Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thimphu Tshechu 2013

My family and I attended the first day of Thimphu Tshechu, which fell on the 10th day of the eight month of Bhutanese Calendar – which gave me the reason to plan to go on the first day. I felt, it would be more significant (can’t explain how) to go to a Tshechu on that date, which in my understanding explains the meaning of Tschechu. We left home at 9 a.m. and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected when we reached Tendrel Thang. So I thought, we went at the right time, but I was told that it is usually not crowded on the first day. I think it is true. On the second and the last day, I could see on TV, what a big crowd it was.

My reason to go to Tshechu was purely to let my daughter witness the masked dances, the different colors of Tshechu and the mood people swing in. It gives us a feeling of bountiful joy and it is that rare time when we can really have a family gathering and forget all other worries, such as our work pressure. I also believe that it is important to let children witness such religious activities, which will nurture a positive growth in them. I am a Buddhist who believes in ‘cause and effect’ and thus, about how it is important to build, ‘tendrel’ – which in my layman’s understanding means sowing seed, in order to give rise to a good relationship (it is all about interdependence). It is when we have sowed positive seeds that we will reap positive results. In the same line of thought, I feel it is important that our children hear or see people pray, see religious monuments, and visit authentic Rinpoche(s). I will leave these thoughts here for now and present to you some pictures from the Tshechu for your visual pleasure.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What you shouldn’t say to a mother

I must admit on the onset that despite my effort to be the best mother, I had had incidents where my daughter fell down from the bed, from the stairs and so on. Yesterday, she ran out of the bath and slipped on the floor – and hurt her head so badly. It scared me. It scared her daddy more because he blamed me that I had not taken any precaution, knowing that the floor was slippery. She has this habit. For sheer mischief, she runs away when she has finished her bath and knows that I am going to wrap her in a towel.

I cuddled her and stroked her hair, soothing her, consoling her that it will be okay. She stopped after a while. Children soothe much faster than adults. They forget hurt way quicker as well. This relieved me. There was no swelling, and she didn’t seem to hurt when I touched the area that was hit.

My husband’s repeated reminder to me is that it is very risky for children to hit their head. It could lead to any undesirable long-term effect. I am aware of that too. And it is not that mothers don’t try what they could to protect their children. Mothers know in their heart what their children want and they have a dream of how they want them to be grown. So, when someone blames them for not being good mothers, or when someone tells them that the way they tend their children isn’t perfect, they don’t welcome it well. And I would think it is only right to receive it that way.

It is not ingratitude that they expect after all the sacrifices they make – from the moment they conceive, to the day they are on their own. In fact, mothers worry about their children even after that.

A friend of mine rightly pointed out that it is perceived that children have more accidents when they are with their mothers because they are with them almost all the time. It is only at rare times that their dads play with them, and it is not surprising that they should have no undesirable surprises of accidents and commotion. I don’t want to generalize this, but if I must make this judgment based on my friends (90% of us have children aged 5 and below at this time), it is true.

Anyway, next time you are about to point out the wrong to a mother who happens not to be quick enough to stop her child from falling down, stop yourself. It is not what she wants to hear at that moment.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The choice that you make

I was 20. I had not delved in the thought of marriage, despite being in love. When you fall in love, you don’t question many things: you don’t ask whether the person is a doctor or an engineer; you don’t ask whether the person is from Tashigang or Paro; you don’t ask how much his parents’ earnings are. Moreover, despite the common saying that the face is the window to the soul, face doesn’t carry more than 40% weightage. That is to say, when you fall in love, you do without much knowledge of the person. (But at least in my case, the command a person has over his written language gives me a very strong pull).

Now, some would call that fate (Abi namshi gi kay thawa as Sharchops say). Some might have a different theory altogether – such as how one subconsciously makes all the judgments based on his/her experience. I prefer to go by the popular saying that ‘love is blind’. In fact, I don’t see why we would need so many reasons as to why we love someone.  Our heart knows best what our rational reasoning doesn’t.

So, yes, I was in love. At such age, you tend to drive into confusion because of the different things you hear from boys; the different things your elders make you believe, and the different things your peers prejudice over. But at the end, your heart always wins – and you have to be brave enough to follow it. I was in love with a humble guy who was going to be a physiotherapist. I had seen him thrice before the proposal came, but when the time came for me to make my decision, I had forgotten how he looked. So I braved my heart.

A doctor to be asked, ‘would you prefer a physiotherapist to a doctor?’ I could surely have sworn on his face, but I did not. 

In the course of your time, as you grow up, you will be confused about many things. But the best thing you can do is to believe in yourself, and follow your heart. Don’t give up if someone said that what you believed was not what everyone believed. And to those who have crossed that threshold and wonder if the marrying-age has passed, don’t marry someone because he is rich, or because he is good-looking. In my opinion trusting these qualities to buy you love is the worst thing you can do to yourself. So, grow up.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bhutanese Bloggers e-Conference

I would like to thank Rekha Monger and Penstar for initiating a way to let bloggers know each other better. It gives me a chance to introduce myself to those who don’t know me.

1.     Why did you start blogging in the first place? And what’s the story behind your blog title?
ð I started blogging mainly to keep up my interest in writing. It gave me the space and opportunity. It sprung as a result of my interest in writing, and the habit of keeping a journal. I transferred almost all the writings I had maintained before in my journals/notebooks to my blog. The title of my blog speaks for itself. It is more like a diary – keeping note of what happens to me, what I observe and sometimes, I write fictional short stories.

2.     How long have you been blogging? Where are you based?
ð I have been blogging since 2007. I think I actually started in 2006. I initially blogged in wordpress.com but later moved it to blogspot.com because of the ease of use it offers in being able to use it with my gmail account. I currently live in Thimphu, but my hometown is Bartsham, in Tashigang District.  

3.     How do you schedule your blog post? Daily or weekly? Or as and when inspiration strikes you?
ð There is no specific timetable in writing for my blog. I write whenever an inspiration strikes me, or when I hold an emotion so strong that I feel the need to shed it. But it is not every time an inspiration strikes me that I am able to make a post. Sometimes, I could be in a meeting, walking in a street, or some place where I don’t have the necessary tool to note what I want to write at that moment. And when I get to my table, the inspiration would have already died.

4.     Does your family and friends know about your blog?

ð Some of them do, some of them don’t. I think it depends on their interest in reading. More specifically, some just don’t bother what I write, or what my interests are in, even though they may be close to me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Charges for B-mobile SIM Card in 2005 and now

Yesterday I bought a new B-mobile SIM Card. I had been using Tashicell since it came into market. When mobile was first introduced in Bhutan, I used B-mobile. We did not have a choice then. It was in 2005 and we had to pay Nu 600 for just the sim card. There was not a single chhetrum of talk time with that. Having seen the mobile services in India, especially AirCell that had been giving free text messages to all countries, I felt deceived. I mean, it was like Bhutan Telecom wanted to force it down your throat. This is a very good example of market monopoly, I am sure.

I made the switch to Tashicell when it started giving free calls and text messages when it first started, and I stayed with them since then. Yesterday I decided to go back to B-mobile because all my family members use its service. Calls between Tashicell and B-mobile are more expensive than calls between the same service providers. This time, I had to pay just Nu 50. And it carried full talk time – which means, the sim card was basically for free. I remember Bhutan Telecom having reduced the price of their sim cards to Nu 75 after Tashicell came into market. This shows how important competition is. Anyway, I am not trying to make any kind of analysis. I was just surprised that in eight years, the price of the sim card for B-mobile has come down by more than 90%. This is good for the service users. But I still feel a little sad that they started with such high price.

This is Bhutan

I moved to Adelaide, South Australia 10 months ago. This decision was driven by my belief that family has to be together and pursuing your c...