Confused

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A moment before I open my eyes today, I hear myself saying, “Ugyen, enough is enough”. My own voice shocks me and I get up. It is a weird experience calling my own name along with a statement that cannot make any sense. I have nothing “enough” to live rest of my life in abundance. How I wish I am wealthy enough to stop working a minute more. I would have obviously hinted to that alarm call, put up the resignation letter, hire a chopper from Indian military and fly to Thimphu . I will then shock the hell out of my wife announcing all four of us – myself, wife and two kids, to board on a special charter to meet Mr. Bill Gates wherever he is at the moment. “Do you still want money?” I will ask him. Somehow, I feel he still needs money. I need chopper too.

If it is the spiritual call, can I renounce this chair? I don’t hope so. There shall be no thought on drafting resignation letter for it. I have to keep supplying food on my table, and drinks too. Can I stay naked?

What is it about about then? A nightmare? I do not have tall mirror facing my bed.

Can it be these invisible germs nesting inside my throat? What’s wrong with my invisible WBC? The Invisible(s). They dread to end the lives out of diseases and plagues.

Or is it my unenlightened inconspicuous mind? Yet another “invisible” which is responsible to end the lives in its own ways.

Hold on, something awaits me to cheer me up. Ah! The text on my cell. The office has credited the work I have done. Well, never mind on the tax already deducted at source before the earnings reach me. Can I go against something which is legitimate? See, in the same para, my mood starts to swing.

I look good. I see it the in the mirror every morning after wash ups. It is fortunate I don’t have to keep staring in the same mirror throughout the day.

The reason of this morning’s ordeal? I am so confused.

Why I don't hang my underpants outside

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One garment that I do not attempt to dry outside is my underpants. It is not because I am scared of someone stealing them. I swear I don’t wear golden fabric underwear. Modestly I wear mostly from Jockeys – they are comfortable and last pretty long.

I live in a clustered housing colony where I get to see every day the fanciful shirts, pants, bras and underpants hanging in every porch of the house. I have acquainted with the colors and fabric of the clothes that distinguish from men and women. I have come to know that most men wear ash colored underpants and a few black. Its counterparts are mostly pink and some red. There is yet another distinction of fairness touched upon on pinkies and reds from the ashes and blacks by offering silky threads as their wearers’ skin. But I am always taken aback by their confidence to hang them outside unlike my few ashes and blacks that have never breathed the air or seen the sun. As much as I have the capacity to draw many opinions just from the sights of them, I stick here to why I don’t attempt to dry my own tiny clothes outside. That way I maintain some form of decency to myself and show some respect to others. However, it is not that I have not tried to hang my underwear in all this time. One fine Saturday, I slotted it in between my two big linens and went out for a long drive away from my home. I can still remember experiencing some sense of achievement in doing it so – not the long drive but from hanging the V shaped garment in the sun.

As unpredictable as the summer season, it started to rain and then I panicked. I thought of my bed sheets and towels getting soaked just as when they were about to get dried up. But in the clustered colony where I live have many kind-hearted aunties who for many times had taken my clothes to safety. I was relieved with the thought. I continued my journey. It was raining cats and dogs.

The sun had already set when I opened the main door of my house. I did not get in. I took three steps backwards and craned my neck to see my clothes gone from the rope. All the clothes have reached to safety except those belonged to me. I went in and sat on the dining chair, the nearest I could find to ease my declining mood.

My neighbor aunties did not do me the favor. They failed to take my clothes off the slack. But I knew they must have tried. They are all kind-hearted aunties. I came to the conclusion that the fate of my important linens were doomed all due to my tiny underwear that I had slotted in. From there on, I make sure my underpants of whatever the colors – ashes or blacks, do not see the light of the sun or breathe fresh air of any season of the year. They chose the fate by themselves to remain inside the house taking forever before they get ready to come to my skin.

Happy Underwear. I mean Happy New Year.

The cut

Friday, September 20, 2013

The night was further blessed by sound of rain, the sound that their moans could fade away. The most awaited moment had waited for so long before emptying bottle of champagne. At 10 O’clock, he touched her nape, pulled her and the sensitive parts began to brush. Mostly the lips with their eyes closed. Holding onto each other they fell down on the pillow kissing deeply.
The clothes that they wore by themselves in the morning began to strip off from their bodies by other person. He did not miss anything out of his sight while she undressed him. The fairy face glowed against the night as he nervously pulled off her blouse. The moment of his imagination to come alive arrived at last.
The bedside telephone rang. It was urgent. He started to pick up his clothes.
Sonam (name changed) felt irritated. He felt like murdering the script writer or the movie director whoever was responsible not to continue that scene.

Erection gallery

Thursday, September 19, 2013

He got the erection in the midst of the meeting. His lost the concentration. The slides ran, slowly or fast unnoticed to him. The blood rushed to his ears. His groin moved. It was unpleasant, understandably.

It should not have happened. He considered it was a wrong place. The meeting started late and he saw uncurious faces of the participants. More than half of the hall wore wrinkles and lost quite prominent area of hair on their heads. There was not a single female participant. Yet he got the erection.

He decided to change his place when he knew he should not have been in that meeting. The subject matter did not fare with the topic at all. The speaker had troubled throat and his slides were too “wordy” for him to catch anything. He looked behind to check any empty seat. When he found one, he picked up his old laptop and shifted his seat.

Less than three minutes of media player, he got cut off from his senses. He was fortunate the laptop speakers were off. 

To my wifey

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear my better half,
          I heard that herding 1 cow is as tough as herding 10 cows. But when it comes to raising children, I think it is opposite. More kids mean more trouble at home. I can feel the chaos going through.
           When we had our first child-daughter, there were two pairs of hands to take care of her. I could take care of her when you attended to other chores. Although it was heavenly to have our other halves, there were some painful moments revolved around us.
         The careers and family; we made five years successfully, to say so. Then we planned for our second child and discussed the change of my job. You gave birth to our beautiful other halves. He brought us happiness which is still going strong. The career plan got materialized and I could only share the close moments with our son for only 3 weeks. It saddened me even after I knew I had to face this soon.
         I have told you about the new place here. I have also shared how soon I adjusted to the new work place and learned to harmoniously co-exist with the new colleagues. You are happy for me.
          If physical comfort has to bring happiness to people, I would love to see the names of the billionaires hitting the top places every day. There is no trend as such and although I am not a billionaire, I will tell you why physical comfort is not a criterion to make person happy.
          My life has slowed down. Unlike in the past, I start my day from 8.45 in the morning. I reach office at 9 most often although I see the liberal to report any time. There is no traffic on the way. I don’t remember a time I had to grumble unlike I used to on Thimphu roads. I eat from the common mess which sells any kind of dish at half the price. I stay in the office until I have my dinner from the same mess and go home around 9 in the night. The house is quiet and cold. With no one inside I can walk around in my birthday suit.
         If you think I live like a king, you are wrong. I often think of you with kids. We have two lovely kids now. But it pains me to think there is only 1 pair of hands to hold them. Women may be great to be able to do many things at a time but without other helping hands, it will be challenging. I feel guilty. This freedom is painful.
        I miss all of you every night. I have to console myself. I think that I have not gone away from you to battlefield where homecoming depends on the enemy’s bullet. I console myself that I am not in the country mopping the grossly whiskers from master’s bed. I console that I am in our motherland just few mountains away.
      You know, one morning, as I sat to have my breakfast, a colleague told me that he found me “so decent”. He explained that he did not find me roaming in the odd places with odd women. I knew what he meant. I would not do that. There will not be purge from my mind even if I soak in the holiest water for eternity. It is good that girls don’t make the move first. I have the upper hand not to make that move. By the way, I have come up with this thought that all women should marry dumb husbands. Ah! In another thought, all smart men become dumb husbands after marriage, right? Just kidding.
      I am looking forward to meet you all. This time, I will have three of you to make me churn my stomach. I will blush and fall in love all over again.....again and again.
     Good night
Your better half,
  Porkie Pie

From Trongsa (III)

Monday, July 29, 2013

After staying in the guesthouse for 3 weeks, I have shifted to my flat today. It is constructed out of cement fiberboard as main walls insulated in between with thermo-coil. The ceiling has glass wool to retain heat in winter. The cozy luminaries form a perfect interior. The flat boasts of 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen & 2 toilets. It is furnished with sofa sets, 32 inch LCD, dressing mirror, 1 cupboard, 1 queen-size bed, 1 single bed with mattresses, pillows, towels, curtains, bed covers and dining set. The kitchen and toilets are connected to geysers each. The refrigerator is on the way. Everything should cost me Nu. 2600 per month as house rent. It is cheap and I scream “fantabulous”.
But this flat is too big for me. It will only become small if I have my family but they will never come here. Therefore, I am looking for an alternative option - to get a new family. Of my colleague and his wife who do not have a house right now. There are many like him, who have put up in the private houses, without basic utilities, as far as 10km from the work place. We talked about it last night but I saw a glimpse of reservation from him today. It must be his wife, I thought. Not of the kind of feeling insecurity living along with a single person but from the privacy point of view. I told him the wall is sound proof.
Did I see that naughty smile? I stressed upon having a rakhi system in our culture so that I become brother to his wife right away. Later, he told me he will wait for another month until new house comes up in the colony. I told him I lost my new family and corrected that our culture is fine without the rakhi system.
Until then, for all the exorbitant house rents that I paid in Thimphu, it is the “revenge” coming all the way from type III of temporary colony, Langthel, Trongsa.

From Trongsa (II)

Monday, July 22, 2013

I have put up in a transit camp. It has the facilities of a three star hotel except there is no wi-fi and data card fails to connect it. I spent the first weekend in Langhtel in the project office. There were other colleagues who came to work. They are all hard working people. No officer leaves office at 5.30. They remain seated working on the bills until 7 p.m., play table tennis which is nearby, have dinner in the mess and leave to their respective beds around 9.30. I envy how each of them take their work professionally. Having come from civil service very recently, I could only draw huge contrast of professionalism in these two public sectors.

I have one cozy empty bed beside me (which instills natural yearnings to see it occupied by someone who leaves long strands of left over from her head the next day). It has become a dumping yard of my clothes. In the mornings I don’t waste time wearing gho. Nobody wears gho. The tunnels have yet to see people in Bhutanese attire. I got a pair of gumboot which I have kept in the office. They are big. The size that fits me is out of stock. I got yellow safety helmet. Yellow helmets are worn by laborers, the store keeper told me. White helmet followed the fate of black gumboot. I am a worker so I wear them. In big gumboot and yellow helmet, I drive bolero to the site. I don’t expect rocks to identify me as engineer from the color of my head. It is my head that instructs contractor to put correct methodologies of work like an engineer. And that matters.

There are no cock-teasers (intentionally did not look for synonym of this word) around. Most are males. There are few females but a man in yellow helmet and over sized gumboot behind the wheels doesn't make their heads turn around. I am safe inside my pants.

I remember telling my friend that we should remind ourselves of not letting loose in the wild while being away from our homes. “It is the test of commitments,” we agreed. And the reality, there does not even exist one entrance exams for us.

Hello from Trongsa (I)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A few updates here. I am globally positioned in between the rough coordinates of 250000 easting and 300000 northing. Locally I am along the longitude that cuts Bhutan into two halves. I am in Trongsa Dzongkhag at a place called Langthel which nests at 1230 meters above mean sea level. I have been hearing about hydro power projects for years and now I am into it to help turning four giant turbines to produce 180 mega watt each from Mangdechu.

It was not in my wildest dreams that the river which flows under Bjeezam would provide me food, clothing and shelter. I have crossed this river several times in the past. I don’t remember once that I tried to look twice as I passed by it. Caution to note: nothing in this world is there to ignore altogether. An old tree standing below the narrow road could prove pivotal if an ill fated overturned car is stopped by its stem.

Six pairs of eyes glued onto me in the 12 x 15 feet room. The number 1 asked me questions related to my past experiences. I kept my answers precise and to the point while covering I have technically practiced everything under the sun that shone in Bhutan. “It is only the field of hydro power that  is absent in my CV,” I said. “It is as good as I have constructed airport for it consists of runway and the buildings. I have constructed roads and buildings before. I don’t see railways coming to Bhutan and therefore, I am left only to construct tunnels and dams.” I waited for the next question.

“You had handled only small packages,” the number 2 said. I had constructed water supply schemes to buildings to roads to bridges and to them I was the small time project manager. It was no time and place for me to retaliate. “Our one project is above Rs. 5000 million. How will you handle such a huge project?” number 1 asked.

“Sir, I will try my best. I am a hard working person. I can work in extreme pressure. I know I can do it,” this reply is a bullshit. I did not say it and would never say it.  If I am the interviewer, I would immediately reject that interviewee.

I cleared my throat, tactically placed my brand new lagey on the table and locked my fingers. “Sir, the figures don’t matter to me,” I said. “It is the workmanship that counts. It is about abiding strictly to the technical specifications apart from timely contract management meetings and following the financial rules that counts. If we follow it, the figures how big they may seem will fall in place automatically,” I replied.

I was then asked series of questions which don’t warrant to remind here. A week later I received a call of my result that leads me to appreciate the river the flows under Bjeezam all through the times I passed over it.

The new place, the new work - the responsibility is huge. I had never been a leader to many people. But I feel lucky I came from an organization that induces leadership to its employees every day. It is the show time but I am being mindful of my colleagues and others around me. It is the test of time that I remain emotionally intelligent without losing the focus of outcome we collectively desire in the end. I have made the promise that I live up to their expectation and they categories me as a good human being, a good colleague and a tireless no-nonsense worker at the job.


To son, to daughter

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The eyes that don't see a thing
The lips that don't speak a word
The ears that hear only rumbling words
The skin that changes its color every day,
I am coming home my son
To test if you see my circling finger
To lock your mouth
To sing you a lullaby
To change your nappy
Holding your tiny toes.
Daddy is coming home soon, son.
*******************
You have become a big sister
But to me you shall always remain my little girl.
Two nights, the terrible nights
I have choked to tell you the tales.
Mamma told me you cried
Before you went to bed.
I am coming home, my girl
To tell you the stories you like
On fairy tales, of you
All through the night.

Mantra count down

Monday, June 24, 2013

This is my last week under civil service rule. I am not feeling anything about it. The count down is not about this last week as civil servant. The count down is going away from my family. Of course, I will make my time with them more frequent as possible.

It will be difficult for my daughter. She will be 5 this August. For the last five years we have not stayed apart except for one or two weeks in a year. She is closer to me than to her mom.

Ever since she was in the formation stage, I used to sing every evening. I heard that babies are sound sensitive that they can recognize the songs or voices when they arrive outside. So, I sang one particular song every evening. My wife had to tolerate my voice though.

I could not sing on the first day after daughter came to this world. If I had, I could have agonized those husbands who were holding babies born from Cesarean section. But I tested the theory the next day when both my females were discharged. I sang near her ears, soft and melodious (exaggerated). She slept peacefully. I sang the song whenever I got the chance. At one month old, I could see her head positioning to my song. I confirmed she did recognize the song.

At three months, I hummed like this - unu waktsa, unu waktsa (this baby, this baby) while holding her. Her head on my palm, legs towards my abdomen, I hummed 'unu waktsa, unu waktsa...". I still do it today although I can't hold her in that position for long now. Her growing legs don't allow it too. But it was at 1.2 years that she shocked me. As usual I picked her up and positioned her head on my palm. Before I hummed my mantra, she hummed it synchronizing to my hands' swing. It was a magic to me. I took her to all her uncles and aunties to boast of my miracle. She obliged whenever I swung her head up and down. Still today, she hums it  when ever I keep my palms under her head. Her uncles try to copy me but she does not hum for her. I think this trend will be continued until we grow old. I can imagine a time when she announces to become a fiancee that I will lift her up and repeat our childhood memories. Her man will find us crazy when she hums "Unu waktsa, unu waktsa" that time.

And what do I have different now? I have a new arrival. He is 15 days old today. Another one week, I will be gone from him only to see him changed his face. I heard babies can change their faces for nine times. I only hope his ninth face is as handsome as his daddy. That should make him proud throughout his life.

Well, what do I do with my son in this limited time. I sniff him. Yes, like a mongrel hunting for a deer. The baby smell is sweet. The smell is stronger in the hands. I smell his gloves. They are wet from putting in his mouth. The breast feed makes it sweet. Every time I sniff him, I implant it in my brain. When I am alone tossing in my bed, I want this smell to come to me. I will be instantly near my baby. So, I sniff him like a mongrel hunting for a deer. Of course, my wife finds it funny. She does not know my brain is capturing every olf of our son.

He is a peaceful boy, sleeps 24 by 7. I got a mantra for him. With the limited time to stay with him, I want him to grow as big as possible in three weeks. I want him to talk to me. I want him to tell me jokes. But he is a little fellow who knows only to sleep. So I hum along that line, in bit of frustration as "Yib yibsa, yib yibsa" which translates to "always sleeping, always sleeping". My daughter caught me while humming to her brother. She too leans towards him and hums along with me. "Yib yibsa, yib yibsa" we sing together for him.

I don't know whether he will be able to recognize my voice when I hum it the next time I see him. If it does not work, I may have to think of another thing. With circumstance, anything will come to the rescue. I will go for a long distance technique that time. But for all the time I have at home with my family, I can hum "unu waktsa, unu waktsa and yib yibsa, yib yibsa" 24 by 7.
 
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