Monday, December 26, 2011

Celebrate winter the Bhutanese way!

You must have heard of those Bhutanese, who travel abroad and almost die from extreme craving for food back home. I am one of that species.

I love our food. It is often accused of being too spicy, too oily and even too salty at times. But it works well with my taste buds.

With the winter months on, my love affair with food gets even more serious. The season is about eating more, but it is also about moving around less, which means putting on extra calories. Which is not what I am really worried about.

Perhaps the best part about winter is the dried red chili. I know the cold season is just round the corner when I drive past houses and see windows and verandahs decorated with strings of red chili. I can see the winter sun working on them diligently.

Like any normal Bhutanese, I love chili for reasons I hardly care to find out. And the dried ones are even better. It effortlessly blends with every other item. Shakam with red chili, vegetables with red chili, or red chili with cheese!

Just the thought of these combinations makes my mouth water. But well, what comes after eating it is a different story of course. After all these years, our very own inured Bhutanese stomachs let us down quite often. You are forced to remain confined within the four walls of the bathroom, at times spending painful hours.

That’s the only moment a thought to reduce or even stop intake of chili crosses your mind. But that thought lasts only till another red-hot dish is laid in front of you.

As long as there is dried chili, my days will always be special. And I personally don’t mind reliving the ordeal in the toilet.

Remembering our heroes

It is said “wars may be fought with weapons but are won by men” and men here mean the soldiers. The 2nd Arm Force Raising Day was celebrated with a grand show at the Tencholing Military Training Centre in Wangduephodrang. It was a day to thank our martyr soldiers who sacrificed their good today for our better tomorrow. The day was graced by His Majesty the King, the Supreme Commander of the arm forces and Her Majesty the Queen thus marking the significance of the day.

December 15th 2003 shall never be forgotten by any Bhutanese and the tale of victory shall be told for generations to come. The flushing out of the insurgents from the country by our brave soldiers was led personally by His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo. It was a day that Bhutanese never ever had anticipated even in the wildest of their dreams to happen, a day which covered the whole nation under a blanket of fear and terror. Yet with the guidance of our wonderful leaders, the blessings of our deities and of course the unwavering bravery of our soldiers, we triumphed.

I personally cannot forget the day and the phone conversation I had with my crying mom. My brother is a proud army and nothing prides me to proclaim that I am a proud sister of an army. After reaching home, I can still visualize the scene at home. It was not at all a-happy-get-home for vacation sight.

Carrying my brother’s photograph, my mom came to me and tearfully said “your brother is in the battle field”. All I could do was help mom in crying. Dad looked cool but he was hiding the pain after all he was a retired soldier. I bet he knew what it meant.

For days we couldn’t contact our brother; we were not even sure if he was still alive. We spent sleepless nights in the altar room praying, and every phone ring, all of us would rush to receive it hoping it would be our brother. And when the phone finally rang from our brother, we shed tears of joy. I still remember my brother’s words “mom, we won!” And a week later when our brother came home in that green jeep, we broke down completely with the immeasurable happiness for the reunion!

That was an account of one family and I know many others have had experienced such moments too. Not to forget those who had lost their beloved. I cannot still envisage their plight, the pain and the void created in their family.

Neither words nor any act is sufficient enough to show our gratitude for the sacrifice you made and make every day of your lives. We know you don’t lead the best comfortable lives yet you subsist with dignity and pride. So to that we salute you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The night we drank and I cried!

Friday is a working day but I skipped office, I wasn’t really feeling well, been throwing up ever since the evening I returned from Tencholing. In the evening two of my friends Dechen and Namsey turned up to see me( by then I was almost back to my normal self but it was really sweet on their part) and that’s how we decided to have a drinking session. I was still a little pukish but that didn't held me back from the fun, I did not wanted to! Four guys joined us Jamtsho, Tempa, karma Palden and Kelly my brother so that was eight of us gathered for the night. We wanted to make sure that we don’t drink on empty stomach so a quick dinner we had. Dechen filled the glasses for everyone and we made a toast to such moments and to everyone’s success. It was plum wine we had; the guys went for the harder one.
I don’t remember when we started getting the kicks and when I actually started crying. I knew we were drinking to celebrate our good times, our unity but I kept on asking why I was crying. It was definitely not happiness tears I was shedding and absolutely not crocodile tears as well. Seven of them surrounded me and I tell you it was one of the most embarrassing moments but I couldn’t help it and I cried like a baby infront of them. Karma insisted that we dance so that would lighten up the atmosphere and that I should break the floor. As I stood up to dance I noticed that it wasn’t just me who had been crying, Namsey, my sister, my brother and even Jamtsho had their eyes wet. The reasons known only to themselves. As I moved my body to the rhythm of the music, all of them joined me on the floor, my living room. I didn’t realize I had been crying again until my brother hugged me and whispered in to my ears “au chuki if you are shedding your tears for someone, remember that someone doesn’t value you and the one who doesn’t value you doesn’t deserve your tears!” I broke down completely yet again and I just asked “why?” The reasons unknown!
As the hours ticked by, one by one of us started giving way, the guys were much stronger than the girls though. So that was an account of an out of the ordinary night we had which shall be edged in our heart for all times to come. As I woke up the next morning, Dechen was sleeping soundly beside me and as I looked around I couldn’t help smiling. All the eight of us had slept in the same room. I carefully got out not to disturb my sleeping friends, picked up my laptop and that’s how this piece came up.
PS: This is definitely the outcome of Desuung. Hail Desuups!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Go Desuups Go – the guardian of peace!

“We don’t want educated animals here, only human beings,” roared the adjutant as we were made to fall in in front of our hostel which in military term is called “barrack”. 111 of us were lined up on the morning of October 22, 2011 after having been picked from Thimphu for a month-long training in Tenchholing Military Training Centre.

The first few days were a journey through unknown commands, high pitched tones or rather roars and of course uncertain fall ins. As we got accustomed to the military language, our civilian bodies started giving way to the tiring physical exertions. The number of sick reports increased as the instructors started getting tougher. Even a five-minute break would be heaven for us. Thus started the second batch of Desuung integrated training!

The batch consisted of people from various agencies and diverse backgrounds, maximum being fresh graduates. We had amongst us lawyers, program officers, medical officers, audit officers etc., but regardless of what we are in our working world, we were all known and addressed as one “Desuup”.

As days passed by swiftly and as our passing out parade day neared, a feeling of gloominess engulfed the Desuung atmosphere. Desuups started to wish if only the time could move a little slower, an absolute opposite of what was felt the first few days of our arrival.

The orange suit which unsettled our eyes at first let alone wearing it, now became our favorite attire, the mufti which seemed like some guard’s uniform then, now became our pride and those heavy boots our signature. It was a time we wanted to shout “we are proud to be Desuups!”

We have seen the spirit of true fighters in our instructors and leaders in true sense were our officers at MTC. If anyone needs to learn about team bonding and true brotherhood it is the army they must join. Love, sacrifice, commitment – every emotion you name it – you will proudly find it in the military. A big family is the military. A place, I say, everyone must try out once in their lifetime.

The month long training as a Desuup changed my very perception of the four lettered word ARMY. “Anytime anywhere” is their tagline and in need it is to them we seek refuge. No one knows the life they lead but we have been lucky enough to get a taste of their living. And it is with no shame that I proudly stamp my feet and salute them with all my heart. The Desuups salute you!

The passing out parade was yet another heart wrenching episode. We were proud to be passing out yet we were in pain having to leave the place which taught us so much in such short span of time. The goodbye the next day was one of its kind, tears rolled down everyone’s eyes as the band played the goodbye music. And as we boarded the bus, we knew Tenchholing will always hold a special place in our hearts. And every time we pass by this wonderful place, we shall salute you with pride!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My perfect man!

There was a time in our life or should I say in every woman’s life (I have no say over the men if they also had such moments). A time when the pinnacle of our discussion would be about our Mr. Perfect, how would we like our Mr. Perfect to be, the criterion we set in our minds. Some would want their man to be older than them, for some age doesn’t matter as long as he loves her and there are some nothing else matters but a huge bank balance. Even I had made my own set of rules for a man to walk down the aisle with me. For me the first criterion for my man would always be love (I am a valentine girl if you have forgotten), my man should love me unconditionally. I would say in the presence of love, nothing else matters and that every other thing would fall in place.
As I revert back to those days of our innocent discussion, I cannot help letting out a small laugh for I now find it amusing and funny. The illusion of setting criterion for your Mr. Perfect fades as you cross the threshold of the factual world. You come to realize that setting criterion doesn’t actually helps you find a man befitting all your criterion. You come to realize that there is nothing called perfect man, there are only imperfect men to be perfected! Yet we still set criterion, don’t we?
In my quest to find my Mr. Perfect, I have had to go through a number of battles. Battles of love, hatred, anger, pain. Sometimes I lost, often times I was taken as a prisoner of war and I am still yet to win one battle at least.
My young cousins never fail to remind me of those days whenever I see them chit chattering happily about their future Mr. perfect. And when they ask me about it all I say is “it’s never wrong to set criterion but the real world has something different in store for you, you better be ready” I know this wouldn’t make any sense to them now but someday they are going to tell me “you were right!”.
Well I am yet to know if I have found my Mr. Perfect, I shall wait for time and him to prove it. And LOVE still tops the criterion list for me!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roses have thorns!

Who is a flirt? The most common notion of a flirt is someone who plays around, who is never in a steady relationship and who treats another human being nothing but a mere play toy. In short a flirt is a human being who lacks a heart! This is the general notion of a flirt. My elder brother was a known flirt when he was in his twenties and even till early thirties but now he has a good family with two kids to take care of and I tell you I have never seen in any guy the qualities of a best husband as I see in him. I have heard his neighbors tell each other how lucky my sister in-law is (well she is to be credited the most as well).
Well I am not here to justify or to prove anything. But for the past few weeks the idiom “flirt” has been gnawing my mind. As soon as we hear that some one is going around with a guy who had a bad past or who has been playing around with girls, news starts spreading like wildfire “oh she is with that flirt!” oh dear why did she go with such a guy? Etc etc. People gather in groups and starts gossiping! And the worst they exaggerate the news.
My brother was a flirt but he had every excuse to be one. He was good looking; he had a nice status and he came from a good family (I am not exaggerating here). And every girl he approached (please note: he never dated any girl without her consent) reciprocated positively. And having every girl with a yes is a feather on any men’s cap (I can bet on this fact). Of course this doesn’t mean that such a man can go on exploiting women but equal responsibilities fall upon the woman too, actually the larger portion of the chunk falls on her. If she intends to get in to a relationship with such a man, she must be prepared to be the target of every rumor and gossips in town. But if she gets in to such a relationship ignorant of the man’s past facts, well she got no one to blame for ignorance is not bliss every time. But if she is lucky, she might find a gem of a person in that very flirt.

Every Priest has a past and every sinner has a future!

PS:The feelings and opinions expressed in the above article are completely the author’s own and bear no negativity towards anyone.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our own fairy tale romance to relate

King Edward VIII abdicated his throne for the woman he loved, some even sacrificed their life for love and there are many who resorted to poetry. Such stories never fascinated me; rather I scorned at the very fact that how stupid people can get in love. But right now at this juncture of life, I am eating my own words. But this does not mean that I am doing any of those mentioned above for I still some where in the little corner of my heart find it stupid or to put it in a more nicer way “impractical”. But at the same time I have found a new meaning to Love, a very practical one, imparted by our very own king.
Amidst all the nervousness and timidity, When His Majesty unveiled the queen of his heart to his people on 20 May 2011, the very line “Queen of my heart “caught my heart. How lovely it sounded, so simple yet so extra ordinary.
Once in a lifetime they say you fall in love truly, note the word “truly”. There is this one person who has been specifically designed for you, the one who may not have the best of qualities yet you are mesmerized totally. The one may have a gruesome past but you are okay with it because it’s the present and the future you seek with that very individual. I asked you to note the word “truly” because love happens almost every once in a while, for some even every day but that doesn’t mean you are in love truly every time you feel the goose bumps. There is only one person in this entire universe that has the magic to make you feel this way. Have you ever met such a person? If not, then I tell you, you haven’t yet lived a life.
With The royal wedding just around the corner, I cannot help feeling quixotic for the very air we inhale has been sprinkled with the so called magic dust of love. His majesty has enlarged the very idea of Love and Bhutan has become a fairytale kingdom, a kingdom we have read in books, a kingdom we always wanted to happen. An enchanted kingdom which is actually happening!
Bhutanese people have been always considered the lucky lot by the out side world and we always prided in GNH, a noble vision handed over by our beloved 4th Druk Gyalpo. And now we have more reasons to be proud of, for it has been proven that it is love the Bhutanese people seek, and it has always been said by the great ones that it is love that can conquer all. We have indeed proven that GNH can be realized.
Thank you your Majesty for showing us the path to Love, with your heart of gold I am sure and confident that Bhutanese people will find their own happily ever after and Bhutan shall go in to the history as the only fairytale kingdom that actually happened in real.
With this I would like to wish your Majesty and the Queen of Your Heart abundance of happiness and may love never leave your hearts. Congratulations!

PS-Business Bhutan has published the article in their magazine "jewel in the crown"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Armored for love

Love doesn’t come easy and when it does, it comes with such a bang that you don’t seem to have any control over your mind, body and mostly your heart. I am in love again or should I say Mr. Cupid’s arrow did its wonder despite the fact that I had my armor on.

Just a couple of days ago I had questioned about the existence of my prince charming, my soul mate and here I am today with yet another story. I don’t know if I have found the prince charming I have always dreamt of, time should tell me in time. But one thing is for sure that I have lost my heart to this man, who came out of the blue and everything started falling in to place. It now makes sense why it never worked out with anyone else. May be its too soon to assume anything but for now I am blessed with someone; I never thought would come my way.

Love sometimes has funny ways of working in our lives, just when you least expected it to happen, it comes with all its fury. And when you had that flicker of hope that love would sparkle, the unexpected gust of destiny’s wind blows it off. Well for now I just want to live the moment, I don’t care what the future holds but I know something beautiful awaits US!

PS: they say Happiness is found in small things but for now my happiness is being beside this man!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soul mates: Do they exist?

The idea of having a perfect soul mate always amuses me. As a child the fairy tales I read had done its wonders on me. I would imagine my prince charming riding on a white horse (you know the kind in Sleeping beauty) someday and stealing me away to the far away land of happiness. But as I grew up, the fantasy of the white horse and the happiness land faded yet the idea of a prince charming never left me. I was told that some one some where is made for you and this very idea excited me. I couldn’t wait to meet the one solely made for me. But alas I was never told that I would have to pass through so many toads (no hard feelings to anyone) before I could meet my very own prince charming. I fell in love (so I thought) when I was in my teens, I thought I found my prince charming but it wasn’t the happily ever after ending. It rather ended way too soon. After that the so called prince charmings (a handful) came my way but none proved one. Some gave me their reasons for having to go and some I did to let go.
Then came the most exciting phase of my life, the college! The idea of a prince charming ever with me, I had made the work easier for Mr. Cupid. The first year of my college, I met my teen love and just a spark and the flames flared up. I was sure that I found my prince charming at last for why would destiny let us meet again after so many years. But destiny had different plans for me. Just a year and our relationship was what you called on the rocks. I ended it for the good of both of us. Now he is happily married to my best friend (that’s how weird destiny can be sometimes!) and they are blessed with a wonderful son.
What was in store for me in the coming year has already been narrated to my readers in my earlier article “motherhood” so I won’t bore you repeating the boring stuff over again. So that was a procession of prince charmings I met, of course none turned out to be one. But before I knew, I realized that through all these pain, hurt and of course happiness, I had gained the most valuable lesson of a lifetime “to be careful of whom you trust”. But the idea of a perfect soul mate still amuses me  though I wonder if soul mates ever really do exist! If they do where is mine? Lol

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I have been at a standstill with my writings and seriously I don’t get the disposition these days to do so too. The other day I was arguing with one of my senior at work. Taking a look at my blog, he was of the view that blogging should not be allowed in the office (he meant it should be blocked like the social networking sites. I know he was just being polite using the word “not allowed” which meant “blocked”!). He feared that we would be most of the time scribbling articles and thereby slaying our time which would actually be used towards something more productive (as if writing wasn’t productive). But any way I made my points clear that for me when I need to write something, I need the right mood and of course the right surroundings. I can never write an article in the office and our office is one of those offices frequented by lots of people from all walks of life. So all the more reasons I cannot get the right eagerness to put pen to paper. The debate still needs to be continued!
Being a literature student, I have had for all time the love for writing. I always used to envy those who were so flawless with their language, I still do. It may sound weird to some but the first thing that catches my attention towards a person is his/her language. It is words that can have my heart at their feet (oops my weakness!). Well this doesn’t mean that I have the best of lingo myself but I seek to perfect it (no one is perfect I know!) someday hopefully!
Down the existence lane, it gives me a kind of exhilaration to envisage myself as a writer cocooned in my own world of fantasies, angels, barbies, miracles and magic. Pardon me if I have started sounding out of the world but we have been taught in my literature days that poets and writers transport themselves out of this world through their writings. That’s how they liberate (momentarily though) themselves from the worldly pain and sufferings. Yet again I don’t mean to say that I am so much drowned in sufferings( heaven be thanked for I have a blessed life) that I want to sought to writing but the mere fact that I love writing shove me to have such attitude.
May be some day I can work on this distant dream, May be some day I can even realize it, may be some day I will be a writer , a passion I had in me from the time when I was handed the pencil!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coyote ugly – a sad reality

“Sir please come in”- the girls at the door confer a amorous look to lure passersby in to their bars. Inside girls barely clothed dancing to the music aired, faking smiles and moves. My heart went out to these girls and I couldn’t help asking if what they are doing were out of pure interest or was it out of desperation. The only answer I got was a smile, a painful one so I asked no more. I could see a daughter, a sister and above all a helpless woman dancing on that display place where hungry eyes looked upon as if waiting to pounce upon a prey.
“Sir Will you buy me a drink?” A girl barely in her twenties treaded softly to the man beside me who had just made his entrance .The man lustfully pulled her to his side and started chafing his hands on her bare body. Of course she was paid with a drink. Later on I learnt that she would be paid by the bar in terms of commission so it meant she was doing it to earn a little extra. I could feel the uneasiness of the girl as she was being lustfully played by the man. But as helpless as it seems, I could feel the nakedness of her poverty that might have had dragged her in to such setting.
As I looked upon, the environment rather started getting worse, more men started pouring in. These glowed up the faces of the ladies there because obviously it meant they will be getting more money. Probably this also meant they will be able to send back home a little more money.
As I left the dingy heartrending place with my friends, I took a fleeting look back to get a glimpse of the helpless girls entertaining the men around them, a far-flung reverie of becoming a mother, a wife plainly glimmering in their eyes.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Who doesn’t suck at good byes? I am neither a heaven sent angel nor do I possess any magical powers, that with one spin of my wand, I can do wonders. I am like everyone else, a normal ordinary human being made up of flesh and blood. And I suck totally at good byes too.
“Good bye” I wonder what is the “good” in it when nothing of it is good enough, when all it gives is soreness. I have had so many good byes and each good byes only went on getting difficult than the preceding one.
I have been a witness to so many good byes and I have found myself crying over them. As a child, I dreaded the idea of going away from my parents but when I had to leave for my studies, I had no option but to bid good bye for my own good. I wept when my friends bade good bye to leave for their studies and several times over silly love good byes. And I would still cry if I have to bid good bye again.
And yet again I am here to bid yet another good bye; good bye to a person who came in to my world out of the blue and made it so beautiful despite the fact that it was so brief. My heart is heavy and the scenes around me seem to get a little blurry too, damn I told you I am not good at good byes and I am too good at crying. But it is next to impossible not to say good bye and even more impossible to be with you. I don’t know what the future holds or what destiny has in store for me but I am convinced of this that you were sent my way to show me the way forward. The future seems to unveil because of you!
So good bye my dear! You will be missed a lot! And you shall until the end of time occupy a small corner of my heart!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The MTR Experience

Experiencing our country and its customs during the mid- term review with the prime minister and team was the best way to self indulge oneself productively. It was an opportunity to discover and experience the difference between the poorest dzongkhag and the developed ones. I was privileged to have been able to tour five dzongkhags, more so because I got the opportunity to tour two dzongkhags – Samtse and Zhemgang – which are considered the poorest in the country.

What I have learnt from this trip is something very valuable which would shape me to become a more productive civil servant. Just as the prime minister says “our goal should be to bring people together sharing a common goal” I strongly feel that we should think alike in order to grow alike and harmoniously. I have learnt that the thoughts of each individual as a citizen of Bhutan matters to the happiness of the country which would ultimately contribute to GNH.

It was humbling to see our prime minister walking to every dzongkhag tirelessly.

For once I almost found myself delving into the strong historic tales of the great pioneers of our country with each breathtaking reminder of appreciative facts that the prime minister delivered to each gathering he spoke to. History as a subject was never so appealing to me as a student. But the realization that history could do a lot of wonders on people if delivered wisely did make me change my opinion on the subject I dreaded learning.

The prime minister emphasized on how we should carry on forth the same spirit of brotherhood ingrained in us from time immemorial irrespective of the political transition. The assurance of building a peaceful and a stable Drukyul for all generations to come while working on the prime objective to eradicate poverty was a very emotional issue which touched many hearts.

Hilarious outburst in between such discussions did trigger a relaxing ambience motivating people to figure out their major problems and thus working out a solution collectively.

The prime minister made sure that before leaving each gathering after such sessions, he instilled in the people some enthusiasm to cooperate in developing a greater living society for one and all. His willingness to share the blame for Samtse’s slow growth was very encouraging. He rightly termed it as “wholesome responsibility” of all. This clearly indicated the optimism in him. I am confident that it must have encouraged many of the audience like it did to me.

In short, I would say that it would have been a great regret if I had not made to this trip. It was indeed an eye opener especially for me having learnt so many things many of which I am not able to put it down in words but deeply embedded within.

PS- This article has been published in Business Bhutan as a column:)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Destiny and Me

As I sit on my bed on this chilly morning too lazy to come out of the bed. It is already March and yet the cold is still here to stay. I try trapping my thoughts in my laptop; “Destiny” is the word that hits me hard. People say if you are meant to be, you will be together and vice versa. I ask if you were not meant to be, why destiny even let us meet when there is no way we could be together? I look at my cell (expectation never leaves me) though I know and I have alleged several times that It leads to misery. Yet I can’t help it, the emotional fool that I am.
This time I have a very different story to tell you. It is neither about unrequited love nor about compunctions. And I am not even sure if it is love this time or if it is just another chapter to be read and flipped. Or an episode to be remembered somewhere down the memory lane.
Mr. Cupid never runs out of arrows to hit me and every time it hits the bull’s eye, right on my heart. Darn! He is a very good sharp shooter, never misses a single shoot. I am sure me being born on the Valentine’s Day has nothing to do for such generous showers of arrows from him. I never thought in my wildest of the wildest imagination that this time Mr. Cupid was targeting his arrow at someone I could never grasp. But the miracle was much more than I expected.
So here I am again at the threshold of another entrance confused whether I should take a step in or step back! “Matter of time “he did say but time is fleeting and so is life.