Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life is not a popularity contest

(Pelden Chodra wrote this letter to Syeldon after he saw Syeldon  with the man who had French moustache and curly hair )

Dear Syeldon Rewa Wangchuck,

You won’t believe me….For last twenty-eight years I have been quiet busy making myself popular among friends, colleagues, relatives and strangers whom I have come across. I was and I am popular. But this status quo of popularity did come with a cost.

In my quest for popularity I have not been able to get what I actually wanted in my life or where I actually wanted to be. I have not been able to fully express my own feelings. I choked often when emotions overwhelmed me. I did hide my anger, frustration, disappointments to please and comfort others. I was too engrossed in making others happy that my own happiness always took a back seat. I have been too nice to all that I didn’t dare to say NO if I didn’t want something to do or wanted to happen. I was too busy gathering cheap praises and any flattering would bring smile on my face. I have been too emotional in living my life. I was too stupid to believe that life is a popularity contest.

A wise man once said, ‘Half of our life we figure how to live and in the other half we actually live’. I guess my time has finally arrived and I know, for whatever little good things that I did for you, you would now help me change for my betterment. See dear, I simply don't want to live a life of 14 year old boy in 28 year old body.

Syeldon, if we meet again someday I promise I won’t gaze at you with my loving eyes, hold your hands tenderly and ask you out for a date. On that day please don’t expect me to be the same old Pelden Chodra. You may not like the way I would approach or talk with you that fine day but I can’t help it. I have made up my mind and indeed I have already taken the first step by announcing this to you here. 

I need to be more practical in life. Emotions are good only in books and songs. You know, people take us for granted if we are too emotional in dealing with them. It only makes us look weak and people gallop to play tricks on us. I love to be just me (previous version) and I hate to change but I must change for good.

I always wished that I would fall in love with only one lady and would spend my entire life with her. When everything in my life seemed perfect; I got a job and I was working in the capital, you happened   suddenly. It was like icing on a cake. I was so damn happy. I envisioned every romantic moment that i would spend with you. I assured myself that I would love you so much that you would shed tears of joy. I promised myself that I would always comply with your commands, think your thoughts, dream your dreams, sing your songs and walk your talks. But this small wish of mine also didn’t get fulfilled due to my silly quest to become popular with you by being nice and easy.

I wish it isn’t at all true that you don’t think about me. I wish it isn’t true that you don’t miss me. I wish you haven’t walked too far away that you won’t be able to come back to me. I wish…I wish you understand and accept me the way I am. I wish I didn’t feel this need to change just to get the things that I wanted and you being special among all have made it more confusing.  I wish this madness for popularity doesn’t creep into my mind again. I wish my conscience stands solid and keeps on believing that Life is not a popularity contest.

Thanking You
Your well wisher
Pelden Chodra

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trekking along the Tiger's nest( Tak-tshang Monastery).

My sudden visit to Paro Takshang yesterday turn out to be special..The breath taking scenery of Takshang , the invaluable religious significance and the serenity of the precincts brought me closer to myself..i could hear my heart beating, I could feel my heart lighter as I smile and I felt that each breath that I took was cleansing my soul...Enjoy the glimpses from the Tiger Nest:

Monks walking down from Takshang Monastery to Paro Valley for some shopping

The scenery that truly moved me...

In the basement of the Great Taktsang Monastery..
A magnificent waterfall can be seen behind that chorten.

Glory of Guru

Gateway to purification
Monks climbing back to the Monastery with some ration
It was completely a different experience of pilgrimage for me....for you (foreigners), i bet it will be a life changing experience.......so COME VISIT OUR COUNTRY BHUTAN AND WALK TO THE GLORY OF GURU.....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aloo Chop and Youth Unemployment

‘What is this?’ i bet might have been also your expression on seeing this photograph because when one of my colleagues saw it she didn’t hesitate to tell me that the Aloo Chop (Potato Croquette) in the plate looks like shit!

Yesterday evening one of my friends took me in a small bar….not for drinks but to eat this shit alike Aloo Chop which he thinks are best sold in this shop in Thimphu and with it we also had aromatic masala tea in juice strained cups(the cups were also different in shape)…!

As my friend placed the order, I seated myself down in one of the corners. I scanned around to know this place more. It was my first visit. The observations simply stunt me.

The bartender seems half sleep because her hair was roughly tightened and she kept rubbing her eyes. The walls were dirt-strained. The window panes were oasis for spiders to net his web. The floor seems to have left unwashed for ages.  In addition to it, the floor was full of cigarette butts and the thick air inside this bar kept me stressed (office works) until I had a sip of the aromatic masala tea which de-stressed a bit so I could comprehend the situation ahead.

On our right side my hands landed on a pile of mattress and Chinese tagged cheap Indian blankets rolled up against the wall. On our left side near to the entrance, two young men were seated with three 11000 beer bottles in front of them. One more bottle was ordered when I ran my eyes on them.

One of them lit a cigarette and started puffing profusely. The other flips to the classified ad page of Kuensel. He stares on the page and quickly drops it down only to crumple it into a ball and tacks it in between the four empty beer bottles. The former passes the cigarette and unfolds the crumpled job classified Ad page. As he finished unfolding the page he jots down some phone numbers in his mobile. He then taps his friend on his back, stands up and pays the bill. As they exit I saw in their hands a file each with a lot of Xeroxed papers.

As soon as they leave then our much awaited Aloo Chop arrives with a wisp of steam. Looking at the shit alike Aloo Chop in front of me I couldn’t help but ponder over the issue of youth unemployment in our small country. The situation Reminiscent my own stage of unemployment just after I graduated, asked myself what meaning would they (unemployed youths) derive from the beautiful concept of Gross National Happiness and wondered who is more responsible; government or ourselves?

Amidst this confusion I coined this expression in my mind, “This Aloo Chop and the Youth Unemployment in our country is like a shit! Nobody likes it and nobody likes to talk about it either”. And I said to myself, ‘forget it, concentrate on the Aloo Chop and enjoy this moment in this weird bar because you are not visiting and eating this even more weird Aloo Chop ever again ”!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We Do Mind our Language

The other day I was watching the popular TV series “Mind Your Language” ,a Stuart Allen production, in which different nationalities around the globe have enrolled themselves to learn how to speak in English; the misuse of English phrases (for instance; OVER HANG for HANG OVER..hehehe), their sincere attempt to explain things in English flavored with their peculiar ethnic accent provided me with endless laughter…

Thimphu, my city, does have a piece of it to thrill me every day. Though English is not the only medium of communication here and it is also not a classroom oriented event like the TV series mentioned above but the following anecdotes are about different languages we as Bhutanese use as per our profession and the hierarchy of social status.

As Per Profession:

A lot of Directors, technicians and artists working under the Bhutanese Film fraternity whom I met during my brief attachment were fond of speaking Hindi language to discourse during their MAKINGs. I believe speaking Hindi infuses that creativity in them while making a movie (Truth: All Bhutanese grew up watching Bollyhood movies).

The meat dealers, pan (betel nut) dealers, drivers, guards, linemen and other blue colored job holders often lavishly use few English words like ‘Lovely’, ‘OK’, ‘Beauty’ to express their appreciations. ‘Lovely’, ‘OK’, ‘Beauty’ are key words used to applaud their colleagues A+ job done, used flirtingly while teasing girls along Norzin Lam(Main street in Thimphu) and on appreciating each small happy moment in their difficult lives.

As Per Social Hierarchy:

The upper class families snobbishly speak in English and play golf. It is a self imposed prerogative to go well with the goods they consume every day. From the rice they eat to the cars they drive are all FOREIGN (South Asian Countries excluded) MADE! Interestingly, apart speaking English the upper class southern Bhutanese love to speak in Dzongkha to uphold their high status.

And the middle class families are usually found merging three languages- Nepali, sharchokpa kha (eastern dialect) and Dzongkha together to communicate with each other.  Surprisingly, a lot of native Bhutanese love to speak in Nepali.

The candidates in Mr. Brown’s English class had a common goal to learn English despite their ethnicity. We Bhutanese do mind our language not necessarily to learn it but to portray where we are, where we wish to belong and where we want to……..  Funny, right?

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&#...