Sunday, 31 July 2011

Of Duties and Obligations- Reflecting back to the Month just Gone by.

Voices are characteristics of democracy but visions are seldom envisaged while raising the voices, which is why we see people more of speaking than acting. While expressing our thoughts out and discussing the matter in a mutual cooperation is what we called signs of progress, but the trend is that people speak out more of criticisms of minuscule value and tend to play a blame game whenever a problem arises. The fact is that prior to arising any problems, everybody remain complacent and ignorant of civic duties leaving the entire burden to those few, who are actually responsible. Actually, responsibility should be an inherent aptitude which every single head should be born with.

His eminence the Dalai Lama said, “Chinese Parliament too silent, Indian Parliament too noisy" and there is nothing wrong in the statement made by such a venerable religious head. Quite many times, I have observed on Television how the Indian politicians create havoc with noises in the house of parliament when indifferences arise. Indian being the largest democracy is also no less one of the most liberal democracies in the world. For democracy is rule of the people, by the people, for the people, with the people having the power to make the decisions that directly affect them, and as such, democratic moves start at grass root level. 

However, the topic becomes so vast for me to analyze the real democratic moves and processes so I won’t be writing here any further than this few lines. The tract I am following is just to make realize how the freedom of expression works, to explain how it is just a piece of cake to speak out for others and how people not tend to think for seconds before blaming or complaining about others weakness, from my experiences of day to day customary. 

“Let’s have a meeting for regulating the messed up mess and think for solutions of reviving the weakened management of it” called the hostel prefect exactly a month ago. So during the proceedings of meeting, all students gathered in the meeting room to discuss the issue and resolve it. You might be wondering what the real problem is? Well the problem is that in the past moths many a times, we have to rush for attending the lecture with a 2minutes noodle feed or sometimes even without that. Despite not having a regular meal, the meal rate escalated very high and this impregnated apprehension in me. I too became sceptic in times. 

“So let’s hear everybody’s opinion and come to a vivid and strong conclusion,” one of the students pointed out. And everybody started saying this and that and, this way they call it democratic. They talked of the leakage in pipe causing seepage in the floor, of the unsatisfactory duties performed by the cooks and casual labours, of sanitation of kitchen and need for care of kitchen utensils, so every mouth has a word to speak. But as the topic shifted to the controversial issue of negative balance of few heads in the mess account, the debate became hot enough to make all of them speak together and there was hardly a single person listening. There was more of noise than a harmonious discussion. 

The jackals howl because they don’t know how to sing, but Homo sapiens sapiens should be different for we possess the sixth sense, the civic sense or simply common sense, but such a common sense is not so common.
When the nonsensical noise finally eased, we discussed about the appointment of new mess manager for the coming month and when nobody seemed interested and least bothered, I once again held my head high and took over the charge with humility. There was a lukewarm response, but somehow everybody came to a consensus that it’s never a one man’s task. They said they will cooperate with me.

And I was to run the mess for one month, indeed my second tenure after six months. Well, what they would aspect from the mess manager now? A timely and regular meal, a quality food, and very low meal rate, et al. Now this is only possible if everybody come forwards and deposit their mess fees, advice the cooks to cook food in a manner they wish, ask the casual labours to work efficiently and maintain cleanliness in the home where we dwell. 

But as days passed by, I could see that those noise which they raised during the meeting were mere bluffing. Forget about advising the cooks and casual labours, I was to go knocking the door of every student and request them to pay for what they eat. Few even dared to eat for days without paying, with lame excuses. And when the food quality deteriorated one day, they just put the blame on the cooks or me without realizing how difficult it is for the mess manager to guide the cooks, setting the menus, and most important of all checking the meal rate which they all want at minimal. 

Without missing a single breakfast and feeding them twice with chicken, twice with egg, one meal with fish, and vegetable on other days every week, and finally when I declared that the daily expenditure for a student is Rs. 39.9 for the month of July, I could see a warm smile in their faces. I consider it a social service executed with dedication with my best ability. After one hectic month, in times scolding the casuals and cooks, in times exchanging heated words with fellow students, I was tired so with the mess more or less revived I handed over the task to another person. “Please don’t let us feed on Maggie in the coming month,” I requested the new manager. “Else I will make noise this time.”

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Random Thoughts inscribed in me From Bajothang HSS.

I spent two fruitful years there. The moments there were more memorable and interesting than my current college life. Facing the silent but swiftly flowing Puna tsangchu was my class. Since my first day in class eleven Science, I choose to sit by the side of window. It was through that window, that I can have a clear view of the flowing river, the beach like banks on the other side, the cactus though thorny but green, the fields that feed the families, the roads leading to capital, and of course the pristine hills filled with evergreen chir pines (Pinus roxburghii).
I use to gaze through the window, just loving the way nature blossom, the way river swell, the way the paddy ripe, the beauty of flowers of the thorny cactus, and sometimes landing myself in the capital city in the modest car driven by an elegant lass until a flying chalk from the teacher hit me on my head. 

In the spring months, the gusty wind from the Wangdue town dumps its dust in the shallow vales of Bajothang. I could see the sands on the shore of river on the other side being swirled by the effect of breeze from the swift Puna Tshangchu. The river has not swelled yet and it would remain clear blue. The swans from the northern snow capped mountains are yet to return to their summer homes having dwelled the banks of river the entire winter. The new flush of leaves sprout from the surrounding trees of Neem (Malia azadirach), Eucalyptus, Cypress (Cupresus corneyana), etc.., and fruit trees like Pomegranate (Punica granatum) and Guava (Psidium  guajava), are yet to flower. The pines as always remain evergreen and I use to wish, if our life would remain evergreen forever like those conifers.
source: google images

But as the valley grows warmer, the tiny mosquitoes which have breed from the nearby drains and pig sty would visit our morning classes, commencing their years progress with a sting on our ears. Sooner the clouds gather and torrential rain hit the roofs, awakening the drowsy class. The river then turn grey and begins its turbulent flow, sweeping the upper ridges of the banks, thus cleaning the filthy and dirty banks of winters leftover.
One day a farmer came with his power tiller and ploughed his field. A silhouette was erected and then left, and the following day, they pumped the water from the river below and it was time for transplanting paddy. In the class, the humid wind coming from the window and fast spinning fans on ceilings cannot reduce the sweltering heat, so I drowse to sleep. And during the midterm exams when my mind became blank, I use to gaze through the window and relate the season of life in my essays, the physiology of plants nearby in Biology, the reactions of heats and sweats in Chemistry, and the ebb and flow of waves in Physics.

When I am back after midterm break, the heat has grown mild. But through the window I see the fields lush and green. The pines remain as it is, though myriad of physio-chemical changes take place within them. Thinking critically, it is those conifers, which serve as sink for huge carbon dioxide that are released by the moving vehicles, and nearby dwellers. The cactus would have stored a large quantum of water from the bygone monsoon, to be used during the arid winter. Fruit trees nearby are nurturing and yet to ripe unless the innocent children come and pluck it unripe. It become the season of bountifulness.

And as the winter months approach, the nearby trees shed their leaves, the river would dry up exposing the sands to hasty breeze, the fields of course are ripe so the farmer come along with a group of labours one day and reap them all, leaving it barren. This time it’s the chilly wind tapping by the closed windows. In the morning, the air would be misty, and I could again hear the quaking of ducks and swans, and like the birds returning back to their winter residents, I was to give my final exams and head towards my sweet home, taking nothing but a colourful result, as the only gift for my aging mom. Indeed it was a gift of Bajothang Higher Secondary School.

               Threshold of My Future.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Culture and Youth of Bhutan

Hidden in the folds of Himalayas, Bhutan is an extraordinary country. Her valley so beautiful comprising of the rolling hills, dense forest, and deep valleys steeped in Buddhist tradition and culture. Bhutanese culture is intrinsic and aboriginal. Culture is the beliefs, values, behaviours and material objects shared by particular people. Bhutan is best known to the outside world through its rich and unique culture heritage. This is a gift passed on from generation to generation.
source: SARYN

With the passage of time, developmental activities in this hidden paradise have opened a new chapter. The lives of the people became more comfortable and tranquil. People are also developing new habits and their mentality had also altered and ultimately it leads to the change in the culture of our country. Amongst those people are the youths, who enjoy the luxury and comforts of the materialistic world. Modernization encouraged our youths to cope up with the changed way of the life. The youths and culture of our country are becoming contradictory. The youths are showing love towards western culture and adopting them, which today they associate with modernity. Our rich culture of Buddhist values are slowly giving way to the Hollywood and Bollywood culture.

While Bhutanese culture like Dzongs, architectural styles, games like archery and many others upsurge in fame worldwide because of its uniqueness, our non-material culture, i.e., values and beliefs,(our belief in local deities and faith in religion) language, songs and dances etc… seems to be diminishing in its popularity. Why? Because youths are not bothered. It is indeed very sad to learn that in this stage we hardly see youths speaking our own languages fluently. When observe them speaking our language, they at least use one foreign word in every sentence. Mixed languages have now become a nuisance. When inquired, our parents proudly says that they wore only our national dress in every field of work and every time but now, our beautiful costumes are neglected and youths prefer baggy pants and shirts, chains and bangles over their wrist, and earrings and bear long dyed hairs even by the boys. The boots measures twice their feet and bodies all painted or scratched with disgusting designs of tattoos. Is all these Bhutanese culture? These are not the aboriginal Bhutanese culture.

Drukyul is filled with hospitable man, who embodies love to all sentient beings, have loyalty and devotion to their motherland and possess a great faith in religion. Festivals were part of their life, from where they learn lots of good ethics, but youths of today are out of that vicinity. Given a choice between visiting a monastery and a discotheque, they would prefer the later. The former is ignored. Their lack of interest in our fabulous festivals and enchanting places cause deterioration and lost of its values. Actually the culture in which the youths are now stepping in are the much traveled path of barbarism where lives began with illusions.

The youths of today betray the belief that unseen spirits live everywhere- in earth and on trees, skies and water, rocks, forests and valleys and even in the ground under our feet, taking advantage of the bilateral factual scientific beliefs. In reality our own convictions in just mentioned perspectives are the source of peace and prosperity because when we fail to respect them or annoy them, they punish us with disastrous natural calamities causing great loss and bereavement. Moreover those beliefs have helped Bhutanese to preserve the country’s ecosystem and bio-network, offers landscape which is one of the biodiversity hotspots. The culture and natural heritage is the only asset of the nation and their preservation and conservation is one of the main pillars of fulfilling his majesty fourth kings’ philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

We the youths of today are the future leaders and citizens of the country. We need to pass down to our younger generations, the rich cultural heritage which was gifted to us by our forefathers. Time teaches us the desires, ambitions and dreams that grow up before we realize it, but let’s not blame the modernization for ourselves losing our culture. It is indeed our scandalous behaviour which leads to happen so. While promotion of these traditional values is the responsibility of every government agency and every citizen of the country, sole responsibility lies in the hands of the youths.

The value so called “Tha Damtse” the collective meaning for various values such as loyalty, gratitude, and unity, and “Lay Jumdrel,” the consequences of our thoughts and perform the sacred duty of rekindling the dying ambers of culture and tradition, thus to promote them so that in the process of modernization these values and national identities are not lost. This is one way of epitomizing our inner thoughts to the outside world. Let’s take care of every second so that hours can be cared by themselves, through the practice of values which are taught to us by our gracious teachers through physical education, career education, value education, etc.., so that the sun of peace and prosperity will shine till eternity in this land of Mystic Splendour.