Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bhutan and her salient features

Bhutan is a small and beautiful eastern Himalayan kingdom nestled between world’s economic and demographic mammoths China in the north and India in the south. With its total area about 38,394 square kilometers, the nation holds approximately 700,000 people. The country is known as the last Shangri-La to the outside world for many different reasons. Bhutan has captured the attention of the world through many of her salient features among which the noble philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) propounded by the Fourth King of Bhutan has made headlines worldwide lately.
Beautiful view of Khuruthang
The development of the nation is governed and guided by the principles of GNH which has four holistic and inclusive pillars, Equitable and equal socio-economic development, Preservation and promotion of culture, Conservation of environment, and Good governance. The country’s strong and wise policies has fostered in maintaining pristine and rich environmental biodiversity, preservation and promotion of tradition and cultural diversity and maintaining peace and harmony in the country.

In this era of environmental degradation and the consequent crises the world suffers, Bhutan still has her environmental state pristine and intact. Making it one of the world’s finest biodiversity hotpots, she enjoys wide range of floral and faunal biodiversity. With constitutional mandate of sixty percent forest coverage for all times to come, the landlocked nation enjoys about seventy percent forest coverage now. Championing the world in the forefronts of environmental conservation and biodiversity protection including many critically endangered floral and faunal species, Bhutan plays an important role in environmental conservation.

Since the time immemorial, Bhutan celebrated its rich tradition and cultural diversity. Divided by the hills and gorges the nation remained united by its cultural diversity. Tradition and culture forms an intrinsic identity and traits of independent and sovereign nation. This rich and diverse culture has long been the strength for a small nation like Bhutan. For this reason and beyond, the government has always focused on preservation and promotion of both tangible and intangible culture. Different regions and ethnicity of the country has unique and diverse cultures which is why many international tourists come to Bhutan to witness and experience this authentic traditional lifestyle.

Among many other reasons rich culture and pristine environment are the two primary reasons for international tourists for visiting Bhutan. These two jewels of the nation has contributed so much to the national sovereignty and economy. Given such advantages, there is always an opportunity for tourism boom as well as threats of environmental and cultural exploitation. These are however checked by the “High value low volume” policy of the tourism sector. Bhutanese are always regarded as people with great hospitality and humanity besides its plausible environment and other reasons for international tourists. As a Bhutanese we invite you with open heart and arms in Bhutan. Come, Explore, Enjoy and learn from the authentic environment and culture of Himalayan kingdom called Drukyuel.

A layman's opinion on GNH

P.C. Riku Dhan
It is a holistic and inclusive approach of physical, psychological and material development. The ideology guides and provides means to achieve sustainable development. Just as a house needs four strong pillars to make it a home which can withstand the forces of four natural calamities such as earthquake, flood, fire and windstorm, GNH is supported by its four inclusive pillars to withstand any kind of internal and external forces.
The principle of GNH is to harmonize oneself as an individual, revive symbiotic relationship with the natural environment, and strengthen the community vitality among others inorder to achieve the national goal of peace and prosperity. The resonance of this national harmony will help achieve the ultimate global goals of wellbeing and happiness all over the world. This enlightening ideology respects the rights of every beings (living or non-living) and harmonize the world.

In this era of Sustainable Development, ideology such as this can help propel the achievement of all SDGs and breed peace and prosperity in the world. GNH balances the material and spiritual growth for a sustainable and inclusive development. 

Friday, July 7, 2017


Located strategically on the lap of Phagchok Gonpa overlooking the sparsely distributed households of the village. A table flat boulder stands on the raised ground above all landscapes.
Late H.H.Meymey Lama Rinpoche would sit on it gently watching the people beneath ploughing the field, sow seeds and reap bountiful harvest. With big polished beads of rosary on one hand, he would chant prayers as his other hand softly strokes the faithful Mikser (adopted stray dog) at the Guru's holy feet.
One would always alight the Guru ceaselessly praying and blessing the sentient beings. People felt protected and blessed under the watchful blessings of Memey Lama Rinpoche.
As much spiritual significance as it held, the boulder served other purposes as well. The village Chupoen would stand on it firmly and yell at top of his voice to convey the messages to entire households at a time. He would whistle with all his might of mouth and tongue to gather the attention of the people beneath for any discussion or gathering at the Gonpa which also functions as community center.
The Boulder stands still, but now it has gathered mosses and lichens speaking loud and clear of its undervalue. With cell phones in ease of communication, the Chupoen no longer uses it as a stand to call the people through whistling. People are informed through Wechats whatever the Chupoen has to say unless it requires manual labour together.
However, this table flat Boulder will continue to reminisce the history of the Guru and the people.
A Reminiscence of the Guru and the yesteryear through mosses and lichen-ridden boulder of my village.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Age & Time

I don't want to be a centenarian 
Not a dotage at all
But a codger
Age isn't a passing time 
Neither greying
Nor terracing the facial muscles
You may call an old man
The wiser man becomes with age
Tells a lot of seasoned tales

Ode to my Apala

Tales of hinterland 
Of one man-a layman
Abandoned to end
By burdened mom
He got nothing
But a rope of hope
Upon which he gripped a guru's holy feet
From errand boy
Babysitted many eminent children
Which were once a
to get the teachings from the guru
From blowing trumpet to
Reading Buddhist texts
Masterd the Astrology
To become people's guardian
I, your eldest son
Have lots to learn from your ocean depth wisdom
I, your trusted son
Have lots to learn from your
Grounded simplicity and kindness
I, your brother like son
Have lots to learn from your
Harmonious humour
May you live long and healthy
I shall live within the radar of your words.

Of brief drizzle

of brief drizzle
goes the heavenly sprinkle
goes the earthly grass blade
like a newborn infant
who grizzles for mom's
supple nipple
did it (grass) longed for nearly eons
otherwise playful men
rejoice and retreat
to the rear fall
of early monsoon
fluffy little puppy
runs lest wet its coat
seasoned needles
of one pine and other
dropping the dews
he (me) writes
a random letters to
to piles of words
giving lines
of early summer
how long will he wait?
(old man in the paddy field)
his prayers be heard
for not a lone man
but all shall go hungry
the next time
let it shower
the blessings of
water & rain
for man needs food
which needs rain
to grow
feed the world

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Morning Sun: A reader’s perspectives rather than A Review

Having read the first two books of Monu Tamang (The Joy of Beautiful Dreams & Chronicle of a Love Foretold), I had an urge to read his next publication. It burnt me equally as him on seeing one of his Facebook posts earlier this year about the book manuscripts being lost to some burglar along with his laptop. Like many others, I made sincere silent prayers of its recovery. I know for a writer it would weigh heavier in heart to have lost 100 words of manuscripts than physical objects worth Nu.1000 or so.
The editorial duo Ngawang Phuntsho sir and Benu seems to me an unbeatable literary mammoth in partner. The former is a pro Bhutanese blogger and a writer whom I have been following since last couple of years ago. I still owe him immense gratitude for sharing (with me) one of his published articles on traditional knowledge of environmental conservation. One of the finest CNR alumni Mr.Benu is a wealthy literary personal who never turns down anyone seeking help from him in literary circle. Besides editorial assistance I am greatly indebted to him for his advices and guidance.

The Story

Narrated in first person’s point of view, the story revolves around fate and fortune of Sonam Yangki. Abandoned to death right after birth in cold November, a child would have found no way of survival had it not been for her grandmother’s rescue. The protagonist struggles through thick and thins of life right from her childhood. Upon severe physical and emotional abuses from guardians and employers, she runs away only to get clutched into the jaws of next living devil.
From street Doma seller to hotel dish washer, from Dasho’s housemaid to night pub singer, she knocked every opportunity to get knockout the very next time. Throughout the story, readers can seldom find her parents (guardians) in sober state battered to unconsciousness by liquor day and night alike. Despite all these upheavals in her life, she portrays the strength and power of a youth to fight and survive rather than resorting to the life’s end. The story reads painful to the extent of her parents mortgaging her for some amount to one inhumane army officer.
Life is an enveloped letter. Nobody knows what life has in store for us in times to come. Sonam meets with a gentleman by the name Tshering whom she ties her knot of eternity. Their love story defines fate, faith, trust and determination against all odds along the way. In order to make ends meet they venture into several business and eventually runs tourist lodge at last.
Their long genuine prayers and wishes are answered when gifted with their son Golu. However, he is suffering from Cerebral Palsy which does not allow him to develop mentally and physically in par with other children of his age. As the smile of brilliant sun illuminates Golu’s face, Sonam gives biggest motherly smile to her son and closes the door as she exits to her duty.

What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. Though Cerebral Palsy can be defined, having Cerebral Palsy does not define the person that has the condition (CerebralPalsy.org).

Why should we read this Novel?
Sonam’s bravery through her struggle portrays strength and power of the youth to fight against all those odds in life. This teaches the readers to have determination and optimism amidst thick and thins of life rather than resorting to unhealthy habits and finding life’s end.
Prevalence of social issues like child labour, rape, assaults and battery are depicted through her stories which as a reader we must always be conscious about it. There are many victims suffering such cases under the perpetrators escaping the surveillance of existing law and order of the humanity.
Venturing into different business, Sonam and Tshering endures several losses before getting well established. They fall many times before holding their heads high, persevering through hard times show entrepreneurial and risk taking attitude.
Last but nonetheless, acceptance of the child with special need and social stigma against such patients are well drawn through Golu’s situation. We must learn from the protagonist how supportive she is to her child with special need. With increase in such cases among new born, discrimination and social ostracism from family and friends may happen. Thus, it sensitize in subtle words to avoid such discrepancies.

Grab a copy from the nearest bookstore and enjoy the reading.

Bhutan and her salient features

Bhutan is a small and beautiful eastern Himalayan kingdom nestled between world’s economic and demographic mammoths China in the north and ...