Boss You Rocks

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In my circle of friends he invincibly takes the lead. His brain of wits and humor gets everything and everyone on his way. Few of us behind him are happy as well as unhappy for him. We are happy because he can get us out of trouble and makes us laugh even in odd hours. Unhappy because he gets what he wants. When he dated one of the hottest girls in the campus, rest of us went silent each wishing to be in his shoes; all of us were unhappy at least for few hours.

Tenzin as a friend I will label him as fair looking person. If he is not my friend, he is simply an odd ugly looking fellow I have ever come across in my life. Witticism and kind heart make us his friends; God is great for dispensing fair judgment to him.

There is a beautiful girl living in my neighborhood. She is extremely beautiful that I need supernatural powers to get along with her. If she sees me walking with Tenzin, she will definitely avoid looking at him. If Tenzin gets chance to talk to her, she will utterly hate me for deception. If only I am Tenzin, though not his physical anatomy, I may make her laugh but it is remotely impossible for me. Or she can have my body and Tenzin’s mind, will she take this combination? I can never understand a girl and my hope of one in million will take my second birth. In the re-birth I will come as Tenzin with pleasing structured face.

Anyway I need her and Tenzin’s intelligence. I called him only to hear his phone was switched off. One week later I called up again and found him on line. When asked about his absence he told me he went to Bangkok. Before I could ask the reason he said “for a hair cut” in his normal tone. I could not help smiling because he does not have a hair in his head. It helped me, I found an answer- the wit. It came as a reminder like a student brushing up his text books just before examination.

In the backyard I saw her coming on my way. Her beauty warmed me; I was feeling hot with sensation giving off the heat. My chest rumbled fast, limps shook, lips dry, face blushed and ears piercing iron hot. She was nearing and super natural power was far from me. Just then I remembered my friend, the one who went to Bangkok. I remembered his wits and not his bald. I stopped on the way and gazed at her. She slowed down her pace and looked nervous. It was delightful to see a beautiful girl getting nervous. I wished Tenzin was with me to witness the situation.

She stopped and I cleared my voice, “Did you study in Sherubtse?” I said.
“No”, she replied, now completely cool.
“Oh! I did not study in Sherubtse too” I said. It was my turn to get nervous. I was lucky Tenzin was not with me.

She walked away from me and my body was losing the heat. I was left looking at her and then she suddenly stopped, smiled her beautiful mischievous smile and said, “I studied in Sherubtse with Tenzin” before walking away, very fast. Dumbstruck I whispered I studied in Sherubtse too. This time I remembered my friend and did not even mind thinking of his bald.

I remain an unhappy person one more time. But to Tenzin, I am envy and jealous and deep within I tell him, "Boss you rocks".

ATM Experience

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Saturday, a time for weekly vegetable shopping and I did not have money. I drove to the ATM and saw few people in queue. Bank of Bhutan had installed another ATM which is in open space. People took turn to withdraw the cash from two ATMs. I observed that many were choosing the 1st ATM which was inside the kiosk because 2nd was visible to all the people in line. I did not want to look at their cash transactions but it was such that I could not avoid it too.

A man in mid forties by the look would convey he was a class C contractor, by his dress would tell he was a P3 level officer, by his belly would tell he was a successful shopkeeper went to ATM 2 and inserted his card. Few punches of buttons and a buzzing sound, his hand grabbed one 500 bill and with meek smile left us.

Next was a woman. Hand bag in her shoulder, goggle over her head, Nokia 76 in a hand, Toyota-logo car key in another, high heels; quite aristocratic she should be a wife of a bureaucrat. Inserted her card, punched the secret code and another buzzing sound, her hand below the cash aperture and she grabbed few hundred ngultrums. It must be 600 or so as she was trying to hide the cash from us. It was just my guess but I felt she confirmed me by her yet another meek smile and a blushing face.

Third was a man whom I know very little. As he went he looked at me the reason I did not know. Next was me and I was calculating in my mind an amount to punch. The guy in the front seemed nervous and he took little longer. The ATM screen showed the balance enquiry notice. It warned me that I should not check mine. Another fast calculation in my mind and the result showed my balance of last month’s salary as Nu. 980 or close to 1000. A glance at the front made me shiver out of embarrassment. His balance was just the minimum amount to be with the bank. He could not withdraw but I thought may be he was checking the balance if someone had deposited in his account or not. This thought comforted me for him but it was already my turn. I heard him murmuring as he left. I put the card, punched the code, gave a second thought for the amount and hit Nu.300. It must have taken just few seconds for the machine to throw my money and zoom I caught hold of three brand new notes of 100. I just wished the machine was not angry at me for letting it to work for such an amount. Anyway I grabbed it, crunched in my palm, a precedence of that meek smile to remaining queue and disappeared in the crowd.


Momo is a famous snack to all the people. Students spend much of their pocket money on it, bus passengers refresh themselves from a long journey, and young couples make a date over it. Some families have it at home while some prefer at hotels. Momo is a special lump of dough enjoyed by many.

I do not know the history of momo and I am not interested to know its recipe either. To me it occurred there are only two momos in hotels, pork momo and beef momo. I cannot remember the entrance of cheese momo. Or was it there before?

Ever since my wife orders cheese momo I felt she was cheated. Once in the order book I wrote: 2 plates of beef momo and 2 plates of vegetable momo. They got our order but I was already thinking of another name. In next hotel when I asked for the peyas momo, she looked at me surprised. Was there any need to get surprised? I told her the truth; her cheese momo is full of onions and not a stint of cheese. I would call it a day light robbery deceiving customers by its name.

I have no comments on shape. Momos come in two shapes, a sleeping shape and a sitting shape. I like sitting momo but some designers look like they are over the toilet pots. But have to be careful with the sleeping shape which has every chance to look like a woman’s ........ Anyway it needs to close the ends properly and don’t let it tear.

I am sceptical of their numbers. A plate of momo has five pieces. I would prefer at least eight. Five never fills me and two plates come expensive. Why has it to be in odd? Haven’t we heard the story of two friends sharing a plate of momo and their embarrassment to pick the last?

Well, finally the size. The size of the momo is fluctuating. As I grow older I have noticed the size of the momo diminishing. It has started to look odd with 5 little momos in a big plate. Imagine a huge man with a plate of momo in his front. I would laugh my heart out.

I was with my friends in a restaurant when we ordered momos. As soon as the momos reached our table, I cleared my throat and told my friends that one day we will simply get the empty plates and there would be no momos at all. A friend who already took piece in his mouth threw it out. I heard the applause from other tables too.

Water-My Saviour

I woke up and began a normal schedule of my life. I thought I was dying in the middle of the night. Everything was normal till I went to bed yesterday. I finished some official papers, replied mails and cooked porridge for myself. I was alone since my family had gone to our native place. I am alive today because of my saviour which I had failed to realise all these years.

After quick dinner, I began prostration of 108 times which I do every night. Doctors had advised me for light exercise and to take regular walks. I substituted it by prostration to save going out in the chilly winter. I had to monitor my high blood pressure and keep it in the safe ranges which otherwise would cause me heart attack anytime.

It was quarter to midnight when I felt rumble in my chest. There was a sudden shift in the heart which sprung my body almost two feet high. I heard gushing sound from the nose, tongue went dry, eyes closed, hand in the chest; I started feeling very light and everything became dark. There was no sound, no light and no air. I needed air. If only I could open the window the cold air might force me to breathe. I felt my legs go numb as I was gasping for air.

Seeking the only chance and before paralysis seeped my whole body, I moved hard to knock any man out. But my movement was barely few inches and very weak. Slowly I rolled my body to give weight in my right hand to hold the water jug kept aside my bed. It was the only chance I had. Grab the jug or leave the world. It was a battle of a dying man. And I fought the battle to reach the jug half meter away.

I opened my eyes and looked at it with little hope in me. I tried to drop myself from the bed and as I did I banged the pedestal table with my head and as if the rescue was on my side, the jug displaced itself pouring the water all over my face. The life began to form instantly. I felt huge force of oxygen pumped in releasing the pressure from the chest. I felt life in my tongue as I could take in few drops of water. Numbness in the legs slowly disappeared. I stayed there several minutes without moving. When I made sure my heart was beating rhythmically I slowly stood up and looked into the mirror. I saw my face disfigured, spiritless, pale and hollow eyes. I was looking into the mirror where I saw myself being born again.

As I turned to open the window, I saw the water splashed in the marble floor. I could not think anything further and picked up the jug.

This morning when I opened the faucet I realised how water saved my life. When it hit my bare hands it was not just a one-time saviour but had kept me living for all these years unnoticed to a normal man.

Ferrari-My Car

From a very young age I had developed a passion for cars. It was because I used to have lots of toys being an only son in the family. This passion almost left me broke in buying motor magazines. And despite any magazines, this particular publish would seldom be found in the school library. And while in college I dreamt of possessing sport cars. My favorites were from Ferrari but the sleekness of BMW or cool Chevrolet Corvette occupied my bedroom walls. When I first saw Ferrari FXX I fell in love with it. The supercar looked exotic with the latest technological features; I could not take off my eyes and to make it believe I went near and touched its metal body. Touching the supercar was a dream-come true and I felt like a superman.

My dream car was one of the expensive cars in the world and I knew it should remain as dream only. With salary just sufficient to pay the bills I would not get into rat-race to buy the car. Reality sucked anyway.

Dreaming of Ferrari took me five years to ultimately own one. I saw it in the classified ad, an affordable price tag and decided to have it. It took few days in clearing the documents and when I was finally done I was filled with emotions. I could at last park my car in front of my house; milky-white faded body, rusted number plates at front and rear, about to fall apart doors, a 15 year-old Maruti 800 from Maruti Suzuki Company.

That evening when I saw my collection of magazines and wallpapers I felt timid and lack of conviction. However, to toss for my first car, I held my head high, packed the magazines and wallpapers and dumped into the store never to be opened again.

I named my car as Ferrari. On its 25th birthday, my Ferrari showed signs of getting old. Its body started creaking like it suffered from rickets. I had loved it so much and in return I was served well. It always took me wherever I wanted. It never failed me in any ways. I could not even remember an incident of having to change its tyre on the way. I would decorate her to the best and we would go puja-hopping celebrating on Vishwakarma days. We spent so much of our lives together that I would not think to part from it.

But of late I was really worried. We were in the middle of town when it suddenly started honking by itself. I pulled over and tried to stop it. Its high-pitched siren drew people nearer and some were even laughing at us. At another incident its bonnet flung open banging the wind shield as if it was released from the spring hinge. There was something wrong with my Ferrari; it was getting old, weak and needed rest. And I would not think of parting with it, the very thought brought me tears.

However, it had to come to rest and I constructed a permanent garage for it to rest in peace.

Amir And Neha

Amir was my best friend. He thought he would marry Neha because they were in love. On the day he discussed about it with his parents, none was in his favor. The decision shattered him. He became down but never out.

He dedicated his time to his work. He became less talkative, less social, and more works and read many books. He did not care people praising him and neither did he care on criticisms too. These earned him name and when his name was called for the outstanding performance of the organization there was not a gist of happiness shown in his expression.

He met Neha during their internship. The work atmosphere brought them together. Their fluency and command in English kept them at nights to deal with companies overseas. In between the coffees they got to know each other at a snail pace rate. When they got the orders of extended probation, they had already fallen in love.

Amir was from a Punjabi family, a sikh, two brothers; one in India and other in UK. However, Neha refused to tell anything from her side.

It was painful for me to lose my friend. He was walking away from me. Once a jolly dashing man becoming a self prisoner, I knew I had to find out the truth.

Neha was born into a life none would ever want. In the small village of Bhur in Gujurat, anyone of her age dreamt to be in her place. She was in school; the place she hated most. Teachers considered her as complete introvert but her infrequent behavior puzzled them too. She could neither read nor write but always brought good marks in the exams. She lived with a dreadful secret, the secret which paralyzed her literally. At 16 she was pregnant by her step father. Her mother hated her so much that she ran away to her father in Gujurat. The love of her father and her unshakeable determination turned to a beautiful Neha intellectually and physically.

I called Amir to my place. I poured some brandy for us. I mustered the courage, avoided his eyes and told him the story I found out. Without speaking anything, emptied the glass, took his jacket and said he was gone.

Three days later, I received an invitation card of his marriage to Neha. It was a grand wedding with everyone present, his colleagues and his parents.

When I saw Amir’s father approaching me, I felt lump in my chest. Upon greeting, he shook my hand, patted my back and took me to introduce his friends.

Fatherhood-My Story

Legitimacy of marriage and the legitimacy of the children born from them had remained vague for me. I had considered legitimated parents as the social norm but not anyone asked about their children so far. A friend told me he became the father of 5 when he wanted only two. He had the marriage certificate to prove as a father but the question I asked myself was what certificate he had to produce his other 3 when he indisputably did not want them. When the world was flattering on his new born son, the father knew himself it was a technical bastard. Elusiveness and not necessary truth, fading away without a notice to our conscience, we all love children and so did him.

When I finally got a certification from the court I was legally married. The line between making love and to become a father was very thin. To make love without understanding her need defeated the meaning of making love. It was a desire and impulse directed lust. As I thought deeper things started becoming hazy and obscured. I wanted to become a father, as simple as that, and I did not seek the professional guidance either.

I did not want her adapting to any contraceptives and neither had I liked using the latex too. It was the trust and integrity that kept our desire between us. Therefore, we did not worry on contacting any sexually transmitted diseases except on fulfillment of becoming parents when we wanted. She must conceive not from my lust but from my love. I felt the responsibility and with it the morality of fatherhood fell upon me.

I learnt that it was important to know your partner’s monthly period. A close monitoring revealed that I had on average 10 days in a month to become a father. When we were ready we chose any of these magical days and waited for the hospital results to come few weeks later.

Few weeks later, I waited in the car in the hospital parking space. Anxiety and excited I felt like waiting for an annual report card in the school. Today I was waiting for something special than any school report cards. I jumped out of the car when I saw her coming with a card in her hand. I wanted to rush to her and hear her say the news. A walk of few meters towards me was a walk of the life time. In her hand holds our dreams. The dream of becoming a father, the dream of seeing your own face, the dream of a continued legacy after I was gone, the dream of hearing your first voice, the dream of walking her down the park, the dream of…….

She was already near me. I took the card, read it positive and next I was holding my tears. I felt suddenly matured, protective, and a reason to live in a manner not like before.
I took her to a nearby monastery, prayed for us and with it promised to give up smoking and drinking forever.

Delusions of Grandeur: A Fallacy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

There is the strong smell of death in hospital where there are ghost doctors and ghost nurses. Woman in labor cries for help when help will never come around. Bed sheets in ward are never washed for heaven knows how long with every inch and area soaked in blood. Incubating refrigerator stands in the corner without the medicine stock and without the electrical code. A teenage girl dies from simple dehydration stripping away her life well before her youth.

Schools are built everywhere disproportionate to the number of students. The construction cost is shared between the civil servants, representatives of people and the businessmen. Teachers need not be qualified and many schools are even without them. People bribe the government and register as teachers who do not show up in the schools. By registering as teachers they earn the pension fund illegitimately after superannuation terms. Students walk to schools miles each way only to wait for teachers who are never to be seen; ghost teachers. Text books are not available since the networks of distributors ask for bribes.

Senior international inspector visits a remote village of Bhutan where there is a small clinic called BHU Grade III. She is greeted by a warm smile of Health Assistant (HA) in neatly worn white-coat. In escorting to the ward she sees the patients genuinely smiling their faces despite the pain. In a corner she sees the refrigerator with full stock of medicines incubated by the propylene gas. The bed sheets in the ward are as neat as her guest house in the capital. She says it shocked her system expecting the same with the countries in South East Asia. She sees the real professional in the field and real clinic for the first time. She decides to ask few questions to him only to regret how foolishly she asked those. When she asks why he preferred to be in remote place he simply cites an example of our King. He is there because King is there for the people. Importance of leadership runs in her mind. She says King is the leader and HA is also the leader because of his personal leadership. She reminds the floor about the fallacy of delusions of grandeur and talks about personal leadership.

Person at any level has the leadership qualities to work hard and earn salary. She says a person gets charity if one does not burn fire in the belly to work. To keep the fire burning one has to solicit stepping in the service recipients’ shoes and then only a salary can be earned. Start earning your salary and not getting charity-Shiv Khera, I recalled my memory.

Bhutan is a country blessed under the great leadership of His Majesty the King. You have many things in place and it is only a matter of containing them and it falls in your hands. Humans are tempted to want and greed. Bhutanese are humans too and are vulnerable to any evils in the society. To contain your values you must begin with the personal leadership and understanding the misconception of power and titles, she sums up.

I looked around to see the reaction of the floor. The fire in the belly was already setting in. I saw tears in all of them including in my own eyes too.

I Promise My Dear

Friday, April 16, 2010

I was a lonely man until I came by you. I saw you in the store on my way to town. The colorful lightings in the store brightened my heart only to melt away seeing you emitting your lustrous beauty. I ran to my friend and talked about you. He knew I wanted you dearly and he promised to help me getting you. After you came to my life, I thanked and promised him I would never leave you, ever. I knew you even thanked him though you did not tell me, you never told me those but I loved you for that.

I never used to listen to music and I never sang even in bathroom. My voice croaked like a frog searching the mate. Music was not my hobby dear but you made me listen to it. You were tough but it came so easily with your contagious love. You explored and brought out a singing talent in me, how you knew me dear. You made me sleep with music and wake up with music. I was angry at you for teaching me to sing. To you everything was music. I wanted you to teach me different but you never did.

Why you left me is still mystery to me even after 12 years. I tried my best to take you to different specialist but everyone told me it was time for you to rest in peace. I cried for several nights and my heart aches when I remember you often. You knew I would be lonely and so you taught me to sing and turn my hobby to music. I am sorry I showed anger at you, if only I had known you taught me the biggest companion to live during my difficult times. You are right dear. With music I am complete and with music I am never sad. And in music you live my life. Thank you very much.

I have passed the same store I saw you first. The store has grown big but it is cold without you. I went inside to search your soul. Frankly dear I saw many alike you but not you. They told me once gone never comes, they were rude, I hated them with my heart. I came back feeling lonely but as soon as I sang the songs I was a normal man. It is sad I will never see you again. It is difficult for me to say but dear they have gone crazy to replace you with MP4. I will never bring anything in your place, I promise my dear.

P.S.: Ode to my first Walkman CD.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not many people live a peaceful life. I have seen people grumbling about the hardships of anything. I do not ask the reasons and how can I ask the reasons? I am a busy man with my own problems. Sometimes I must listen to them not because I can help them but it helps me to forget mine. People can fret anywhere. We fret at homes, in offices, in cars, in buses, in cremation ground, in auto mobile workshops, in grocery shops and in hospitals. I think people fret even in space, if only I am astronaut to shout towards the crazy world.

We now have a new place to fret, behind the internet connected computer screens. I sit alone in my desk mistaking everyone I am in my busy schedules of work. Someone accuses me of something and I just cannot do anything. Feel like punching the monitor but computer is expensive and I fret. Even if computers come cheap, I will fret from the pain of my fist and the broken screen.

A girl opens up her inbox expecting mail from her boyfriend. She finds none and she frets. I get wild to follow the instructions of boss when he asks me in a tone of get the hell out of here. What difference does it make? It does, it sure does. A beautiful girl asking my name with a rose flower in her hand will get the sweetest reply I am Arrogant Buddha even if she does not offer me her rose. The same girl with rose in hand telling her boyfriend I love you in a tone of get the hell of out here will get a nasty look to say the least. If he kicks her outright, it will not be surprising to me.

People accuse each other not only in the real lives but in the screens too. A car collides with another car with negligible scratches and both the drivers come out of the cars to explain each is right on his own terms. When both are right, it means one is wrong, therefore a need of intermediation from third parties. In the screens people exchange profane texts incriminating each other. Therefore, we all fret with reasons or without reasons anywhere, anytime with anyone, ignorantly or not.

Anxious psychotic husband in his first night is covered with beads of sweat. Someone tells him the story of location of woman’s important organ. What he does not realize about the story is when a woman is nine month old pregnant. He starts to fret from ignorance. Actually I am also not sure on this; my disclaimer is I may be ignorant too. I will not fret now, at least.
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