Thursday, December 05, 2013

Last Few Days

My classmates; Fussball Champs!
Nine months in New Zealand have elapsed too fast and now it a week away from returning back to Bhutan. The last week at the institute looking at friends and saying to myself we might not see again or we could? It reminiscences of my final days  on similar situations in my School and College. I thoroughly enjoyed the stay, experienced differences in way of life, met people with diverse cultural background and religions, living away from home for the first time and first training abroad after getting employed, which all added different lessons to my personal journey. 
The stay wouldn’t have been so fruitful without warm hospitality of Kiwis and the unforgettable experiences with Bhutanese diaspora here. It was in the beginning that I quite often missed home and and the love of my family but now I have endured enough to feel myself gravitated to this place. I will definitely miss the life I had in New Zealand, the leather couch where I spent most of my leisure time reading books and browsing internet and studying for the examinations. The pet doggy, Casper, which always loved rice and chicken but the owner wouldn’t allow, so I used to feed him whenever we are alone and he loves it.  Casper is cunning enough to acts like he hated me in his  owner’s presence; even if I call, he simply slinks away with his tail down, that is very dodgy Casper.  
Apart from my normal studies, I was happy to be able to attend Buddhist teachings and Meditation classes regularly on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday. I met many wonderful people of different nationality with strong urge to practise Buddhism which always encouraged me too. We went around together, we gathered for shared meals and we were eager to see each other pursuing common goal. The pleasant moments with those people will be one of the hardest thing to let go off my memory. I hope that I have described the facts about Bhutan in idyllic pictures on political, Buddhism, cultural and GNH to lure them; I can see keenness in some of them to visit Bhutan. Honestly speaking, I understood and appreciated Bhutan more than ever before while making them feel the same.
These last few days always makes me feel sentimental to look back. But that is the way of life, after all nothing lasts forever. Speaking strictly from Buddhist point of view, everything is impermanent and realising the fact that it is going to end one day, I don’t crave for longer stay anymore.
As the course ends, I can see some of my friends excited to start with newly offered jobs and some little nervous of finding one. I feel more excited than ever before to join back to Drukair and can’t actually wait to get back in touch with our old friends, A319s. It makes better sense after having decent knowledge of what I am doing. I am indebted to Drukair for time, money and faith entrusted on me. I have to keep this feeling resonating and repay not just with words but with attitude and approach at my workplace.
I am equally excited to get back to my co-workers with whom I used to share so much of fun and laughter on daily basis. Our topics of conversations includes professional to politics, business to religion, success to failure and anything human mind can think of. I will be back to same business which relieves me a lot to think about.  
As articulated in  foregoing, I feel gravitated to New Zealand for spending almost one precious year of my life but still I always feel I belong to Bhutan, where the life so complacent, social vitality is still very strong, sustainability and happiness are deliberated on day-to-day basis. Afterall, whatever our career or personal goals may be, the ultimate destination is to make oneself happy. I am coming home-Happy Bhutan.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A Night By Chance

Air New Zealand Aviation Institute hosted the joint graduation night on November 28, 2013 for three Airline Customer Service (ACS) batches and two Engineering classes including my class. They all have graduated already except our class; they are already out in the job market since several weeks ago.
Our class on the stage 
Our class is actually not supposed to be included. But, in the beginning of the course, we were informed that our graduation is on November 28, 2013. We were excited. On the contrary,  our last course is scheduled to finish on  December 13, 2013 only. And, some time in October, the Institute management realised this discrepancy and tried  not to include our class in the ceremony but it was too late to have our consent as some of our classmates’ parents or relatives  already had tickets booked. So, after few deliberations, we were re-invited.

We haven’t graduated yet but we have graduated because we had official graduation night.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CST Kuenphen Tshogpa

It is nice to see the activities of CST-Kuenphen Tshogpa (CKT) catching the attention of Kuensel (Sept. 25, 2013 edition)  It is the first time since its inception in 2009. I am privileged to be  amongst the founding members in 2009 and we have put in every effort to make our Tshogpa as an ideal platform to serve less fortunate souls. So, I just wanted to share some of my experiences and satisfactions we were able to reap out of it. 
We consisted of 25 members initially as Rover Scouting . We carried out small activities within the college campus but soon the members with strong commitment felt that we should work for change. We were able to offer few decent services in and around the college campus and from there on picked up the momentum. As we seemed to be governed by our own values and activities planned originally, most people suggested us to create our own identity and also being Rovers seems too mainstream for few. So, finally the name CST-Kuenphen Tshogpa is born.
Chumuna School, Chukha, May 2,2011
Our values were simple as simple as, "Providing selfless service to others without expecting anything in return.Instead, find pleasure in what you do."  
I felt fortunate for Tshogpa to have all sorts of supports from the members and in fact, the entire CST family members. It made my stay in CST.
As our activities kicked off, the supports and morale were getting higher than expected. This drove us further and created necessary motivational lift to work more sincerely and which in turn helped us to garner even more supporters and well-wishers. This is how we initially rose through chain of support and action.  I still clearly remember the dedication and  degree of cohesion we had while travelling towards common goal. It is beyond words to describe.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hoping to drive home soon

Each day of democratic process brings us a newer experiences and different realizations. Over the past few decades people felt blessed to be led by the leadership of JYT's pedigree under the guidance of their majesties. But, nothing could stand the test of time, it is time for change even though JYT is still revered and undisputed.
Road to Sangbaykha as of 2013
It was pleasant surprise for me to see People's Democratic Party (PDP) winning  32 seats out of 47 in general elections. They made an extraordinary encroachment into Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) strongholds. The grueling campaign around the country by TT and his team fueled by a rampant online 'rumours and pledges' seemed to have pierced the hearts of the electorates. Now, it is time to put PDP government led by young leaders to test.  
The great challenges lie ahead of Bhutan and her new democracy. It would be interesting to see PDP introducing totally new faces into the cabinet which rarely happened in our history.

The first challenge is, the democratic path, which TT preached over past five years for government to follow and it is his own turn. Secondly, the revolutionary ideologies compared to DPT regime must be implemented. Thirdly, TT and PDP owe people the faith they gambled over the experienced DPT veterans.
The time has changed the face of Bhutanese politics.  
PDP must live up to their own high flying promises and fend their democratic ideologies which some pointed out to be romanticized beyond the necessity. 
Lets wait and watch how local governments perform under the greater financial autonomy and the trust and confidence from new central government.
Any change should be gradual for society to cope with and I feel it is time for change and it did. I would disagree with PDP's stance on local government's power being withheld with central government, but rather, I find it they are being too much mollycoddled.  
I enjoyed reading PDP manifesto and most of the pledges are desirable and it would be interesting to observe how rest will be delivered. I am pretty excited. I liked PDP's point on social media although it didn't mention about taking it to policy level per se.  It is the time where we no longer can stay ourselves away from the wave of social media and online influences; it is age where the people's success is measured by their popularity on social media. It is of grim necessity for any policy makers to moderate the impact and guide our younger generations. I hope new PM's omnipresence on social media could help government to understand the impending thrust. Blocking website like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc. won't serve any purpose rather moderation(positive guidance) would work well.  

I sincerely congratulate PDP and the president, TT, whom I always admired for his dedication, hard work, outspoken nature, political insight and mental agility. It is deserved win for him.

The general election result was pleasant surprise for the people from my constituency and are honored to have new PM representing them. My only expectation for my constituency is to have proper motorable road connectivity which progressed with snail's pace over nearly a decade and still have miles to go.  As mentioned earlier, PDP pledges are fascinating and especially 'Helicopter' for people living away from the reach of roads like our village, but it is not something we value the most, we would not not expect anything but only road.
Hoping to drive home soon and it had been dream of generations of Sangbebs. Not just a dream but only the dream. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

I am not from Sombaykha

Sangbaykha used to be the name of just our Geog until the establishment of Dungkhag. Our community had
Our School sign board..... 
been  kept away from much of the 'romance of modern development' mainly because of its geographical location or may be sparse population. The people thrived on with our field harvests and very recently few into business ventures. Ever since I remember, we had been to proud to pronounce the name of our village (Sangbaykha). It literally means, the Hidden Land of Guru Rinpoche. We have sacred Pilgrim of Guru Rinpoche (at Lowhena-the land of Doyabs), which in reality is not close to our village as most of the fellow countrymen suppose. It will still take almost a day for some people or three-quarter of a day for others to reach the Pilgrimage.
As mentioned, the name Sangbaykha explicitly means, the hidden land of Guru Rinpoche. One teacher from our village pointed out to me the the transformation of the name SANGBAYKHA to Sombaykha. I just realized that he was correct. 
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has recorded it as 'Sombaykha' since the first parliamentary election in 2008.  I just wondered how they got it. Who misspelled it? Whoever did that, if he/she paid some attention to reflect accuracy of phonetic transliteration, it could have easily been avoided. Election ads made it worse. People throughout the country see us as Sombebs rather than Sangbebs. It is even escalated by our honorable ex-Opposition Leader through social media considering his popularity (where he writes, .... MP from Sombaykha Constituency). 
All the things including language itself changes with time. But ours is of difference. They did it before time and I am little upset. It is not only our Geog that is being misspelled but many other smaller villages within.  I see the negligence and failure from administrative officials to uphold the importance of local inhabitants. May be our people don't take it consciously at the moment and they took it for granted. But for individual like me it is of paramount importance to have right village name. For example, in India there were renaming (which has to be approved by central Government) of major cities like Culcutta-Kolkata, Madra-Tamil Nadu, etc. after independence (1947) to make it more consistent and accurately reflect their local names. 
I am trying to literally convince you all that Sombaykha does not contain any meaning reference to our village per se, but  is just a random name.In close lookout, Sombaykha, when translated into Dzongkha, is not even the nearby word with actual name of our village.  
It is definitely a not major issue to be addressed urgently, but still, this trivial thing makes sense for some of us. Should we feel we are Sombeb or Sangbeb? 
I am happy that the sign boards on the way to our village has got all right, "Sangbaykha Dungkhag". Kudos to Dungkhag administration. 
The content of my post may not be agreeable to all of you but I leave it for my fellow Sanbgebs and concerned people to digest. 
I am from Sangbaykha but not from Sombaykha. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Tshering Tobgay's GARI

I simply can't stop myself appreciating the gesture shown by our ex-Opposition Leader, sacrificing his soelra. It is quite materialistic way of proving selflessness and one's principles. I am proud to realize that I have rightly voted for him five years earlier. He deserved my thump. I congratulate him for this commendable action. 
Frankly speaking, if I were in his position, I would have simply kept it for myself or the current dearth of vehicles in the country could easily fetched me few millions Ngultrums for exchange. Sounds crafty! No matter how rich or poor people are, there is no cut-line limit for human desires. The only purity in one's mind for greater cause can churn for actions like that. It is easier said than done. In saying so, it may sound like being political fanatic, rather I personally offer my personal gratitude for deserving cause. 
Some may not agree with me on that stance. It is natural to have different views depending on how people perceive things or may be radical differences.
My reasons are outright and obvious ones. Firstly, the present "Orange-Scarved" leaders have greater role of setting precedence than just simply fulfilling mandates of their position. It can inhibit the political culture in the minds of common people. More than materialistic contribution, it is more about contribution in precedence and moral responsibility. 
Secondly, he is morally right in doing so. There is no point of denying that our Excellencies had shouldered much heavier responsibilities and it is well deserved.  But, just to remind ourselves that they are supposed to work for people. They had trust and confidence of people of Bhutan and so much efforts are well deserved for the country and people too. Therefore, it should not be seen as a platform to have one's contribution rewarded but rather to serve people with sincerity. In that light, it could have been wiser if all other recipients did the same.
So, once again thank you Mr. Tshering Tobgay for your considerate action to at least contribute to save the nation from emerging economic crisis. The cost of buying one prado for one of next minister is saved. It is opportunity cost of several family cars considering foreign Currency crisis.

Good luck for your upcoming elections. I hope he gets voted by people eventhough some of the menifestos of 2008 campaign still remains on posters, like road to Sangbaykha.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Second Snowfall 2013 at Paro

These are random collections during second snowfall at Paro. We had no air traffic (landing or take-off) at Paro International Airport for two days. It was huge blow for Drukair and other aviation companies around operating with similar conditions. Drukair had tough time bringing back the schedule to normal. 

Farmers welcomed the heaven's pouring with much relief and office goers embraced the off-days with much joy. But, the stranded passengers had equal amount vexation as the joy for others. It was more of nuisance than pleasure to them.  They definitely have missed the joy, the beauty and the calmness of nature's coating. 
As brought up in the 'agri-farming ' culture, it was relieving for me as well, especially considering the bonanza of harvests rendered by snowfall at this time of the year. Tashi Delek to all farmers. 
View from Airport-days after

View of Hangar at 5:30 am

Resting at Snow-woman
view at airport
Airport wearing snow-coat

Friday, December 28, 2012

One year at Drukair

It was exactly 12 months ago I choose to join Drukair. December 27, 2012 completes my one year of working life with Drukair. It was really a swift journey for me. I enjoyed working for last one year. I experienced good starting. The memories reflecting back the same day of last year are still vivid and it brings back the feelings of different emotions. It was surprise to everyone, my parents, relatives, friends and comrades alike to see me opting for Drukair. It was even shocking decision for myself. Earlier, I was too much interested to serve as civil servant. The principles, motto and core activities of civil servants lured me to be the one. My decision caught myself in  controversial manner. 
My choices  of places to work for are Paro and Phuntsholing. So it was immense pleasure and glory to choose the place I long yearned for. But, still, it takes me to the state of nostalgia to relive the days where I was caught in the state of quandary. I had tough time a year earlier.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Drayang –whose dream land

This article was written several months back. I visited Drayang accompanying other friends. The ambiance at Drayang really made me to re-think and introspect about the life at Drayang and about other lives as well.    

I have read an article on Indian dance bars in, it says; The bar girls are, in many cases, sole support their families through their earnings.” the bar girls could easily  earn quite substantial amount of money and this high earning attracted women from all over India and even as far away as Nepal and Bangladesh. One Indian scammer is said to have spent crore on a single dancer overnight. When Indian government officially banned dance bars in Maharastra State in the year 2005, in Mumbai alone 1.5 lakh people, including 75,000 bar girls went out-of-work. due a lack of a rehabilitation program some committed suicide, some outrightly became prostitutes, some illegally trafficked to gulf countries or pimps sold them, some became waitress in hotels earning much lesser income and some opened up their own shops.

We are unique with unique culture. We don’t call it ‘dance-bar’ but ‘Drayang’. It is where patrons are entertained by dancers seeking so called ‘request’.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blogging suspension

I have not been able to update my blog posts for past few months. It was difficult for me. As it is peak tourist season, employees at our company are little busier than other seasons. It has kept people working in tourism and other allied sectors occupied as well. I was not too busy but little busier than other times. So, I intentionally kept myself away from blogging even though I am too active on other social media. My office day usually begins at 5 a.m and I get in touch with online world the moment I am there in office.
Rising early makes my day so fresh. I enjoy the small hours of the morning mostly by walking from home to office. The fresh and chilly air, calm surrounding and peaceful walk makes it more meaningful. I also recite prayers in the morning. This makes me start my day with all positive thoughts. 
I really wanted to resume blogging. I thank all those readers and followers who took time and patience to read my crude opinions and I must mention that you all are the only reason which made me to try writing and keep improving. Thank you for everything. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My postpaid number saves you

Just as an information to my friends: this is my new number -17113380 and please dial me on this number if you are not able to connect with me on other number. 

Nokia 3220- my first mobile
Mobile phones are born in Bhutan much later than me. I still remember the year 2003, when Bhutan got connected with mobile network. I was in Haa (studying in Ugyen Dorji Higher Secondary School) then. Most of us were not so familiar with it but anyhow we embraced the technology. Haa got its share of connection only back in mid of 2006. As a student we overused the services and quite often visited telecom service center to get the terms explained or to solve pin code error-problems.  'Missed-call' games were our favorite past-time game as the charges per unit for calls were so high. I can't simply recall how that simple NOKIA (black and white) mobile proved to be such a handy companion that time when even the phones with facilities like GPS, 3G, Multimedia, etc. can't find their place in present day daily lives.  
For the first time in my life my brother gifted me with the mobile phone (Nokia -3220) in the same year with prepaid number ........ then my mobile was just used for voice calls and SMS only. The most of the present day mobile facilities were not there. I enjoyed so much on the first occasion like any one have done. Recharging the account was equally a big hurdle as studying day and night. I tried to control the call-flows most niggardly than before but just to drain my balance even faster.
While recharging the account balance, nobody really bothered about the waste voucher cards after using it. I was also with the others. At some point, the waste generated really made me to think and rethink. I just thought, what if the size of voucher cards are reduced or can it be replaced with other alternatives ? I was little oblivion of alternatives like e-load facilities. I always kept the inkling that something can be done to improve its waste management. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

My photo of the month (June, 2012)

Drukair fleet : ATR and AIRBUS

Preparing for flight

Aircraft (Airbus-A319) -Towing 

Phurba Thinlay at Paro Airport

All for common goal 

Monday, July 30, 2012

My local DISH

 It was very common dish until few years back at our village. The elderly group and working group mostly preferred it over conventional Bhutanese meals like rice with curry. I hated it so much during my early childhood days back at my village; I don't know for what reasons. I used to clamor for rice or any dishes but this. It is very nutritious and our folks feel little proud to consume on their home grown crops. Greater the volume of crops collected during times of harvest boosts their satisfication level.

Now, the diet culture has evolved and people are mostly dependent on imported rice and little on their own products.  Only on occasions like family gatherings and few other times this poor dish finds its place. It resembles many other dishes in different parts of the country, but honestly, it is indigenous, and  is called KHULI by us. I missed it for so long. Luckily, I prepared it at home with my grandma as the special guest.
So tasty and indeed felt nostalgic recollecting my childhood days.
Khuli with Ema Datshi

My grandma, special guest for Khuli

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sangbeykha gets new lopen

The only lobdra in entire Sangbay Dungkhag (under Haa Dzongkha) was established under the command of HH Je Khenpo in the year 1999-2000 at Nebji/Terbae (land of hidden treausres). Only 15 novices led by a teacher and an assistant constituted the lobdra then. I had privilege to know every details of progresses made by those novices as most of them were my own batch mates from the school and I was well close to instructors. They made remarkable progress. That pace, definitely, had out beaten any other well established institutes in the country. Consequently, it supplied our community with erudite monks that are well versed in ritual performing fields and I am very happy to see many from that group are doing well in different parts of the country. And some inevitably had to surrender red-robes for social obligations.

The Lobdra itself stood the change of time over past decade with the society questioning it’s sustainability, especially for shortage of rations and declining in number of new enrolments every year. It is also the case elsewhere in remote places. Anyhow, it eased the burden on patrons looking for reciters of religious congregations. It is undeniable to see the benefits reaped by our community. I have slight inkling in my mind that it is not so well established and not so officially arranged by concerned authorities. The folks back at village share the concerns of its sustainability; to get good instructor, to supply perpetual rations, to consolidate the bureaucracy, etc. Hope we will be able to systematize everything in a perfect channel with time. But, we can’t afford to let it happen by itself. Pay attention to it, my dear fellow Sangbebs.

We are fortunate to have Lam Taki, the ex lam Neten of Haa Rabdey as the instructor of the lobdra. I thank him for his dedications, hard works and selflessness, especially to initiate the reconstruction of the lhakhang. It is so good of him. I know, he really had a tough time handling simple yet complicated situations. Every time we meet him, the chit-chat revolves around lhakhang reconstruction efforts, that’s his commitment. Some people might had good time and some must had bad times with him, that is the way of human life and no one is to blame for that. But now he will be missed. 
Thank you so much and we pray for your good health and successes in all your pursuits.

Old Nebji Lhakhang 
Front view of new Lhakhang under construction (June, 2011) 

Left Side view of new lhakhang ( June 2011) 

Everything has inevitable time for change and so is for him. Lucky or unluckily the lobdra needs new teacher for its survival. He is relieved by Lop. Pem Dorji of Haa Dratshang. Lop Pem Dorji is well-known for his calmness, positive-attitude in all situations and most of all he is one of the most experienced and reliable. He shouldered many important responsibilities including three terms as Kudrung, Kunyer, Nyeab and other responsibilities as well. I am very optimistic that the individual of his caliber can without any doubt benefit us.
Lop Pem Dorji received his khadhar from Lam Neten of Haa Rabdey at Lhakhang karpo on very auspicious day i.e, July 14, 2012 in presence of few elderly Sangbebs. I was fortunate to be there at the occasion and very much relieved to see him accepting the responsibility.  Congratulations. Our supports are always there for him and other Sangbebs for betterment of our community. 
Offering Khadar to Lop Pem Dorji at Lhakhang Karpo

Lop Pem Dorji and few other Sangbebs with Lam Neten

Monday, July 09, 2012

Airport final - my first final at Paro

 Yesterday was not so hot and not so cold. The final was scheduled to be at 1530 Hours. I was little bit excited and bit anxious that our match would be terrible if in case heavens open. It started raining at around mid-day, it agitated me a lot. I was in the Paro town by then attending promotion lunch of my cousin's husband and I looked up the sky and progression of pessimism of having fair-weather-play started intensifying into my conscience. Quite constantly, I got out on varandah to see the intensity of the rain and the condensation in clouds. The clouds looks dark, murky and thick with mists which made my lunch session less enjoyable. Then, I left it to almighty himself do whatever he likes to do, just hoped for the best and got out of my anxious thoughts. 
We reported to the field half an hour before the scheduled time, started pre-match build-ups rigorously. We finally kicked off the final match. We were too optimistic and already by reaching the finals without even loosing a match both in league and knockout stages helped us to develop the mentality of winners....  but I tell you it is not a big tournament and I don't mean to allude our team so good, we all are late learners. We enjoy playing together, which is the greatest part of being a team. Little bit of apprehension grew in me as our supporters and neutral viewers alike by degrees started gathering; just pondering, in case, if we fail to entertain them?