Thursday, September 20, 2012

This is it - An anecdote of my city.

My city Thimphu is apparently beautiful and the night view of the city from Kuenselphodrang Park resembles a heavenly place-The tapestry of beauty.
Thimphu City at Night

The streets in the daylight are spick and span. The window panes, glass doors and tile floors of shops across the city shimmers with glow. The shiny expensive cars zoom in and zoom out, people wear trendy clothes and apply fancy perfumes and warm their feet with branded shoes. Yes, Thimphu is beautiful but as they say, beauty is only skin deep. I wish it weren’t the way it is. But…..This is it!
Street of Thimphu

We do a lot of things in Thimphu...But for few things we do don’t have personal reasons, of many we don't care whether it really serves own our purpose and then a large amount of things we do is done for the sake of the society so we r welcomed and accepted willingly as a part of it.

The Three Es- Ego, Embarrassment and Envy; the Engine parts that run this city re-write our character and life the day we start living in this place- often for good but in many cases for worse.

The following is the change seen in a man’s life. These events don’t restrict itself to Pelden’s life only. It inspires to depict the way we change as we continue to live here.

Pelden Chodra has been living in Thimphu since January, 2012. His otherwise dogmatic nature to respect and to preserve our Bhutanese culture and tradition has started to lose its ground. His personality started to change drastically. He is no more the self-proclaimed savior of our rich cultural and traditional ethos that is on the verge of vanishing. He felt alienated in upholding it and decided to change for self-good in the face of the fast changing community.

The Man, who never took off his chupa in his entire life suddenly started to wear tight jeans, changed his hair style to some latest Korean hairdo and takes immense pride in putting on a pair of cow boy boots.  

He stopped listening to neoclassical Bhutanese music-the sentimental tune of flute, the soothing effects of yangchen and the endless melody of dranang. No wonder! He is now into heavy metal and occasionally seen humming country songs to exhibit classy side of him to his friends and colleagues.

Bars and Night clubs are now a haven for him. Ara and bangchang (local alcohol) are nowhere to be seen in his menu. Bhutanese ‘Special courier’, K5 or some foreign brandy would only quench his thirst. He loves to swing his hips and roll his eyes hearing a saxophone play and he does a lot of head banging when drum and electric guitar starts to play.

He never wanted to go to this extend but he didn’t like to be a-part from everyone else too. What on earth could he do now? So, he concentrates in doing what is easy for him yet appealing for others and not necessarily for his own happiness.

When he wants to drink he won't dare pick up cheap drinks and when he is hungry he would unwillingly munch hamburgers, pizzas and sandwiches to belong and to taste Thimphu’s neo- lifestyle.

He has already purchased a ticket to Bangkok and has well-planned out a weeklong vacation there. He has made a long shopping list and places to visit.  In fact,  he could have arranged a visit to Phuentsholing, a bordering town in the south, to shop but it would make him seemingly cheap to his friends and neighbors in Thimphu as everyone here visits Bangkok, a foreign land, though for the same purpose.
DrukAir flying to Bangkok

He has filed some documents to avail loan so he could buy a car soon. In the beginning, Pelden use to walk to his office but slowly it started to embarrass him when he realized that he is the only one walking. And his Ego got badly hurt when he was offered a lift or two.

Pelden Chodra was the man who did forgive the culprits who stole all his belongings while returning from his grandmother’s funeral. But now, he has lost his righteousness to forgive. He has bought a new radical belief in him that says ‘revenge is the only option to forgive others’. He has also become difficult at office when people come to avail services. He thinks that being able to work in Thimphu qualifies him for more dignity, respect and politeness on the part of the customers coming to him.

His renewed Ego and the sense of heightened Embarrassment now doesn't allow him to stand and wait in the long queues at JDWNRH to meet doctors. He has figured it out for this too. He envy people who goes to the Private health clinics in the city so he makes an appointment for himself to simply feel as elites.

The place has made him look rich but his soul has already degraded. He often finds himself unhappy and confused. He somehow keeps the tempo of his present life in tune with others. He needs to appear rich, modern and yet classy for that only matters the most in the city he lives in.

Surprisingly, the only best thing that happened to Pelden Choden after his remarkable metamorphosis is his long lost affair getting hot again with Syelden Rewa Wangchuck. This time around she gets thrilled to find a new Pelden Chodra in him. The glitters that shines on Pelden Chodra now made him appear more like a gold. The glow of whatever that glitters on Pelden Chodra made Syelden instantly fall for him. Pelden also had received a lot of marriage proposals but decides to hold Syelden’s hand at least for now.

No blames to her for not accepting him earlier. The faded and dull things often get neglected here. This is it! In the big picture where everything shimmers, it’s obvious a pinch of dust will be puffed out soon-either out of love for the picture or hatred towards the dust.


  1. Beautiful snapshots, do you have anymore to post?

    -Solomon Berkovitch

  2. Wow, the pictures are amazing.
    Bhutan is such a heavenly place to live in.
    I miss home.


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