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).