Friday, December 30, 2011

Eve, The New Year!

I had half a mind to write before this year draws to another end but the restless scribe(?) in me, that i often fondly nurture, forced me to this spontaneity. I reached to Paro, along with my aging dear mother and father, charting out routes to visit holy places here. A tiring drive it was! We halted at my sister's place since it is Ngyenpa Gu Zom today and visiting a lhakhang today is not a good thing. I wished one of my close friends a very happy Ngyenpa and sent this SMS: May all the species of your type flourish like Harrappan civilisation!
He might have overlooked the subtlety in it since he called back and thanked profusely for the warm wishes!:)
Well, i missed the jingoism about X-mas this year. Not that i celebrate but when more than half the worlds population indulge into festivi...ties, i took it unfairly for being so mute. I tuned on my radio, since TV and Internet is out of bound in my place(Norbuling it is!) and listened to some of the best christmas carols. I reminded Choden about how people in USA must have celebrated!
On a second thought, i prided myself for being able to survive freely in non-digital community. I was mostly involved in doing chores like operating a simple rice huller that the Nepalis there called Dhan-ko-meecine! When it got struck or hardened due to lack of grease at its crease, they would look up for me as if their life came to a standstill. That gave me great energy to think that i can often be useful despite being discarded In MoE! :)
Nevertheless, life is so cool in there. Free from any worldly trauma, they eat three solid square meals, made in Chula-Chaai, take Tongba regularly to boost their energy and listen to old hindi songs played so loudly in their older radios! They tend to their cattles after their works are done,,hmm i liked it much.
Post Christmas was again another sad news about the demise of one of the greatest Rinpoches of our times, HE Dungse Rinpoche. Mother was nearly into tears as i was but life has to move on. It gives us a lesson to think that all is true about the Theory of Impermanence in Buddhism. We are seeing more depletion in great and good Rinpoche, all we can do is pray for their early rebirths to guide lesser mortals like us, isnt it?
And today, as i said, it is meeting of Nine Evils, in Buddhist calender, i took it more as a festive feat than defeat. Today also is the eve, the new year is all onto us now, according to christian calender. I am more older and wiser(he he) than few years back and it always imbue me with uncanny feeling to begin new years. how i wish not to grow old!
And hello there, we are more closer to some Dooms Day, according to Mayan Calender!!You sure must hit to a new Disco theque and shake all your bones. Infact if you need any extra bones in your system, do let me know!! He he.
But before that, let me complete visiting Taksang one more time!! LOL.
Happy New Years, dear Teachers. May good health and KenchoSum be always by your side and especially, to my dear readers, may we survive on this futility for long time to come. Cheers!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

National Day

Today, i woke up earlier than usual since it is our National Day, 104th year. I wanted to furl our national flag by the side of my bedroom window but we didnt have a flag. I asked my son if he had a Scout scarf. He has, but he had misplaced it since school is over! To hoist a flagless pole would be more catastrophic than showing off my curious patriotism. Blessed i am, to have my glorous birth, here in this country. There wasnt even a sign when i was borned but that doesnt matter! :). I am a proud Drukpa, as rustic and as poor as most of you are, but still a proud Drup. Pelden Drukpa, Gyelo!!
 I am afraid this could be the last of my post for 2011. I have vainly tried to boast things around me, sometimes even at the sake of hurting people's sentiments. But those were all comparatives, not absolutes.
Well, this winter, i tell you, it is a blessing in disguise! No works for me but heck, i aint No-Work-Jack! I am planning to embark my lifelong desire: Pilgrimage!! I am going Neykor, teachers! NEYKOR!!
Dorjidhen? No. Tsho Pema? No. Tibet? Hmm, chinese might throw me into some old dungeons! Nepal? Not really! I have my refugee brothers in there, they might want me to lead a new democratic party. oh crap.:)
 "Mashey gatey joney inna ya!", i remember myself whispering to my wife when she asked me about my destination! LorD Gautama, didnt know his location too!:)
I suggested an old female friend about Phuntsholing for Ngagyur Kama Wang being precided over by HE Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche. "I got a tent that could easily accomodate two Sumo wrestlers", i chipped in. "You take some cash!".She would not listen to the suggestion.

Oh, folks, i gotta get going but not here! Good day, friends! Cheers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Workshop!

!POHSKROW ON.....This is not even a mantra. If you read it right to left, or sould i say, in my own plain language, it means, no workshop! Well that is quite dull. Boring indeed. There are more than 50 different kinds of workshops excluding the regular Evaluation Camps at Punakha and i dont find niche in any one of them! Not that i didnt try, the last of my call was yesterday, to some Surjay Sir (of DRCD fame). "Sir, any vacancy?". "I am afraid you are late," comes the reply. I was never taught sugar talks, and i dont regret it. I hung up the phone but not without better than best explanation from my side! My side,huh? That sounds vain and dumb. Tactful subordinates would not do that but i am not even near those ethereal sycophants!
 "Sir, how come i wasnt included in that writer's workshop?!", i try to put up my argument with him. Science Writers Workshop, i was talking about. Devil's Workshop indeed! He replies me back, "We can not include all the teachers despite, we need competitive participants". That hits the chord in me and disrupts the geometric harmony that i often boast in my self and woe betide, i thus rant these, almost shout at him: Sir i completed my MSc in 2009, i teach Bio/Che and i have taught science for class 5 and 6 for the last 7years and i can write competitive english!!! Now you think i cant fit in your workshop, huh? Seriously, i have lots of feed backs regarding the textbooks for class 5 and 6!
I finish it in a breath. I would have screamed if he was my father, but well i would still respect strangers, even at the heights of my desolation. I was sweating, literally so. We hung up our cell after another around of good talks. Finally, i had to thank him for the explanation. He said he would try and integrate my profile if there were workshops, in FUTURE! That is cool. I am a typical sheep. A rejection there and a simple assurance here would move my Lacrimal glands to tears!
Well folks, honestly, i complete my 7th year in teaching and not a single workshop! I do thank the ministry for the further studies that i completed in some Indian slums, but that was due to my own subject. And BBE for giving me opportunity to evaluate those chemistry papers.  Those were the service of my subjects, not favours, mind you! i am, writing in a forum that wont even reach half the people i intend to read. :)
I suggested my old room-mate who works in Education, to join this forum(He works in PPD). "Ah, Teachers Forum ya?". Ong, i told him. "Complain Forum imwong!", he said!.
Sometimes, i seldom regret having taken up this profession. 'Sigh'. 
Given a chance, i would like to take up farming and be far, far away from all those Madding Crowds! But for now, i must teach. That wont put off my flame to teach my dear students, i promise that!

That is all, good day teachers!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Admission for PP

Yesterday, it was PP admission in my school for the next academic session. My daughter, clinically 5 years old was, as nervous as her mother. While we walked to the school,I could hear mommy dear giving last-minute tips. What is you name? She answers it. What is your mother's name? What is your father's name? What should you say when you enter the room?And so on. "They wont ask all these questions!", i uttered to pull her out of her nervousness. Some 25 years ago, i had similar bouts when i first went to the school at Sarbhang.I believe i was overaged since both i and my younger sister sat for the same interview: PP admission! I vaguely remember that there were lots of crowds in that hall.While i tightly clung to my father's hand, i had to ask him numerous questions about all the things under the sun. It is never too easy to get admitted in a school. We must be able to touch the left ear lobe with the right hand across the head. That was too easy but i still do not know why we had to do that. Some rounds of questions were asked.I cant recall all of them except one, which i would elaborate later. The final round was a Lucky-dip session. I had to pick from a container, a small folded paper. I picked one up and they read out loudly: 0.
Zero, meant not lucky enough for admission! My sister followed me and she got "S". S meant school! I was shattered but more than that, i was worried about my father's spanking for getting zero! I dont know how i could get the admission but according to my mother's oral records, they halted my sister for another year and requested the admission committee to enroll me instead.
The only question that i remember being asked during that interview was if my father was educated. I nodded affirmatively. "How much?", he asked. That caught me off guard. But, i could deal with surprise crisis rather easily. As i write this, my face lengthens with smile and pride for being able to ward off queries coolly. I was intelligent while i was young, you know! (doubt?). Huh? HOw much? I said "15" and bowed with peaceful bliss. At the far corner, i saw my father smiling at me. I thought it was correct.
Only after decade or so, i could find out that he never crossed 6th grade but that was long, long time ago. He went on to serve the government service till his superannuation. I tell you, he can still beat me in Dzongkha and English handwriting.That is a different story.
So i turn to my daughter and assure her,"Ma dro marey. Appa yoed ba tey!"
Hmm..that is all for today. Good day!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011: what was there?!

As 2011 draws to and end, i was tempted to look back at things that affected me the most. Firstly, without doubt, it was the global economy struggles. Honestly, i do not really understand the general trends in markets and its influence to the common people but when things are becoming difficult, i blame it, like any other being, to the disturbing global economy.
Personally, as prices soared and a kilo of onion became more of a burden than basic ingredient in our kitchens, i had to convince my dear wife about the dangers of excessive consumption of onions. Simply, onions increases sexual libido which is far more dangerous in the long run!
As oil prices shot up for the record 7th time(?) this year, i had to painfully restrict family outings, much to the woes of my kids. Everytime i drove my car, i wondered if water-propelled cars could be manufactured for consumers like you and i, it would be fun! How cheap! And ditto to LPG prices. My wife usually opts out of gas stoves during evenings and early mornings since we use our multi-skilled Bukhari - it warms us and heats our oven too! I had to genuinely understand her thriftiness at this time of our generations, so i called quits to gambling to sustain ourselves more blissfully than ever.
Infact there were more tragic deaths all around the world, some of it we wrongfully called victories. We have seen the fall of Osama and Gadhafi. We also saw the tragic deaths of Steve Jobbs(of Apple fame) and M.F. Husain. Just a night before, we heard about Dev Anand, the icon of Indian no more. Closer back at home, my Angayla succumed to her cancer. 2011 was not a kind year, for most of us.
Personally, for me there was more failures to count on this year than achievements. Additional wrinkles on my chubby face, depletion of hair on my head, more creaking bones at my joints,aggravating ulcer in my stomach, and lesser nutritional intakes in my diet than before! Sounds grimly suicidal, huh? lol.
 Come next year, i would boomerang with increased devotion to survive. I intend to avail more loans, just before the supposed Doomsday(2012) and mind you, i might just speed by your side in my new car!
  Ha ha..

Friday, December 2, 2011

From Teacher's forum

Yesterday,it was a healthy attempt in our culture to discuss about HIV/AIDS. The boldness of those five citizens were exemplary and deserves our respect for having taken that step and talking about it in an open forum. While most of us are aware about the dreadful disease, we have been more or less, too narrow in our thoughts about it. Ours is a country ruled by the higest number of the most educ...ated parlimentarians in the world, it is only natural mandates that we take extra steps ahead and show our neighbours small lessons. Elsewhere, AIDS patients are shunned from most of the public aspects but here in our small country, we have tried to put forward our theory of peaceful co-existance with whatever forms of life that intimately sorround us. The talks that were organised yesterday by the BBS would go a long way in trying to educate our Bhutanese audience. Listening to them, it looks as if some of us have been blindly traumatising "them" and discarding "them" due to social stigma associated with the AIDS.
Well, by now, some of us are regretting for turning our blind eyes to "them". They are as humane as you and i are, the least we can do is, try and help them lead normal lives. Infact, AIDS, according to the studies, can remain undiagnosed for almost 20 years, while most of the lucky patients can still survive a decade even after the diagnosis! Supposing i get infected with it at 40(touchwood!), i might still grow white hairs and survive side by side with my contemporaries to live upto 60 years. BY then, most of you might be dead! The point i am trying to state is, one can still lead normal lives with AIDS. You and i should know this and respect our patients and treat them as our neighbours, not as an outcast! Thank you,Mr.Dawa, for taking those bold efforts in your seat as a reporter.
And hello teachers, did you hear about class six board exam today? I could only get the information about the change in timetable yesterday afternoon. By then students have gone to their homes. The managers in my school tried to contact each student and notify them about the change(Social studies, students were preparing for maths!). As i reached school early, i had to ward off number of tearful queries they asked me. "Sir, we didnt get the time to study", the told me in an accusing chorus. One of the girls, who also is very good in the studies havent even heard the change in timetable till she reached the school this morning. They informed me that she was crying. I went to her and these small kids followed me as if i could lift off her tension into thin air. "So, you didnt hear the change", i asked her trying to be as peaceful as a holy Lama. "No sir", she sobbed."Nga lu dhi ga ge ya ma labb". Her friends rolled their eyes onto me. I wud melt i thought! "Dont you worry, Sumitra. I would teach you", i whispered to her. Honestly so!

This is what happens in MoE, no wonder about it!

Good night friends.