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  :).