Thursday, September 21, 2017

Funny yet wired dream!

The previous night I had a dream. It was funny yet wired dream. Let me narrate the dream in nutshell.

I see an elderly woman standing as firm as a rock on the staircase. It must be at Dochula Druk Wangyel momerial site. I could see Chortens akin to the site. It must be also foggy too because the Chortens in the background was not clearly visible. The whole backgroud was blur to be precise. 

The lady had worn a syndicated kira with flowery patterns engraved on it. Her face adorn with lines of wisdom and rich experience. I instantly assumed.

She is seen assisted by two other young ladies to climb down the staircase. These two young ladies  were perfect in what they did. With great love and grace,  holding her hands and helping her step down towards the lawn.

Then i notice something funny. This seriously looking woman has worn a pair of fancy canvass shoes. It was blue and white coloured. With trendy laces. The funny part? One of the shoes was very very large and the other was of the normal size which perfectly fits her other foot.

Then I find myself waiting to receive this lady. She approaches closer. Closer enough now that she starts to talk with me. She informs me that I always misspelled the word 'humble'. The lady corrects me that I shouldn't spell it as "humbel" but instead spell it correctly. 

Thus with abrupt ending the funny yet wired dream comes to an end.

Interpretation? 

Misspelled: Have I stopped being humble? Was I made to realize this truth? I don't know. But one thing is clear. I must  remain a humble person no matter whatsoever dreams I have to dream again!

Large sized shoe: I assume that they elderly lady is burdened with huge responsibility. Or some worries? Or name and reputation to hold up? It could also mean incomplete project/endeavour to attain so both the shoes bulge into same sized.

Trendy shoes with laces: she is an elderly woman but she is blessed with sense of creativity and is a very critical thinker.

The lady must be indirectly telling me to be part of her endeavour shouldering responsibilities or incomplete project or worries for that matter. The only requirement on my part is to remain humble! This is the best interpretation I like to take home.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

That joyful day- A romantic poem straight From my middle school notepad.


I remember that joyful day
Where hearts were shining gay
The souls and minds were wheeling around
In the world of romance with the mutter sound

So graceful her figure, so lovely her face
She is the best among the rest
For whom I will bring soon
The heaven's brightest moon

So interesting her way of conciliatory 
And so sweet her voice
She inquist about my life
But everything was not possible in this short period of alive
For she I will pluck the flower rose
And arrange them on her body in rows

We were sitting beneath a tree
And we felt the passing of breeze
We were lonely on that land
And we piled our hand over hand

The air was polluted by the words of love and Lord
And we were kissing and nuzzling a lot
The flower around us bloosmed out of season
What we did was the main reason

Her strong kisses dazzled head of mine
Like an innocent man dazzled by a cup of wine
Our untold romance carried on as a ride
And we neglect to stop and hide

Her nuzzles disturbed me yet the tumult grew
That small lips could bear it, I knew
The lips were exchanging the termless views
And I could bear it more, I knew

We felt elated by that permanence 
And we were proud of our performance


Written in spring of 2000.
Class 10 
Phuntsholing Higher Secoundary School.

Friday, September 8, 2017

"Mobile film competition" at Druk School to celebrate International literacy Day!

Exactly  a month ago Druk school celebrated the unofficially the official National Flag Day on 8th August. Today on  8th September we celebrated International Literacy Day.

September 8th was declared International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Celebrations take place in several countries.

The Rationale behind the day being observed is because of the following reasons:

"Some 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults are still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 60.7 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or are drop outs."

This year, International Literacy Day is being celebrated across the world under the theme of 'Literacy in a digital world'.

At Druk School, the students of classes pp-6 today submitted their mobile films- A digital Book Talk under the theme "I read a book".The mobile films were to be screened in our MP Hall as part of International Literacy Day Celebration.

The children were instructed to read a book of their choice and do a book talk and then have it get recorded on mobile camera.

There were more than 60 entries from our students for the special screening.

The celebration also included many other programmes.Speeches  were delivered to mark the day.

The highlight of the day was the two short skits performed by class 9 and 6 students .




Class nine students staged their short play showcasing the  importance of literacy. And through their silent skit, class vi students shared how illiterate and literate persons' approach towards solving issues at hand. It was a mute play. No dialogue deliveries but communicate through act and with help of words and phrases written on cardboard for display.

"Literate will understand and illiterate will judge" was the bottom line of their performance.




Both the groups were brilliant in conveying how important the literacy skills are and has become even more important now. Miss Sherab Wangmo and Lopen Chado  were the teacher coordinators for the skits. Hats off teacher colleagues. You guys are awesome!

The skits were followed by one long hour of Drawing and painting activities for the children with the theme "Importance of literacy".



The programme was conclusively ended with the much awaited event. The Screening of the Mobile Films. Children really enjoyed watching themselves on the big screen doing the book talk. 

From this year Literary month of Druk School will start with Flag Day Celebration on 8th of August and end on 8th September by celebrating International Literacy Day. It can't be better than this!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wisdom I acquired from my wife’s Pregnancy

“Pregnancy Mentality” is the term I refer to the list of nine insights I was made to relearn after my wife got pregnant. The revelation of wisdom continues after birth too. I am here sharing in this post what I have relearnt.
Through this post I shall also inform you that how important and necessary it is to live our life with "Pregnancy Mentality". Why "Pregnancy Mentality"? Because Pregnancy and Life have similar demands and they need to be addressed with equal wisdom and dignity. Pregnancy taught me a lot. Folks! Are you also ready to relearn?

In this age of technology, with so much to pay attention to and a lot of distractions to tackle with, I find pure wisdom in living one’s life with "Pregnancy Mentality".

First let’s clearly define what 'Pregnancy Mentality' means? It's nothing but an approach of thinking and behavioral changes one exhibits during a planned Pregnancy. The husband is equally susceptible for change because the planned Pregnancy is like a joint venture happily endorsed to be worked out and monitored together to harvest its best of best  fruits.  

While in pregnancy a woman’s world changes so does her husband’s. The following are a set of wisdom which makes up the "Pregnancy Mentality" with which a couple steer their nine months journey. If this ‘mentality’ is inculcated one may also live a fruitful Life.

                                      

1. Every moment is precious: During planned Pregnancy we tend to be mindful of every minute. We take a lot of pictures celebrating togetherness, take pictures of the baby bump grow bigger each passing week and even write diary entries to mark every special moment: The positive test shown on the pregnancy testing kit, the first kick of the baby, the numerous shopping…to list a few. 

Similarly, you got to live only one life thus every moment is that precious. As the old adage says, ‘Live your life a King Size’. Remember this, we shall never come back. We got to do what we want to do and leave a legacy behind.  

2. You have full control over your diet: Ovia pregnancy mobile app did wonder for us. My wife Tara and I made best use of the app during her pregnancy period.

Search it in the Playstore. Mark my words...it was and it is still useful app after the pregnancy too. 
                                       
The Mobile App recommends which vegetables, fruits and nuts to eat on weekly basis as required and needed for the baby to grow well. The app also instructs us what not to do, eat/drink. (I shall strongly recommend the App for couples who are in the process of planning to have a baby.)

In real life too, it’s that important to control diet so to lead a healthy life. Heart related diseases, obesity and Blood pressure are a few diseases we can keep under control if we monitor our diet. 

 3. Exercise is of great importance: During pregnancy exercise becomes very important to keep the mother’s metabolism strong and for efficient circulation of blood. Regular exercise builds strong muscles and bones which become ever more important as mother gradually gains weight. And this accumulated merits is all for the healthy growth of the bun in the oven.

It's needless to say how important has regular exercise in life has also become now. Many lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetics and obesity is caused due to lack of exercise.   

4. Be a complete resilient: Nine months of taking care of oneself, refraining from unsuitable activities and doing and eating only what is best for oneself and for the baby requires unprecedented resilience.

To achieve something big in life too we have to be resilient enough to tackle and overcome all obstacles in our life. We won’t be able to make it if we are not focused and resilient enough. 

5. Public relation becomes paramount importance: World is a global community thus we need people to people contact to make things happen.

Your relationship with your colleagues, friends, other family members and relatives becomes ever more important during times of need. Pregnancy is one such delicate event where constant support and guidance is of paramount importance.

In life too, business and success in lot many ways can be also credited to the quality of one’s PR skills. Because at the end of the day if you know how to handle human beings(clients) and their emotions things fall in place without much effort. Business then will only flourish. Success then will only follow you.

                                           
6. Relationship must get better: During pregnancy more care and love is been showered to either spouse not just because the heat of the moment demands but it oozes out so naturally. As they say, “Love remains literally in the air” during pregnancy. Relationship is thus taken to the next level which only helps the couple to handle situations that will ensue. Good or bad.

In life we must also always value relationship with our spouse, siblings, close relatives and parents. Why? Because when rest of the world disagrees and neglects you, the close family members and your spouse will always be there for you to accept and welcome you with arms wide open.

7. Engage in prayers and positivity: While the bun is still in the oven, offering prayers and cultivating positivity within becomes the norm because we want everything to go well and we be blessed with a healthy baby.


Similarly in life too you need to always rely on prayers and always be positive. For life, as you may know, has its own way to teach us lessons.  

8. One becomes ultra-responsible: Both husband and wife becomes ever more responsible during and after pregnancy.  They take responsibility for one’s health, for baby's health and his/her overall growth. They will not leave any stone unturned to give the best they can so that they get the best they want.

Being responsible in one’s career and in life too is that important. Without a sense of being responsible a lot many opportunities, privileges and promotions may easily dodge you.

 9. Need to have patience: In life this skill comes handy. One has to have this because whatever we do we need patience. Enough of it to make things work or enough of it to wait for things to happen.
That's me doing laundry almost a month  before the due date in preparation for the grand arrival. 
Likewise, preparation and patience particularly are traits we must have in leaps and bounds before and during pregnancy. Nine months is a long period. Enough to test your patience!
                               
There you have it! The nine wisdom that makes up the “Pregnancy Mentality” which I learnt from my wife pregnancy.

Folks I wish to think that “Pregnancy Mentality” is not a theory or a concept: It is a living truth and thus a practical and equally beneficial behavioral approach to lead a productive and fruitful life. 

I shall end by sharing the line mentioned in the beginning that will surely sum up everything in one line: “Pregnancy and Life have similar demands and they need to be addressed with equal wisdom and dignity.” 

Glimpses of the Senior Concert: Druk School- 2017

With the Theme "Say No To Drugs", senior students of Druk school staged their programme. 

For past one month the students were allocated with one and half hour practise time to prepare their item. 

The show was witnessed by parents of students of VII to X graders. 

Pleasure to share with you the photographes of the concert.















Monday, August 28, 2017

Part II: Striking Similarities between Zhabdrung and Genghis Khan.


Continue from yesterday's post.....

7.Troublesome youth: When his father, a minor Chieftain died, Genghis khan succeeded his father in his early teen. But the tribe didnt support him. Though they were temporarily abandoned but they left for some other safer place.

Zhabdrung had also succeeded his grandfather as the abode of Ralung Monastry in Tibet in his early teen but soon a dispute over the reincarnation of Pema Karpo, a Buddhist scholar, led him to flee from Tibet for Bhutan. Tsang leader supported Paksang Wangpo as the real reincarnation and they rejected the popular believe of the people that Zhabdrung was indeed the real incarnation. Thus the Fear of losing his life he makes an immediate  exit for Bhutan. 

8.Very religious yet tolerant to many religions: There was freedom of religion in the warlord’s Kingdom. The Great Genghis Khan gave everyone the right to choose their religion because his empire was so large that consisted people who followed all major religions. 

In 1627, when two Portuguese Jesuits Fr. Casella and Fr. Cabral were on their way towards Tibet they met with Zhabdrung Rinpoche. Zhabdrung strongly encouraged them to stay and had even given them a room in Cheri Monastery to use it as a Chapel. They were allowed to preach the Christian faith to the locals which clearly indicates that he was an open minded person and someone who could tolerate other religions too.     

9.Highly respected as the Founding Father: They are highly revered as the founding fathers of their nation. Genghis Khans mighty statue is built in honor of the Great leader. The statue is located on the bank of Tuul River some 54 km east of the Mongolian Capital Ulaanbaatar.

And coming back home, the dead remains of Zhabdrung Rinpoche is preserved in a secluded temple inside the Punakha Dzong and is visited by kings and lay men alike in times of joy and difficulties to receive blessings and wisdom.  

                                             

When I was sharing this similarities with my history students one of them stood up to claim that Zhabdrung must have copied everything from Genghis Khan. I promptly replied, it could be also purely coincident because these two men lived in two different era. Mr. Khan in 13th century (1200s) and our Ngawang Namgyel during the 17th century (1600s). 

A student at the back requested me to share the differences. I replied by saying that there are but a few differences. Genghis Khan is credited for killing approximately 40 million people and we don't have any record suggesting such brutal nature of Zhabdrung. In fact he always used his spiritual powers than military might to bring enemies at home under his control.

The other different is that Zhabdrung married only once and history points out that he was very loyal and caring husband. Because when he made up his mind to enter into permanent retreat he arranges a suitable husband for his wife so she is not left all alone. On the other hand, the Great Genghis Khan never respected the institution of marriage. 

After conquering a state he would order his generals to bring the most beautiful women among the lot for him. This was a routine affair for the warlord. Thus he is also credited to have fathered many thousand children. One record suggest 36 million men from eastern Europe to eastern China trace their genes to one man: The Great  Genghis Khan as their sole ancestor

When the bell rang I still remember clearly that I reiterated the fact to the whole class that the discourse wasn't to compare the generals. They were great in their own rights and highly respected in their own countries. I said, ‘ …by no means I am comparing them but I am simply sharing with you all what appears to me as an interesting set of facts that depict striking similarities between the two Great Generals’. 


Photographs courtesy:  Concern copyright holders.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Striking Similarities: Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and The Great Genghis Khan.

This is a long overdue blogpost I desperately wanted to write. I could finally complete writing it this afternoon. The findings have been already shared with my history students at the beginning of this years academic session. It was intended to arouse interest and garner appreciation for history as a subject.  

I was  mesmerized when I realized that there are a lot of striking similarities between Genghis Khan and our very own Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Genghis Khan is a title so is Zhabdrung Rinpoche.  Zhabdrung Rinpoche means "At whose feet one submits" and the former title when translated would mean " Oceanic Ruler " or "universal Ruler".

So what are the similarities?

1.Similar Appearances: Digital (real) photographs are not available to confirm their similar facial feature but the narrations and the available sketches prove that both the gentlemen had long bushy beard which dangles loosely down till their torso. 


2.Political and cultural unification (and development): After both the leaders assumed full control over the country, they started consolidating their state by framing laws, ensuring equality and justice and developed culture and traditions.  

3.They had to leave the place of their origin: Zhabdrung, like Genghis Khan, left his place of origin and established himself in the foreign land where both of them could garner high respect and great recognition. Had they never leave their places, Zhabdrung would have been just known as the eighteenth abode of Ralung Monastry in Tibet and the Great Genghis Khan merely a Minor Chieftain of a small tribal people in Mongolia.
Ralung Monastery inTibet. 
  
4.Immensely Celebrated Military Generals: The life they lived was very rich as they had multiple task and roles to execute. But these two gentlemen find themselves surrounded in military engagement throughout their lives. Thus, they were first a military man and then a civilian. Historians call them military Generals!
Warriors of the Great Genghis Khan

Paazaps of Zhabdrung Rinpoche.

5.Almost Similar war Tactics: Genghis Khan and Zhabdrung had used similar war tactics. However Zhabdrungs intention was only for defense purposes while former opted for attack and defense purpose as well. 
While advancing towards enemy front, Genghis Khan's warriors would tie a small log at the tip of the tail of horses they rode. The log touching the ground would blow the dust in the air creating a dust storm giving enemies a sense that a huge army is advancing towards them. This caused many kingdoms and states to submit to the Great Genghis Khan.

                          
The warriors are instructed to form groups and take turn as they shoot arrows attacking their enemies. It assured continues and heavy attack on the enemy within a short span of time. The picture below may help you understand better.
When defending the borders of Bhutan against as many as six Tibetan invasions, Zhabdrung did use similar tricks to make believe the advancing Tibetans that a large number of Army is present to garrison the Drukgyel Dzong.

Hundreds of scare crow resembling Bhutanese armed personals were strategically placed in and around the Dzong. And the small Bhutanese Armed personals were instructed to enter the Dzong from the back door and then they had to show their presence in the Dzongs court yard and repeat the act continuously from dawn to dust so that it looks like a large army is awaited to give Tibetans a crushing defeat. History says, after the incident, the Tibetans never dared to come close to the garrisoned Dzong ever.

6.Their Mysterious death and stories related to it: Zhabdrung's death was kept as a secret for 59 years. We dont know exactly when he died. It is said that a handful of close associates were present when the death was made confirm after twelve years since he embarked into his permanent retreat in 1651.
Similar fate is being recorded of the Great Genghis Khan. While his dead body was escorted by his guards to an unknown location high in the mountains, the guards murdered the onlookers for it was Genghis Khans dead wish that his burial place shouldnt be known to anybody. 

To be continued......
  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Unofficially official National Flag Day Celebrated

Early afternoon of 8th August, after the programme got over, I had mailed enough photographs for a National news agency to telecast the programme but it was hold back owing to the ‘date’. 

The news agency said the date is not authentic as it is not reflected in our Government Calendar. Thus they wanted to have a research done on it first and then run the story. Fair enough I said. But I wish they should have looked into the objectives and intentions rather than fixing their eyes on the date.

Come on ....Every day is auspicious to celebrate our Nationhood for that matter. We don’t look for dates to thank our monarchs, pay tribute to our leaders and celebrate our achievements. Though 8th of August, according to my research, has its own valid reason to stand out as the auspicious day to mark it as our National Flag Day. 

According to Dasho Dr. Sonam Kinga and Dorji Penjore, His Majesty Jigme Wangchuck had initiated the design of our flag (The Origin and Description of The National Flag and National Anthem of The Kingdom of Bhutan, The Centre for Bhutan Studies, 2002) and was first made use of it during the signing of Indo Bhutan Treaty of 1949 on 8th ofAugust! 

The celebration at my school turn out to be an instrumental one in reinforcing and redirecting the essence of our age old culture and tradition, love and loyalty for our kings and our mother land. 





Indeed a momentous day celebrating our own Nationhood. With our National flag elegantly dancing in the air there was a sense of patriotic joy radiating profusely from the faces of our students and teacher colleagues. The ambience created by the songs, poems and hundreds of Flag fluttering together while National Anthem was sung gave million reasons to be proud of ourselves. All in all it reminded and help keep us all rooted to the core of who we are as Bhutanese: humble, caring, respectful and loving.    

Children were asked to bring Bhutanese cuisines of their choice for lunch and in the process they came to know the names, experienced the tastes and they learnt the origin of the cuisines. 













They were also instructed to bring and donate flower pots along with flowers to the school teaching them value of volunteerism, donation and to become environmentally conscious.

Songs of praise were sung and poems were recited to mark the day. The gathering was also informed about the reason and purpose to observe the day and they were also briefed on the detail of our National flag.

Commemorating Flag Day, the mid-term academic toppers were also presented with School souvenir as a token of acknowledgment for their hard work.


 As per the main stream media, there is a lot of cultural reinforcement Initiatives undertaken lately by different Schools across the country, various departments and our own esteemed Thrim Throm Education office. 

 From a teacher colleague of mine, I hear zulukha School and lately Changzamtok school have unanimously agreed that all lady staff of the schools would wear full kira at least once in a week. A fair arrangement to revive wearing full kira which with change of time had been side lined.

The other day I saw on BBS another story. All applauds to the Trashiyantse Dzongkhag Education office's humble attempt to re-orient teaching fraternity of the District with regard to our traditional Bhutanese dining custom using 'toray' and phob. The inclusion of summer vacation training camps for students to teach them about various traditional games and sports and not to forget; the esteemed Thromde Education Office requiring all schools to adhere to their infamous Tracksuit policy that they framed exhibits one prime goal-Preservation of culture and Tradition which is one of the pillars of Gross National Happiness.   

I know culture and tradition is of utmost importance. More importantly for Bhutan for reasons best known to ourselves. But how you stream line that matters. Rather than bulldozing ideas and propagating a list of "must dos" for schools which often result into unhealthy debates and blame game- I have a suggestion here.   

The Flag Day Celebration is culturally a thing of the western world so there is a tendency in our children to accept whole heartily, love it and enjoy the programme. The response for and the event held at my school was an unambiguously a successful one.  Thus, I see an opportunity to blend in all cultural aspects of our kingdom, be it cuisine, folktales, customs, textiles, sports, history, music and dance when we celebrate our National Flag Day- Because they say a National Flag Stands firmly to represent a  country! 

For event of this magnitude to happen across the country, I have this strong wish to see 8th of August on our Government Calendar marked as National Flag Day from next year. Concern authorities need to step forward to endorse and especially I would place an earnest appeal to Ministry of Education to take an active role to make this Day happen, for the benefit of all because we know schools play dynamic role to make or marr a society .

Why we should celebrate Flag Day:

  1: To remember our fallen heroes.

 2. To show gratitude to our monarchs.

  3: To relearn the flag's minute detail and its significance. 

4: To impart a sense of belongingness towards ones country.

 5: To celebrate our collective achievements as a nation.

 6: To revive some cultural essence and traditional etiquette by making children bring Bhutanese cuisines for lunch.

 7: To reinstall environmental consciousness among students through donation of flower pots to school. 

 8: Helping them understand the importance of nature.

 9: To inculcate the good virtue of charity and brotherhood.

 10: To inculcate the priceless values of Thanks giving, respect, love, care, gratitude, collaboration.

 What we could collectively enjoy and achieve on 8th of August as a school, a seat of learning, there is no reason why we shouldn't be celebrating the Flag Day next year (and every year to come) with greater zeal even if it doesn't make it on government calendar.

By the way, there was more than what my eyes could see….it’s my limited language skill and limited vocabulary that really couldn’t capture the real feelings and emotions we felt in the heat of celebrating the first ever Flag Day in my School( and perhaps  in the  Country).

Picture courtesy  (Some pictures) www.drukschool.com and teacher colleagues. 

Funny yet wired dream!

The previous night I had a dream. It was funny yet wired dream. Let me narrate the dream in nutshell. I see an elderly woman standing ...