|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.
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 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.