Writing My Own Unwritten Lines

Finding Solace and Bliss in Words..................

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sanctity of Jarung Khashor

Below is the portion of article I wrote for Bhutan airline's in flight magazine 'Kuzuzangpola'
Baudhanath Stupa and I

We all know Katmandu is home for some the most ancient Buddhist monuments. Therefore as a Buddhist, there is something so fulfilling about being able to go to Katmandu. Some Buddhist structures there are listed as UNESCO heritage monuments. Back then, as a village lad, I grew up hearing stories about the magical Baudhanath stupa. They are long and each story often differ from one another. It seems there are Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese mythologies each explaining the legend of the stupa. However there is portion in every story that is common and captivating: the wish fulfilling power of the stupa. Combining several stories together, I got the story as follows:

In Bhutan, the magnificent stupa is popularly known as Jarung-khashor. In course of our story, we will come to know why it was called so. For now, some sources suggest that the construction of a legendry stupa was initiated by an ordinary lady, called Jazima, the poultry woman. She bore four sons from four different husbands; horse trader, pig trader, dog trader and poultry trader.

Jazima, in her past life was a heavenly being. After suffering a downfall in her religious merit, she was reborn as an ordinary lady on earth. However she and her family maintained deeply religious attitude. She saved all her earnings from her hard work and when she knew she had saved enough, she approached the king and asked him for a piece of land. She told the king of her desire to construct a stupa on it.

Confused, dazed and after serious contemplation, the king granted her plea. But on one condition. Jazima could have the land; the size of which should be equivalent to a skin of a bull stretched on the ground. Crafty Jazima then sliced the skin of a bull to a size of a thread. She then extended the thread size string of bull hide on the ground to claim the land. Alarmed, many people complained to king about the size of land the king has granted to an ordinary lady. But king had no option other than to grant her plea. This is how stupa came to be known as Jarung-Khashor meaning ‘word of permission’ or ‘to be allowed’ or ‘given permission to do certain work’.

Few years on, after overcoming many major obstacles, the construction met a tragedy. Jazima died. But before her death, she told her four sons to complete the construction. She told her sons that completing it will not only fulfill her wishes and bring immense benefit to other sentient beings, but also fulfill their own. With this divine advice she died. Her death was marked with so many auspicious symbols. She regained her merit and attained buddhahood.

Her four sons kept their mother’s word and finally completed the construction. The relics of the Buddha of previous age were sealed in the stupa. When viewed from the sky, the shape of stupa is said to resemble Tibetan mandala. It is believed that the sanctification and empowerment ceremony of the stupa was attended by thousands of buddhas, deties and dakinis from the sky and of course by many mundanely people from. Therefore, today the stupa is viewed as great object of worship by devotees around the world.

The four sons of Jazima, then prayed. The son of Horseman wanted to become king and was reborn as King Trisong Dutsen of Tibet. The son of pig trader wanted to be reborn as compassionate Bhodisattva and was reborn as Zhiwa Tso. The son of dog trader wanted to be reborn as great master and was reborn as Guru Rimpoche. The son of poultry man wanted to be reborn as the religious Minister and was reborn as Songtsen Gompo. In brief, four brothers were reborn as the principle propagators of Buddhism. But they completely forgot to pray for the donkey that carried construction materials all through with four of them. So the donkey prayed for himself. He prayed devoutly to be reborn as the minister who could destroy the dharma so propagated by four brothers. But a crow on the tree top knew about the disparaging prayers of the donkey and so prayed to be reborn as preserver of the dharma from the destruction of the donkey’s incarnation. Accordingly, the donkey was reborn as demon Langdarma, who nearly wiped off Buddhism in the Himalayas. Later crow was reborn as Pelgi Dorji who then subdued Langdarma and subsequently revived Buddhism. Due to such legends, people today believe that pilgrimage to Baudhanath stupa of Katmandu, Samye Monastry of Tibet and Baudha stupa in Gaya have the power to even exempt a murderous sinner from miseries of samsara.

The legendry stupa has survived the onslaught of many turbulent times. But things seemed to have changed. Once pilgrimage and religious center has now become a commercial center. Globalization has not even spared religion. Sacred objects are produced in mass for sale. If not paid monks wouldn’t say prayers. Today, the monumental stupa is surrounded not by alters and temples but by shops and restaurants. Time has taken its due toll on the surroundings. Crowded, littered and dusty, the holy place is succumbing to the forces of modernization and over population. Everything appeared cramped. There were monkeys, lamp sellers and film makers. Nearby people were attending a funeral rite. Not far away wedding ceremony was in full swing.
Read More

Of Sayings and Doings


Last week, I had the privilege of attending a meeting organized by the Paro Dzongkhag. Amid unhappy local leaders and business community, the Hon'ble Finance Minister along with the officials from the Ministry of Finance talked on the rationale and objectives of the recent tax revision and new budget. In more than three hours,these are the things I understood:

Our nation is reeling under a dangerous budget deficit or more than Nu. 24 billions. For lay men, one billion is equivalent to 1000 millions and every million is equal to 10 lakhs. So calculate how many 10 Lakhs can go in 24 billions. Technically speaking, our national exchequer does not have a money that can be called as ours. We are poor by that much.

 To achieve the national goal of self reliance, first thing we need to do is to live within our own means. Yes. Live within our own means. Each time you have a meal, just see what are things in your plate that are produced in our country. In my case, I see only water that is Bhutanese.

New taxation policies and budget appropriations are nothing but are fiscal measures to induce some sense of frugality among reckless spending Bhutanese. Poor people have no means to be reckless so this is for all the filthy rich people to bear in mind.


Read More

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Exporting Cordeceps, The Dilemma of Bhutanese Millionars

Picture Coutesy: Lhendup Tharchen
In Bhutan, collection and trade in cordecep was legalized in 2004. The Royal vision behind this initiative was to bring economic blessings to the Bhutanese nomads. To keep this business exclusively for highlanders, the collection of the same is strictly monitored. After fixing the minimum royalty, the seasonal collection permits are issued by the Government to each households. This, I believe this is more to do with sustainability of the good. Thanks to the insatiable demand from the outside world, the good has become the most sought after items for export. Since then, the bizarre fungal plant that has the potential of earning millions for highlanders annually has become a trading commodity.

In ten years time, The business in cordecep boomed. With boom came structural changes. It became an investment avenue for many Bhutanese millionaires!  No doubt about that. But this boom also attracted many third parties. In most cases those third parties are nomads themselves. I call them the "easy pickers". What easy pickers do is an interesting thing to behold. They transport necessity items like salt, rice, oil, liquors and vegetables and then barter them with cordeceps painfully collected by their nomad relatives. There are often instances where an actual collector had to surrender his entire collection in lieu of the price for the amount of necessities he availed.

I am thinking that a ration delivery helicopter could prove a real blessing here. Perhaps PDP government could think more on it. But for now, it is doubtful as to whether the trade worth millions of Nu. is really benefiting the needy nomads? 

All cordecep collected in a given period are then sold off  to the exporters in an auction. Since those exporters deal in millions, I call them Bhutanese millionaires. This is again an affair closely monitored by the Government. Hence the real process of transferring the goods to the international market begins. In Bhutan, some official documents like Certificate of origin, commercial invoice, sanitary certificate and Customs export declaration are mandatory. 

As for Bhutan, the major market for cordecep are China, Taiwan, Hong Hong, and Malaysia. Since the cordecep is not a duty free goods in those countires, the real dilemma of  exporting begins here. Contrary to the normal international trade regime, here is what Bhutanese exporter and International importer do. They make a deal which is as bizarre as the fungal plant itself. 

To evade the the applicable duties in the countries of Exportation, the exporter and importer both travel till Thailand. (one to reach the goods and other to pick up the same) There is another hurdle here. They have to evade Thai Customs duty as well. In the process, Bhutanese millionaires and international importers are making legal business illegal.  In the past, some may have gone lucky. I think they  must have made fortune through  such deception.  

But in recent past, Thai authorities have come stronger with their enforcement capability. There are instances where authorities have intercepted Bhutanese exporters for non declaration of the goods. There are also instances where cordeceps worth millions of Nu. are directed back to Bhutan, causing a lot of inconveniences both for Customs officials and for exporters themselves. Therefore as a concern Bhutanese, I would like to make the following pleas to our millionares who are in cordecep business.

Firstly, such act may distort international trade figures. Please avoid such practices 

Secondly, it tarnishes our National image. Such acts may lead to other Customs administration labeling us as people of High risk

Thirdly, Non declaration in most case is a crime

Fourthly, Cordycep is not contraband or prohibited item in most of the countries. Especially in Thailand, The concern importer should have proper import permits/license from Thai Authorities i.e. Food & Health Control Organization (FHCO) under Ministry of Public Health

Fifthly, It is levied 30% Custom Duty, roughly equivalent to Thai Bath 200,000/ per KG (depending upon quality assessed

Sixthly, Be mindful that if illegally imported, any goods will be confiscated

Seventhly, If the confiscation is challenged in any manner, the case will be forwarded to Thai Airport Police, which may result in detention of both goods and person

Eightly, While goods may be confiscated, the person may be charged for attempted criminal act

Ninthly, If found guilty, person shall be punished with imprisonment plus the fines and penalties that exceeds 130% of the goods seized

For more details visit Thai Custom webpage


Before, I close this post, I am anxious with the following points

I am anxious about the amount these exporters are paying to our Government exchequer as Business Income Tax.

I am anxious about the level of information sharing with relevant agencies on the issue and the overall transparency of the business

I am anxious as to whether the nomadic people are really benefiting from the trade...

Read More

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things To Consider Before Buying A Smartphone


Sage  Harman

One lady from USA, Mrs. Sage Harman, who describes herself as "frugal living enthusiast, wife and mother" wrote an email to me. She wrote to me about her wish write a 'guest post' on my blog. "Things to consider before buying a smart phone", i think is relevant topic, especially if you have means and plans to acquire one. She also runs a a web (http://www.no-contract-plans.com) dedicated to providing free information to consumers trying to find viable no-contract phone and internet plans. Please read her article below:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nothing quite beats the feeling of unboxing a brand new mobile phone. Smartphones have become an essential part of our everyday life that most handsets today offer quite the same functionality as computers, capable of not just making calls but also managing emails and schedules, playing music and games, getting directions, surfing the Web, sharing information with friends, taking videos and photos and more. With different carriers and phone makers offering great deals and new features and apps popping up left and right, picking the right device for you can be rather confusing. Remember, smartphones and coverage plans aren't cheap, so taking the time to do your research and reviewing your options are well worth it.


Platform

Google's Android, Apple iPhone's iOS, and Microsoft's Windows Mobile so far are your most popular options. Some people find that the Android system is more customizable and versatile. Others prefer iOS because of Apple's extensive collections of apps. Some say Windows Phone are more user-friendly. Apart from the programs and features and availability of apps on these platforms, you probably won't notice a lot of differences in how they each operate, so make your choice of operating system based on what you value most - flexibility, security, user-friendliness and customization.

Physical Appearance

Some people like it thin and sleek, some like it big and heavy. Phones with larger screens are great for lots of things - web surfing, playing videos and games and watching movies, but they can be a tad uncomfortable to carry. In my opinion, for portability, functionality and ease of use, a screen size of 4-5 inches hits the mark.


Camera

Most smartphones come equipped with cameras capable of taking 8MP pictures. Don't think though that more megapixels means better pictures. If you're after a good camera phone, also consider the lens, sensor, resolution, zoom, shutter speed and other capturing features.

Battery Life
Smartphones, with all the amazing things you can do with it, also require greater power supply. You might want to get one that comes with at least 2000 milliamp-hour battery, or better yet, one that has a user-replaceable battery.

Apps

These are free or paid programs that you install on your smartphone to perform different functions. Almost all smartphones have the ability to support applications. Popular apps include mobile hotspot, health monitor, scanner, GPS device, TV and video apps, games and more. It's important to consider your phone's compatibility to apps because not all apps run on all devices.

Other Considerations

Storage Capacities

8 to 16GB may sound plenty, but if you're planning on playing full HD movies for example, get one that has higher memory. If you think you would need more storage space, buy one that supports microSD cards.

Connectivity

Will your portable device support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Mobile hotspot?

Plans

<a href="http://www.no-contract-plans.com">No-contract plans</a> may seem more expensive as you will need to purchase the phone upfront. But these pay as-you-go prepaid plans are simple and straightforward. It means no credit checks and no lock-in period. Plus you can save money in the long run because there are no hidden charges or termination fee should you break the contract early.

With new releases of smartphones screaming, "Pick me! Pick me!", having too many options, though it means more chances of ending up with the right one for you, also makes it almost impossible to make a decision. You sure don't want to spend a lot of money but you don't want to miss out on important features for a small price difference either. If you're in the market for a new mobile phone, head on over to http://www.no-contract-plans.com to compare plans and get free information on various popular smartphone plans.


Read More

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Human Sanity

Its August 2014 and I am happy to discover that my anger with pay and tax revision has finally died down with memorable July. Actually my anger meant nothing. Its my act of venting out frustration. If not on people, at least on my personal blog, I have displayed my displeasure. If people, especially our politicians are offended, then I am helpless. Please help yourself by leaving my blog.  I suppose this is how an enraged child would behave with his problematic promise making mother. I am happy for being able to put my anger on my blog. I am satisfied. No warning letter from my boss this time. So I am more happy. Seems human sanity is reigning this time.

Elsewhere in middle east, human sanity seem to have dwindled to the the lowest possible point. Perpetual Hamas-Israeli conflict has re erupted and thus the bloody fight ensues. Hiding Hamas and shooting Israel are both to be blamed. However at this time, the disproportionate use of force by Israel against the Gaza Strip is really appalling. In the name of protecting their citizens, Israeli forces, I think are committing a genocide and war crimes. Thousands of innocent children, women and men are trapped and are dying a painful death. Israelis say they are targeting Hamas tunnels. If that be the case, why have they shelled on residential apartments and school buildings?


I have never been to Middle East. But from the reports I read and hear, it makes me think that people there are born not to die but to be killed by each other. Lately, Palestine artist named Bushra Shanan, in memory of what is lost and destroyed has created several art pieces. It illustrates grim and desperate reality in Gaza. All the images contain a powerful message. view other images here. But as a father I am deeply saddened to see one art piece (above). It shows how a single cruel explosion is taking away so many lives of beautiful children. Its unthinkable. With this post, I stand here to condemn neither Israel nor Palestine, but killing. Killing for any reason cannot be justified.

Here is a lesson for leaders of Palestine and Israel. There never was a winner in wars. All people suffer equally. Death is miserable reality. Shelling cities will not win you wars. Suitable dialogue and understanding will. May peace prevail in Middle East.

Thanks to Human (in)sanity, global politics has reached a menacing level. Super powers are playing politics with human lives. The manner in which the flight MH017 crashed shocked the entire world. But with passing time, 298 people who perished in eastern Ukraine are becoming nothing but a painful memory like 239 others who disappeared without a trace in flight MH370. USA or Russia, its hard to contemplate who is more evil.

Call it a human sanity or insanity, in India, some Natwar Singh has created quite a stir in Indian politics. As per the information I gathered about him, he is a  former Indian bureaucrat and a close friend of Gandhi family. He changed 4 political parties including the Congress.  But unfortunately he was dropped from the party for his alleged involvement in some high level corruption cases. Natwar Singh tells that Sonia Gandhi was instrumental in taking that decision. He has a son who is now in BJP.

Today, he has reportedly gone angry with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Feeling mistreated and humiliated, he has come out with his own "tell all" autobiography, titled "One life not enough". As per the penal discussion on NDTV, The basic motive of the book, it seem is to take revenge on Sonia Gandhi by disclosing the internal affairs of the not only Congress party but also that of Gandhi family. Why would a statesman of his caliber do such a petty thing?  Some call it a biased book while others cal it a work of genius. In between, confused and baffled, some Congress men are now asking where the gentlemen in Natwar Singh has evaporated.

Personally I take two things from this case. 1. In politics, there is no friend.  2. Natwar Singh is an old man now. Old man is twice child. So do not get worked out with his kiddish words (if you are a Congress man)

lastly, human sanity or insanity, scientists have found out that ladies will always find a man with dog more attractive than men with baby. Therefore mothers should make scientists accountable if fathers are not willing to move with their babies.

Read More

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Post Pay and Tax Revision Thoughts





Yesterday, I received my new pay slip and finally I did my own math. Yes, the raise was minimal. I am sure it’s not even going to cover up the inflationary gap. But all thank goes to my house owner. At the moment, there is no sign of rent revision from his side. Elsewhere, some of my friends have already received a rent revision notice.

In places like Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Paro, the generous house rent allowance accorded by our government will surely not guarantee a decent apartment. Contrary to the findings of Economic affairs Minister, the prices of commodities, both local and imported have REALLY gone up. 

Disappointingly, the very politicians who came to power on populist agenda are turning out to be nothing but biggest cheats (or we failing to understand their broader concern) Their skewed pay revision candy just took one year to create a painful cavity in molars of public servants. Their confused electric car vision, their un-promised self serving pay package and their wanton allowance system did best to disclose the real devil in them. 

Now in the middle of pay revision math,  people are made to go busy doing the taxation math. Green Tax, Car Tax and mobile voucher taxes are surely going to make the voters angry. In brief, these are unwarranted tax on communication. As understood by everyone, we can call it a proletariat tax

The Government’s initiative to inculcate tax-paying culture is highly appreciated. It will instill sense of ownership among the general public over public goods. Through it, people will get to know the real meaning and value of free services. However taxing on communication sector is a serious business. It may require a lot of rethinking. 

Especially in business world, communication has become the single most important tool for the survival. With recent proliferation of mobile telecommunication systems, it has brought in immense benefits for farmers of rural Bhutan too. Similarly, most of the Government offices today use no less communication for public service delivery. Therefore, taxing on it is simply unthinkable. 

Taxation is a very sensitive issue. Unless politicians see a clear cut political gain, many wouldn’t even talk about it. This is according to worldwide phenomenon. Ironically, here our politicians took just one sitting to introduce a range of tax bills. As politicians, they seem to have taken the biggest risk of their life. With the kind public outrage, many may perish with just one term. 

To conclude this post, let us look at the main points once again. 
1. Pay revision was not up to the expectations.
2. Pay revision was discriminatory. 
3. MPs had their self serving pay packages. 
4. Politicians have introduced peasant taxes. 
5. Prices have really gone up. 

But here are the silver linings. 

1. Import duty for most of the medical, surgical and dental equipments are made zero.
2. Import duty for most of the pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines and other drugs are made zero too. Hence we can expect cheaper medical treatment. 
3. Import duty for Spare parts for aircraft is made zero. Hence Travelling by air will be cheaper. So travel by air and not by car. 
4. Did I miss something?
5. Let me Know.

Read More

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Passing Through the Dark Economic Days?


One year ago, I wrote a post titled "eventful" July 2013. I chose to call it a "memorable month". With new set of politicians in power that promised "service with humility" and "power to the people", I had reason to harbor lots of positive expectations. Their alluring 100 day manifesto, I thought was the promise of the century. The much needed "change" it seemed was in the offing. Especially to an impoverished service man like me, they showed the pay revision candy and I acted like a child. In brief, I was actually dying to see the July 2014.

Now here I am, nearing to end my most awaited July 2014. The flames of much talked about pay revision has subsided. Back then National Council members fought against the pay hike. The reasons are still hard to understand, but it could be either of them; 1. the marginal hike accorded for them or 2. Their real Buddha nature. Love for the Nation? Well. I doubt! And interestingly and paradoxically, back in Korea I was skipping my meals to adjust my budget. What an irony of life!

Anyways, as per maths done by some of my colleagues, I was told that I would be getting an additional sum of Nu. +4000 monthly. Had it not been for the double digit market inflation, I think its a lot of money. Home Minister has started replacing the Finance Minster. It seems Finance Minister have no words left to utter. Recently Trade Minister has shown his deepest possible concern. He was sighted in the town doing a day long market research. His conclusions are astounding "There is no inflation in the market" was his finding. Somewhere, his results must have left academicians scratching their skull in awe.

"There is no inflation in the market". Hence our Politicians thinks taxing people is most suitable option. I am amazed. Green tax for the gas, service tax for telecom facilities, more tax for car import,  more TDS, more PF, more HC and more GIS and on goes the list. I may be wrong but I am little confused with the glorious economic policies we have before us. Indications are so vivid that, child Politicians are fiddling with fiscal policy like a toy.

Saving will continue to be a myth. 
Hand to mouth, we shall all survive. 
Pitiable we were and broke we will be. 
Owning a car, our distant dream,
A fairy tale, it shall remain.
oh! Miserable Economic dark days
Find thy own silver linings friends
Drive not they car to office
Use not they phone for official cause

Read More

Monday, July 14, 2014

In Bangkok watching World Cup Final 2014

After five hours in the air, I landed in Bangkok S/bum international airport in the best of my health. The flight from Seoul to Bangkok was another memorable experience. Back in the air, I shared a seat next to a Thai lady.  I am not sure but it seemed she had some stomach problem. She kept on farting all through the journey. I am amazed! I did not complain because I was Ok too, sleeping most part of my journey.  

Despite all the hyped political news in the mainstream media, Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, I think is still a wonderful place to be. The rain in the evening was so so wonderful. The cooling effect it brought to the city was sensational. Thanks to some of our Bhutanese friends, I was able to put up in a five star hotel. But the night before, I slept in a host-less apartment in Bhutanese Embassy village. 
 TESCO, my best shopping place in Bangkok
In fortune town, I went frantic. I felt the child in me wanting to have everything in the store. With limited budget at my disposal, I realized how I was running out of permutation and combination to buy as many items as possible. I changed the screen guard for my old phone. I am happy that it looks like a brand new phone. I bought a cover for it too. I bought few shirts and a pair of slippers each for my three daughters. I bought a hair gel for myself and a shampoo for my wife. Pencils for my daughters and pen for my wife...oohh! I got the sensation that I was emptying the entire store. I never thought $100 could buy me so many items. 

Now I am waiting for the World cup final to begin. Argentina vs The Germans. What a match we have in hand. Although I never picked teams in the beginning, now I would want to see Argentina win the cup. But at the same time, I feel Germany is too good a team to be defeated. While my heart whispers Argentina, my head thunders Germany. Both teams have world-class players and both teams are equally deserving of the most coveted cup. It's very difficult to predict. It'll be unfair all the more to discredit either of the teams. So lets sit back and enjoy the game. Tomorrow morning we should be able to see one team in tears and other in more tears. In tears of victory and tears of  defeat.

And before I end this post, there is one thing I wanted to say. I am still not able to recover from the shock of Brazil loosing to Germany with 7:1 scoreline. 

Read More

Saturday, July 12, 2014

For Now, Good Bye to Seoul

After a meaningful 2 weeks in Seoul, Korea, I am finally going back. My training has been a  great achievement. I had the opportunity of being trained by some of the best analysts in the world. At the end of our training, fours of us, -me and my friends from Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka, we all learned that report writing is fun but at the same time can be sensitive too. In my opinion, I think it takes a lot of experience.


Although, we thought that DSA of $30 was a lot of money in the beginning, somewhere in the middle we came to realize that it was little less. I had to skip some meals to adjust my budget. But however in the end, with the supreme hospitality of our hosts, Korean Customs and other RILO AP officials, we actually thrived on that $30. All of us had lot to shop in the Meongdong market, all of us bought a lot of beautiful Korean souvenirs. I remain ever grateful to all the RILO AP officials for being so so generous with us. Even in our drunkard state, we all agreed that we are humans beings first and we feel for each other, irrespective of our diverse nationality.
With Deputy Head of RILO AP (tallest in the group) 
I will remember those dinners, both private and official. Our drinking sessions with lot of sensual communications had been a truly a memorable one. I will remember Mr. Nasier of Bangladesh singing "Ari-ari rang- suri-suri-rang" and touching the hearts of our Korean friends. I will also remember the lively atmosphere our RILO AP Head and Deputy head  had created during our official dinners and luncheons. They are truly intelligent and witty people. Probably that explains why Korean Customs administration is one of the best in the world. 


Our cultural excursion was even memorable. I had the good opportunity of visiting some of the UNESCO heritage sites in Seoul. By the way, South Korea have 10 cultural sites and 1 Natural site listed as UNESCO heritage site. The geomancy of Korean architecture is truly spellbinding.  Starting from the roof top to window panes, each part have a holy and auspicious significance of  their own. For example, during the last King of Joseon dynasty, the palace for the Price was built in the east, because Korean people believed that Price is like a rising Sun.
With female Culture Guide
Tour guides in their traditional Chima (for ladies) and Majoga (for men) dress at the sites are even more enthralling. They display a lot of pride and happiness in their cultural heritage. Although its a second language for them, they speak flawless English. They do no fumble like some of our guides in Bhutan. To, me they are a living history book. they are the stars of Korean culture. 
Female Culture Guide
I was told that most of the cultural sites were once destroyed by the invading forces of Japan. However they were rebuilt to their original glory. Unlike in many other countries, they were not left to ruin. One of the guides told the Japanese people in our group to take it as History. She said, otherwise the Koreans love Japanese. You see, they are even diplomatic!  
with a male  Korean Culture Guide
With these beautiful moments, I would like to bid good bye to this beautiful country. But someday, I would love to come back again. Anneongi-gaseyo
Read More

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tenda Tsechu In Shingkhar 2014

 I am writing this post from South Korea.

Today (on the birthday of Guru Rimpoche) if I were in Bhutan, I would have been among the people of my village. I would have been with my father and mother, with my siblings and with my relatives. I would have got all sorts of accolades and applause from our elders for consenting to sponsor a day long Tsechu. I would have been in marvelous lhakhang being built by our Lama. 

Drore Rinchen Goenpa then
In the past, the event used to be sponsored by Gomchens from the locality. I have a distant memory of the same Tsechu being once sponsored by my Gomchen brother. He probably must have toured length and breath to find the resources, merely to make the day grand, one, worthy of being called as the birthday of our greatest master. And I think he did. I was little boy then, I remember how all the people from our village, old and young, males and female came to attend the same. Paa- rice was served which was once a was a luxury then.  A lot of Arra was served too. All most all people got drunk both with Arra and by the mirth. Everyone danced and sang.  It was quite a fun day then. Well lot of beautiful memories though..

But but of late, the likes of civil servants from the community has taken turn to sponsor the same. This time around, the affair of Tsechu has become an expensive deal. That's why some were even forced (to be the sponsors). I am being told. And after all the ordeals of preparations, not many people turn up, for the reasons best known for themselves.

In my case, despite all my economic predicaments, my parents genuinely thought I was capable of shouldering the responsibility. They all know I have a small pay cheque but a large family. But they also knew that I have a big heart too.  And without actually knowing from where and how to find the resources, its my big heart that said 'yes'

Drore Rinchen Goenpa Now
Photo Credit:  Lama Ngodup Dorji.
Coincidentally 10th day in Bhutanese calender is my daughters birthday too. So last year on the same day when my mom and dad respectfully received the white scarf from our lama  and upon receiving the message of the same from them. I wrote this lines on my facebook page: 
"Five years ago, after an eventful day with the ward lady, my daughter Sonam was born in Thimphu Hospital. Traditionally she share her birthday with Guru Rimpoche. She is five now and she is growing faster and lot bigger than her age. One year down the line, when she become six, I will be not only hosting my her birthday but also Guru Rimpoche's Birthday in beautiful village of Shingkhar."
So, had it not been for this important training, I would have really wanted to go home and be among our locals. I would have wanted to be the first sponsor to host Guru's birthday in the brand new Lhakhang being constructed by our Lama. Our lama, I believe have not only the biggest heart but also have tenacity and patience ( to have actually undertaken such a project single-handed). Few months ago, I was just telling myself that if Bhutan have 20 such lamas, then reconstructions of much talked about Dzong like Wangdiphodrang should not be a problem. 

Lama Ngodup Rimpoche of Shingkar dechenling

So today, I would like to congratulate our Lama and offer him my sky-big, earth-big Tashi Delek for all the painful efforts he has put in in creating this marvel in our community. May our Lama live long, happy and prosperous for eons. May he continue to live and bless all the sentient beings. 

With this, I would also like to thank few of my friends for their heart felt generous contributions. I am sure good fortunes are on your way. I would like to thank my dearest wife for all the preparations she made for the Tsechu. May your wishes come true dear. Most importantly, I would like to thank all, my mom, dad, sisters, achos, for their part in making the day a success, especially Acho Karma Wangda for all the extra initiatives he had to make to cover up my absence. May Lord Longchenpa bless you all with long life, good luck and happy days ahead.

One of my sister serving Arra
Read More

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chang Deok Gung Palace of Joseon Dynasty

Few months ago, I wrote a short post on Joseon Dynasty of Korea. By the way Korea was ruled by the Kings of Joseon dynesty for good number of years. Today the dynasty is long dead and gone. But there is an air of respect and gratefulness which Korean people still show to the their long lost leaders. Some of the palaces built as early as the 13th century are still preserved as though the royal family were there the day before. 

The palace at the outskirts of Seoul city called Chnagdeokgung is one such palace built by the by the third King of Joseon dynesty in 1405. unfortunately, the palace was destructed by the Japanese invasion in 15th century. However it was recreated to its former glory in 16th century. For some reasons, known only to the King, it became his favorite palace. Later, king also created a secret garden, where royal family used it as a place to relax and rest. 

The tour was worth Korean won 8000 (excluding the transportation and lunch). Thanks to this trip I am now able to use the subway metro system. It was an amazing feeling to be able to travel in Seoul without any problem. I am finally starting to understand what world class public transportation system actually means. 

Its been quite a number of time that our Government has been fiddling with policy of vehicle import system. Sometimes they have put up a blind ban. This time they have now decided to impose an of abnormal import duty. I am starting to think that, if they really care and dare, then first thing they should do is to improve our public transportation system. May be we can take a lot of inspiration from Korea. 

By the way, I took few pictures in the Palace compound, Please enjoy the beauty of palace.

At the main entrance gate of the palace

That's me in crocs and and shorts. Mind you crocs cost Won 69,000 (=USD 69) in Korea 

I with beautiful Korean Girls. They  look more like the statues (I mean the beautiful statues) we have in our Temples

Entrance point of King's secret garden. Once upon a time,
Nobody entered this gate without King's permission

One resting place of King inside the secret garden

The beams and the pillars made me think that King must have well been the reincarnate of Zow Vishu Karma. 

Another resting place for the King and his family 

I am mesmerized by the palace compound, and more by the striking similarity Bhutan shares with Korea 

We, the Tourist

The stone steps now closed for public. may be the stones are getting worn out

Read More

Living in Gangnam City



Without much hitch, I have completed my first week here in Korea. Each day has been an exciting one. I am privileged to have the company of my three trainee friends from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Philippines. While the Lankan girl and Philipino guy are friendly, its the humor of our Bangladeshi friend that keeps us all going. 

According to Mr. Naser, the Asst. Director of Bangladeshi Customs, He feels that laughter is something which a metro city like Seoul is seriously lacking. He feels that without laughter, attending a training on access and excel wouldn't be an easy thing. Perhaps, he is now getting the exchange rate of Korean won to the USD right, because he doesn't talk much about travels and gifts any more! His disgust for Korean food, seems have reached to the highest limit. Kimchi, he said is a miserable food. True to his words, in one of the recent Korean science journal, it rightly said that the amount of salt being used in Korean food is of a big concern for the Koreans themselves. He calls afternoon nap as "marathon sleep".

Well, let me not gossip more about my friend. Rather I would like to take this post to share my own Korean experience. To begin with, Korea is one country that I know, rose from the cruelty of colonial oppression and brutal shocks of the wars. Spurred by the greed of super powers, the cold war effect in peninsula finally ended with the division of the motherland into South and North. While, North (so called the fatherland by its founder Kim Il-Sung) chose to remain secluded and cut off from the world, South has progressed to this level. Few of them tell me that love for the motherland and hard work are the key component that brought them thus far.   

Korea, not doubt is a trendy place now. Especially in Seoul city, fashion, I think is the life blood, that is keeping the city alive. I am guessing, whether this fashionestia is responsible for making the Gangnam area more expensive then the rest. So here are few observations I made in Gangnam city.


People: Outwardly, many Bhutanese people have the notion that Koreans are among the most good looking people in Asia. I think we are right. Both male and female, they are known for their sharp features, fair skin and unique hair dress ups.They are actually phone-liking people.

Many Bhutanese youth, who are oblivious about the recent proliferation of so many plastic surgeries actually wanted to look like Koreans, sing like Koreans, dace like Koreans, eat like Koreans and live like Koreans. Apart from the external looks, Koreans, I think are steadfast people. They are people who mind their own business. Free in their own world, other matters seem to bother them least. To understand Korean, one simply need to open up the conversation. Its the gate way to their beautiful heart.



Food: Kimchi is the first thing that come to my mind. However, there are thousand other Korean dishes that are still prevalent. Although there has been an unprecedented invasion of KFC and MacDonald and other foreign (fast) foods, indigenous Korean foods, it seems have withstood the foray. Almost all kinds of foods are served hot and spicy, but at a equally hot and spicy price tag too. Some served in stone pots and some in bamboo canes.

Unlike the Japanese (who uses bamboo chopsticks) and Chinese (who uses wooden chopsticks), Koreans use Chopsticks made of steel. This according to one Korean official is to poke their enemies.. ha ha. He was kidding. And here is one thing that might prove useful for foreigners traveling to Korea. Koreans' one serving can satisfy 2-3 average hungry person. Besides main dish, rice and kimchi being the popular side dish wre served with numerous other dishes. Even the soup will have a side dish of rice. Now Bhutanese people, how do you like it? Therefore, to minimize cost and reduce wastage, avoid ordering every individual a different meal.

Shopping: Seoul is an international shopping hub. Any doubt about that? However for an average shopper, Gangnam is one area I would not recommend. In fact I would not recommend any of my Bhutanese friends to shop here. They have all the killer price tags. That is why our Bangladeshi friend have humorously chosen a name for Seoul; The "dead city".

I am told that Gangnam area is a shopping place for trendy people, like pop stars, film actors and for politicians. But for an average Bhutanese civil servant like me, I find every place in Seoul, so so dear. And the saddest fact is that, to our own misfortune, our training is being conducted in the heart of these chic city. Everyday, we are paying twice as much for food, water and for beer and soju. With each passing day, our wallets are becoming thinner and thinner.

Cars: One thing that is all glittering about this city is the variety of cars they have. Starting from their home made KIA and Hyundai they have all the cars between the sky and the earth. BMW, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Audi, Ford and volvo are few I can name. But surprisingly, in my one week, I just saw one Toyota car. This to me, shows the intensity of rivalry between the car makers of Korea and Japan has reached.
 
Girls:  Without writing a line on Korean girls, my Korean experience wouldn't be complete. Yes, they look exotic, sexy, slender and cute. They are girls in the world, who defined the real meaning of "shorts" and style. Shorts at the moment seem to be the most popular outfit among the Korean young girls. Or is it because its summer now? Our Bangladeshi friend call them the "Long legs".

But there is one dark side to this beauty aspect;  -the plastic surgery. I don't know how many people view it. For me, I am just wondering why, especially the beautiful girls require modification when they are richly blessed by mother nature. I feel its just a plain greed to simply look artificially beautiful. (for few years?) it is an act of defying and deceiving nature. If Joan Keats were alive, he would have died murmuring "beauty is impermanence"

By the way, there are some ugly girls here too. I don't know from where they have come. They are huge like elephants! Some have arms bigger than my Thais.  They look like man! I think they could  have easily qualified for a place in WWE!

Language: Not many people speak English here. But when they do, they are far better than us. Otherwise most people talk to foreigners in their own Koreanized English.


Read More

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Suiting and Booting Abroad; My Way


With this trip abroad, much to the envy of my friends, I have been to several countries already. Each travel has been an exciting enterprise. There are some enriching experience which I cannot put in words. They can be only felt. Although I have never benefited monetarily from the travels, there are few intrinsic things which even million dollar wouldn't buy. The bond of friendship I tie with friends abroad and the wisdom and acumen I achieve through these travels are few things that make me feel way richer.

During those travels, I have had the opportunity of representing my country. I feel blessed. Getting trained by resourceful people around the world and  living and dining in some of the finest hotels on the earth are what I call blessings. So each time I travel abroad, the first thing I do is portray myself as Bhutanese to the best, both inwardly and outwardly.  Therefore suiting and booting are not in my dressing agenda. I just go with my olf ghos.  I call it as my way of booting and suiting abroad. 

By the way this time we are four participants. Just four! One person each from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Four of us are here to learn the techniques and methods of analyzing information into reliable intelligence. You see. I am soon going to become an analyst. We are generously paid a DSA of USD 30 per day. Its a lot of money!

Our Bangladeshi friend, who is on his maiden ex-country training, at first had difficulty breathing when we were handed over Korean won worth 420,000 each. Till yesterday evening, he was under culture shock. Just like I struggled with the light switch in Japan(on my first trip), during our welcome dinner, he struggled with his chopsticks. Today he is down with flu. He still speaks Bangali to me and our Sri Lankan friend thinks I am good at it.

Read More

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Second Trip to South Korea



Thanks to my department and RILO AP office, I am here in South Korea for the second time. Its always a pleasure and happiness travelling to such a beautiful country. I flew in Drukair till Bangkok on 28th June 2014. His Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan was also on the same flight. While the plane stopped in Bhagdora, I had the opportunity of being asked by the PM about my travel. I told him that I am travelling to South Korea for a training and he said I, myself look like a Korean man. (or did I hear him wrong) From Bangkok I had to catch Korean air at 10 PM. It was a long wait. But I had a company of three Bhutanese, who made that long-wait bearable.


There was one lama and one monk who were travelling to Hong Kong and a young girl who wason her way to Australia for her studies. Four of us stayed together till the time I had to part to catch my flight. While many passengers feasted in Macdonald and KFC, four of us dined Bhutanese paa-rice (which lama and monk brought from Bhutan)

And few moments before, the security guards in the gate detected a bottle of apple juice in lama's bag and actually wanted to dispose it off. I intervened and told the guards that we are going to drink it right before him.  We did. Amazingly we took only few minutes to gulp one liter apple juice. Not knowing that he was out smarted, the guard shook his head in disbelief. He giggled at us. Another bottle of juice in lam's bag passed the check undetected. I think I drank most. Shortly I had this sensation of bulging tummy. Probably I ate  more paa-rice too.  In the loo while peeing, my fart just made the sound of a Thai announcer.

Five hour midnight flight was a long long journey. I felt so so sleepy. Here is the lesson I learnt. Taking transit flight is a torturous affair. If you are civil servant you are not even entitled to USD130 enforced halt (if the wait is less then 8 hours) This is bit ridiculous, because 6 hours wait is going to make you as hungry and as tired as 8 hours. Finally in the early morning hours of 29th June, I landed in Inchon International airport. I came across three gentleman from South Sudan. While waiting for immigration clearance, I talked to them about my first trip and they talked to me about the ongoing trouble in Sudan. But after clearance, we parted like pie and the Tiger. -We couldn't say good bye to each other.

Someone called Mr. Steven, a chubby looking Korean driver has come to pick me and the official from Bangladesh. I am surprised to know that Mr. Nasier of Bangladesh is the Asst. Director of Customs and it just took him three years to get the title. And its even more interesting because Mr. Nasier speaks to me in Bangali which I do not understand much.

Even without lunch and dinner, my second trip to South Korea so far has been anything but a fairy tale.  
Read More

Monday, June 23, 2014

No Namgay Zam, No World Cup News?


The most coveted and awaited world cup is in full swing and its awful thing to see Bhutanese media so dead on this hot news. Not even BBS !! Few years ago I remember our very own beautiful Namgay Zam reporting the events (Live?) from South Africa. Every news paper had a world cup supplement and every individual had their team to support. I think we all enjoyed. But this year, things seem little subdued, especially in media houses. 

But in the town, the real excitement of the game can be felt. People are picking teams and betting. Although games are telecast live starting 930 pm, there are people who are ready to forgo their sleep. Just for the world cup, people importing TV from Bangkok have increased by ten folds! (oye, this is not an official figure by the way) Nevertheless, what a timing for the shops in Bangkok, to clear their old stocks!

Elsewhere people are cheering for the team of their own liking. I am bad in betting and hence I did not bet. If I did, disaster was sure to struck me. Early exit of Spain and England was a cause of disappointment while Japans's draw with Greece was heart sinking. South Korea's lost to Algeria was tear inducing and Iran's last moment lost to Argentina was unimaginable. 

However, here are some of the spicy performances of underdogs: Italy's defeat to Costa Rica was just as heart buttering as USA drawing prolific Portugueses'. Mexico holding big Brazil to a scoreline of  0-0 draw was as mesmerizing as Ghana holding Giant Germans to a 2-2 scoreline. And the excitement doesn't end here. There are good teams like Uruguay, Chile, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Croatia and Ecuador etc who are  performing their best. 

At this moment, its hard to tell  16 team who will advance to the next level. The competition is picking up and  it is becoming stiffer each passing day. People in the process are wining and losing the bets. Its a frenzy affair getting to a crazy height. Looking at the number of people who are mending TVs untimely is an interesting case. I hope they are not banging it. 

Read More

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Prime Minister Modi in Bhutan


Today is 15th June 2014 and is a big day for Bhutan. The Prime Minister of India is finally here. Although we (the airport staffs) were told in advance to wear nicely cleaned, pressed and polished uniforms, on the day when PM's flight finally landed, we were all chased out by the securities; -Like the dogs.

As per media speculations, he is rumored to have come with billions of rupees to pull Bhutan's economy from doldrums. But let us all not suppose it is the only purpose that brought him here. He is due to address our national assembly. He is also due to meet our Fourth Druk Gyelpo and our His Majesty the King. So let us all hope that he has other pleasing news that are beyond rupees, aids and grants.

When PM's flight landed, it was lot of sunshine and wind outside. Somewhere in hot attic, me and my friends were sweating and were keenly observing the events. We were all enjoying the episode in birds-eye-view. Bouquet presentation by the little children seem so endearing. I am sure it allured India's PM. Listening to children's welcoming lexis, I saw him smiling. But then the cruel wind, ohh! the wicket wind, how cunningly it blew off the scarf from the welcoming hands of our Prime Minister!

Now its lots of rain here. Good for the wilting paddy plants. Thank you Modi ji for bringing in lots of rain. We welcome you to our beautiful country.  We all hope you will have a memorable time in Bhutan. 
Read More

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Trip to Katmandu, Nepal

out of hundred shots, I think I nearly got one right.
Few days ago, (on 7th June 2014) I had the privilege of boarding the Bhutan airline’s inaugural flight to Katmandu. There were over 70 people who were carefully selected and invited by the management of the airline. It included two Ministers, few senior bureaucrats, few media people and lot of travel agents. Although I was not in the list, I was able to squeeze-in in the company to grace the inaugural ceremony. Thanks to my Director for letting me take his seat. And more thanks to the airline management for accepting me in my boss’s place.

Katmandu, for many people is known for all the awful reasons. Ensuing political instability, the royal massacre in 1990s, the environmental squalor and cheap tourist are some of the topics that invariably get coined with it. In recent times it has even become known for the airport terminal that makes people sweat like pigs and the guards that seeks bribe at the entrance! But for a Buddhists people, especially the Tibetan Buddhists, despite all the predicaments, it is always a special place to be. As it is home for some of the most ancient Buddhist temples, it is one place that is most sought after by pilgrims. It is known fact that people from all direction flock there either to meditate on impermanence or to seek out religious solace or to look for for spiritual refuge.
In Katmandu Airport. 7/6/2014
Coincidentally, this June is by far the holiest month in Buddhist calendar. Therefore, my first ever trip (free trip) to the home of Baudhanath stupa and Swayambhunath sytupa couldn’t have come at a better timing than this. Our team landed in Katmandu airport to an overwhelming welcome ceremony by the Bhutan airlines office in Nepal. It was drizzling a bit but nevertheless it was a special feeling to be accorded a red carpet welcome. Amid all the sounds of trumpets and drums, we were showered with the rose petals. Little girls offered us orange scarfs. I though I was starting to look like lama! Then we were led into the terminal building. Once inside, immigration clearance took lion’s share of our time in Katmandu. With each passing minute, I felt the gradual impatience seep in me. But I was not alone. Nearby, I could easily over hear my other impatient friends grumbling. 

It was an overnight trip. So the keenness to have a quicker clearance for us, in our own sense looks justified. We all wanted to go out fast. After an hour of painful wait, we were all finally out. Several vans have come to pick us up. Seven of us took a van driven by a jolly man named Bassu. And to my amazement, there were quite a number of people who are actually making their first trip to Katmandu like me. As Mr. Bassu took us through the meandering roads of Katmandu city, many of my friends were quick in making comparison between our very own Thimphu and the city we have just entered. While most agreed on the similarities sighted, someone from the back said, even the banana in Thimphu looks similar to the one we were seeing. We all laughed. Few more turns, few more comparisons and few more laughing sessions, we soon reached our hotel. There was another round of khaddar session. It was white scarf that time. Orange and white khaddar already around our neck, three more khaddar, red, blue and green, and all us would have looked like a newly appointed Ministers of Bhutan! 

By then it was not the world class food in the Soaltee grand plaza that came to my mind. Neither were the five star hotel rooms that enamored me. But it was those ancient monumental stupas, the likes of Baudhanath stupa and Swayambhunath stupa that filled my heart. Those stupas have a history of their own. But for now let us leave it for another post. I was so eager to hear the murmuring Buddhists chants and smell the smoke of burning incense. More than anything else was my urge to see those wish fulfilling shrines in their original glory. 

After allocation of the hotel rooms, most of us were out again, swift and fast! Some went out for shopping while others slept in their rooms. But I chose to join the group that was out for pilgrimage to Swayambhunath stupa. Located on the hill top, the stupa has a classic aura  and awe of its own. But on the other hand, crowded, littered and dusty, the holy place apparently confirmed how it is actually succumbing to the forces of change, modernization and over population. There were monkeys and lamp sellers and film makers. Nearby people were attending a funeral rite and not so far away the wedding ceremony was in full swing. 

At around 7 pm, the delegations from both the countries were there to grace the inaugural session. Surprisingly, there were not many mingling taking place between the delegates. Keeping silent in one corner, I felt my throat choking. So I approached a senior Nepali official. I introduced myself to him. But before I could even complete, he said I look 200% Nepali. In return he introduced himself as the father of Mr. Ravi. So I presume Mr. Ravi to be an important person. I asked him about the pilgrim sites. But he had other things on his mind. He told me to put up questions, if any to Mr. Ravi. Seeing all the Bhutanese delegates in our national dress, he conveyed his appreciation to Bhutan for keeping our tradition and culture intact. “Nepal has no culture of our own”, he said. “Modernization and foreign influence are to be blamed” He lamented further. With this brief conversation, he disappeared into the crowd. 

Mr. Ravi’s father’s reluctance to communicate with me gave me an opportunity to observe the event in its entirety. Of all the people present, one person called Dasho Wangchuk, son of legendary Bhutanese business man caught my attention. He is the co-owner of Tashi group of companies, a millionare  and a leader of his own kind. The way he tended to the guests, big and small and the way he supervised his employees that night are simply exemplary. He exhibited that he is a leader who do not eat first. He showed how the giant or Monopoly slayers are made. Today Bhutan’s sleeping public corporations should be grateful for having a person like Dasho Wangchuk. In terms of waking up the slumbering public corporations, I think he is one person who knows to ring the alarm just and right. The night was wonderful except for the small stomach disorder I had to endure for the wrong combination of juice I took. (Do not drink apple, mango and orange juice together. It can really upset your tummy)
Pose worth million with a millionaire 
Next morning was a grad moment for me. I was due to join my group on pilgrimage to the penultimate pilgrimage site, the Baudhanath temple, which is known for its wish fulfilling power. So greedy enough, I made a mental calculation of my wishes on my way. And here are few of them:

1. Many many success to Tashi Air Pvt ltd
 for accommodating me and enabling me to wishes (as listed below)

2. Happiness and prosperity to my family

3. Not to fall ill 

4. To have no worries in life

5. To achieve all the targets that I set for my life

6. To see my three girls do well in life

7. And someday to become a father of a son as well

8. Happiness and prosperity to my mom and dad

9. Happiness and prosperity to my country

10. Long life to our king 

11. To retire as a happy civil servant


Finally we reached to the stupa site. Seeing the majestic stupa, I went wordless. Spellbound and nervous, I couldn’t take off my eyes off the Stupa. I forgot all the wishes I premeditated. It was like going blank for a while. However in more than two hours, I was able to spend the little amount of money I had on donations, incense, butter lamp and on colored prayer flags. By the time I finished writing the names of all my family members on the prayer flag, I lost my friends in the crowd. But to my pleasant surprise, two ladies from our group joined me. 

It was privilege for me to have come across a well known enterprising proprietor of Gangtey Palace resort, Mrs Choki and the chief editor cum designer of the Yeewong magazine and the Kuzuzangpo la magazine, Mrs Pema. Three of us talked extensively on varied topics. Two of them shopped and occasionally I joined them too. Later to my gladness, I discovered that Pema and I actually come from a same community. In course of our communication, I agreed to contribute a quarterly article for her magazine.

The Editor and Designer of
Kuzuzangpola Magazine and Yeewong Magazine
Mrs Pema Choden Tenzin

Finally, after sweating inside Katmandu terminal building for more than 2 hours, our group boarded the Bhutan airlines for our onward journey back to Paro. Fifty five minutes in the air and we were back to where we belong. I felt the trip was like a dream. 

Read More

Friday, June 6, 2014

Big News for Bhutan

 Prime Minister, Narendra Modi
As per media sources in India, the new Indian Prime Minister, His Excellency Narendra Modi  has picked Bhutan for his first foreign visit. He is scheduled to visit Thimphu any time in the month June. I am excited and happy. In preparation to his visit we are going to see so many training flights in Paro. I am also expecting meet some Indian officials from Gujarat too. It is going to be a busy day in Paro airport. In days time, our airport will be decorated, security system will be enhanced, ceremonial lounge will be furnished and many more would be done to Welcome the Prime Minister of world's biggest democracy.


His visit is going to keep strategic and political analysts everywhere a lot busier. As such we are already getting a freaked-out comments from the Chinese think tanks. In days time, we are going to see all sorts of analysis. Whatever may be the analysis, one thing is obvious. It shows how deep and profound our bilateral ties are. Our friendship is exemplary in the region and PM Modi's visit is expected to strengthen it further. As stated by some sources, Bhutan is India’s friendliest neighbor and  the level of  inter-dependency we enjoy is for the rest of the world to see. For now, all we can say is that we the people of Bhutan would like to Welcome his excellency with all our heart and soul. More than the aids and grants that India give us, I think its the friendship and trust that counts. 

Read More

I write on These Topics

105th National Day (2) 2012 (2) 2013 (1) 2014 (1) Academic (5) ACC (2) Accident (3) ADB (1) Ahmedabad Experience (15) Alto (1) Animal Well-being (2) Animals (4) Anonymous (1) Archery (1) Architecture (3) Argentina (1) Arrogant (1) Art (5) Asset (1) audicity of opinion (1) Autowalla (2) awards (1) baby sitting (1) BAFRA (1) Ban (1) Bangkok (1) Bank of Bhutan (2) Being Broke (1) Belief (1) Bhutan (78) Bhutan Airlines (2) Bhutanomics (1) Birthday (9) Birthday Wishes for my King (3) Birthday. (1) BJP (1) Blessed rainy day (1) Blog (3) Blog Award (1) Blog Award. Bhutan (1) Bloggers (4) Bolg Award (1) Bonzai (1) Book (11) Boudha temple (1) Brazil 2014 (2) Buddhism (19) Buffalo (1) Bushra Shanan (1) Car (2) Change (1) Changkor (1) Chetan Bhagat (1) Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan (1) Child development (1) China (6) Choku (2) CITES (2) Civil Servants (2) cold (2) College (1) Comment (1) common sense (1) Community (1) Conservation (2) Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (1) contemplation (1) Cordycepts (2) corporal Punishment (1) Corruption (1) Court case (8) cricket (1) Cricket World cup (1) crime (5) Culture (14) culture properties. (3) Customs (10) Dance (1) Dasho Kunzang Wangdi (1) DCT (2) DDC (1) Dechen Wangmo (1) Democracy (4) Department of Revenue and Customs (5) Depression (1) Development (2) Dictator (1) Diplomatic Relationship (1) Disaster (1) Diwali (4) DNT (1) Doctors (1) dog (1) Doomsday 2012 (1) DPT (3) Dr. Karma Phuntsho (1) Dr. Richard Teo (1) DRC (4) Dream (2) Drugs (1) Dungsey Rimpoche (1) Dylan Thomas (1) Dzongkha Song (6) Earth hour (1) East (1) Ecology (1) Economics (17) Economist (1) Economy (2) Education (10) Election (10) Election 2013 (5) Election Commission of Bhutan (1) Election2013 (1) End of the world (1) Enforcement (3) Eric Weiner (1) Essay Games and Sports (1) Exams (9) Extra Marital case (1) Eyelid Twitching (1) Eyes (1) Facebook (6) Family (6) Farewell (1) FIFA (1) Fire disaster (2) Flowers (5) Flu (1) Folk tale (1) Food (2) Football (3) Foreign Policy (3) Fourth King (4) Freedom (3) Freedom at midnight (1) friend (2) Friendship (2) Fun (1) fundamental right (1) Games (2) Gandinagar (1) Gangnam Style (1) Germany (1) global warming (1) GNH (8) Golf Course in Shingkhar (4) Government (7) Great Britain (1) Guest Post (2) Guest Post. Extra Marital Affairs. (1) Gujarat (35) Gujarat University (9) Guns in Bhutan (1) Guru Rimpoche (1) H. L. V. Derozio's (1) H.H Dalai Lama (2) Hamas (1) Happiness (13) Happy new year (5) High land (1) His Majesty (5) History (4) Hobby (1) Hollywood (1) Home (6) Humbleness (1) humility (1) Humming bird (1) humor (2) I am Malala (1) I too had a love story (1) Iceland (1) Icon Shoe (1) IELTS (1) India (35) Indo-Bhutan Friendship (1) Infatuation (1) Information (1) Inspiration (2) International Happiness day (1) International Health Regulation (1) International Poetry day (1) International water day (1) International Women's day (1) interview (2) Israel (1) Jangsa Animal Saving Trust (2) Japan (5) Jaswant Singh (1) JDWNR Hospital (8) Jigme Y. Thinley (1) job (1) John Keats (1) jokes (2) Joseon Dynasty (1) Justice (2) Kankaria lake (1) Katmandu (2) Kidu (1) Kings of Bhutan (2) Kongfu Panda (2) Kuensel (3) Lal Darwaza (1) laughter (2) Law (5) Lemjakha (2) lessons (1) Letter (1) letter to MP (2) Letter. (1) Life (4) Loan (1) Local Healers (3) Lomba (1) Longchen Rabjam (9) Losar (2) love (8) Lunar Eclipse (2) Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering (1) Mail (1) Malaysia (5) Married to Bhutan (1) Mathematics (1) Media (1) mediocrity (1) merry X-mas. (2) MH370 (1) middle class people (1) middle class people. My life (1) Ministry of Finance. Paro Airport (1) Minzuk Lhamo (2) Misfortune (2) MoE (1) MoF (1) Moldova (1) Money Plant (1) Monk hood (1) Monks (1) morales (2) Mother's Day (2) Movie (5) MPs (1) Music (3) my ATM card. (1) my blog (4) My Boss (4) my camera (2) my country (1) My daughters (14) My family (7) My father (9) My Friend (2) My job (6) My King (2) My King and Queen (4) My Life (76) My mother (4) My passport (1) My Phone (1) My Promises (1) My sister (3) my sun glass (1) My Teachers (2) My Wife (4) Narendra Modi (4) NASA (1) National anthem (1) National Assembly (1) National Council (1) National Day (1) Nature (1) Nelson mandela (1) Nepal (4) news (1) Nissam Ezekil (1) Nomads (1) Norbu the Cat (1) Opposition (1) Our Queen (1) Pakistan (1) Palace (1) Palestine (1) Parliament (2) Paro (4) Paro Airport (6) Passu (2) Pay Revision (4) PDP (2) Pedestrian day (1) People (3) Photography (34) Poetry (12) Police (2) Politics (15) Pollution (1) Prado (1) Prediction (1) Primary round (1) Prime Minister of Bhutan (6) Prime Minister of India (1) Private Sector (1) Prostitution (1) psychology (2) Public Debt (1) Punakha (2) Punishment (1) Qatar (1) Queen of Bhutan (1) Quota (1) RAA (1) Rabindranath Tagore (1) Rabney (2) Rajnikant (1) Random Thoughts (36) Rape (1) Raven Magazine (1) RCSC (3) reflection (1) Refugee Problem (1) Religion (4) Republic day of India (1) Research (2) Result (5) Retention wall (1) RILO AP (2) Road (1) Road Development (1) Road safety (1) Robert Frost (1) ROCB (1) Royal Wedding (4) RRCO. Paro (2) Rule of Law (1) Rumors (1) Rupee Crunch (3) samrtphones (1) scholarships (3) School (1) Security (2) Seminar (3) Seoul (3) shapes (2) Sherubtse (3) Shingkhar (33) Shopping (1) Sikkim (1) SIM card (1) Singapore (1) Smile (1) Snowfall (1) social forestry day (1) Social Media (4) social problems (2) Soelra (1) South Korea (8) Spain (1) Sperm Donation (1) Stipend (2) story (2) Study (2) Suhas Gopinath (1) Superstition (1) Switzerland (1) Talent (2) Tashi Group of Companies (1) Teachers (6) Teachers's Day (2) Team work (1) Tenancy Act (1) Thai Customs (3) Thailand (3) Thank you (2) Thank you note (1) The Nederlands (1) Thimphu (2) Thuksey Rimpoche (1) Tibet (3) Tiger (1) tobacco (1) Tobacco Control Act (3) TOEFL (1) Trade (2) Traditions (4) Training (11) Travel (15) Tsechu (1) Tulip (1) Ugyen Pandy (2) Uniform (1) Ura (2) USA (1) vacation (1) Valentine's Day (1) Walk (1) Wangdi Dzong (2) WCO (4) Wedding (1) Welfare Contribution (1) WHO (1) wild life (1) wildlife (4) William Wordsworth (1) Wisdom (2) Women (3) Woochu (1) World CUP (3) Writer (1) writers (1) Writing (1) Yak (11) Yeshhey (1) Youths (4) Zhabdrung (1) Zoo (1)

© Writing My Own Unwritten Lines, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena