Saturday, December 15, 2012

Out of Station: II

Few days ago, it snowed much to surprise. There wasn't much in store except some dried chillies and potatoes. I have been complaining to Choden about the repetition of her menu but she said she couldn't help much. Except for the beautiful sunny day, there is nothing good being in Chumey in the winter.
On the greener side, i have got my new posting: Sarpang, it read. I almost regretted to have applied for transfer because i have always had this phobia of changing places and adapting to new faces but i am sure it is for the good reasons that i take leave from here. For teachers,there it is a great humiliation being in the same school. Your students come back to the same school as your colleague and shake hands with you saying: You are still here sir?
Two years shy of a decade, i am packing my things from Bumthang. Come next year, i intend to bask in the sub-tropical temperature in Sarpang and munch on fresh vegetables and fruits there. I bet the kidnappers would regret if they ever got their plans on me because there is nothing in me to exchange for their ransoms. But i would give them a list of people who needs to be kidnapped from our society or atleast from our government.:)

So i was travelling from with a passenger that i picked up from old Wangdi town, i told you? I almost took him to be some Indian worker but he was a good Bhutanese Nepali.
"Why did you resign?", asked him. There was a brief silence.
"Things are not going on as i have expected", he told me.
"You must have got lots of money when you resigned?".
"Yes. And finished repaying the loans i had!", pat came the reply. I felt miserable having asked that query in the first place.
No promotion. And what is more, he hadnt had his increment for the last 8 months. Reason: his salary reached the ceiling!(He told me some 18,000 plus) .
Ask for a posting, they send you in some remote villages, he said. His wife was presently in Lhuntse while he went to thimphu to complete his resignation.
In the course of our long conversation, it took us to his days of 1970s. He had completed his 6th grade when he opted to join in the government service. Few months later, he was in Thimphu training to be HA. He started with that post and and ended with the same post. 32 years of HA-ing!! Twice he had the opportunity to go outside Bhutan: Tamil Nadu and few years ago to Nepal.
Well we talked a lot of topic including the medicine, sanitation, rain-water harvest, surgery, Ngolops, and hydropower projects in Bhutan.
So he was heading to Trongsa to apply for some medical jobs in Mangdechu project. He told me that his prospects weren't good given his basic qualification. "First question they ask is, what is your qualification?", he told me with regret. "Oh, it is not same", i tried to defend him. A primary graduate in 1970s can easily compete with a general graduate of 21st century, i put in.
"I am happy now". There were smiles in his eyes."I couldn;t construct a house for myself but i have educated all my five kids", he boasted. I bowed my head in acceptance.

We reached at Trongsa past darkness. He bought me a beer while he sipped his coffee. We bid goodbye with warm wishes to each other.
Just then i realised that i haven't even asked his name. "Sir, your good name sir?", i asked him. "Loknath Sharma, la", he told me.
"Kadrinche. Hope we meet again sir", i told him as we turned to different directions thence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Out of Station..

It has been quite sometime since i last updated my blog. Firstly, i was busier than bees seeing over the home examinations of the school. Despite, i was helping Choden to pack things for the winter vacation. And secondly, i had to go out of station for more than a week. Well, not for workshop. It is simply pity to think of teachers going to workshops. At my side, i console myself by regularly visiting the workshop to mend my troublesome car and that gives me high self-esteem to boast the frequency of workshops i attended:). At any cost, there is no point in knocking the doors of various departments asking if they have any vacancies for the winter workshop. Most of them, nay almost all of them say that they have already sent the letters to the DEO for nominations. " You know,everything is decentralized. We dont nominate any candidates directly." I remember officer X explaining to me few days ago. Things have become more transparent, atleast it seems so!
Infact, i had to brave against another personal bereavement back in my village. It was my maternal Aku who expired recently and i couldn't but make my presence for his 21st funeral rites. Going to my village was not that easy. Afterall, what is there to brag about a kheng region? I wonder why our Lyonchen is making his efforts touring the poor and neglected kheng region sporting his Gucci that was supposedly given away as a parting gift by Ban Ki-Moon during his last honey-Moon in the headquarters of the UN. I tell you he is digging his own grave making his first visits in those region in all his tenure.
After 15 years, Gongphu haven't changed much. If you saw one village elder in bata slippers, you should be lucky! But happy they are as they were. Untouched by ruthless modernism or any global korean fever, it stands out tall in its primitive life cycle.
Since we rarely stayed in the village or ever visited, it was difficult for them to recognise us. I had to repeat my mother's name for countless times to let them know how genuinely i was related to them. Two days later, we had to leave. I looked back at my village with fond memories and sadness. There is no point in trying to make them realise how wonderfully the world outside their circumference had developed. My mother cried while left her widowed sister back in the village while i drove more speedily to run away from there.

Driving back from Wangdi, i saw that scenic ruins of the Dzong and i prayed for some more ruins in future. He he he.
Just as i was about to cross the old Wangdi town, i was stopped by another elderly citizen who wanted to go to Trongsa. I surveyed him at once. By any means, he was aged(hexagenarian) and that gave me reasons not to be scared. These days it is dangerous to pick up strangers in your car.
"Trongsa huh?"
"Yes la", he answered to me politely.
As we talked, i came to know he went to Thimphu to complete his formalities since he had resigned from the government service two months ago. He served the Ministry of Health for 32 years as a HA(Health Assistant) mostly in the remote eastern Dzongkhags. I asked him why he did resign when it was nearly time for his superannuation.
He has his own story which i will not write this time.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Exam Time

Finally we had to chew our own tongue that had gratified GNH more than anything. Firstly, it teaches us that not all is well in our concept that the whole world can be ruled with a simple yet dreamy concept of GNH. Secondly, it reminds the leaders especially the Lyonchen Rinpoche that he has more homework in his country than abroad. Thirdly, we are left exposed of our own wounds than happiness. To the world, Bhutan is not still ready to get her berth in an organisation of global importance. 
Despite all odds,i nearly drew parallels with the Hitler's bluff of conquering the World (during WW-II) and our DPT's readiness to acquire membership in the UN Security Council. No doubt, S.Korea deserves that berth more than any country even though she joined the UN some two decades later than Bhutan. Thanks due to Opa Gangnam Style! Now the next ruling party should first try writing some good songs before lobbying for global seats, probably some B-Pop! 
I believe that the Opposition Leader rightly said that it could come more of a burden than help if Bhutan ever got her membership in UNSC.
Back at home, as the year is drawing its end closer, i have been quite busy. The Annual Examinations had started in my School two days back. Two students were charged for malpractices in the examinations and one another separate but a bold girl of class VII abetting help by writing the letter for a class IV student. As an exam Secretary, i had to call them to my chamber and explain them how stressed i was at their behaviours. 
Also, since i had applied for the transfer, i have been vaguely making plans about my new place probably to the south. I have had enough of alpine goods and i bet i am like a Bjob, both in look and in deed. Come next year, i would be basking in the cool temperate zone around Gelephu while my colleagues here would be warming up their hands around their Bhukaris. But there isn't any words about the transfer as of now. Fingers crossed:)
And again, nothing for the winter vacation. The BCSEA informed that i was too old for them to do any corrections. None of the curriculum officers would let me know if there is any workshops in Science subjects.
I had to convince Choden that this year is our last year at Bumthang and if she had anything to bid goodbye, she should better do so. She didn't like that idea. Parting has always been hard for my family as for most of us.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Treasure Vase: YangBum

"How does it help me?", he asked us suspiciously. "Khaiii..dont you know about it?', i poured in with a caustic smile. Just then our elderly Lopen Sonam came by. One of the teacher colleagues requested him to explain about the significance of the YangBum being sold on that day. Business is good in Schools. It depends on how much you can buy and not on how much you can pay. "Pay me at the end of the month", she would inform us. I hardly get salaried at the end of the month due to loans, thanks also to BoB, but that has not reduced my purchasing power! Over the years, i have improved a lot in maintaining my clean record in the near by shops.

Infact, the small thing that i am writing here is not even researched. I have just tried to translate verbal explanations that i heard from my colleagues and notably, Lop. Sonam.
These Treasure Vases are believed to contain magnetizing contents such as the mantra of Khandro Norlha(weal manifestation of Guru Rinpoche), pictures of Lamas, five precious essences(Earth, fire, water , air and space) and other precious substances. I have taken the liberty to translate the document at a very surface level.
YangBum
Well, talking of the present YangBum (Treasure Vase), Lop.Sonam did all the explanation based on the document that was attached there.

Thus it read:
Homage to Guru Rinpoche, the protector of all the times,
This treasure vase is built to benefit the poor souls,
All that your mind desire and that you want,
And the blessings be bestowed and milked if you pray to this.

As prescribed by Norlha Khandro, the Wealth Manifestation of Guru Rinpoche himself, this YangBum can invoke blessings wherever it is placed.

It goes on explaning about the things that are inside this curious treasure vase.

Firstly the precious things that are in the vase: It contains the late Dudjom Rinpoche's main prescription for acquiring treasure. It also has the "mother pills" of PoloKhen Rinpoche. Moreover, this Vase contains ruby, jasper stone beads(?) and other precious stones brought from Taiwan by Khenpo Karpo.
Yangbum with the document.
Secondly, as prescribed according to the Buddhist way, it contains:  All the great Rinpoche's belongings either pulverised or mixed. All the scarves of great Lamas are also there. It does contain the fur of all the lucky and healthy cattles. The vase also has most of the medicinal plants and the budding leaves of all the trees. Despite this, it has all the cereals mixed together. The soil, stone, water and flora of important Lhakhangs and holysites are collected from Tibet, India, Nepal and Bhutan and is mixed in this vase.
Moreover, soil from fertile land, water from mighty rivers(The Ganga), the sands from mighty oceans, the soil from the kitchens of important kings and Lhakhangs are also present. Lastly, it also contains treasures that has been passed down from powerful but very lucky persons all around the world.
Sealed YangBum..not to be opened!
With all these materials inside this vase, it has been given befitting consecration by invoking the Norlha Khandro by some of the most reputed lamas of our times. This is not meant for the sake of business but for the wellbeing and fulfillment of the treasures for all the people around the world.
Having consecrated in such a sacred manner, this treasure vase can bless the whole village if you keep in a clean and raised area in the middle of a village. If you keep in the centre of your oven ( Chula/ Thab), your kitchen will be blessed with bountiful foods. If you hide in a clean land, it can always bring bountiful harvests. If you hide in the source of your small water source near your village, one can predict continuous flow of that stream without ever drying up.
Mr. Sangay with his newly acquired YangBum!
If you hide it in the middle of your cattles' shed/sty/coop, your domestic animals will multiply year by year! Tashi Delek.


YangBum @ nu.1500/-




Having been explained with this, i couldn't but get tempted to buy myself one. Afterall, wealth has always eluded me. I hinted to Choden that after this affair, money would rain down on us.  I called up my sister and told her that i could buy her one if she needed it. She told me that she would inform me later. I didn't get her confirmation till now:)
 I called up my mother too and explain it to her. Ofcourse she was aware about the importance of Yangbum.
"Our old Dungkarmo(cow) might let you milk thrice a day", i told her. She laughed at it:)


I have tried to make very blunt translation of the Dzongkha document that was attached with the YangBum. Please do not mistake it to be authentic post on this topic. I would love to elaborate on it more but i haven't still document even a small portion of it.





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Last Tshechu!

We witnessed the last of our Tshechu today: ChumeyPang Tshechu. Interestingly, the small lhakhang at ChumeyPang(also Chundepang) was originally bequeathed to Lam Pemala, the cheif abbot of Nyimalung. I needn't talk about the late Lam Pemala anything more because he was a Druk Thugsey medal winner and one of the best learned Bhutanese monk. After he passed away, the community offered their Lhakhang to Tang Rinpoche. The Tang Rinpoche spent more than five years to renovate the small dilapidated Lhakhang into the present one. Co-inciding with the Lhabab Duechen, the new Lhakhang was inaugurated with a fitting ceremony. Attended by Lyonchen and Sanam Lyonpo, the inaugural day also saw the presence of Kathok Situ Rinpoche(?), Gyelsthen tulku along with Tang Rinpoche himself and also his two sons reportedly to be of very great Tulku themselves.
The Kesar Cham stole the show of the day accompanied by Choden who was in her best attire:)
Here are the few pictures that i thought you might like to see:
Inaugural Dance


The younger of the Tulkus inaugurating the Cham



Lord Buddha Overlooking the Cham

Zhingshey pema Dance

Zhingshey Pema Dance, the far right is the Rinpoche's daughter.





I with Choden minus money:)

Kesar Cham

The elder Tulku as a Kesar of Ling



With my beloved lopen Soanm in the centre.
I had wanted to elaborate more on this Tshechu but in the interest of time i have abstained from doing so.
Cheers:)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Eating Habits!

Today it was a busy day in the School. I had requested Choden that i be excused from any chores that she usually awards to me during saturdays. Firstly, it was the Award Day. There were numerous prizes for the students to formally call it a year! Captains, custodians, Incharges were all duly awarded certificates of recognition. Then came the Champion class and House. Atlast,as the subject toppers received their prizes, other students were busy clapping their hands and cheering them enthusiastically. As they cheered, a teacher colleague told me,"I remember my School days!". Being curious i asked him,"So you used to top in many subjects?".
"No", he said wryly, "how i used to clap my hands!". He looked at his hands as if he could see those times in them. I just patted him in acceptance and to also let him forget those warm years!:)
Looking back at myself, there were not much of any awards won. But during those times, few of us ever bothered to develop ourselves wholesomely. For me, it was just books. Read, revise. Read, revise and memorise. I would play less and study more and end up being a simple teacher. These days, students would play, dance, taekwondo and hardly study. They land up being a Chemical Engineer! Well, this is what we mean by wholesome education.
   Secondly, it was our School picnic. But you already heard about the recent passing away of a teacher colleague in my School? So we had a small get-together within the campus and had our lunch in silence. I have always had this weakness of not talking much while eating. There i triumphed. Infact, eating silently saves time and increases our appetite. Well, something just struck my mind while we were eating. In our culture, we sit cross-legged usually in a circle and quietly eat. You eat it the other way, whatever ways, you wont feel comfortable. Now sitting cross-legged and eating has so much to do with our health too. Dont you think this particular position gives the least space to food storage? In simple terms, we can not eat too much sitting cross-legged. That explains why most of the Bhutanese are not obese. The WHO says we have the least available balanced diet. Shoo with it! In many other parts of the world, they do not have much formality while eating. Most of them would love to eat sitting on a comfortable chair relaxing all their body muscles and opening up most of the available spaces to push in more foods. They end up being obese.
If you stand up and eat, i bet you can eat more than your normal share.(Most Indians in a busy metro do this). You surely must have seen some old Babus eating Dhal rice. His chin would nearly rest on one of his knees that was folded while another leg would be tucked in at the base such that it made 90 degrees. His pot-belly would fill up the space between the two legs. A comfortable and relaxing pose it is! In that posture one could easily empty a rice cooker without straining a single muscle.
On the other hand, i was amused at how the Iraqis ate their delicacy. They would sit on their knees while their butt would rest on the floor and put down all the rice and those exotic dishes in a single but alarmingly large thali. You have to eat from that common heap. Few years ago, in a house warming get-together at a Iraqis' apartment, i and my fellow Bhutanese had this opportunity. I remember this sickly face made by Tandin while eating from that thali as if he was being punished for no reason! "Go boy, go", i remember cheering him up. "Kham log dhi bey ra ma tshu!", he told me later. Few days later,as a warm gesture, we invited them back to our apartment for the dinner. Time for the Battle Tit for Tat: we prepared Ema Datsi!
I needn't explain how punished they fell as they tried one more morsel of rice with that typical south indian chilli!:)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Break-ing News..

I didn't post on last Sunday since i knew lots of local holidays were soon on the way. Moreover, there wasn't any interesting topic to write on. Oddly enough, we were axed with another death in our School. A senior and a very sincere teacher colleague passed away last sunday. He was battling for his life in the JDWNR hospital for about two weeks and never regained. In a small community such as ours, we share each misery as our own and it was again too much pain for me to witness another passing away. We declared mourning day on Monday and gathered in our MPH to say prayers for the deceased. Of late, i have lost my confidence in my own health looking at the things happening around the radius of my existance!
At any rate, there wasn't much curiosity after that news to go to the MayWang(Jambay Lakhang) which was on the evening of the last Monday. A baby child succumbed to death on that night too. It was rumoured that the child died of suffocation in the crowd.Talking of Maywang(Blessing by/with Fire), i do not know its origin. Prevalent in Bumthang, the fire blessing probably originated, no offence though,due to cold climate in Bumthang! I have tried to quote a foreigners' view on it:                                                                                                       Following ritual prayers and incantations, two haystacks are set alight in a field and those who dare run through the flames to purify their soul. It’s a wild disturbing experience, as scary for onlookers as for those who take part. When the flames die down, it’s back to music and dance and picnics on the grass: Solange Hando, Travel write/editor/photographer.

There are a dozen of Fire blessings in Bumthang at different location and time period. What is prominent about it is that this blessing had lost its charm, if it ever had one. These days, you hardly see any old folks thronging for the MayWang. It is meant clinically for the youth. Obviously, youth need more purification now a days. :) You would probably find hundreds of youth dressed in fancy clothes and similarly, hundreds of Toms with their girlfriends tied to their waist. Most of them would be drunk on that day. If it is a MayWang at place X, it gives reasons for youth to hang out wildly as it is apparently clear that their aging parents would not be present.
The other day, i have debated with a Lopen in my school about the nuisance of MayWang. He thought i was too much of a desecration to Buddhism! People do not see how degrading it is for us to create an event in the name of religion that would eventually erode our values. The MayWang event has created more violence and "disturbing experience" than anything. So, i wasn't much surprised to hear that a baby died yesterday in the MayWang.
Infact, i had wanted to exclusively write about this since last year(after i experienced my first Fire Blessing at Jambay Lakhang,my first and the last since my stay here) but i held it back for reasons not known. I also had desperately wanted to write about the origin and meaning of Ter Chham but thus far, i havent got any clues on it.
Coincidentally, the Trakar Tshechu started yesterday. We are on a 3-day local holiday again. I have checked my purse and found out that the cash would just suffice to renew my BlueBook and my vehicular insurance that falls due on 14th Nov.:)
Here i am, trying to while away my time while Choden is mutely unhappy about why we shouldn't go to the Tshechu. I cajoled her that i would treat her fairly on the Last day of the Tshechu. So long it is byebye from me....cheers readers!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Small Talks

It is going to be a long break for us thanks due to Jakar Tshechu.  Contrary to what i posted in my last week about the pilgrimage, i had to give in to greater roles back at home. Despite, it sounded too selfish on my part to embark on a pilgrimage while Choden and kids remained indoors. Well, if it is enlightenment, it is for all my family. Afterall, Buddha never taught to enlighten yourself and just fly away. I believe i would be forgiven for this small venial sin against Dharma but truly, it is about forgiving that Buddhism can ever boast so powerfully. In muslim community, if u raped a girl, you would lose your head before 24 hours. That is the price for your sin. In Christian community, if you did that, thou shall be hung before long. In Buddhism if you did that, the community would commiserate with the victim about her bad karma!
We forgive so much in the name of Buddha and dharma. At times, i think it is due to our religion that most of the Buddhist nations are underdeveloped. We do not question much about anything since we are so magnanimous with whatever mis-doings that happen around. We do not much question our government but question our own shotcomings. We do not question our politicians but you will be questioned about
 self-discipline if you go on making comments to them. We do not punish most of the petty offenders since we give them second chance to renew themselves. In the long run, we spoil our own systems.
We do not even question the God about why he shouldn't come down on earth and do needful than watching it so miserably from above!

So here i am again bridging the broken links. I had wanted to discontinue this post but you know i cant just stop pouring out my nonsense. I realized that it was my birthday yesterday.So it was quite depressing that i got warm wishes on that day from friends far and near though i am thankful to all of them. Frankly speaking, my birth day is disputable.:). It dates back to the times when i had to appear Board exams(Class Six). The Class Teacher has asked about our birth dates so as to fill in the forms from the BBE. I didn't know my date. He wrote it 22/10, the date on which the form was filled up. Since then, i celebrated that day thanks due to that Keralite of some Kutty species.:)

My mother and father were born on the same date. The people who prepared their Identity cards couple of years ago did that magic! I bet most of the senior citizens from the village have same date: 1/1/19..
For them and for me who have aged, it matters small. I do not remember having cut a single birthday cake. He he. Back in the college, i would invite my close friends and my girlfriend for a dinner on October 22nd have good time for ourselves. However, things are different now. My daughter wants to celebrate her birthday grandly. She would hand us a list of things she needs during her birthday and another list of friends who should be invited without fail. The very next day, she would ask when would be her next birthday with her sheepish smile!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

No Discounts?

The Trial Exams for class X will start tomorrow. Teacher colleagues had been busy trying to cover up their syllabus before the exams because after the Trial there are lots of Tshechus coming up that would compromise our usual classes: Jakar Tshechu, Takar Tshechu, Chumeypang Tshechu and the famous Jambay Lhakhang Tshechu!
I bet Bumthang gets the highest number of local holidays in Bhutan and that gives me reason to prolong my stay here:) Students here lose many number of instructional days but that do not bother a single soul. These days, they want more holidays with less class. The other day, a 10th grade girl student had put up her leave application stating that she is having "hole body pain"! I couldn't but laugh out loud at her funny spelling. Few weeks hence, she is going to write her board exams. No wonder.
Talking of the holidays, a group of teacher enthusiasts have planned to go Neykhor during the Jakar Tshechu. I got myself enrolled in that package since i have always wanted to visit Gangtey. Despite, i tell you, it is cheap to visit religious sites with friends. At one time, i have tried to gather support from my friends to chalk out pilgrimage to Dharamsala and meet the Dalai Lama. I had badly wanted to discuss with  His Holiness about his controversial ban of Dorji Shugden and the Gyalwa Karmapa and also about his rebirth. The plan failed miserably. Every TDH can't simply meet the Dalai Lama. In Buddhism, it is pre-destined that we meet any Lama. More so, it is all literally written down even before we claim our birth. Karma?! Remember it?:)
Back at Chumey, cold has crept in.  The lush bushes are slowly peeling off its greenery to the cold while the people around are busy chopping their winter firewood. Choden had regained her health and has been working doubly to catch up with things while i cheered her up at her speed. She had disappeared since morning to pulverize the dried chilli(Abchi). I had refused to render help since you know, i am very allergic to powder and especially to dried chilli powders. He he.
The kids are watching the TV with much happiness. Mind you, i had my broken TV repaired from the town last sunday. It cost me exactly nu.1200/-
"No discounts?", i had blurted out sheepishly. "Hmm..no. It was a very difficult job", the mender had confessed to me. He explained me what was troubling my TV. I wasn't interested to listen how sincerely he repaired my TV.
"Really no discounts?", i asked him again. My experience have always taught me to repeat bargains. Sometimes people do succumb to your repeated pleas. Only the politicians would not budge an inch but all others do yield to your requests!
"Oh no. No bargain sir!", he answered back.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Repairing At Home..

Cross-legged on my chair, my chin rested on my palm and looking at my blank screen, i was thinking about what to post in my blog today. Almost an hour. Choden had asked me what i was doing blinking at the blank  screen to which i had replied, "I am working!". She drew her face long before i shooed her away. "I cant work when people keep me under watch", i confessed.
"Are you repairing the TV?", she asked as she left to the kitchen without even waiting for the answer. 
Oh yes. The TV. I remember then that our TV had broken down since a week ago and i had promised her that i could repair it. No doubt.
 At the nearest electronic repair shop, you would have to cough up few hundred bucks even to fix up your old radio. So i was trying to engage myself in healthy saving scheme by volunteering to repair every malfunctional electronic gadget peacefully at home.
Frankly speaking,the boiler had broken down a year ago. I had put that repair in my waiting list since we regularly use Bhukari and we get enough hot water without even missing the boiler. The rice cooker had broken down too. No kidding! I had convinced her to use the new cooker since it was lying without use since its arrival in our home. "I would repair it soon", i had promised her. More than half the electrical sockets in our home is non-fuctional!(Functional?). To each one of them, i had looked at dolefully and hinted about the promising comeback after i fix it up with my screw-drivers.
The very laptop that i am using right now, can't be closed. If i accidently did that, it would not open up for almost a week. I had warned my kids not to close the laptop. "Only shut it down. Dont close it!".
Infact, Choden and kids ganged up together and had asked me about the next big operation of our TV. "When are you fixing up the TV, Appa?". "Soon. Very soon!", i promise them. 
Just yesterday, i was amused to find out that they had put on the TV(the sounds is very much there, the picture doesn't come), and listening to a Dzongkha movie! Disheartened at their sorry state, i opened up my laptop and quickly Googled for the sickness in our TV. 
Vertical IC, it is! Eureka!
Few moments later, i seriously explained to Choden that it was very easy to repair a TV. "Looks like the Internal IC is giving all these problems", i told her nonchalantly. "What is an IC?", she asked me looking worried. 
Nothing. Very simple thing. Easy to repair. Simple physics. Some soldering! I bluffed at her.
Honestly, the biggest repair project i had done in my life was some 20 years ago when my WalkMan had broken down. I had mournfully opened up to check what was bothering it. It never worked again. I had lied to my father that the WalkMan was stolen (I was in a boarding school)!

Here i am wondering whether to open up my TV or to take it to the repair shop.
I would let you know what happened in the next scene.
 Surely  :).



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Free Smoking Area

I loathe visiting hospitals and i am sure most of us abstain from going to the hospitals if we are not too sick. But Choden was sick last week and i had to accompany her to Wangdicholing Hospital. When your near and dear ones are sick, you would even call up a disqualified Shaman to do whatever was not done.
By the time we reached the hospital, there were people already in a long queue waiting for the doctorji!
I volunteered to stand in the queue while choden took rest on a chair nearby. After about few hours, we finally had our opportunity. "Tell everything", i had whispered to Choden since a conference with a doctor is almost next to impossible these days. Despite, tell me when often do you see a friendly doctor?
"What happened?", the doctor asked as if he was presiding over a state funeral.
"Sick, doc", i chipped in. She helped me by explaining her symptoms.
"When did it happen?"
He checked her blood pressure. "Quite low", he murmured.
He then scribbled that famous doctoral diagnosis on the paper. I curiously bent low to sneak what he was writing down. We can only wonder why doctors can't write neatly.
"Thank you, la", i uttered as we stood up. He wouldn't even look up at me. :)
Frankly speaking, doctors in Bhutan are overburdened. But who aint overburdened?! We are all paid in equal measures for our work and the least we can do is apply some Grace in our work. Well you must have heard, doctors in Bhutan are underpaid comparatively. On the other end, no one is overpaid. Few months back, there were talks about why we should increase the salary of our Tshogpas in the LG. They claim that they do most of the work: calling up people for the meeting, carrying our notices to each doors, chaperoning Gewog guests etc while Ap Gup would sit in his chair! Ditto in the hospitals. Ask a sweeper how important his work is.
We are all imbued with notions that only the work that we do is important, other works are not as important as what you do! These days, it is more difficult to get a decent appointment with a doctor than the PMO.

On a lighter side, have you ever seen a good place to light up a cigarette? Do drop by the hospital side in Bumthang. They have a huge signboard attached to the main gate that reads: FREE SMOKING AREA!
(I regretted not taking my camera but i guess that signboard would be still there for years!)
I wanted to remind it to the doctor but the sight of that doctor frightened me and i thought might scold my poor vision. I re-read it. No mistake. I read the Dzongkha version: Tamku thung me chok(in Dzongkha)!
 A year ago, the famed National Referral Hospital in Thimphu had a signboard in its 3rd or 4th floor
 reading: ENT and Throat! I assume it is still there.
The Main Gate to Hospital

Area to light up...he he.
That is all for today. Good day ahead! 




Thursday, September 27, 2012

God Gives and God Takes!

I fondly used to call him Jamtshen and all of his friends in sixth grade, did so. Except for the tainted mucus that incessantly hung around his nose, he looked beautiful. Jolly always, he was quick at his work but i must admit, most of the times, he made silly mistakes.I often sent him out of the class so that he could blow away those snarling mucus before it hit his notebook. A year ago, he surprised me with an english song "Oh, my sleeping child..". The next day, i had sung the song to Choden. She thought i was being too romantic:)
 Few days ago i reminded him about that incident and he had blushed at the thought.
Also few days back, we had a lesson on solar energy where i was required to explain them briefly about the solar system. I had told them that life is possible only on earth. "But Scientists are trying to find out if human life is possible on moon". There were lots of discussions amongst them to that hypothesis while on the other hand, i wondered if i made wrong announcements for those sixth graders.
" Imagine half of us staying on earth and half of us living on moon". You might have to write letters from moon to earth some fifty years hence, i had courageously told them.
"Sir, i will write a letter and send it in a pipe!", Jamtshen had told me. The class burst into peels of laughter.
He thought earth and moon would be connected with a long pipe. 
Few lessons back, i have boasted of being immortal. "Nga dhi naam ya mi Shi marey(I wont die anytime)". They didnt believe it anyway. They said i was much older and i would die before them while Jamtshen and his naughty friends would make fun of my age.
Yesterday, i had the last class with them. I had taught them about different sources of energy and after the lesson, as usual, we had the Spelling Test. For every science word that they mis-spelt, i pinch them on their ears. I use the highest of my fair play spirit that i pinch the ears with absolute equality so that they won't compare how bitter the pinch was. But yesterday, Jamtshen had two mis-spelt words. I held his ears and acted as if i pinched it very hard. His desk partner, Pema Khando, is very good in studies but had mis-spelt the word "magnetism". SO this is an occasion to let the bright students learn the art of mutually sharing the punishment. I twisted Pema's ears till he growled with a loud "oouch!" Jamtshen had laughed at his partner making such a noise.
We had signed off our day with mutual greetings. Today, as i went to the school, i saw students in class six. I peeped from the window and saw one of them crying. Thinking that he was unwell, i went into the class and to my surprise, most of them were crying too.
"What happened?", i demanded to know.
"Jamtshen shi nu la!". Did i hear it ? "Gachi lo?"
One of the boys stood up and told me the same. 
I went numb at the news. I have had  lots of surprises in my life and against each surprise, i have dealt it so coolly.
But this one, i couldn't. I was shivering then and thought i might break down as well.
I excused myself from the class and just then the assembly bell rang. The Principal formally announced the passing away of Jamtshen to the whole school.
We hurriedly gathered in the MP Hall and lit butter lamps and had lengthy prayer for the deceased. My eyes moistened as i prayed for his soul.
So this is what happened so suddenly in my school. The teachers went to pay our condolence to his home and as i saw his corpse, i was too overcome with emotions to share.
He was aged 11. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Thrue Baab Celelbration

Frankly speaking, i didn't know the actual time of Thrue Baab this year. I stayed glued for an hour with the BBS but they didn't say anything about it. So i asked my mother if she knew when the Thrue Baab was since she never forgets to listen to the Radio especially during her morning break from the chores. She didnt know too. She was disheartened that the BBS(Radio) didn't inform anything on that and i thought it was an intentional lapse from the government.(Remember, Thrue Baab once got erased from the list of National Holidays?)
So, I woke up early and took bath(hot water!) and did shout "Thri, thri ,thri.." . Wanting to sound more cultural, i opened the window in my bathroom and as i poured warm water on my head shouted "Thri ,thri...". Choden warned me that i was disturbing the whole colony. I loved that idea. Afterall, Thrue Baab comes once in a year and all the Thrue Baabs, i have always celebrated it with victory.
For the breakfast,there was ceremonial "Thuep" session where 4 of us sat cross-legged on the floor in a tiny circle and had our pudding. 
I put up my Khuru on the "Choesham" and urged it to ask blessings so that i would hit dozens of Khareys! I hit two, one of it got nullified since one of the opponents also hit the target. "So, you hit five times yesterday night huh??!", i kidded with my opponent who went on too regular with his Khuru. That is only the way to pull his legs and mentally divert him from hitting more on the target.
All in all, it was a great day for all of us.


...to be continued...:)

Monday, September 10, 2012

At Home...

I availed my leave today since i felt sickly. As i woke up today, i felt too defeated and i bet, most of us have had this experience of being bogged down by the seasonal cough and cold. I had to cleanse my throat by gurgling with a glass of steaming water. I was high on temperature. My nose ran like a monsoon rivulet. I had grabbed every cloth piece at my sight and sneezed away those loosely sticky mucus while Choden had looked at me with bewilderment. I requested her to write my leave application to which she denied. 
"You will learn!", i cajoled her.
"I dont want to learn", pat came the reply.
 "I am too sick to write anything", i moaned at her. 
Moments later, she came up with a paper and a pen and gave it to me. "Here! Write it yourself. Principal might know my handwriting!"
Today,she is tending to two patients at home. Sera and i. While i dont make much fuss since i am a matured father now but Sera does. She would ask hot water now and then. She would want her mom to be beside her every minute! In the living room,she would lie on the Sofa complaining about her sickness while i would lie on the Diwan adjacent to her complaining about my runny nose. Sometimes when we accidently cross our eyes, she would giggle at my sickness. I pretend as if my headache would blow off any time. She is watching TV just now while i am trying to update my blog since i haven't written anything during the last sunday.
Infact, i had wanted to write about things happening around here but there isn't anything worth sharing except gas cylinders!
Regarding the gas cylinders, i am amused to find out how difficult it has become to refuel the gas. Couple of days back, i had to wake up at 2.30 am and drive some 20 km to the nearest gas station since we got the information that the cylinders have arrived in the town. Waking up at 2.30 am and driving more than 20 km just for the sake of buying a gas?! When i reached the station, i was surprised to see a curly line of empty cylinders already in the queue. My position was at 107! Luckily, on that day, there were two trucks with filled cylinders and finally when i got the refilled cylinder, i was overcome with victory. I smiled to the less fortunate people who have lined up in hundreds behind me.
Perhaps, they should learn to wake up early, i thought to myself.  I pitied their sleeping habits! 
It was 10.30 am by that time. I had to call my Principal to grant me casual leave.  

That is all, folks! Good day:)


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vocational Skills and the Economists?

So we concluded the monsoon football tournament with loads of fun. Sonamkuenphen HSS took away the Rolling Trophy while Aman Kora were the Runners Up. We could hardly get few days for serious teaching since it was time for the Dzongkhag Sports Meet. More than 130+ students left to Ura MSS and are yet to return to the school probably with lots of medals.
There were other important issues which i would abstain from revealing for the interest my School. However, we also had a visit by a personnel from BCSEA which i thought was worth writing down. He had come to find out how the Vocational students were faring in their course since you know we have Vocational Skills as another optional subject other than IT and economics for classes 9 and 10.
 Personally, i have felt that this optional subject is of great use to our students in the sense that they learn skills which could stand in good stead later in their future. Nevertheless, it looks like we are erring here to simply conclude that the students are doing fairly good. The other day i have asked few of those students whether or not they have learnt some skills by that time. They have blushed with sarcastic smiles. It is rumored that they got their syllabus only in the month of august!
Well, the sad story is about the economics students. While other peers play with their chisel or wrench or heck-saw, the eco-students flirt with the old economics textbooks that is devoid of any practicals. They memorize terms and graphs that they barely understand. On the third side they have their IT classmates who go to their posh IT labs fully equipped with computers. If you see the marks scored in IT and Vocational papers, it is shameful for comparisons. Most of the IT and Vocational students got more than 80 in
mid-term exams while hardly few students could get 50 in economics. For one thing, we assume that globally IT is one of the most difficult subjects to deal with but as you see most of them scoring above 80, it looks like it aint simply IT. We have IT toppers who could hardly understand the language of computers! He he he. We have Vocational skills toppers who could hardly fix some broken taps in the school campus! For teachers like you and i, it is fine so long they score good marks but for what purpose?
And two days ago the person who visited from BCSEA had asked me if i had anything to tell about vocational paper since i am the exam-secretary in the school. I had gone blank. What to tell?
In carpentry, students were asked to name few tools used in carpentry for 20 marks! Ditto with Plumbing.
Some papers had 40 as their full-mark while some had 60, some had 80 and one of them had 100. The
 on-going marks given were too prodigious to be true.
"We do not prepare any questions for the vocational students. The VTI does that", i had answered him.
Later it was found out that the VTI had complained to him about the lesser number of teaching hours allotted to them.
At one time, i had sarcastically joked to some eco-students that they should also go to their labs! In the beginning of the session i had the conspiracy theory- i urged most of the students to either join vocational skills or the IT students. "Do away with economics. You wont fetch good marks in the exam!"
I haven't regretted it thus far.:)
It is a sorry state that we treat our students so unfairly. The ministry is too busy to handle this since they are too occupied with the thoughts of our next elections. And now, the BCSEA sends their personnel to
 case-study as if our students were some guinea-pigs!
That is all for today, good day readers!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Of my Language

Let me tell you, there is no use of language if common men do not understand it properly. Honestly, i have always had the feeling that Dzongkha is more greek to me than Greek:). Now you can jolly well see the reasons why i didn't contest for the NA in the last election. Ironic huh? You need to see how some of our Representatives mutely warm up their chairs in the National Assembly since they are not fluent in Dzongkha. And you also must have heard that our Lyonpo X delivers formal speeches in Dzongkha that is literally written in English. But most of us must have done this too.
 I had a very good and a close friend who delivered her first Dzongkha speech in the morning assembly of summer of 2004, NIE, Samtse. She bluntly admitted that it was her first time delivering formal speeches in Dzongkha and she be excused if she made any mistakes. Understandable.  Some 500+ trainees made long faces and booed her as she stammered with her Dzongkha speech written in large english words!
The office of the then Director Thukten Gyatsho formally grounded her for one month for being so blasphemous with our national language.To hide it up, the office mentioned about her "skimpy dress" which was against the dress code and especially against the Teachers' code of conduct! She resigned few years after serving in MoE.
Infact, i have never come to terms with the beauty of Dzongkha. One thing for sure, one can not write or read Dzongkha as fluently as one intends to. I only wish to learn more about the mysterious epistemology of Dzongkha etymology! What is that now?:)
The other day, i debated with Lopen Sonam(a fine Dzongkha teacher and our Vice Principal) in my school. "Why is Dzongkha so difficult to understand?".
Sangay ghi sung Mutigpa tshu ghi ha me go! . Aww
Indeed, all tribes will have a language and if you ask them about the origin, they would proudly claim that it was god-sent language.
After lots of exchange, i challenge him for one practical session. "You take one page from any Dzongkha text while i take one page from any English page. We will read the contents and see who finishes first!?"
Ofcourse, we did not try that competition.
Well, i think, for most of the Bhutanese,written Dzongkha is difficult and the grammar is more ambiguous than any other languages but we have people who would make claims about the beauty of Dzongkha grammar. And that is why i dislike Dzongkha grammar as i said in the beginning of this post.
Back at home, we communicate in Dzongkha. But, Choden would be shocked if i tell her "lets us go May kom Ding!'. It is simple silly, just say "campfire". :)


I would like to substantiate more on this topic but for the brevity of time and research, i abstain from doing it.(Please do not mistake me for being inflammatory and derogatory about our national language. I swear i am a fine Drukpa.).
 Merci!:)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Things to see..

Few days back i tried to upload few photos, so i was going through my documents and found out this picture:)

Way to grow!(This carrot is  from Choden's garden. I did upload this in the FB and few of my close friends thought that this carrot was too bold!)
So,i said Choden was on casual leave for almost a week and that left me with so many things to try out. Not all of them turned out to be successful but some were worth trying.
Here are few of them:
Broccoli ready to be steamed
Steamed broccoli loses less nutrients than the boiled ones, according to the health sources. Dawa hates it while Sera thinks steamed broccoli are still raw ones!

One of the favorites of my kids. My kids say there is no curry without potato.:)

At a friend's get-together.
Gongdo shamu.
Infact, Bumthang can be the best place in Bhutan to the mushroom lovers. Here are few other types that i kidnapped from my Principal camera!:)
Copyright@SonamGyelstshen,Principal, ChumeyMSS
Copyright@SonamGyeltshen
Copyright@SG



Well, i wanted to write about few of these photos but i guess it is going to become quite lengthy.
Good day ahead:)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Last Match

I couldn't post anything during the last sunday as i was busy with domestic chores. Despite, Choden had gone to some place as a part of her vacation package that i usually earmark every passing month. Who said house-wives dont go on leave??:)
So we had our last game of soccer yesterday. I had desperately wanted to score but i never could. Honestly, there was only one player in our team who actually had played soccer earlier, the rest and i, were all same: had never played professional football earlier. Now you can imagine why we lost every single match in the League-Round and got relegated before we could enter into Knock-Out round. I hung up my boots and the no.11 Barcelona jersey after the match. I intend to play next year too:). At one time, Choden had told me to be careful while playing. Football can be dangerous, she had warned me. Indeed, it is but i can as you can see always extra-careful. MOreover, i play only half match so that i dont get cramps in the night!
Hmm, the Olympics ended right? I have been closely following Indians trying hard to win medals. I was also glad that USA could beat China in their medal tally.( remember the chinese got more gold medals than the americans in 2008?).
I was thrilled by Phelps bagging medals(22?) in the Olympics and i surely believe his record wouldn't be broken for 100 years or so. Good that he bid adieu before losing his fame. On the other side,  the stylish Bolt is still the fastest human on earth as of now.
Back in India, the winners got heroic welcome or else they would make coy claims that they weren't treated nicely. One even threatened to resign from army if he wasn't promoted after his silver medal haul in London. Cool. I would have asked for Ministerial berth if i won medal in the Olympics but that is a dream. Lyonpo Thakur would have hated the ambitious teacher in me!(Fingers crossed that he wudn't hold that post in the next election. He he)
We have now Zero Tolerance back to our scheme. I am still not convinced if we can ever win from this policy but time will tell, i believe. Some Educationists around the globe have felt that we are moving backwards with this policy while we still welcome the idea. I do not want to debate on this but well i do threaten my students now:)
We can create rooms to expel naughty students from the school. We are defeating the very purpose of  the Schools, the seat of education.
Heck, it is already 8.05am. Assembly time. Catch you later. Good day friends.:)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pictures

A match in progress.


Sonam Kuenphen HSS, the defending champion of the Trophy.
Dzongkhag Team (Spot Dasho Dzongrab and Dasho Drangpon. NA, the Goalie once played for the Bhutan National Team)


The 11 Spartans

I would try to update the matches in the next post.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Monsoon Tournament

The celebrated Monsoon Football Tournament started in my school few days ago. There are a record of 17 teams vying for the Rolling Trophy this year. Unlike last year, i got offers this year:).
Few teams did ask if i would be "available" for their banners. I had to kindly reject most of them before signing the contract with the "11 Spartans". Names have it. In this team, we have all types of players who would play football of free genres!
I have devoted more than a decade of my life watching others play football. If it ain't this time, it is never. This is the right time for me to shine before welcoming my mid-life crisis and fall into traumatic depression. Despite, my bones have been idle for  more than a year without any hard work. This session of football would test them and if need be, trigger them to be productive bones.
So I borrowed the football boots from a neighbour who wouldn't be playing. Come this Tuesday, i would be playing my first professional match with jersey # 11. In all likelihood, we are sure that we would win inspite of shortage of seeded players in our team. I have always forcefully included myself into that category in whatever discipline of games and sports except mercy, chess.  These days it is tough to become famous if you don't celebrate yourself. Lol.
Well, talking of chess, i told you since last year, chess is a lazy game for intelligent brains. I would prefer intelligent game with lazy brain. In chess, one would take hours to call it check-mate. But, i tell you, i cor-ordinate the chess players in my school since we have Dzongkhag Sports Meet a week later. Now you can imagine how coolly i can play a game of chess. Infact i have administered Chess competition at Dzongkhag level for 3 consecutive years! And again, no hard and fast rules. Afterall, moves come freely. So i let the participants play without any norms. He he. A year ago, one of the participating students from Jakar HSS had earnestly asked me if i could "brief" them  about the rules in chess. I have told them that all rules were like last years'. No new rules!
Few enthusiasts from my School wanted to learn tricks to play better game of chess. There are no shortcuts, i have wailed at them. Practice maketh a man perfect! I let them play freely till they are exhausted.
Coming back to football, it is quite easy. Our team manager(Principal sir) had repeatedly asked us to come for the practice while we have tried to shirk from it. At one time, i have chided with him that i need no practice at this age. I might need to practice parenting but not football. He he.
To tell you frankly, we are 11 teacher colleagues and most of us are off-age for youthful football. And most of us were veteran bench-warmers!
(I would try to give you pictures of the team in the next post.) This is all i have for today:)


Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Daily Lessons

We had a 3-day SBIP on Life Skills recently in our school. Frankly, it was like old wine in new bottle. Ditto with educating GNH in Schools. We have been doing these on a daily basis not being consciously aware of it.Now you can give me a situation to handle, almost any situation, i can give you a standardized formula to effectively win from that crisis.
So that is life skills: self awareness, creative thinking, critical thinking, empathy, coping up with stress blah blah. In one of the activity, the facilitators wanted us to enact various situations so that we can apply those life skills genuinely. I and my group of teacher colleagues got a tricky case. We were supposed to enact a drama whereby a boy forces a girl to "have sex ". Bingo! I volunteered to act as "the forceful boy". Well, most of the times i have prospered being forceful so there was nothing new in that. The lady teachers in my group went silent as to who would be the girl. After much discussions, i had to force a male teacher to act like a girl! A stout man of 70+ kilo, there is little feminine in him but that wouldn't deter my sexual pleasures unless he didnt have halitosis, atleast in a drama :). There were similar acts from other groups also but finally at the end of the day, we had much awareness on how to deal with traumatic situations in a win-win way.
The other day i was teaching about "Structures" in 6th grade. Funny thing in class six science is, most of the topics are activity-based. You flip a page, there are more activity than lesson in that!  Presently,they were required to model a bride using various supports: circle, triangle, pentagon, hexagon etc and find out which of those shapes made the strongest support. After the activity i was to give them examples of various shapes used in big structures like our Dzongs. Out of curiosity, i asked them, "How many Dzongs are there in Bhutan?". "Twenty!", they answered me without doubt."Wrong!", i yelled at them. "There are only 19 Dzongs presently in Bhutan". Their face lights up with tiny rays and falls back in acceptance. We haven't started with the reconstruction of our beloved Wangdi Dzong as of now, i put up my arguments. He he he.
I am aware that i could be sued if i preached such lessons in the towns where kids and the parents are much sensitive than one can imagine but here, i did it for the purpose of gaining students' attention, not for facts.
Quite regularly, i tell those kids that there are no ghosts vis-a-vis gods. They are not impressed with my justification, by any means.
Much later, i knew how serious these kids can be when Choden once complained that i had taught small kids wrong concepts. "What was wrong?", i accused her vehemently. "You taught them that there are no ghosts?!".  Hmm..
Well, the last week, we had some touching moments when we bid farewell to a lady teacher as she had to leave to some foreign countries to catch up with her family. I have had my foreign excursions but it was more of trauma being in that foreign slum than any fun. How i wish to go to America!:). Well, i would try to update things about America if i had to suddenly take my flights to attend some seminars in NYC but for now, i must conclude here:)
Good Day, friends!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Khenpo Karpo and the Vajra Treasure

We had loads of good things post mid-term break. Firstly, it was Choe-Shey by the reputed Khenpo Tshewang and as my Principal announced, it was a good omen to kickstart our second session with his blessings. Just yesterday, we had another equally reputed khenpo, Khenpo Karpo, from Lhuntse who was kind enough to drop by at our school and give us yet another blessing.
Infact, i do not know much about the first khenpo but it is said like all learned men,he is famous for his own wisdom. He regularly gives talks on religion in BBS(Morning Session).
However, Khenpo Karpo deserves some explanation. According to a reliable source, it is said that Karpo followed normal life of a villageman in Kurtoe(Lhuntse). He toiled in his field with a spade and tended his cattles like any other folks in the village. As he worked in his field, it is said that the handle of the spade got so worn out due to his repeated use and probably due to his grip, that one day there wasn't anything left to hold that metal spade(he "finished" the wooden handle!). I do not need to elaborate on how sincerely and ruthlessly he toiled in his agricultural field.
On another account, as a villageman, he also had to attend Woo-la. At one time, he was working on the
Mongar-Lhuntse highway along the road clearing the debris with a crowbar. While trying to remove a big stone, the crowbar broke into two pieces like a dried twig! He was 35 by that time. He took those signs as a call to religion and that was when he renounces worldly matters. He got ordained as an ordinary monk, and with his hardwork, earned himself a place to learn under the late Dudjom Rinpoche. It is said he was one of the trusted pupil  of the late rinpoche.
Khenpo Karpo gave us Wang with a small Dorji. But before blessing us with that Dorji, he exaplined us thus.( I had the good fortune of seeing the Dorji at a very close range).
That Dorji was originally discovered by the great Tibetan Terton Ratna Lingpa(1403-1479) from Pema Koed(present day Arunachal pradesh) offered to the ruling nobility of that region. Changing hands, it was reached to the late Dudjom Rinpoche(also a nobility of Pemakoed). He later gave that Dorji to one of his sons, Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche. Shenphen Dawa went to US(?) and built a Dratshang to start his own teachings and while doing so he entered into huge financial debt. In order to clear away the debts, he sold that Dorji to a wealthy Bristish for 50,000$.
As a student under late Dudjom Rinpoche, he heard that story from the Rinpoche. Since then he made a personal pledge to get that treasure back for the sake of his master.
It so happened that while he was overlooking the construction of the famous Guru statue in Lhuntse, a British tourist happen to visit the site. Upon conversation with him, Khenpo Karpo found out that the tourist knew abt that Dorji! The tourist gave him the e-mail address of the British who had that Dorji. Then, through countless numbers of correspondance via e-mails, he could finally convince that British on why he should return the 'Ter'.(Khenpo karpo convinced him that the Dorji would be used as the main Nangtens in the Guru statue in Lhuntse).
Thus, it reached to Bhutan in May, 2012. Ever since it is with Khenpo Karpo wrapped around his neck!
As he was blessing us with that Dorji, a circular rainbow was seen around the sun(all of us saw, some took the pictures while i regretted not having a camera that time!). You would say it was just a coincidence but it surely was a good omen!

I would try to write about other things that our School did in the next issue. For today, we are quite busy for Tomorrow's program, Drup Tshe Zhi(First Sermon of Lord Buddha).

(Khenpo Karpo did explain about the "Ter" to all the gathering before he blessed us with that Dorji. Other abstracts are oral version which are not researched. The circular rainbow was fact!)

Khenpo Karpo Blessing with the Treasure Vajra
 
The Circular rainbow

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I and my lazy times!

No doubt, i am one lazy species. During holidays, my life revolves around my laptop, Tv, food and Choden in whatever order that interests me. The heaviest outdoor activity that i force myself to do is visit our kitchen garden. I haven't contributed anything in that lush garden except for few blue prints on how to plant peas or potatoes. Choden had executed those blueprints manually without any alteration. So you wouldn't argue why it shouldn't grow so nicely.:)
Despite, i have also tried to integrate organic farming in the garden. Few months back, i have helped explain what a compost is. I even suggested vermi-compost to her but she disliked the idea since it would mean harming insects.
Well, anything that Choden does, truth be told, turn out good. I have been reminded numerous times by my freinds since college days to scrible things about my love life but i have tried to abstain from it as i don't feel too romantic as you might imagine. Moreover, few relationships that i mindlessly indulged during my youth didn't last longer than a season. But they were beautiful moments as well. I wouldn't exchange those treasures in my memory for anything else.
But now married happily with Choden, i would like to tell things about her. I know she wouldn't even know how to read this but i wanted to write badly about her all these years. Shorter than me by a half foot, she beats me in looks if anything else! Often i joke with Sera who inherited my looks but her mother's brain about her bleak future.(In my family, we have self-proclaimed ranks: Beauty queen=Choden, intelligent king=Me!!). Now you can understand why i joke with my kids.
 Infact, she is a year younger than me who dropped her education at 9th grade. Tiny she is but there is a mountain of gold in her heart like i have in my nose!
Slow, steady and relatively brighter than most housewives, she does quite a thing with hardwork. Her life revolves around her kids, me and her chores while i would indulge into passing cheeky comments in whatever she does. Often,she would forget to cook the meals while she weaves, namely Yathra. I wouldn't budge an inch. I would rather wait for her without complain than roll up my sleeves and cook! So mean huh?:)
Sometimes she goes on with her hand loom for a long time that i have to put on spurious imitation that my ulcer has suddenly captured all the battlefields in my stomach. She would then put aside her loom and warm me my tea. She would wake up early and weave again much to the regret of our sound sleeping neighbours.
She once tried her luck into that infamous Dhaka Sales. I must admit it prospered well but i didn't want her to do that either. I would cajole her that human wants are unlimited lest be satisfied. I would want her by my side for every hour while her business took her to different places compromising time with the kids and me as well. My aging mom was baffled when i said she quit Dhaka Sales. "She earned more than what you earned monthly", she chided me in a phone call. "We are not poor", i would argue with her. My mother thinks, teachers are the poorest of all civil servants!
At one time, she tried making stuffs for the school children since we stay at a close proximity to the school. She would prepare Puri, Alu Dum, Alu chop, chilli Chop etc and sell it to the school children. To be honest, i didnt like that idea again. She did that for a year and quit upon my insistence. :)
Of late, she is back into something new: Oriflame! She does all the cataloguing and calls her relatives in search of a prospective customer. She calculates each rupee of profit she would make if she sold an extra night cream to her lady friend. That gives her time. She weaves in between and sells it in the Yathra factory that is so prevalent in Chumey. In between, she tends to her garden atleast once a day! The other day, a neighbour friend suggested her,"why dont you pull up your vegetables little bit higher, it grows faster!". It was a subtle joke hinted at her incessant visits to her garden.
I had the first of my garden peas last week when Choden cooked delicious maggie for the breakfast. I wasn't aware of it till she told me about the green peas in my maggie!
So at times, i think over, why all fuss? She shouldn't be doing all these single-handedly.
At one time she wanted to put up a small hotel nearby by the school. I lied to her that i have applied transfer the coming year!
Hmm..sometimes i think of all these alone.


To be continued.....

Oh well, i have tried to put up few photos of Choden's garden: hmm..not working. I haven't saved it correctly. Next time please. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Random Pitures of my Family.

Sera, Nima and Dawa

Choden and the Sillywit!

Flexing muscles:)
Learning from Sera
sera posing up.
Dawa and Choden
Drying bananas for future:)


Hmm.. these are few photos from last winter.(I am simply trying to learn to insert images in my blog, thanks due to the recent Chiphen Rigphel workshop!)