Thursday, December 31, 2009

The First Snowfall


31.12.09: My alarm just went off and I am thinking of getting up. But I want to linger in the warmth of the blanket for a while more. When it is 10 minutes to seven, the line phone rings. Who could it be early in the morning? It is Tashi. She wants to tell me that it is snowing outside. Ah, so in Bhutan now, snowfall has become kind of rare. We attribute this to climate change. We are increasingly becoming aware of the erratic weather conditions. I don’t know if it is the climate change that is affecting us. As much as I would like to think that it isn’t, I find myself believing it. Who is responsible?


This planet isn’t mine, or yours. It is ours. And so the responsibility is ours too, to keep this planet alive, as it was, fresh, young and green. But when we are consumed in the desire of making more of everything, we forget this. I wish each individual would see this truth and take it seriously.


As I write this, it is snowing outside. I am excited a bit too. I made a list of who I should call to inform about this news but on a second thought, I gave up.


Especially because today is the last day of 2008, I feel excited about having a snow fall and I feel it indicates something nicer for the next year. I hope this snowfall on the New Year Celebration indicates that, famines all over the world will vanish, happiness will flourish and we will all find meaningful, reasonable ways to live in the world. I think this snow fall tells us that we should protect the world, just so that the nature will find the ways to gift us as it used to.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ohoooo…what a relief!!!

I just had no time to attend to the computer that was giving me problem. My nephew wanted to work on something, but I just had no time to see what was wrong with the computer. I told him that I will try to check it later. Later became two days. And finally, tonight when I reached home (10:00 p.m.), just like that, I turned on the computer. I wasn’t really putting my heart and soul into repairing this old computer that makes a sound like an old horse. But I thought, why not try. So my hands went there.

And just like an accident, suddenly, I remembered repairing my sister-in-law’s computer a month or so back. And it struck me. And there! It was a small work. I think sometime it is best to let things cool off and let our mind find solution at its own free pace. Sometime, because we need to find the solution so urgently, limited by time and pressed by responsibility, we stress ourselves so much to get the solution. But we just get nowhere. It is really important to just free our mind. The solution suddenly strikes our mind, just out of nowhere.

Tonight, I’m sleeping a happy man. Starting tomorrow is the Annual ICT Conference [for two days]. I am just wondering what things we might discuss. I have become too less a technological person. And it is only [very] once in a while that I am attending such meetings on ICT. While I’m sleeping a happy man tonight, I’m looking forward to this meeting with so much enthusiasm. I just hope this meeting doesn’t end without much of any discussion, just like many meetings do. We never really reach any conclusion in many of the meetings. I’m praying that the technical people should be more serious and action oriented. As yet, it is for me to see.

Nganpa Gu Zom (Meeting of the nine evils)


23rd December, 2009, Wednesday: Today was Nganpa Gu Zom, the meeting of the nine evils. Last evening, I had to work late at the office. The other night, Ama told me of her plan on the meeting of the nine evils day. She told me that she was to meet her friends at 10 a.m. at the Chorten. They were to meet with a beer bottle each and packed lunch. So inwardly made plan of preparing something special for her lunch. While I thought this inside myself, I thought I shared this plan with my husband.

While I was coming home in the evening, my cousin who is here these days from Tashiyangtse called me. He wanted to know if I was doing any shopping for that day. Then it suddenly struck me that I had not bought whatever was required for my plan. Having worked for hours without rest, I had already become too irritated. I swear, I could have hit my husband if he was near me (right, I had no right to. He had done no wrong. But we don’t need a reason sometime. I could just hit someone and I would have felt all relieved). I was hungry as well. I called up Karma to find that he was at his friend’s place. This irritated me further but he seemed to have sensed no irritation in my voice. As cool as ever, he walked into the house. So I had to practice whatever anger management I had learnt so far. I’m glad it did vanish and I could say a very peaceful prayer. He and my cousin went for the shopping at 8:45 p.m.

And this morning, he woke up 5:30 and prepared thukpa and all different variety of curries. And all right, there my love swelled beyond the walls of my heart and I could have made him sleep on my lap if I had to (it is funny how our emotions change). And so, the meeting of the nine evils was celebrated. Today, Ama and my nephew Dendre also prepared ‘khura’, a bun prepared from rice flour.

My plan did fall into place. It felt nice to work in the kitchen, pack lunch for my mother and send her to Chorten like sending a five year old kid to school.

Note: It is believed that on this day (7th day of the 11th month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar), the brother and sister committed incest unknowingly when they met after long years of separation. This day used to be a government holiday before.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Was I inspired!!! National Day, 2009

17th December: It is a National Day. It was a holiday yesterday. I got an invitation card too. The Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs send invitation cards to different offices on this day. But I couldn't really plan what I would do. Kinley asked me if we should go to the Changlingmethang, but I told her that we can discuss about it with other friends. But we didn't. The problem with our friends is that, they have to be called, they have to be reminded of the events and plans. I just feel like I have it full. So I am kind of telling myself that maybe I am overdoing it, almost forcing them to agree with what I plan. So I am giving up being a mother and giving them the choice to take over.

I cleaned my room instead. I have got cough because of that. I cleaned every small corner of my bedroom and made a new arrangement (this is one work I do with enthusiasm almost every week). Then I watched the celebration of the National Day at the Changlingmethang on TV. Unlike other days, I was hooked there. I listened with deep concentration to the King's Address. Was I awed! I was happy that many people who are usually forgotten were remembered. Tears welled up my eyes a few times before the King's Address ended. I felt truly patriotic and a sense of nationalism welled up deep within my heart. His words that a work of a sweeper or a planner contributes the same to the nation bought me. And his stress on the importance of the job of teachers was timely. But I must say that I don't really know if we really have built a good foundation of democracy. It is way above me to comment.

The BBS however had problems with the sounds. We could hear many voices in between the live telecast of the shows. The songs were interrupted several times. I thought this sure was a mistake they could have corrected. I will not really blame them anyway for this problem exists in all the meeting halls.

I wasn't here to complain. All I wanted to say was that I truly am happy. No matter what small things go wrong, ( I know it is like this everywhere), if there is one place I want to be on Earth, it is Bhutan and nowhere else.


What am I thinking?

For the many years that I have lived listening to the good teachings, I wonder if it is even rightful to think what I'm thinking now. Am I angry? I don't know. I wonder at how people can take you so foolishly.

Don't we often forget to look at ourselves and judge others? Don't we often ask questions to others before asking them to ourselves? Don't we often forget that people are all same, basically?

I will not argue more. I know if there are any readers at all, reading this blog of mine, I will only confuse them. But at this moment, I have nowhere to shed this emotion but here. I so darn want to hit someone. Not because I am so angry. Because, I would really want to crack open someone's brain to really understand his thought.

Even when I lose everything, I know I will not lose my interest to write. Even if I don't write so well like others, I know I will write, even if it is nothing important.

For sure I will have to sleep tonight with wanting to hit someone so bad. But if there isn't someone to trigger emotions, when can I ever practice what I have learned?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Mother's Worry



My sister calls me up from Bikhar. She wants to know how her son, my nephew who is staying with me is doing his exam. She says that she let a fortune teller read how he would do his exam only to find that he would have difficulty getting into a college. I tell her not to worry; that it cannot always be right. But of course, I know I cannot convince her enough to drop her worry.

She calls up often to see how he has done his exam. I find myself consumed in empathy. I pity her as well. I pity all fathers and mothers. As much as I want to admit that I’m sick of people’s excuses of hoarding wealth in the name of their sons and daughters, I feel so sorry for them. I feel sorry because, they seem to think that if they don’t make everything ready, from giving education to building a house, to getting ready a wife/husband, their sons and daughters aren’t capable of getting them done themselves.


My sister’s constant call and worry makes me wonder if my nephew is worried half as much as his mother. This makes me wonder if all students even worry at all about doing their exams well. It sometimes appears, because their parents worry for them, they think their job is to just go to school, listen to what teachers teach, not so much with concentration and scribble something in the exam, not bothering about how well they do.


How sickening it is to know that despite all the effort their parents put in bringing up their children to be Dashos (The best ones) in the society, they give their parents so much worry by getting into the habit that constantly take them away from being responsible.


If I were a mother, I would give my son or daughter an education. Not worry so much after that. Why should I prepare everything for them? What would they know then?

Thank you Acho

I grew up in a farm. When I say farm, it is not as in the context of a farm in the developed western countries. Bhutan is a small country, landlocked between India and China. More than 70% of our people depend on agriculture -- the subsistence farming.

I was born into a couple who made their living from subsistence farming. I was born as the youngest of the seven children. My elder brothers and sisters had to go through hardship: helping our father cut wood, get firewood, sell fruits, etc. But I being the youngest didn't have to go through all this hardship they did.

My eldest brother, who did not get to go to school, saw education as a very important tool to live in the world that was changing fast. My second elder brother did not get to go to school either. But both of them looked for opportunities to learn to read and write and thus, on their own interest and effort, they did learn to read and write. And then one day, my eldest brother helped him run away from home to the capital where he got an opportunity to go to school.

Likewise, he encouraged us, convinced our parents to send four of us to school. I'm here today because of him. Even today, we respect and look upon him like our father. He guided us all through and we are today living on our own feet, because of him. Thank you acho for seeing beyond your age and thinking of us like your own children.

//A frail attempt to write an article paying gratitude to my eldest brother for sending me and other three siblings to school.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We only hear of conferences being held in other countries…


I presented on the progress we have made in the field of GNH and a person speaks up saying that as an outsider, they hear only of international conferences being held. He says that this gives people a notion that Bhutan is concentrating more on reaching the information on GNH to outsiders forgetting to disseminate these same information to our very own people. He cited the article published recently in Kuensel where the writer said that while we are organizing so many conferences outside, we have not held a single zomdue on GNH in our villages.  I will not try to argue but simply put a clarification.
For every one international conference, we have 10 domestic workshops. But for reason unknown, Bhutanese show little interest. When there are workshops in Bhutan, they don’t hear about it, but they perk up their ears and become very attentive when they hear of international conferences being held.  For the simple reason that the people all over the world have now realized what barren and uninhabitable earth will become if we go with the same pace and method of development, they now look at GNH as the solution and it is our responsibility to help them understand what GNH is and how it can really be the solution.
Bhutan has rich environment. Culture is intact. We still have family support during our needs. Because we have all these, we forget that we might lose them all if we don’t try to take measures of preserving them now. If we don’t track the progress of our society now, we will never know when it is going down. When all our natural resources are gone, when our family ties are broken, when we are rushing back and forth from work because we need more money, when we have more cars than people, we will be too late. I’m sure when Bhutan becomes a place like that Bhutanese will then realize that we do need something like GNH to measure progress. But will that bring back the happy, peaceful country Bhutan was? 

//The view expressed is the author's alone.




Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear Amku…


I call my mother ‘Amku.’ I don’t know how I came to call her that but I find joy in calling her so. I usually smile as I call her, ‘Amku’ in the long tone. She looks at me and laughs. In that laughter she holds me enchanted. That laughter is pure; there is no trace of malice, no trace of insincerity. I feel like breaking down, just because in that instant of joy, I feel the stab of pain of losing her. Few days back, I was telling her that if she had been sent to school, she would be a Dasho now. And I was serious. I know she would be. But that is not what I wish. I am so happy she and my father raised me up, implanting in me values as they sowed seed in the field. If there is a reason for me to wish she were sent to school, it would be to let her know how I would write to her my feelings in a letter:

Amku, no words will be able to tell you how much I love you. For the numerous reasons you must have been born as my mother, I wish I could just take these reasons now in a bag and store them so that I can use them again in my next life to buy you back to my life. For the simple reason that I want you to be my mother forever, I feel life should have had no death. Even while the stark naked truth of impermanence stares at me, mother, I want to hold you and wish that it would take only a blink of an eye for a wish to fulfill. I wish, I could just hide you somewhere.

I know every mother is the best mother to her child. But because you and Apa worked so hard in the field to raise seven children, I feel, two of you went through more hardship than many others. Forget that, I know how hard it was for two of you to decide to send four of us to school, when you knew very well that you needed as many hands as possible to help you at home. Amku, I see you getting up before dawn and preparing breakfast. I see you having prepared more than three bottles of ara before daybreak. I remember you working in the garden before I even opened my eyes to get up. And I see Apa whistling and already on his way to sell the fruits in the nearest town.

If I had one question to ask God, it would be why affluence blinds rationality. But right now, no, I don’t want to ask any question. I want to thank him for being so kind to me in giving me the two best people in my life and making me see through them how kind and loving people can be and how kindness and generosity can inculcate values beyond any textbook.

Amku, if carrying you around the world was a way to tell you what you mean to me, I would. I wish you were a demanding woman so that I would have the opportunity to give you what you want. I wonder at your humility and contentment. I wish just like you, I had no wish to own another set of kira until the one I wear wears out. I wish just like you, I had the determination to read volumes of prayer books, and finding joy in that like talking to a friend. In all this and more, mother, I find invaluable lessons and I thank you all the more. There isn’t any word I know that will tell you exactly how grateful I am and how much I love you.  Amku, you are more than the world to me.

I’m enjoying being mocked at

I call my husband. I sometime curse myself for being blunt. I have to bear the brunt of bluntness so often that I curse myself to death sometime. I call my husband, not even giving a second thought that probably he is enjoying somewhere with his friends and in that jurisdiction, my voice isn’t something that is welcomed.

I talk to him and I hear cacophony of woman like voices mocking at me. I can make out that they are laughing at my back. Do I enjoy that? I wish I could say yes. But unfortunately, no, I don’t enjoy that. So I demand my husband to tell me who that person is….oh there comes my miss call. So I gotta go.

Kinley’s mother has sent me cheese from her village. So kind of her. And there, ah, like a swift cool breeze in the sticky summer night, I got a bit of my hefty feelings out. She asks, “Gunda gi chhim gati mo?” I give her the location and then ask her why she wants to know. She replies, “Gunda gi chhi na tas tseyde lo sey.” Oh okay, so that is the reason for the gathering of the outstanding wise gentlemen. So I blurt out a bout of my feelings out and there I get a relief and I rush back to my room to finish this piece.

I’m not writing this to advertize my feeling. Nor to share the inside story of my life. I’m writing this just as I write about anything or everything I see that nudges the writer in me. So even if there is a criticism, I will gladly take but I will let my article lie here.

So to go back to the mocking part, when I ask my husband if it is Coco who is micmicking me in the funny voice, he says yes. So I decide to call him. But on a second thought, I think he is gonna lie to me that he isn’t with my husband. So instead, I call the house-owner, Gunda. But when I ask for Coco, he tells me that he left his house and only he and Kencho are there. Giving up and politely thanking him, I call Coco. But of course, as I knew, he lies to me. He says, “Jang town ga cha. Ja office ka chharo ba kam.” I insist that he tell me the truth. He says, “Gila aney, ja procurement ga chharo bu cha.” He says that because we have met this procurement guy a couple of times. I tell him that I will talk to this procurement guy. He pretends to call, “Phuntsho, Phuntsho….,” and then comes back on the line and says that he isn’t coming. So I give up and pass him my message anyway. “I thought it was you who mocked at me and I wanted to tell you not to do that.” I thanked him and hung up. No matter who this kind of guy is, no matter if he is a good friend of mine, (Coco is), but I don’t like being messed that way. As arrogant as I may sound, I don’t enjoy being made that cheap.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Now and 16 years back



My mother learned to read Dzongkha when she had to stay home taking rest after the surgery. She can now read prayers but she would be more fluent if she had better eye sight. For a week she went to Jungshina community lhakhang to pray. There, the lama presiding the community prayer has given a prayer book each to everyone present. This evening when I got home, my mother wanted to read that prayer book. I sat beside her and helped her with words she had difficulty pronouncing.

And then, right after dinner, she chanted the “Dechen Moelam.” When prayed in the long melodious tune, it can tear your heart apart and send you right next to your lama and make you feel that you really do not need anything at all in this world. I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen and sat by her side again while she was doing that moelam. Then, I told her, “Ama nga cha po, Aema ho chi tangma nyampu” (meaning: Let us pray together the Aema ho moenlam before we sleep), and we did.

As our voices blended and felt a reverberating faith carry us up towards a higher realm, I prayed that my mother be never inflicted with pain; that she never suffer. And as I closed my eyes in prayer, I cried. I cried thinking of us many, many years back, walking down the footpath in Dolu, going to Phaisingma where my two sisters lived. I could so vividly remember how I walked in front of my mother, praying so loudly, our voices resounding and echoing in the valley. For a split of a second, I wished my mother was that young.

I realize that we have come so many years far and now we live in a city we never imagined in our lives then. I now stay in a rented apartment where I pay more than I save. And now, instead of waking up to the smell of my mother cooking on the mud oven in the soot stained cookers, I find myself waking up hearing my mother asking my nephew to study. I marvel at how different times have come to be. I honestly feel, I would gladly trade to be in my peaceful village, if only life wasn’t so hard.  I cry that there is not a single person living in my village now. I marvel at how we tread on life, not knowing what we would be or where we would be in that many years again.

Author’s note: As I sit here typing words down, I see faces of my sisters flashing in my mind. I see them as two young teenage girls asking me to sing a song for them. I see them as two teenage girls weaving kira for me. And I see them as two young women working so hard in the field. And now, I wonder for what extra merit I earned in my previous life I’m sitting here on the cushion while two of them must be snoring on the hard crust of bed. If only tears were the answers, I would have long been happy. If only tears fulfilled wishes, I would have long brought fairness and justice to the world. Even when I know my tears aren’t enough, they choke me. I wish I could just take out this lump in my throat but just like it will stick there as long as I am unhappy, I know I have no power to even wipe out the misery of myself. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It seems to work

I said, I will now work harder, concentrate appropriately and thus bundle myself together with people who are called 'good hardworking people.' And it seems to work. Maybe it is only for today but I'm glad even if it is just for a day.

Though the weather is very gloomy and we have seen the first winter rain, I seem to embrace the mood of working harder even as the cold seeps in my bones. For some reason, I do not have a heater in my room. Tshoki and I seem to have made a sacrifice somewhere for this. I don't mind; I am wearing a thick muffler and I got a shawl wrapped around my thighs. But that is not part of what I want to say.

I feel so happy now despite the sickness I had in the morning. Dizziness tucked me in bed until 9:15 a.m. But now there is no trace of sickness.

I feel like the first flower blooming as the Spring season sets in. Or better yet, I feel like the flower that blooms even in winter.

And not to say, I might turn back into indetermination, for today, I'm all smiles. And as it lasts, let me laugh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If I were to define my life now...

If I were to define my life now, it would begin without a single achievement.

If  I were to define my life now, it would just be a single blank page.

If I were to define my life now, it would be just a starry dumb pair of eyes.

If I were to define my life now, it would just be a butterfly-pupa who never knew of the beauty of having wings.

If I were to define my life now, it would just be an orphan who never knew what it was like to have a mother.

If I were to define my life now, it would just be a drunk without destination.

If I were to define my life now, it would just be a hollow space without life.

If I were to define my life now, it would just be a pair of unstable, shaky feet.

And with all this, if I were to look for a future now, it would just be a blank paper without a pen to write anything on it.

Author's note: This is written in the mood of self discrimination and it shouldn't give the idea that I do not value the many good friends I have in my life; and the people who have touched my life and made me a better person.

And so I change

Something is terribly going wrong somewhere. I'm not doing something right. Am I not committing myself enough for what I should? Am I not following the thumb rule of how life should be lived?

What is going wrong and where? I wish I knew this. Then I would know what exactly I must do and how.

I think I have taken things for granted for so long. I think I have depended on faith so heavily for my entire life. I think it is time I found a better way to look for meaning in life. I think it is time I knew where I should begin. And it is time, I knew what I want. Even when I have my love next to me, hugging me, and telling me, 'it is okay,' I know, it isn't totally all right. It is time I got serious.

And with this, I change. And with this I will fight stronger than I ever willed.


.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You can't demand people to be what they are not

The title as you see is just to console myself that I cannot expect people to be what they are not, just so it will please me. I cannot hope people will change just because that will be convenient to me. And I cannot hope people were different, just as I would make them, if I were the architect, just so they will merge completely with my thoughts.

But even when you know all that, sometime it is hard to take that some people's nature can be repeated in the same pattern of irritating ripples. Not that pleasing tease, but that uncomfortable eerie feeling like snake walking on your feet.

Whatever it is, I know just as I would like to remain myself, they would want to be what they are. I cannot snatch that right from anyone but I'm becoming a little sick of being the understanding person of 'Oh that is fine," nature.

Anyway...as the world goes on, so would my life. And just as everyone, I would forget this discomfort. But I can only wish it would come soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Child Poverty

The meeting on child poverty takes place in a five star hotel. What an irony, a senior officer says. 

Another senior officer has been flying out so often (visiting other countries on official purposes) that he gets free ticket as a compliment. What an irony, I would say, because I would like to ask if that is a way to work efficiently.

And for this child poverty meeting, there are more than 50 items of dishes laid out on the table. There are four long tables of dishes. And I can bet there is not a single person who isn't wasting it. Each one brings several items and they leave wasted, because they don't like it. 

Outside in the street, a barely 10 year old girl, carrying a baby, scooped in her right arm, comes begging. "Give me 500 bucks, I'm really, really hungry." She has a shrill strong voice. But the fact remains that she is begging. 

Now, I'm wondering, how effective holding such meetings are. The large part of the budget of poverty alleviation program is gone into the rich man's hand anyway. Would a poverty stricken person own a five star hotel? 

I sit aghast. Thoughts run haywire. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Second love


I have loved before. I have been married before too. And I was happy once upon a time. That must have been a year back. Or maybe, it was only yesterday. To me, it seems like it was only yesterday; like I have never really been apart from him.
I was hurt again today. In love. And that is when I realized that I have felt this pain before. It was then that I knew, I left love in the hope of abandoning pain; in the hope of running away from selfish feelings; in the hope of fighting attachment. And yet, I was in the same pit of feelings, same pit of emotions and now again, I look at those innocent drugged eyes of seduction and can’t help deny this want swell in me.
I didn’t plan this. I know neither did he. But it is as if my destiny was always here. It is as if I have forever been floating on the surface of a river, watching the tide to catch me. It is as if we have always been together, weaving love.
And now, paralyzed in the emotion which is so familiar, I can’t walk away when I feel his body next to me. As the warmth of his body closes on me, all I can do is wish I could lie there forever, wishing for nothing more. As I lie in his arms, it is as if, I have realized every single dream I ever dreamed. It is as if, I’m finally home. I’m complete and the world stops right there.
Tomorrow, I may wake up in his arms. Or I may not. I also know that it is expectation that gives us pain—but I can’t help cry wanting it to last; fearing its end. I wish, I would forever wake up watching his innocent eyes next to me; I wish I would forever wake up feeling his arms around me; I wish I would forever wake up listening to his heartbeat; I wish I would forever sleep next to him, listening to his soothing breath. I wish I could forever sleep next to him knowing that our love would last.
But I know this will all end one day. It was wrong to have fallen in love again. It was wrong to have even met him. But if it is all wrong, I think it is wrong that I even had all the senses that made me see this world. If I am not allowed to love now, if I’m not allowed to cry now in the pleasure of pain, I think all I can do is blame whoever is the creator, for he designed us this way. For now, let me love him. Let me hold him. And as I last, let me have him, even if it means, selfishly having him and loving him all for myself.





And Yet

You are not who I thought I will love
You are not who I thought I will cry for
And yet, you make me want to cry

I want to stop dead and not talk
I want to shut my eyes close and not look
And yet, I see your face everywhere

Or what is there to care?
Let me cry until tears run dry
Let me look for you until you are really here…
Even if I don’t know if you would really be there


//Author’s note: In the mood of wanting to cry. The experience of heart wrenching open, blood-oozing pain and the undeniable emotions of blinding madness.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Killing the Morality

The bright afternoon sun shone on her dreams. She blinked her eyes in surprise. How is it possible? It was only yesterday that she wondered about him. And how can he be here today?

She dreamed of him every night. She thought of him every day. She talked to him even in her sleep. His name became a prayer on her lips. And it is particularly his lips that stuck in her mind and gave her a feeling of wanting to touch it. That deep curve of smile. That sharp turn of lips. And since she first saw his pictures, she held his image in her head as if she believed that thinking of him every day would bring him in front of her for real. And from that day on, thinking of him became her job. If it did nothing good, it made her heart swell in love.

They waged stakes. The war was already waging inside her heart. But when one day he turned up in front of her for real and asked her to marry her, she did. Lying beside each other in bed under normal circumstances which was a bet in the hypothetical world of dreams became an everyday reality.

Author’s note: When two souls find each other’s furthest corners of hearts, they find the courage to take a leap and make mortal the morality. So thus, to find the place for their hearts, they forget what society will think of them.

A car instead of a ring

I loved him. The first time I lay my eyes on him was at my friend Karma’s house. He then had more of a rowdy looks of a teenager who hangs out in Thimphu town every night – knowing nothing better to do. But behind that, I could see in his eyes something more serious and deep. I kept wondering, “Why am I feeling that way when I’m with him?” For the few times I had to travel alone with him in his car, I had hard time finding nothing to say. I just felt too awkward and it was as if his presence was just so enormous that he occupied my seat as well.

Months passed. Years passed. Nothing happened. Friends started teasing. I think it was obvious that I felt something more than friendship. The best I could do was simply smile or tease someone back and not let my feelings show. I have never fallen in love before. I have no history of having dated any men. This made it easier for me to hide my feelings. I had never written a love letter in my life. I have always laughed when my friends cried missing their boyfriends. I simply couldn’t understand that missing someone would make you cry.

Then came the day when I had to say goodbye to him. He was going away to study—for a long time. It meant, another year will pass since I knew him. And I haven’t told him of my feelings yet. Am I getting late? Should I get bold and tell him, just once and for all? I thought I will not care what he thought of me; I thought, simply getting it out will cure me of the heartache I was quietly going through. But an unexpected gift awaited me. Two weeks before he was to leave, he told his friends that he was going to sell his car. I thought I should buy it. It is like, I thought, having his car, driving it by sitting exactly where he sat would give me warmth even if he didn’t love me; even if he was so far away. And so I decided to buy it. I arranged the money. And I talked to him.

I wouldn’t even have dreamed in the sweetest, most beautiful dream I ever had of what awaited me. He left his car with me and, his words were, “When I come back, I want both you and the car. I don’t know if you will consider me good enough for a husband, but there is no rush. Mail me.”

Now he is gone and I cry missing him. Every time I log in, I wish he were online. Every time my phone rings, I wish it were him calling. And every time, we talk of a gathering, I ache knowing that he wouldn’t be there. But if I could wait all those years and months without even letting him know what I was feeling inside, I know I can wait, when something more special like a love is guaranteed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Addict that I am

It is when I’m sitting with my friends talking that I suddenly think of my pending works. Or it is when I’m about to fall into a good slumber that I think of them. Then I tell myself, “Tomorrow, I will work. Tomorrow, I will ignore my friends even if they ask me how I’m doing.” But the next day I’m in the office, it is the same.

As soon as I log in on my gmail account, I see my friends. Luzee is one person I talk to, no matter how busy I am. And we always have endless things to talk about. So 10 minutes mean an hour. For that reason, I stay invisible most of the time, but like Luzee, if there is anyone who I prefer talking to, I end up wasting the whole day and then, my works remain pending. And so I have to keep trusting my last minute tips of working till bones give way.

Even today, I was determined that I will finish that one work which has been gnawing on me for a few weeks. But Luzee says, ‘oooi’ and there goes one hour of my time. Then comes another person, this person I have chosen to call a friend and there goes two hours of my time. And then, when I minize my window, I find my work glaring at me, as if to say, ‘you good for nothing a***********.’ I’m guilty. But of course, inwardly, I know, I will get this work done before my boss asks me to submit it. It is this feeling that always makes me a last minute worker. But somehow, no matter, how many times I try to tell myself, I cannot change. I think like some things are inborn, this habit cannot be changed.

Despite the frequent curse on my lack of determination and last minute rush, I know I will forever stick on this and look for my last minute rescue. I wonder if I sacrifice on the quality of my work by being a last minute worker. But then, I feel, even if I try to work from the beginning of good time, I wouldn’t do a good job, if my mind isn’t on it. So that saves me from feeling bad that I finish the work I must in 10 days in two.

Monday, October 19, 2009

“I DON’T CARE!”

A man who has lived meditating all his life is in Thimphu to visit his son. Finding that Thimphu isn’t a place for him, he soon wants to leave. One morning, he is at the Thimphu Bus Station. He gets into the bus; and just as soon, he comes out to ask someone nearby if he is in the right bus. He sees this cocky, young man, standing near the bus, a cigarette in his right hand, looking around condescendingly. The Tshampa asks the young man, “Young man, is this the bus to Lhuntse?” The boy looks squarely on the face of the Tshampa and replies, “Why would I know? I’m not the bus driver. Go over there and ask someone!”

For the person who asked this question, it meant nothing. He didn’t even think it was harsh. But to the observers nearby, it was a scornful behavior. For a young man like him, even if he was from very rich parents, it only showed his shallowness. But that was that.

When an observer remarks that he should be behaving better than that, he replies, “I don’t care!” with suppressed scorn.

I am yet another helpless spectator; I can only pray that all these young people will come to see the world better than they do now.