Friday, August 19, 2016

Busy Life!

We miss out on so many small things around us when we are busy with our LIFE. I just realized this when I looked out from my balcony this morning. 

I woke up at 6 and made my coffee and sat on a small wooden chair at the balcony. I was just taking a deep breath and enjoying the morning view with sip of hot strong coffee. The morning view is always amazing from where I am sitting, but lately I have not been able to enjoy this moment because of my “new work schedule.” I am working late nights and waking up quite late in the mornings. I hardly get time to sit and take rest because I will always find something to do, even in free time. But today was different! It was Sunday and I woke up quite early. I had nothing to do, literally. I had done all my chores the other day – laundry, cleaning, dishes, garbage, etc. So I had Sunday free for myself. I can choose to do anything I wanted but I chose to stay at home. Home is also one of my favorite hangout places.

So I am at balcony, sipping coffee from my mug and enjoying the view. What I saw next totally surprised me. The owner of the building, where I am currently living, has a small apple orchard behind the building. What I failed to observe all this time was that the apple tree had already bore fruits, and they were LOVELY. Seeing all those red fresh fruits hanging on branches made me ask to myself: How the hell in the world I didn’t notice this? Nobody would have missed such a sight. I bet all the tenants living in the building would have already seen it. They would have seen it through their windows if not their balcony. I was 100% sure that I was the last unlucky person to see it now.

So, I was not able to grasp the idea how I might have missed such a beautiful sight which is just below my balcony. I interrogated myself repeatedly in my head HOW? HOW? HOW?

And after interrogating myself for a long time I came to a conclusion. The conclusion was I was too busy with life and I forgot to see or enjoy things around me.

This is just one example, but I know that I have missed on so many things in my life – family, relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, people, and so many other things.

My mom always said, “At the end of the day, the time you spend with your family and friends will always account more than anything in life.” So the lesson here is make time for your family, friends, colleagues, relatives, etc., no matter how busy you are.

Call your mom, call your dad, call your friends, say hi to a stranger, take time to go to parks, go to dinner, invite your friends over, take a walk, go jogging, go picnic with friends, and make some time for others in your life. Otherwise, you might also miss that beautiful sight of apple tree.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Infrequent Blogger, Me

Hello, readers! First of all, I would like to apologize for not writing for so long. Although I was meaning to write a new post for a very long time, I couldn’t because so much has happened in past four months in my life. First, I got a new job in Thimphu – I am working for a corporate company now. Second, I moved into a new apartment at Olakha. Third, I am learning to develop android apps online. Fourth, I am planning on starting a business very soon (currently working on business plans, capital, etc.). Fifth, I am assigned overtime work at office where I work till 9 in the evening. So, as you can see, I am juggling with lot of things. Most of my hours are spent on these five major decisions I have taken. As a result, I had to make few changes in my life, reluctantly.
Now I don’t get time to read books as much as I used to. In the past, I used to read at least 2 books a month on average. Today, I read almost 1 book in two months on average. By the way, I am going to read more books once I finish my overtime work. And to save money on books I have also ordered kindle to read eBooks (also save trees).
My habit of jogging early in the morning has also completely stopped – probably because I have stopped waking up early. I get so tired after my overtime work I directly go to my bed for a long goodnight sleep. When I open my eyes it’s already 7 in the morning. So no jogging, too late for jogging.
As you all know, I am not a frequent blogger like many of my colleagues and other Bhutanese bloggers. I rarely post any articles on my blog and more rarely I interact with my readers. Because of my current work schedule my blogging situation has become more dire and infrequent. Of course I have interest to write but somehow I am not able to write as often as I would like to.
As you can see, I have so many excuses why I am not able to do that, that, that, etc. But I am sure I will get hang of my new life schedule very soon and continue my reading and writing habit. I hope you will be around to read my next article. And thank you for being with me for all this time.
As you are reading this article, you might find more grammatical errors or typos than usual because I have just written this article on my lunch time in less than 6 minutes. Also, I didn’t edit or re-read to make necessary corrections, so please bear with all the mistakes if you had encountered.

That’s all for today. See you in next post. Bye, bye!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Language Preservation or Language Conservation?

I was just going through my favorite list of blogs and I happened to read something really interesting. So I thought I should share with you guys, too.

What it basically says: We should stop speaking of “language preservation” and start using “language conservation.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Do You Miss Your College Life?

A friend of mine asked me the other day, “Do you miss your college life?” I was immediately taken aback when I heard it because I didn’t know how to respond to this. I simply said, “I do sometimes,” with pretend smile on my face. He, of course, had a very long answer when I asked him back same question. After I reached to my apartment, I started to wonder if I really miss my college life. I never thought about it since I graduated from the college; it has almost been a year since I graduated – it’s exactly 359 days, but hey, who is counting?

I have never wondered or thought about my college life because I was always occupied with office works and other non-office works. To put it mildly, I never got time to think about it at all. Yes, many of my friends have accused me of being busy all the time, and forgetful of all the fun things we did together. I guess they are right. I must be busy and forgetful as all my friends agree on this issue unanimously. Guilty as charged. 

But do I really miss my college life? Ummm…

Let’s start with my college roommates.

Yes, I do miss my roommates when I come back from work and reach my empty apartment – because I live on my own and there is no one to have fun with. Both my roommates are quite far away from here (Thimphu), but one of my roommates occasionally makes a visit here and we get to meet and talk a lot. My other roommate, who is in Bangkok, is always busy with his office works and we only get to Skype when he is free.

Ugyen who is in Bangkok has a Computer Science degree just like me, and he has also acted in couple of Bhutanese movies before. He is a very interesting guy; the way he looks, the way he dresses, the way he acts, the way he speaks… everything about him is unusual and worth observing. He makes every situation funny and interesting when he is in the class or in dormitory.

My other friend Rada, who is currently in Wangdue, has an Architectural degree, and he is a big, big, big… probably biggest fan of Bollywood. He has all the info about every celebrity in Bollywood. He keeps updates on all the gossips and rumors surrounding every actor and actress. When he is done with that, he watches and reads all the Indian news and channels. He is an ideal guy if you want to know anything about India.

With two of these guys in the room, you can imagine how crazy it gets.

For instance…

We had a huge computer in our room with two equally large speakers, and on weekends my two roommates would blast with Indian and Bhutanese music. We would regularly get noise complaints from other students but we used to ignore it and continue our fun. Eventually they would lose hope and go to some quite place elsewhere.

My two roommates would start dancing and force me to join them. If I ignored their request, I would be poured with cold water from a huge blue bucket we kept in our bathroom. Yes, I did get poured with iced cold water once when I refused to dance with them on Dabangg song. It was actually a mutual agreement among three of us to always have fun in our room when we were in stress because of massive projects and assignments. It was our way to cool the pressure down.

This was particularly helpful when we were in last semester of final year. The final year feels almost like Hell because of senior projects and report writing. Students have to spend nights programming and designing their own projects – sometimes we would go without sleep for weeks. But my roommates would always find a reason to have fun even in this kind of situation. They would immediately lower my stress – and theirs – by blasting music and making fun of almost everybody in our university. We would laugh so hard and make weird noises until someone shows up on our door with complaints. It was so much fun having two of them around.

There are also other moments which I miss like spending my free time reading books in library, going to field trips, attending lectures and presentations by international professors and esteemed guests, organizing charity, playing piano at center stage, participating in international competition in games, and so on. 

So I guess I miss some of the moments I spent in my college days.

Hopefully, I have answered my friend’s question here.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Opinion: Only Ada Rachu for Women

Kuensel published an article titled “only ada rachu for women” on 27th April, which explicitly stated: “Women across the country will now have to wear only ada rachu on all occasions, according to a circular from the home ministry.”

Since then, many (both men and women) have expressed their utter dislike and criticism for this new regulation.

Here, I would like to take the opportunity to express my personal opinion on this subject, but first let’s break down all the points stated in the article – i.e. to say points made by dzongkhag cultural officers supporting this new regulation.
  1. Women are mandated to drape only ada rachus and not patterned rachus for uniformity and to preserve the tradition.
  2. As the eight lucky sign patterns was entitled only for Royal Family members, women should wear only ada rachu.
  3. In the past, common women wore ada rachus while only Royal Family members wore different patterned rachus that were more elegant.
  4. Many women prefer different patterned rachus as they are not aware of the type of rachu they are entitled.”
These are more or less what cultural officers have to say supporting the new regulation. But I find all these points very unsettling to me and the whole regulation very absurd. 

Firstly, culture and traditions are not static; they change through time. Throughout human history, we have witnessed drastic changes in our culture from the oldest human civilization to the modern human civilization of today. In the past, traditions such as Caste system, Dowry system, Eunich (castrated man), Concubinage, Human sacrifice (Mayans and Aztecs), Footbinding, Sati (widow would throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre to commit suicide), etc., were practiced in different parts of the world. Most of these traditions are now part of history but some of them still exist in rural parts of many countries. These traditions and rituals were extremely barbaric in nature and many are shun by present societies.

If the argument is to be based solely on “preserving the tradition,” imagine what the implications would be on reviving these traditions by different countries. Some traditions are naturally bad and very conservative in nature. These traditions have ceased to exist for good reasons. They have been forgotten by mankind for good. Why would somebody want it back?

The Law of Nature is: the old gives way to new changes. And it is exactly what has happened in our country too. Many old traditions of Bhutan have changed, many have ceased to exist and some are dwindling on last stage. These have resulted in misunderstanding between people who have accepted the fact that change is inevitable and people who persist on resisting changes.

I also believe that the topic of “ada rachuhas direct relationship with this change.

A century ago, Bhutan was geographically isolated from outside world due to rugged mountains, dense forests, fast flowing rivers and extremely difficult weather conditions. All these factors made it almost impossible for outsiders to step foot into our landlocked country, and insiders to go outside. As a result, a large number of people were unaware of changes happening in outside world. When other countries were exchanging information, goods, arts, culture, architecture, and so on, we were basically cutoff from all these, but we found solace in our own culture, traditions and creative works. We did not depend on others and continued to practice what we already had. We were proud of what we could achieve in our own. 

Be it rachu, gho, kira, or any other items, at the time everything was very simple. The patterns on rachu, gho, kira, and traditional boots were all simple. Reasons being: people preferred to make simple designs because it kept production cost low. In those days, people had to travel on foot for several days to get the materials, which made it expensive. Only elite could afford the cost. So the average people confined to their cheap and simple designs.

Also the patterns were not as intricate as it is today. They didn’t have many choices as you see in today’s markets. Remember, most regions in Bhutan were literally cutoff from each other? The eastern parts of Bhutan had their own unique style compared to west, and vice versa. The southern parts of Bhutan had their own unique style compared to north, and vice versa. How could they have exchanged these designs and ideas? It was impossible.

If someone were to say that common women wore only ada rachus in the past, it is highly likely that they had no options but to wear only ada rachus. If the material’s costs were low and all the regions were connected with each other, I doubt that women would be wearing only ada rachus. 

To break down the points:
  1. Culture is not static, it changes through time.
  2. The argument cannot be based solely on “preserving the tradition.”
  3. The Law of Nature: the old gives way to new changes.
  4. Be it rachu, gho, kira, or any other items, at the time everything was very simple.
  5. Intricate patterns demand more work, more money, and more materials – which many did not have.
Lastly, I would like to end this post with my favorite saying, which I think is apt for this subject: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

If you have any suggestions or questions about this post, please leave it in the comment section below. And if you like this article, give it a share!

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