for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From Gelephu with love- Colours of diversity

Gelephu is actually a great place, especially to escape the wintry chills of the northern valleys. I present, with pride, some of the many fantacies of this place.

The Bhutanese (social) Intricacy

I am at Gelephu, a smaller border town. We came here to attend a workshop. My wife called her friend to host us for 4 days and he agreed like every Bhutanese.  I felt a bit awkward as my two kids, my wife made my group four in number. To live, eat, sleep at someone’s place was always a challenge for me but all awkwardness of mine was swept away by their hospitality. 
We were received warmly. Sonam, my wife’s friend, was happy to have us and he did not mind my son’s loud squeaks.  And Jigme, his wife, was all over my talkative daughter. Finally, Lekden, their son, was so excited to have guests at his place. Moreover, my kids were his new found friends.
I am meeting this family for the first time but we are talking like long lost friends, trying to catch on our bygone days. These conversations, as I observed closely, showed the social intricacy that we share. From the sharing of history, I found out that we knew each other, at least from some point of view. Jigme and my wife studied in the same primary and secondary schools.  Also, Jigme’s brother was my brother in-law’s friend. I also found out that Jigme is a sister of my Psychology lecturer.  Jigme and we became more closer though I could see that she was of a shy type.  Lekden and my daughter were of the same age and they became quick friends.
This is one from many incidents which portray the intricacy that we live as a Bhutanese.  One interesting example rules when we talk of this theme. I had a friend during my high school days and my relationship with him is genuinely intricate. From our friendliness, I figured out this- He (my friend) was my cousin. He is the brother of my brother in-law’s cousin brother’s  wife.  Are we cousins, actually? Bhutanese live an extended social family. Everyone is a cousin or a friend of someone. No one is alone. In some way, we know each other.  A man from western Bhutan while on a venture to  the extreme east will always find someone whom he calls a friend’s friend or a cousin’s cousin. I love this closely-knit society.
Coming back to Gelephu, today is my third day at Sonam’s place and we are happy and living a great time. My daughter has become even more talkative and Jigme is preparing tea for us, as always. Outside, the sun is great and I feel as if I am living a summer in the winter, the climate is very different. The doma (Betel nut) trees look tall and alien.  I know the town more and things are cheaper here, even meat (I have to live here if I wish to eat meat like I do). The road is also different and I take its advantage by driving at the 80 km band, making optimum use of my apex gear. I am not missing home due to their homely treatment and I wish to stay more but…

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Dear Students...

Today, as you stand at this juncture to test your skills and abilities, I wish you all the best of wishes and luck. The year fared well, with laughter, love, and learning experiences. I tried to be the best guide. And you were the best students.

The problems in the subject were received with open arms and we tried our best to solve them. I tried my best to be of maximum use to you.
Your exam is near and you are ready, I know. The fear of examination should be fought with wit and courage.

All the best and hoping to see you all in the next, upper, grade. May god aid in your success. My prayers will always be upon you all.

             N.B: The pictures are collectively known as 8 Lucky signs. The pictures are usually presented to wish someone with luck.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The story of the little Panda

The Proud little Possession
     This little Panda crossed oceans and seas,      
It flew over boundaries.
This little Panda scaled the highest mountains,
It traversed over valleys.
This little Panda trod vast plains,
It scorched itself through deserts.
This little Panda eats neither bamboo nor grass,
It is a small little toy.

How she loved it...
This little Panda hails from Sweden,
It was found in my brother’s hotel room.
This little Panda was brought to Bhutan,
It was received with much interest.
This little Panda was my daughter’s favorite toy,
It was so small and so cute.

This little Panda was so loved by my daughter,
It was always with her.

This little Panda was lost one day,
It was nowhere to be seen.
This little Panda was so little,
It couldn’t be found easily.
This little Panda made my daughter cry so much,
It was searched all over.
This little Panda was found, under the bed,
It was recovered –safe and intact.
This little Panda was difficult to care,
It is cute indeed
It was tied with a long string, on its neck.
This little Panda was easy to care now,
It was now easy to find as the string helped.
This little Panda but was lost again,
It was in no way to be seen.
This little Panda was lost from the car,
It was nowhere in the car.

This little Panda was (may be) thrown out,
It left us and my daughter.
This little Panda did live well,
It taught my daughter many things.
This little Panda taught her the feeling of Love,
My brother, Passang, found the Panda.

It added a word in her vocabulary- PANDA.
This little Panda is remembered,
It still makes us talk of it.
This little Panda was so small and so cute,
It is but a thing of great meaning in her life.

P.S: Passang was pursuing his Masters in Sweden when he found the little wonder.