Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Give us a Hospital and a school in Hangay, Kalimati AKA Sengaygang: A Compensation payment for ‘zoo keeping’ the wild-elephants.

Past 20 or so years residents of my village and the neighboring villages namely Peljorling, Balbotay, Namgaycholing, GhaNgatey, Norjangsa to name a few…. have suffered greatly from wild-elephants encroachment. My village and Peljorling notably has have borne the brunt of wild-elephant activities the most. Some have lost their lives too, many lost their properties in terms of hard-earned annual harvest and some lost their ancestral house.

Bad news! Things have not changed much after so many years. Worse! The damage caused by elephants has been only escalating. And this year has been notably the hardest hit year ever. My fellow villagers spent sleepless nights guarding their crops. If elephants destroy their crops both their sleep and labour is lost. And it’s a rare incident when elephants come and go without inflicting damages. 

The Local government and the central Government both have done many things possible to benefit the locals. From solar electric  fencing(It didn’t work) to crop insurance scheme( it became too unpopular because of the low encashment in case of any crop damage) and in helping to build up the QRT (Quick Response Team) from among the villagers to petrol during the nights so dwellers are alerted at the earliest about the approach of wild elephants. 

I have a good news too! One must understand that the human wild elephant conflict is an old problem now and an old solution will not help us any longer. Old problems need newer solutions to tackle them efficiently. 

Correct me if I am wrong. In this issue some Bureaucrats need to make use of their ‘joker’ card to play the game!  I understand that the Local government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest and environmentalists are mandated to play their ‘special card’ on issues like this. Many people may not know this. When an endangered animal like the Asian elephants walk the face of the southern foothills they need to not only act righteously to protect the locals but also judiciously to preserve the nation’s wealth- the (wild) elephants. 

Even aspiring Political Candidates also never take this issue quite seriously. Because firstly, it’s almost impossible for us to stop the mighty elephants from entering our fields…. Secondly, like I mentioned earlier, on conservation issues the presence of elephants along the southern belt of Bhutan is a source of great pride for the nation…and its equivalent to a pricy jewel especially for environmentalists and wild-elephant conservation and protection agencies both national and of international repute. 

Since the day when elephants started destroying our crops…we have been trying to stop them and never thought of co-existence…We never did…but we must now…like they say what you cannot change, you must embrace it! We cannot change the course of the wild-elephants but local and central govt can change the way how they treat the affected people. 

We must change our point of view! Of wild elephants and their activities. We must embrace their presence so we benefit better. The local and central government and the elite politicians need to also change the way they function towards such local issues. They must think rationally and pull their sleeves to do something concrete and more beneficial. Lip-service is an old tactics…it may not work anymore now. 

I have few suggestions if you may like to have:

1. Provide subsidized ginger and chili seeds for farmers (of elephant affected areas) to grow and also assist them in marketing their produce. (Ginger and chili are some of the vegetables/crops which elephants don’t like to eat).

2. Provide training and facilities for Bee Honey Harvest to the locals. This item will be an alternative source of income.  

3. Provide subsidized/or free jersey cow for each resident (of elephant affected areas) for dairy produce (we already have a dairy farm producing ice-cream and other dairy products. The extra milk will only help the dairy farm produce more or/ the local government can explore other alternatives too). It will be a good (safer because elephant don’t eat cows…) source of income for the affected residents. 

4. Refer the title of this post. To ensure good health of the immediate affected locals and also school going children can attend school regularly. They need not also have to walk 2 kilometers to reach their present school at Peljorling. They can use the down time (50 mins to reach present school) to spend it for Self-study at home which will benefit them to excel in their academics. 

Enough of this wild-elephant ‘business’ without any economic or social benefits being enjoyed by the immediate affected locals. What locals encounter is more losses than gains. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forest need to do more than just the supply of seeds and the arrangement of occasional yet grandiose visits of our Forest staff to witness crop damage with their loaded guns! Exercise some CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY to help us better. Oh Dear, the least the government of the day can do is to Pay us by constructing a hospital and a school in our community as a compensation payment for ‘zoo keeping’ the wild-elephants for last 20 years. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

The story of a kitty cat and her kittens

Lately my fellow villagers have been uploading photos after photos of the destruction caused by wild elephants on their social networks in their desperate attempt to inform concern authorities so our common greviences could be heard loud and clear.

Admist this great disappointment and sleepless nights, I would like to share a story of humility and humanity. A story of love between human and animal: A Story of a Kitty and her kittens.

Well, this post may not help stop the wild elephants at large but it certainly will re-assure the spirit of humanity and advocate that kindness and humility shall triumph  forever and ever.

So here it goes.....You know how it rains in the South. Its inexplicable specially when in summer. 

On one such rainny day, my mom and dad were on their way for the regular work at our small areca nut orchard nearby our house.

Before they could reach the orchard they need to cross a thick tiger-grass bush. Thats where the real story begins: The 'inciting incident' so to say of this mega real life story.

As they approach towards the orchard, my mother heard a kitty cry somewhere inside that thick tiger-grass (or 'centella asiatica') bush. 

They could hear the kitty cry in the following three days too. They felt something is really not ok with the kitty. Thus they finally decided to get through the thick bush. 

And alas, as they expected, they found a plastic cement sack from where the crying sound of the kitty could be heard. 'Human can at times become so inhumane! Exclaimed my parents as they untangled themselves out of the thick bush with the mysterious sack in their hand. The unfortunate kitty is imprisoned inside the sack. 

Returning to an open space, they started to open the sack. The opening of the sack was fastened around its neck several times which made it almost impossible for my parents to open it. They had to cut the sack wide open with a sickle to finally let free the destitute kitty. Oh dear, though not so well but kitty is safe!

Now free from the heinous treatment...For next half an hour the kitty just couldn't move a bit. Her eye sight was also effected.  May be it must be because of the severe dehydration and starvation. 

Soon, they took her home and took real good care of her and fed her well too.

That was 7 months ago...today the fortunate kitty has two lovely kittens of her own and they live in our store room and happily play and run around with my son and nephew! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

While I wait!

Among other gloomy visitors wishing to never ever return.
To hospital or to doctor.
I sit on a cold steel chair in the foyer. 
With a blank dull OPD sheet in my hand.
Call bell blares endlessly from inside the doctor's chamber.
While i wait for my turn outside
I am forced to retrospect on the following line,
'Hospital is akin to our life',

Like good friends, elders and our parents 
Doctors are our well wishers
They present to you the best possible way.
For they think good of us always. 

Prescribed drugs are doses of motivation and inspiration.
Aspiring human to perform better 
Like they subdue the bloated surface or kill harmful bacteria.
Removes your self-doubt and weaknesses
Making the perfect that you were or Sometime ever better. 

Diagnoses are failures in life
You then know what to do and to avoid.
You have better choices to make.
The destiny you wish to create.

Getting discharged from hospital bed is equal to learning a valuable lessons of life.
The 'second chances' you may call them.
It makes you realise how much you have missed from life.
The moments you can't pay to get them back.

Sadness and happiness 
Hope and desperation
Breath and breathless
Like the moments in our life
The hospital's corridors and
The whitewashed walls have heard and seen them all.

We have to wait for good news or for bad.
Be humble and always be positive .
Life and hospital aren't a pizza stand.
In life and in hospital
You only get what you need
And not what you want! 

I think..Life and hospital resemble  each other in many ways.
They complement each other too.
'Hospital is akin to our life'
My  this retrospection is brought to stand still
When I heard the call bell and saw my service  number on the screen
Thus I didn't have to wait anymore
To meet one life to make the other one better!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Loneliest cry

Loneliest cry of a differently abled 3 years old boy in my neighbourhood makes my heart ache. 

He has the loveliest smile on that lovely face flawlessly designed for  whoever walks across his small lawn.

His eyes move along with his wide-selfless smile on those  'moving' feet that he only wish to have.

He does have a pair of legs to call it so 
but are useless like those  memories that adorne his widow mother.

For his dad was too good for this world he had to leave him when he was too young in the arms of his ailing mother.

Now the ailing mother has a rich memories of her three years old son. His legs cant move but his smile and words move her enough. Touchs her heart and endlessly bring a pool of tears.

Like a loving mother she doesn't want to get separated from her only son. How much better he is taken care of she claims to give him the very best.

I know it's the warmth of a mother taking better of her now. The warmth is speaking aloud for her action but who knows the son would have wished for something different? When he gets the sense of the situation! 

I pray 'someone' with bigger heart walks across his small lawn someday soon.

Not to let his eyes and smile move along with those 'walking' feet but to hold him up and show a whole new world to him. 

For sure those wide-selfless smile will move you too 
Equally or even more i dont know But those loneliest cry of the differently abled 3 years old boy keeps aching my heart! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I am a humble teacher: An accidental Poem!

I am a humble teacher.
I must remain humble.
I must behave like  a noble person
Because I have a noble job.
A 'nobel job'
That's society's rich vocab to cajole us with.
I must always live up to their expectations.
An exemplary example I must always be.

If a child fails in his test
I am indirectly blamed for it.
If he gets through with flying colours 
I am told that the kid was born intelligent. 
I cannot make a noise about it because I am a humble teacher.

When I ask for a decent table to work on in the staff-room
I am informed that classroom is the place I should spend much of my time.
If I request a leave for some personal work
I am accused of not prioritising what is more important. 
I must not complain about it
Because I am a humble teacher.

When I ask for medical leave
I am made to realize that I am no more fit for the job.
When I am late by few minutes 
My punctuality is questioned.
They are least bothered of how I  manage my home and work.
I cannot bother them too because I am a humble teacher.

When I question authorities about 
Inequality and need for more transperancy
My integrity for the organisation is questioned.
I shouldn't question them twice because I am a humble teacher.

If I keep pestering my boss
They have many weapons to suppress me
Promotion process or the next increment 
The Pandora box is wide open for them
I shouldn't rest my mind too much on it
 because I am a humble teacher. 

If I do something good
It takes ages to receive the due appreciation
A mistake is a sin!
My productivity is in jeopardy
I must ease the situation
Forget and forgive everyone
 because I am a humble teacher

If I am critical
Or always righteous in my conduct
I am seen as a threat
Nepotism and favouritism shouldn't be questioned.
Be a best 'yes' man ever
Thus you and your job is secured
But I should always serve the organisation more than my boss
Because I am a humble teacher.

When I request for a slight raise in my salary.
I am told I am not worthy for it.
"What have you done extra" is the only response.
Or my lessons are observed more often so to discover some flaws.
I shouldn't accuse the authorities because I am a humble teacher.

I am told to buy new clothes
Because mine looks quite faded.
They saw me only of my attair.
Who bothers my lonely feelings inside.
I must not voice it out loud
 because I am a humble teacher.  

If I fail to discipline a child
My ability is doubted.
If a child learns to mend his manners 
At the end of the day
The credit goes home along with the kid.
I must not take credits for anything because 
I am a humble teacher.  

When I refuse to pay a heed to any donation
I am told I am acting cheap or not fit for a civilized society.
And its funny 
The world is blind on the same pair of shoes 
that have served me for 4 long years.

In the name of monitoring and leadership exhibition
 Administrators are always punitive.
I am requested to buy materials for my own teaching 
because budget is not sufficient. 
I must not complain about all these because I am a humble teacher .

The academic year comes to an end.
Children are promoted  to next higher grade.
The grade of the teacher remains the  same.
Only his age goes up.
The faded clothes and the pair of shoes remain the same. 
'One more year it should last,' he prays. 

Amidst the prayers his heart glows with pride 
That he has built a nation far much richer and better
Through knowledge he shared with his kids.
Yet the world rewards him with almost dead silence 
Because they only have a richest vocab to honour his hardwork. 
Their Heart remains in their cold chest
and hands in their tight pockets. 

A "Nobel job" their silence screams aloud once again!
 Thus I beg to remain a humble teacher. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Valedictorian's Speech!

Honourable chief guest, distinguished parents, teachers, and most importantly the monsters of the class of 2017. I’m Chimmi Lhamo (one of the monsters) and I am honoured to speak as a Valedictorian today. 

First of all, I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say I am still shocked as to how we managed to take third positon within the whole country! I’m sure it wasn’t only me who couldn’t believe it when I saw the news. Nevertheless, congratulations! To both the students and the teachers. We got through the hell of class ten.

I would firstly like to thank the teachers for all their hard work and for believing in us. Now if I start to list everything you did for us, the list would go on and on for who-knows-long. 

So thank you teachers, especially Madam Sonika who is actually one of a kind. I mean, you don’t always see a teacher give her students a mini tea party because they’re tired from working. You don’t always see a teacher give her students a chocolate each with a supportive message. You don’t always see a teacher giving her twenty six students a pen refill and a pencil each with their name on it. Thank you mam, for being not only a biology teacher, but a parent, a sister, a friend… To us, you are the world’s best class teacher and will always be. I don’t think I can imagine life at school without you to support us all the way.

Even if we were so demotivated and difficult to deal with, you never gave up on us and it is thanks to you that we are here today as proud graduates. 

Okay, I’ve thanked the teachers. But honestly? The most important people we have to thank are each other. From all the times we got into trouble to all the crazily funny moments, all the tests we forgot to study for and all the homework we didn’t do. All the rules we’d “bend”. We went through everything together. We didn’t exactly have that sense of unity back then, but when you look back on the memories, you’ll realize that stuff is more important in life than all we’ve learnt from books and tests. After all, it is the lessons we learn through memories that actually shapes our lives in the future.

On that note, remember when the entire class got a punishment just because Tenpa played with a snowball? We were deprived of our HPE class and everyone was so mad, but then later mam Sonika felt sorry and forgave us.

Remember all the nicknames we had for each other? No one in the class was left behind. We got used to some of our nicknames so much that the person’s real name started to sound weird after a while.

Remember the farewell thrown by the same people who threw our graduation ceremony today? When the chicken song suddeny started playing and all of us laughed because we got the joke, but then some teachers didn’t and they looked so blank it was even funnier.

Thank you for all the memories. Even if we didn’t go for the trip to Laya or the annual class tens’ camping trip, we still managed to make the year pretty meaningful. No, scratch that. It was really meaningful.

Nine years ago I was excited for my first day here at Druk School but I had no idea about the implications of the journey I was about to begin. I had no idea that after first grade there would be a second grade and third grade and so on. I was just excited to be in first grade.

Today, I know that I am standing on the brink of my future- the first day of the rest of my life.

Some of us here today, including our parents, are wondering how our lives are going to turn out. It is okay to wonder but, I also think it is important to realize that our future is not just something that happens to us, It is up to us to create.

So, fellow graduates, I urge you today to embrace the opportunity before you. Take what you have learned, not only through books, throughout the last eleven years and put it to good use.

Bring forward with you the lessons that will be the working parts of your greatest invention ever- your life! Congratulations!

Monday, January 1, 2018

A letter to myself to jumpstart 2018!

Dear Gayatri Bhandari

For sure the year 2017 was very memorable for you. Thus, I would like to make a special announcement here. There can’t be better year than 2017 to start a sacred journey of writing a letter to you on the first day of each commencing year henceforth. Through the letter I would like to share my observations about how you justified the various roles you were deem to play as a responsible human being during the year 2017. Now without any further delay allow me to share.  

After leaving Trashi Yangtse in December 2011 you could meet again in 2017, though through Facebook, with all your students of Lichen Community Primary School where you had first begun your teaching career in the spring of 2010 and 2011. You must have given to the community more than you were paid for. The children had send Facebook friend request and you were ever ready to press the ‘Confirm’ button to accept their requests. Gayatri, the children that you had the privilege to teach have cherished each moment they had spent with you. Your genuine support lured them to connect with you after 6 years at least on the virtual world of Facebook and Messenger to know your whereabouts. They havn’t forgoten you. This only testifies that you had given your best in rendering your service as a teacher in a remote school. Life is rich if memories are. Cherish them. Treasure them.

The same spirit of contribution was seen in delivery of your duty in 2017. The preceding years were equally good but something more happened in 2017. It was a very successful academic year with many new initiates being institutionalized. With strong support from your teacher colleagues you could greatly involve yourself in conducting ‘Flag Day’ celebration, observing International Literacy Day, publication of School Magazine and conducting Mobile Film Competition. You got to thank enough the beautiful people you are blessed to be associated with. My best wishes for 2018 academic year friend!

This part of your story made me feel happy. Why? You had already spent seven long years and I didn’t want to see you leaving. I believe there is more that you can give. I am happy because you were also proactive in solidifying your career as an educationist in 2017. You wanted to earn a Teacher certification through your enrollment in Post Graduate Diploma in Education Course at Samtse College of Education. Because of the decision you made a year ago you have become better teacher today. Keep moving forward. Life will give you more if you give out more! 
The next two are milestones of your good life so far. 

It isn’t Tom, Dick and Harry’s cup of tea to write a book and get it published too. You could do it. And I am so proud of you. Friend, though it never could be a best seller as of now, you should always take pride for giving shape to your imagination in the form of a book. Hundreds of people only plan to write a book. 

I know the Proprietor of DSB Enterprise Mr. BP Bhatarai was generous enough to help you with the printing cost of the book but it was you who had put in all your creative juice to transform words and sentences into a story to share with the world. To help show a way to the lost ones. To make believe that gangsters and drug addicts need our support and intervention and not our swearing and ignorance. Your book entitled Eight: Nyingtob Tshering’s Amazing Journey couldn’t captivate the imagination of Bhutanese readers at large but you did what was right. A humble attempt from your side to correct the incorrect world. A personal legacy to be proud of. Don’t listen to the clatter of the world. It will test your patience and will leave no stone unturned to pull you down. You got to keep writing. Till the world gives you the due attention. Till the clatters are only in favor of you and your work. Till the world willingly give in or buy your idea.

Gayatri, I was very impressed while assessing the responsibilities you undertook and the very mindful decisions you made in your process of becoming a good father and a loving husband that you always dreamt of. Yes I am using the term ‘Process’ deliberately here because I know a lot of planning has gone into before you and Tara decided to be parents. Financial stability was number one priority. Only you and Tara understand it better. Thus collectively you and Tara had decided to put aside a special amount of money each month so you people could lavishly spend during the post-delivery period. That’s being wise and smart parents. Keep doing the best. 

For the following 9 months after Tara became pregnant I saw you responsibly taking care of what Tara should eat and what else she shouldn’t. The new sets of clothes for her to wear and the healthy and right fruits and vegetables to eat. From what good thoughts to think to what habits to avoid you were there to help her out. You didn’t let Tara do any household chores. You gave the best that you could. In fact you took more care of Tara during that beautiful 9 months and had often behaved like you had fallen in love with her again. That’s how it should be. You did what any loving husband should do during that period and you have passed the test with flying colors. And now like a real man you have been taking up responsibilities of a father. Both Tara and Yashayr are doing fine. Hats off friend. I am simply speechless. Keep rocking.

2018 is a brand new set of 360 plus days. Play tactfully! I should say. Yet you have to be humane in all roles you play. Keep showing gratitude. Always be humble.  Never give in or give up. Remain motivated and keep inspiring others. Be a caring son, best brother, a loving dad and husband, resourceful teacher and a responsible citizen.

With a promise that you would live your life fruitfully by making the best of all moments life has to offer you, allow me to take leave for now to meet you again on the first day of 2019! 


Give us a Hospital and a school in Hangay, Kalimati AKA Sengaygang: A Compensation payment for ‘zoo keeping’ the wild-elephants.

Past 20 or so years residents of my village and the neighboring villages namely Peljorling, Balbotay, Namgaycholing, GhaNgatey, Norjangsa ...