduephodrang. This study focuses primarily on its Chungsekha version. The festival is the collective sigh of a people for lasting peace and prosperity in their community. So, it is quite an irony as the event’s main ritual involves an invocation of a warrior deity, ferocious in his extremes. At a glance, it would seem like a throw back into a warlike past with the enactment of a medieval battle situation by the peasant Pazaps. However, an in-depth analysis reveals it be a show of faith, courage and battle preparedness which, by default, is a natural deterrent against possible hostilities. An attempt has been made to bear a historical perspective on this tradition which would otherwise seem like an odd cross between vainglorious machismo, anachronistic extravaganza and mindless superstition.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Motivation in the Age of the Old Guards

The Stick Theory
There is an ill-considered tendency among our generation (brought up on the modern idea of motivators) to blame the old guards of our traditions for being wholly unheeding to our circumstances and needs. While we espouse conciliation and coexistence of views, we are ourselves quite blind to their worldview. This naturally gives rise to the conviction that when our times come, we will be just as stubborn, self-righteous and become culpable of perpetuating the same disregard of the other.

Songs of the Sixth Dalai Lama

The sixth Dalai Lama Losang Rigdzin Tsangyang Gyatsho (1683-1706), whose name means “The ocean of melodious songs” was a special Dalai Lama.
Born in a renowned Nyingma family and brought up at a late age in the Gelugpa tradition, Tsangyang Gyatsho proved to be an uncomfortable blend of the two traditions. But leaving aside the unfortunate politics that surrouynded his desolate life, Tsangyang Gyatsho brought to holy Lhasa and Shol taverns some of the purest and most beautiful lyrics of all times.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

of Creative writings and More...

Unkept promise is almost always the reason for cynicisms, doubts and discontentment in young people. This became quite clear to us when we posted our invitation calling for articles to be published in the first edition of the Literary Society’s magazine Sherubtse Spectrum. Very few, if any, articles were handed over in the first week. And those who did were the freshers who were still new to Sherubtse’s ways.

just my luck!

Literature is a thing of the mind. Hence, it may just be a luxury that we cannot afford.
I will not blame people if they thought that way because I had similar thoughts myself. My first feelings when I got selected for the English Honours degree course in Sherubtse was…well, I cannot put them in words. Suffice it to say that my first choice was B.Com. Honours and not what was apparently an abstract literature study.