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Showing posts from September, 2009

Good Guys retire prematurely, Bad Guys get younger and get promoted

Major (Retd) Namgay (name changed) of Police comes to my office seeking information about the post retirement benefits. He looked too young to retire so out of curiousity I asked him why he wanted to retire so early. He looked at me and said, “ Seniors in my office are getting younger instead of getting older. Some of them were 55 last year but this year when their retirement age is nearing, they are 54. Instead of retiring, they seem to be getting promoted. They keep replacing their falling teeth with gold ones and keep getting prosperous.” He laughs at his own statement and scornfully adds “ they seem to have excluded weekends, Government and public holidays and non-working days from their age. So the younger ones have nowhere to go except retire and find solace elsewhere.” I laugh with him. I guess many people in civil service and corporations are also getting younger everyday. It proves from the fact that one of the most prioritized shopping items for many Bhutanese going to Bangk

Blessed Samosa of Lord Vishwakarma

Ram Singh wakes up earlier than usual on the day of Vishwakarma. In absence of any other Hindu priest , Ram Singh was given charge to appease Lord Vishwakarma on behalf of NPPF office with Nu. 5000 budget every year. Ram Singh opens his canteen first to pick up the balloons, ribbons and cello tape and of course all the unsold samosas from his canteen. He calls someone to help him carry his bag while he goes to every chamber and cubicles and mumbles some incomprehensive words to computers, telephones, printers and heaters and stick some vermillion powder on every item he pretends to have prayed for. After the prayer in the office is done, he waits for the staff to arrive with their cars. He looks at the money being placed on the plate which carries vermillion powder. If it is less than Nu. 100, he just put a red mark and prays that the car be prevented from accident for six months. If the offered money is more, he hurriedly sticks some

The Rule of the Road

(This essay was written by a twentieth century essayist whose name I do not know. I found it among popular essays being sent to me by a friend of mine. I thought this is so relevant for Bhutan today, especially at this point of time when people are so confused about being in democratic country. People from villages to students studying abroad seems to discuss politics at every available opportunity. But if we look at some of the discussions, we need to reflect once again whether Bhutanese have actually transcended into twenty first century. If we could ask for rights, maybe we are also obliged for some duty. So I hope this essay "The Rule of the Road" would give many Bhutanese some reflective insights.) A stout old lady was walking with her basket down the middle of a street in Petrograd to the great confusion of the traffic and with no small peril to herself. It was pointed out to her that the pavement was the place for pedestrians, but she replied: 'I'm going to


Sometimes in 2006, when the whole country was rushing to pose for new identity card, a class teacher of one of the schools in southern Bhutan received a leave application from one of his students. The first line of the application read, “… since I am suffering from identity card making, I am not able to attend the class today....” The teacher had been used to hearing that his pupils were suffering from diarrhoea, scabies and other diseases but surely not from identity card making. It sounds funny when we hear it for the first time but when we ponder over his suffering, people are not just suffering from identity card making alone but from many things, especially from the burden of inefficiencies. Sometimes I wonder how farmers get their job done in the offices. It feels like the offices are there to do people a favour. It works perfectly though if you have connections. This may be the reason why sharchokpas have huge extension of their family lines like b


…this was a story of an old Gomchen called Mentong who came from a remote village. All his life he saved all the money he could by reading scriptures to go on pilgrimage to India. It took three years of saving for him to finally feel his dream become a reality. He was so much excited that he went to Bodh Gaya three weeks before the “Moenlam Chenmo”, the great prayer session actually began. Permitted within his provision of food and money, he traveled to all the pilgrim sites including Varanasi, Rajgriha, Sarnath and ancient university of Nalanda. Wherever possible, he offered butter lamps and money and he prostrated before each statue as others did. He was taken with surprises by the size of the statues and temples .He gazed at the multistoried buildings and more than the colonies of antlike count of people. As the Moenlam Chenmo started, the number of people started to swell to the extent that all empty spaces were filled with pilgrims residing in tents and makeshifts huts. There