Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Patient at Home

Pain is my invariable companion
My psyche resides with a pumping heart
Day and night I say sorry to everyone in my family
I feel twinge and numbness everywhere

Ah Ulcer.......Ulcer…..Ulcer…..Ah ah Ah
An asset- that keeps me tedious and unwell all the time
Where did you come from?
Leave me all alone and liberate me safely

Who has seen this life?
My journey is taken far away- over the valleys and over the hills
Wealth has nothing do with this drive
Is my life different? Do I really need to follow this Asset?

Shading tears (often) only hurt my family
I feel cheerless, I feel gloomy and shady after every second
Hope is one thing
That pushes me to count my days

I miss you chilli, I miss you oil and I really miss you spice
What should I do? And where should I go?
I feel brutal sting with this life 
Where is the taste?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life in the Trenches

First world War: 28 July 1914- 11 November 1918

Trench warfare is a structure for occupied fighting lines consisting largely of trenches in which troops are significantly protected from their enemies. A loophole is built into the parapet, to allow soldiers to watch their enemies without exposing their heads. Being in the trenches is hard for soldiers. Rats, lice, dysentery and trench foot make their lives miserable

Rats in black and brown infested the trenches in millions. Trench conditions are perfect for rats. Some soldiers suppose that the rats know when there is going to be a serious bombardment from the opponent lines, because rats always vanish minutes before an attack. Rats would crawl across the faces of the sleeping soldiers. The corpses, as well as the food leftovers that litter the trenches attract rats. Rats that gorge on human remains (such as eyes and liver of dead solider) would grow to the size of a cat (Harry Patch)

According to George Coppard, body lice are a never ending trouble. They breed in the joints of dirty clothing and cause men to itch continuously. So they suffer from lice bite that leaves blotchy red marks all over their bodies. Lice cause a fussy disease that begins suddenly with severe pain and high fever. Besides, men also suffer from Trench Foot, an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and unsanitary conditions. 

Death is a steady friend of soldiers. They have no time to bury the multitudes of corpse. So it is quite usual to sight unburied bodies every now and then. If they bury the corpses at all, it is their friends first, and then if the time permits, they bury the bodies of their enemies. According to some sources, latrines in the trenches are only 4-5 feet deep. Other problems like dysentery, unpleasant weather condition, shortage of food supply (towards the end), home sicknesses, depression, and continuous war make life in the trenches dreadful and impossible to forget.

  Picture source: Google Search

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Becoming a Monk: February, 1996

Dear readers,

I have many things to share about my early childhood days. This small anecdote is one of them. Actually, I am afraid it is cheerless. But all the same, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy ‘my little world’ and empathize with me. 
Just like you, I had many dreams in my life. When I was quite young I used to tell my mother that one fine day I will become a DCM Truck Driver or Dasho Dzongrub. But did I really fulfil my dream? I ask this question time and again. And I always get the same answer- No. No, I did not fulfil my dream. Who has seen the future? God perhaps has seen it. I didn’t.

Can a monk drive a DCM Truck or become a Dasho Dzongrub? It was beyond imagination, at least in those days. One has to study hard and get a lot of trainings to become somebody in his/her life. Day dreaming is one thing, but materializing those dreams are quite another. And almost everything starts with schooling. As I reminiscence over my bygone days, I am often strung with nostalgia and a sense of guilt as my parents struggled to see me through schooling system. Kadrinchey, Apa and Ama. What I am now is totally because of the sacrifices that you made for me, and the choices I made for myself.

But not so long ago, I decided to become a monk in Lhuentse Dzong. My parents wished me well. We assembled some basic things and packed them in a basket. I was ready. Monkhood was all I wanted. I was filled with joy and happiness. We started our journey and said goodbye to my village friends and neighbours. I had my cousins in Lhuentse Dzong. This fact excited me even more.

According to Dratshang norms, the total number of monks in the Dzong should be approximately 100 or 108. I ranked 130 on the admission list. So naturally, I was not recognized as a full-fledged monk. But I was lucky to receive ‘Wang’, ‘Lung’, ‘Thri Sum’ from His Holiness Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpochey who blessed us in the Dzong for 14 days. It was a grand ceremony indeed. But soon hustle and bustle in the dzong came to an end, and with it, my excitement too.

Life in Dzong took a different turn. I felt strange. I felt alienated. Day in and day out I agonized. My innocent heart ached with pain and tears simply oozed out of my eyes. I prostrated before Lord Buddha and said a humble prayer of remorse, “I am so sorry. I am not ready”. 

What is a monk? Did I become a monk? What did I do? Were my parents really happy with this? Did I find out another new world to become a DCM Truck driver or Dasho Dzongrub? It is beyond my comprehension. Who has seen the future anyway?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Laying under the Full Moon

I welcomed Full Moon,
In a respected compassion,
With a wish to shine forever in this Universe 

The night was so cool and peace,
I lay on my carpet, watching the full Moon constantly,
I felt cool and unsullied air passing by.

The sky was tranquil and so friendly,
With a luminous moonlight, bounded by innumerable stars,
I was contented to see the nature around.

Nearby the gate was the security guard,
Exhausted and snoring steadfastly,
The dogs came too, and slept besides him.

Little faraway is the University Tower,
With red lettered signal lights,
Blinking after every second as my eyes do

The flights were moving up and down,
With a stable velocity,
To accomplish their own destiny

The silence of the night,
Took me to my home country,
Where my parents, associations and beloved subsist

I asked my own soul, 
How far is my home country?
I cried for a moment, reason being far away

Ants of different sizes were consequently busy, 
Kissing here and there on my feet, thighs, and belly
Sending messages from one to another on their way

I sung many songs,
Of no particular tune,
I laughed and laughed, just laughed

The steady brightness of the Moonlight,
Remind me of my aging epoch,
Getting older and nearer to the graveyard

I said goodnight to the full Moon,
Goodnight to my home country,
And goodnight to my eyes

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My First Sight, 1998

Choden Primary School
Thimphu; Bhutan
7 March, 1998


My communications are few, yet my heart is authentic
I attain lot many friends in my existence, but not as spongy as you
I remember you in my life, because I never forget you
You know life receive story, and mind receive perception

I worship you from the earth till the moon
I shed tears for the age that you were almost mine
I cry for the recollections I have left behind
I whimper for the times I thought I had you in my life

Whenever you feel lonely, I will be there for you
Remember me, day and night
I will never shut my eyes, since you are there for me
Get nearer and be with me everlastingly

Life is too short to be taken seriously
Let us get the feelings in one time life
I belief that God above us is waiting for us
Without a beloved heart, is only a portion of flesh?

Just trust my dispatch
I will be waiting for your retort
Don’t modify your soul
Come and love me perpetually

Missing You Dear
With Unending Love

Kabesa Primary school
Punakha, 1998

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mythology Vs History

  • Mythology is minimally based on myths and fabricated stories, which cannot be systematically, demonstrate 
  • History is well recognized through the evidences which can be scientifically proved 
  • History is based on fact 
  • Mythology is based on famous tale 
  • Myths might encompass paranormal or supernatural elements, contain heroic figures and supernatural events 
  • History has its heroes, real characters and real achievements 
  • History explains, describes and analyses the truth 
  • Myths teach us moral lesson 
  • Myth is not always right 
  • History is not in 100% myth 
  • History attempts to describe events based on facts 
  • Mythology attempts to depict events related to speculation

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Desi Jigme Namgyal and Ashley Eden Mission (1862-1864 A. D).

Interactions in the 19th century between British India and the Kingdom of Bhutan

British had come to India as a trader and established their company rule in 1600 A. D. After gaining the political control (Battle of Plassey, 1757) over some prosperous states in India, they established their supremacy over the vast territories in India. The Company rule lasted until 1858 and it was taken directly by the British Raj and ruled up-to 1947. Through the trading and commercial policy of the British East India Company, the British Raj wanted to expand their control over the South Asia, South East Asia and Far East. The Mission under the leadership of Ashley Eden (1831-87), a British administrator, which was sent to Bhutan in 1862, had the following objectives and consequences in the Bhutanese History:

A. Objectives of the Mission:
  • To conclude a treaty of peace and friendship with Bhutan
  • Wish to resolve the outstanding problems of the Duars
  • To learn the military strength of Bhutan
  • Wanted to develop Bi-lateral relation with Bhutan
  • To set up free trade and commerce relation with Bhutan
  • Preferred to propagate the principles of Christianity in Bhutan
  • Intended to institute free trade relation with Tibet via Bhutan
  • To defend British India from future attack of the USSR (by establishing friendly relations with Bhutan and Tibet).
  • They were to study the situation of Bhutan (which would be easy to spy out the feasibility for the future military)
  • Failure of previous missions to Bhutan
B. Reactions and Failure of the Mission:
  • Talks at the tables were arranged and the draft treaty of the mission was rejected by the Desi Jigme Namgyal 
  • Jigme Namgyal refused to sign on the draft treaty and asked the mission to go back
  • The political condition in Bhutan was not steady and fit due to civil wars among the feudal lords in the country
  • For instance, Darlung Tobgye, the then Wangduephodrang Dzongpoen was very infuriated and irritably thrown the Doma which he had chewed in his own mouth on Sir Ashley Eden’s face.
  • The mission which was an uninvited and not gorgeous to the Bhutanese leaders was a failure one
  • Failure of the Mission led to the declaration of a series of Duar wars from 1864 to 1865.
  • Surrender of Assam and Bengal Duars to British government (after the Battle of Deothang, 27 January, 1865)

Further Reading: “The Emergence of Modern Bhutan. Jigme Namgyal’s life and career, 1825-1881” by Ashi Kezang Choden Dorji