Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Of Marriages and Infidelities

There is a slight rain today, a drizzle actually.  The remnants of the Thrui Bab (Blessed Rainy Day), my wife says.  I am sitting at the patio of my house, which is directly facing the great old gulmohar tree.  It amazes me to no end to see this great tree, standing strong and firm.
            Today a majestic looking hornbill couple has appeared from nowhere and they are sitting on the topmost branch, at the dome of the ‘big green umbrella’, of this great tree.  What lovely birds!  Elsewhere, they are an almost extinct species, it is reported. 
            Birds, they say, couple for life.  They remain faithful to each other throughout life.  There are stories of how one partner commits suicide if the other dies or gets killed.  I cannot vouch for its truthfulness, but if so, we humans have a lot to learn from these gentle creatures.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who am I?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
 The famous lines from Shakespeare, probably read and will be read by countless people generations down the line.
Of late I got this strange feeling of wanting to find out who am I.  My name, the inheritance from my late grandma (May her soul rest in peace!), is what I am known as and called so.  But, what and who am I really, inside?  This has been nagging me for some time now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Dialogue with Generation Z

By any standard I don’t think I will be termed as old and I don’t feel so either.  Neither can I be called young any more.  A bit of rigidity has set into my joints, though I can proudly say that I am physically very active.  But the remarks of my son, while we were discussing birthdays, made me feel my age.  He said, “Dad, but where will you place all those candles even if you celebrated your birthday?”  I was telling him about my lack of interest in celebrating my own birthday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scratching an Old Wound

Death, they say is a great leveler and it is also the final and ultimate step through which all beings have to pass, which is a proof of the impermanence nature of life.  But, however natural occurrence death is, no one looks forward to it and everyone mourns the demise of a beloved one.

Night Hunting – The Other Side of the Story

The practice of Night Hunting has been popularised, or rather disreputed by many articles and reporting in the media.  They made the practice look dirty, male chauvinistic in nature, and et al, except good.  And I tell you, nothing is farther from the truth.  I may be wrong but I have my side of the story to tell.
This practice has been there generations before and was a socially accepted thing.  It was the accepted courtship ritual in the villages and they still are in many parts of the country, still untouched and unpolluted by the so called modernisation and westernisation.  It got a bad name, when the villainous outsiders, usually the visiting government officials, took advantage of the innocent damsels, sired children and left them to their own fates.  Many fatherless progeny were left behind this way.  Thus, this practice came to be labeled a notorious practice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Difference in Perception

On his recent visit to my place, my dad was shocked to find, or rather not find a phallus outside my house.  He insisted that I should display one, either outside the house or hanging from the door top.  He had an explanation for why my wife was always sick; that evil eyes are on us since we didn’t have a phallus to guard against them.
            To please him, I asked a friend to make one for me.  The artistic, nasty practical joker that he is, he made one that looked obscene, pornographic and indecent.  It did not resemble the ones back home, which were a simple one, in fact a symbolic one.  The one he made had all parts, including the throbbing veins and nothing was left to the imagination.  I must admit that he did quite a good job.  Had this been for some other purpose, other than hanging above my door, he did really deserve applause.  Since I did not have any choice I hung it from the door top.  That silenced my dad.
            A few days later my children’s friends came to our house.  They are all below ten kids.  They did not seem to be bothered by the new “item of decoration” on my door.  Curiously I asked them what it was.  Without blinking an eyelid, they replied, “Uncle, chu tang ni gi eembay”, meaning that it is an object to urinate with.  They knew it by its basic functional utility and beyond that it’s just another piece of anatomy.  Ah, the innocence at its peak!
            But it’s a different story with the adults; visiting friends of mine and my wife’s.  They grin, giggle, pass comments, some even pass sexist remarks.  I heard one friend of mine saying, “the one eyed monster taking its post!”  My wife thinks that it is disgusting and wants to throw it away.
            I was looking at a picture of a gold chain and a locket, strung around the neck of a lady.  The photographer has intentionally shown the cleavage of the model wearing a sports bra.  The face was left out.  I must confess that more than the gold chain and the locket, my attention was drawn by the cleavage of the lady.  I showed the same to my friends and even they saw the cleavage first.
            I showed this same picture to my three years old son and instantly he replied, “Sung koed (sacred thread strung around the neck) eembay.”  He took the chain and the locket to be a ‘sung koed’.  He did not notice the cleavage, which we adults did before anything.
            The difference in perception is glaring.  Children see things as they are; in their pure unadulterated form.  We, the adults, see things in a different light, beyond its basic meaning. Ours is a bit prejudiced by our “adult” minds.

Monday, August 13, 2012

If only: Reflections on Life and Living

I am sitting under an old gulmohar tree (delonix regia), that resembles a large green umbrella, that is a part of the boundary fencing between where I live and my neighbour’s house.  The tiny leaves on the stems are neatly arranged like the plumage of a bird giving it a very gentle and peaceful look.  The mild breeze on them creates a movement like ripples in a pond that has been disturbed by a falling pebble.  I wonder how many tired souls this particular tree must have helped rejuvenate under its cool shades.  If only it could talk…

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Dying Art

I belong to a time when letter writing was the only means of communicating with people at distant places.  Other than sending verbal messages through people travelling to places, letter writing was the only means of communication.  There was a place called “Wireless Station”, but I was not clear how it delivered messages then, and people did not use it to send love letters.  So it was the good old post office that we turned to and a fifty chhetrum stamp was enough to get a letter going, to whichever places in Bhutan your letter was destined.  But it took ages to reach its destination.  I remember once, receiving a letter that took forty five days, from a place where it today takes eight hours by road!

Impractical Fool

As I barely sat down to write something that has been bothering me lately, the door bell rang and simultaneously the door opened, revealing a massive head, with a crew cut hair.  The face beneath it looked weather beaten and riddled with potholes.  The nose looked like a genetically altered over-sized carrot.  The traces of curls in the short cropped hair spoke of a wild curly hair, if not attended to on a regular basis.  The bulge in the mid-section of the trunk showed signs of prosperity, as we, the Bhutanese, say, and the shiny brown Hush Puppy shoes confirmed it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bad Hair Days

Existence of barbers or professional hair cutters does not feature in any history of Bhutan.  I suppose it is safe to assume that such professions did not exist in Bhutan.  From the time I remember I saw people cut each other’s hair in the villages.  Mothers cut the hair of their children, though the first haircut of a child was always done by the maternal uncle or a big lam, the reason of which I still do not know.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Parenting – An All in One Task

God asked him “What were you while on earth?”  He replied, “I was a parent, God.”  And the God said, “Such multi-talented person!  You must have had quite a time.  You may rest here.”  God sent him to heaven.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Going Under the Knife

Except for a greenish gown that has seen better days, which the hospital provided, she wore nothing underneath. As she was wheeled into the Operation Theatre (OT) on a gurney, she looked so vulnerable. I have never seen this side of her personality. She looked tiny, naked and vulnerable. For the first time in our twelve years of married life, I realised how tiny and frightened she looked. My heart went out to her. My wife was going under the knife for some minor surgery.

Sunday Evening Blues

I hate Sunday evenings.  It is a long story.  They bring back a lot of memories of yore school days.  Those were the days when teachers used more canes than words to teach and discipline the students.  It was sticks all the way and no carrots.  Some of our teachers and seniors were really merciless, a few of them going even to the extent of being sadistic.  Sunday evening meant a lot of things; end of the weekend or the beginning of another new week, which meant facing the canes of our great learned teachers and a host of other things that were not necessarily pleasant.  Ever since I hated Sunday evenings; this dislike have got into my system so deep that even today and even when I am on holidays, I still get this creepy feelings on Sunday evenings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Many people told me to write.  They include mentors, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.  And I want to write.  Write, but on what?  What should I write about?  All possible topics I can phantom have been written about.  Equipped with a pen and a paper does not make one a writer, I realised.  I am a voracious reader and I read anything that comes my way, including the classified ads and matrimonial columns in the newspapers.  Reading makes you feel that writing can be an easy job, but when you try to pen down your thoughts you realise that it is easier said than done.  It is the ability of a writer that makes you feel so; the magic is created by the writer.  Hats off to those writers who make the readers feel so.