Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Crematorium more for the Living.

The coming of a crematorium made my fellow villagers happy because now they will have a proper shelter to cremate the dead. They will no longer have to stay under heavy rain while burning the deceased. The problem of corpse unable to burn completely into ashes will not be a problem anymore. 

But the villagers have been paying the price worth more than their comfort.
Crematorium along the bank of Sipsu River

The crematorium built beside Sipsu River near my village (Hangay) is a story of “Poor Morality”. Why? Please continue reading…..

The location of the crematorium depicts sheer negligence on the part of the concern authorities involved in the construction of the crematorium. They didn't have the basic commonsense or an ability to foresee some negative impacts of the crematorium considering its location.

Needless to say, the cleaning of the crematorium drains the dirty water into Sipsu River. It is the easiest and the only way for the caretaker to deposit the waste.

The river, as a source of drinking water for the villagers, has been a life line for ages. Now people cannot fetch the water for domestic use anymore whenever the water pipes installed by the Local Government run dry.

 Even more scary and sadden aspect of the crematorium than the water crisis is the smelly smoke that invade alters and rooms of the community where touching/eating meat is ethically and religiously unaccepted.

The only logical reason behind construction of the crematorium at the present location might be to make it more close to the main road but Crematoriums are not Hospitals!

The benefit derived from the crematorium has become minimal due to the negative impacts it have on the immediate water source and the sanctity of our small village. The crematorium in all measure is a good initiative by the Local Government but the present location is both debatable and questionable.

The immediate solution I see as a responsible citizen and as a member of the village is that the crematorium needs to be relocated at the extreme end of the Sipsu River.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happiness doesn't have a place.

On the Happiness Day 
On Wednesday, 20th March, 2013, HAPPINESS was all ours. We, as a nation, had celebrated International Happiness Day. It was a perfect sunny day. The weather was indeed synonymous to happiness. 

Family dining in a restaurant on The International Happiness Day
Norzin Lam, the main street of Thimphu City was closed for the traffic. The street was filled with activities. The nearby restaurant owners had erected food stalls with “happiness menu” tag posted on the top corner of their menu list. Songs of our latest Blockbusters blared across the street. The dancers entertained the onlookers. The clock tower had its own share of entertainment. And the people of Thimphu walked along the street enjoying the day to celebrate happiness.
The Time Square of Thimphu

The Boulevard of Thimphu (Norzin Lam)
From the innocent villagers of the far flung villages to the elite and snobbish group of people in our capital city, we, as Bhutanese know how to celebrate happiness. That’s for sure. We forget everything when we are in the mood of celebration. We sing, we dance and then we drink a lot! We live in the moment. We don’t make a point to discuss an issue of concern when we are all for celebration. We just don’t worry at all! We just cannot afford to do so because we are happy and would only like to be happier.

Though our country doesn’t have the military strength or the economic might to boost our patriotism but we have enough of other elements to be proud off. We had and have great kings. We have rich culture and tradition, pristine natural environment and we still have community vitality; we still rely and visit our neighbors often. We contribute and support any initiative in a locality. We come together in times of need and we mourn together on our common loss. We have ample reasons to be happy and to celebrate as a nation.

But the recent developments in the economic and political scenario of our country are quite baffling. These are the issues that would not be so easily taken aside. From the gasoline price to the international border disputes in the north, the online viral information about our first set of politicians being corrupt and the economic crisis make up too big a chunk to gobble down. I believe Bhutanese have never faced anything so alarming than the current situation. I believe we were never so worried!

Where have we gone wrong as citizens of this wonderful Nation? “Everything seemed OK before 2008”, remarks my close friend with deep lament. Where did we fail as citizens? Now, all said and done, we are yet again offered a choice to make! It’s the decision that will make or mar the already worsened situation. Coming 13th of July is the D-DAY for all of us. CHANGE is GOOD and CHANGE is at least certain to come in my constituency this fall.

Yesterday, I received a telephonic call from Lichen village in Trashiyangtse where I was once a community teacher. The callers on the other end were two mothers of my ex-students inquiring about my whereabouts and requesting me to visit their village someday along with my wife. In their limited Dzongkha and with their odd accent they informed me about a list of things they would present us if we happen to visit them.  Unaware of the latest developments, their excitement on hearing about my marriage and then the unending happiness that prelude in their voice simply touched me. 

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