10 years passed

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2
10:25 AM
My mother breathed her last.

A decade passed so fast.

Dear mother,

Please know that we always remember you. Whenever your children are together, we talk of you and pray for you. We reminisce your parenting method and sometimes laugh at how your youngest son used to get beatings from you. Yes he was the naughtiest and we awe at how you had tactically dealt with him to become a man. Now know that my dear mother, he too had become big. Your Kuchu the big head boy have become big. He has become a father to daughter recently. How nice it would have been if you were here now to hold his daughter?  You know what - he has become an engineer too in Agriculture ministry. He is so proud of you mother. We are all! That is about your fifth son.

Well, your fourth son? You may be shocked to know about him. May be not. He has remained the same - just as helpful and sweet as always. And he has still remained unmarried. He still occupies the same house after I shifted from there. I visit him regularly because I can feel your presence very strong in that house.

Third one is in Samtse now after he got transferred from Tsirang. I believe he has become a specialist in special education teaching the students in needs. He regards you very high and I came across a strong bond two of you shared when he talks about you. He would have pampered you if you are alive from the way he cares of his mother in law. There is still a sadness visible in his eyes whenever we talk of you.

It is rather difficult to meet all together but whenever we do, we talk of you and think of you and then we realise we are all missing you so much. Big Ata is still in Paro. He misses you as much as anyone. Now he is the father of three. All his kids are growing up smart and brilliant. And Tshering Lhamo, your only little daughter is with me. She has become really helpful for the upbringing of my kids. At times she stays with other brothers and cousins. Her helpfulness has really touched many lives.

My daughter, whenever she asks me about you, I tell her you were one iron lady and that if you were around, she would not dare to keep the toys and books dishevelled and misbehave anything in front of her. She says she would have loved to meet you. But I tell her she has the blessings of you. She was just three months short of seeing you when you left us. "Grandmother saw you in the womb," I tell her. And she feels okay with it. Honestly and deep within, I too share her sentiment. She should have come across you even if it was just for a moment.

To much to share mother. It is rather difficult to do so. I have discussed with your other son that we will be visiting lhakhangs together and offer butter lamps for you. As always, I beg your forgiveness for not able to do anything good in return. My prayers have not changed. I will continue praying and begging that you come as my mother if you ever decide to choose me as your child once again. That way I will get chance to pay back for the upbringings and sacrifices you have made for me. Otherwise I always pray and imagine you in the realms of Buddhahood and in his abode, seated calmly without anything to worry about, but seeking only peace for this world and beyond.

May my prayers come true for my late mother.

Your son


Check check (password is correct)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Human beings do exhibit certain similar characteristics to dogs on heat. The heat period for Bhutanese human beings these days is trending a question on the place they have first met. By Bhutanese (my) standard it is a viral on Facebook. It is quite intriguing such simple questions could provoke many past memories.

I just wonder what is next in the offing. I will be laughing my lungs out to see who has first bedded with. The people who choose to answer honestly would be bold. And idiotic too. The married couple may not even answer it, there would be consequences if they do so. Here too, whether one chooses to answer or not, every old people will see themselves young, coyly bushing around the partner reminiscing their first ever human coagulation history. Imagine thinking of the same subject by everyone. I just don’t wish those thoughts could be seen in three dimensions. The land of happiness will suddenly be seen with maniacs in blood red shots – some eager to run off before being caught by someone, some panicking what in the world had just happened to them, some groaning in pain puzzled to cry or not from the feelings of ecstasy which just left their body, mind and soul.

For me, I want to keep it simple. When I am not able to reply where I had first met him or her, I shall deceitfully remain virgin. Yes, my two kids were born from Lotus flower one after another.

Lurking danger

Thursday, June 16, 2016

As country develops, many explosives are used to split rocks and boulders - along the highway, tunnels and houses. While there is a rule by the Ministry of Home & Culture Affairs on the use of explosives, the concern lies much on how far the monitoring is in place.

With many hydropower projects in place and many to come, all the detonators and explosive materials are widely in use. Up until now, there has been a proper dispatch of such materials after availing approvals and escort diligently done  by Royal Bhutan Police to any corners of the country. However, the works do not stop here. While it may be properly stored in the designated magazine at the proximity of work sites, the consumption of such dangerous materials are seen not closely monitored to. The explosives once in the hands of Contractors are up to them to handle with anything they want.
It is often the expatriates who handle explosives from submitting requisitions to the magazine incharge to carrying them openly in the lorries to construction sites.  In most of the cases, the explosives are transported loosely and the record of consumption has been rarely kept. In the mega construction projects where blasting is done round the clock, such monitoring between the magazines to sites, the quantity that has been used and the handing over of balance materials need to be practiced rigorously. Explosives are useful if properly used but it can create havoc if mishandled. Praise their trust for nothing have been misused until now. But hey! if you have any animosity with anybody, a kilogram of power gel is enough to blow up your house, and 10 kilos the entire village.

It is with ernest hope that all the end users continue to use it safely but it must not limit just to their trust. There has to be a mechanism enforced from the top and religiously heeded by the implementers in the ground. Delay shall prove fatal.

Rowdy Rathore

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yes, I am Rowdy Rathore. Don’t mind huh!

I have not yet become rowdy but I will be. How? Soon I will be confronting with my boss, a fat-head ugly looking fellow. It will be the end of my career and the beginning of his self-realization as a boss or as a person. His every grey hair that pops up from the scalp will ask him a question of its credibility of ageing for so many years in his life.

I will sit in front of him, in his big luxurious office, face to face, man to man, black hair versus grey hair. Before he asks me anything, I will open my mouth, in a dhoom chaka chaka style. If need be, with one of my legs over the other, a truly unBhutanese but in a Rathore way, I shall tell him that I am leaving his company because I see leech in him, yes, a leech, that not only sucks the blood of others but sucks his own.

I am by far an average looking person (I understand even if you agree to it, wink) but all thanks to her, she agreed to become my partner. And she is a very beautiful person, in terms of looks and only looks. Again, don’t mind huh.

The old man forgets his age when he sees her. He thinks his position in the office can blind me and go for a fling with a girlfriend of his employee. B****rd! Even his p**ic hair must have become grey at his age and yet he thinks he will get to lay so easily, just like that. If he had ever got to lay his hands on a woman, it must have been only outside Bhutan through a payment mode. At least the Bhutanese women can distinguish who is ugly and not.

I shall thank him for making me realize the possibility of having a terrible boss in this world. In the same note, he will hear from me that he is never a good boss to any person under him. “I am not instigating sir,  but the word around is, for so long, you are just an a*** who thinks you are an indispensable person when you actually are not. You are on the top because you are elder to me. You scold me and you get so angry. How foolish of you. Those people who easily break down to getting angry and shouting at the subordinates are the weakest people in the world. Chicken, I call it. Who can’t get angry? Anybody can do that but it is those who control it and make peace with inner-self are the true exemplary people. You have taught me to go mad whenever things go wrong. I am not the boss but I know it is not the right way. I condemn your ways of dealing with people. You are a nerd carrying extra baggage of ego that may spill over even to your family members. They don’t deserve it, bloody fat-head.”

He will be angry for sure. But before he gets to open up his doma stained mouth, I will open up my Gho and slam the paper on his table. “Resignation letter, kindly consider it,” I will say and walk away from him.

Dhoom chaka chaka dhoom, Rowdy Rathore, don’t mind huh.

N.B.: I am "a" joking. I am lucky I have got a good boss but I know most people are not as blessed as me. Don't mind huh! Tata...

A Simple Love Story

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I am Sh sh sh....Sha Rukh, not my real name but her favorite actor. It was the sobriquet name she had given to me.

She was 14 and I was 17. On our new uniforms we crossed each other, met our eyes, looked back, fell in love and heaven be praised it was the love at first sight. We understood it because we smiled, to each other.

Nature had it that I could confess only towards the end of academic session. On a full paged paper I wrote, "I love you". I had waited a day long to get a similar note, "I love you too". It was on 12th October. That day I discovered other dates were just envy of it.

I felt insecure and feared of losing her. I wrote a long letter to forget me, handed over to her friend and left to another boarding school. However, I could not forget her and she lived within me in the form of heart beats until I got three-paged letter from her. I missed my beats, felt a terrible loss and several days later realized I deserved that.

Two years through and 2000 kilometer away from home, I heard she was preparing to become a mid-wife. I imagined she must be enjoying in her new institute but could not dare to think if she was going out with anyone. A yearn to go back and embrace her was becoming a distant dream. I lived with my thoughts and imagination thereafter.

When we met online 14 years later we did not know where to start from. We felt nervous, sad and with exuberance of mixed feelings learnt that she had become a mother of two lovely kids. She learnt that I was also married and recently joined the world of fatherhood. I had told her everything of how I kept her in my heart and cherished those memories. I had to tell her before another 14 years or so just slip off.

After many exchange of mails and telephone calls, we saw ourselves riding again from where we had left a decade and half ago. We were travelling a beautiful journey to a destination not truly known. We also went back to those years accusing each other on why each had taken this or that step, eventually making our hearts burn with remorse and guilt.  We cried a lot and we were falling in love once again. We realized that it was a tug of war between the reality and us. We had become the responsibility to our spouses and kids. We did not want to hurt them. True love must not hurt anyone, we knew this. We wanted to enrich love and spill happiness to our spouses and kids. We became the reasons to live not only for ourselves but for the two families.

And then, we had to make a tough decision. After long silence, the longest of any silence, apart from mails and rare telephone calls, we decided not to face each other, ever again. 


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.

To my wifey

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear my better half,
          I heard that herding one 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.
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