Tuesday, 31 January 2012

As the Phase of Life Changes.

It was during the winter of 2007 and having given the BHSEC from Bajothang Higher Secondary School, I left for my vacation with loads of fruitful memories. During my childhood days, my duty during the winter vacation was to rear the sheep and cows on the pastures and hillsides everyday but no more then as the population of sheep declined drastically. My last and longest vacation of school days was historic as I got to attend many political campaigns, and hear the voices of politicians as they made numerous promises and having taken part in casting the votes for the candidates of NC and NA of the first historic election of democratic Bhutan. In the village, it was always fun with the village folks during the annual village tsechu, losars, annual lochoes, etc. and of course working at the sites where new houses were constructing. However, my mind was never engrossed in those activities but deep within I had that worry, a worry about my BHSEC result. Though I was quite confident that I had done my best, I was little worried about the consequences of my luck.
source: google images

It was during the month of February that I came to Wangdue town to wait for the declaration of our results as my village was quite inaccessible to media if not for the FM radio only. Today we have electricity to light our homes and B Mobile network to reach the friends and relatives. So in front of the computer, I was checking my result on the Bhutan Telecom website on the evening of the result declaration. It took quite a time and when I finally could view my scores, I was happy to see that my marks were good enough to seal a slot for scholarship provisions. For few successive weeks, I did not miss the kuensel issues to see the notifications and advertisements regarding the availability of scholarships for further studies but somehow I missed it. By the time I learnt about the it, I was left with just a couple of days to submit my documents to the Scholarship Division of Department of Adult and Higher Education. This made me rush to the capital city which was my first time. Of course during my first journey, one of my cousin brothers accompanied me. Rushing from the hospital to the DAHE office, from DAHE office to the Xerox shop, it was a tedious job for me and more tiresome and tough, when I didn’t have a friend.  

Worst, I could not decide specifically on which field of study to choose as I didn’t have good idea about the scope of different courses. Nor could I avail much advice from those who have ideas. I was a bio math student and coincidentally my marks in those two subjects were equal, which gave me a better option in both the bio and math fields. My favourite is bio so I had chosen in the bio field. Me being a villager have a good attachment with forest so Forestry is what I have chosen adamantly and didn’t dreams a shit about becoming an engineer. My parents being illiterate and uneducated, they neither pressurized me to focus for certain specific ambitions, nor did they have any objections for my choice of course and that’s the liberty I enjoyed being a son of farmer.

Now that the class twelve results are out, quite a number of our dear brothers and sisters might be excited and in jubilant state with their good marks. For them what is important is to get themselves vigilant about the notices and advertisements regarding the opportunities of further studies besides getting themselves equipped with all the necessary documents like medical fitness certificate, security clearance certificate, class ten mark sheets, etc. It is always advisable to keep atleast three Xerox copies of each. Meanwhile they should consult with the seniors, teachers, and authorities concerned about the prospect of choosing the course of one’s interest. There are many instances of career mismatch and even those sent on government scholarships land up without a single job vacancy when they complete their courses and come back. While it is good to make the choices, it is sometimes best to take the chances as well.

Since the news reports states that only 15% of the total class XII pass outs will be absorbed by RUB, it is for sure that some 75% of our class twelve pass outs will have to either get into the job market, which is already facing the scarcity of jobs. Farming, though it is one of the best and sustainable sources of income, our youths show hatred towards the profession. From my point of view provided that one’s parent have a good land resource, it is best to become an educated farmer than earning a meager sum by picking up job which neither satisfies us, nor our parents.

What so ever the situation may be the youths should now get themselves prepared to face the challenges and accept their fate. It might be painful and agonizing experience this season for some unlucky ones and it is during such times that our youths tend to follow the wrong path, so it is important that our parents and authorities concerned gives them best counseling and groom them face the real world. 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Facebook scribbles.

Written when the path I am traveling seems to be taking a much longer duration to reach the final destination.

paths of variety,

"It is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent...” but when the other end seems least bothered and more reluctant to work for a good cause, then our will to prepare and prevent fades, leaving us startled!
Eroding the paths once paved with glistening emeralds to transform everything into a history of life. History which some people won’t dare to look back and history which others have experienced in a similar manner to loath about.

Four years ago, I Consciously had chosen a path which seems to be a mistaken one. To fight the wars, I feed a steed and developed a shoe for it and as years passed by the horse aged and shoe got torn and when I am to fight the ultimate battle, it seems my steed is exhausted and the shoe is beyond repair. Now I leave the fate of my unfinished mission in the hands of almighty.

The hopes cultivated in the garden of my heart diminishes, the aspirations developed with beat of my rhythmic heart stopped and finally the life jacket which I have been wearing for years is lost and thus I may sink in this ocean.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Like a Bird-II

A poem for children,

Like a bird, I want to fly,
Above the clouds so high.
Soaring higher in the sky
Without any obstacles nearby.

When storms of desperation struck me,
Like a bird, I will set myself free,
To discover the joy, lengthy or wee,
Amid the beauty of elegant tree.

When to me, the drizzles of happiness befall
The flocks of same feather, I would call
And like a bird, heartily I would sing for all
For the recipe, they shared big or small.

When entire world tends to act cruel,
And quenches their greed with goals dual
Like a bird, I would contend with simple gruel
And pray for goodness of each individual.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

On the Soil of Enlightenment - II

2600 years ago, Prince Siddhartha got enlightened under a peepal tree after six years of enduring pain by meditation at Bodh Gaya. Today every Buddhist aspires to visit the site to pay homage to the enlightened one and to follow the path towards enlightenment, yet only the lucky and fortunate ones fulfill their wish. For many Bhutanese, they toil the entire summer to save some amounts for their pilgrimage in chilly winters while for others their sons and daughters doing service sponsor their aging parents to visit the sacred place. Bodh Gaya is a pilgrimage destination for all the Buddhists around the world.
The ultimate apex as viewed from the lower realms via colourful paths amid mystical haze.

This winter starting 31st December 2011 to 10th January 2012, a special prayer and teaching programme is being conferred by his holiness the Dalai Lama. The 32nd Kalachakra Empowerment 2012 is being attended by over two lakh people from across the world majority being the Tibetans, and I was one lucky few to have witnessed the special ceremony though not for the entire duration.

Having learnt that Dalai Lama is preaching in Bodh Gaya, which is some 7 hours journey by train from my college, I planned to visit the holy site and booked the tickets though I was quite sure that accommodation would be a problem out there. So on the evening of 4th January, we proceeded towards Bodh Gaya. The train reached us Gaya junction at 3:30 am so after waiting for half an hour at the station fearing the looters at night, and at 4.00am we took an auto heading to Bodh Gaya, which reached us at 4:30 am. Bodh Gaya was in deep silence if not for the devoted pedestrians on the way towards the Mahabodhi temple. We waited for the dawn to crack so that we can look for a room for lodging but it was more of an impossibility and expensive if available unlike on other occasions.

Finally, we could get a local residence at a reasonable rate, and then after taking rest for a while and taking a breakfast, the purpose of our visit began by circumambulation of the Maha Bodhi Temple, reciting the Badza Guru, and then listening to the preaching’s of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which is in Tibetan medium. Nevertheless, owing to the advancement in technology, the preaching is being aired live in various languages including Dzongkha.

HHDL, as prophesied accepted to live 113 years.

The teachings of Dalai Lama, as per the translation made by a Bhutanese Khenpo, mainly deal about how to live a peaceful life by practicing dharma. He said that it is only through the practice of true Buddhism, the obscurity of our mind can be cleared and that in this materialistic world, no wealth can buy an ounce of happiness but by practicing dharma and taking refuge in the three jewels of  Buddhism, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama taught the devotees for ten days mainly covering five important texts to reach the message to the people in simplest form but if not for those sitting in the tent where his holiness was seated, others outside the kalachakra ground might not have received the messages completely. This is due to the excessive heat during the day and numerous distractions from the crowds moving up and down, doing business, playing games, chitchatting etc. I could listen to the teachings with full concentration only for one day from the four days that I spent there but could get a copy of the texts for the entire preliminary teaching, which contains inscriptions in Tibetan and its equivalent translation in English.

If looked from a religious perspective, my trip was a virtuous one because since my landing on the soil of enlightenment, negative thoughts tends to disperse and thoughts of cognition develop in me which reminds me of the negative karma which we will endure if we tend to affiliate our thoughts and actions towards negativity.

From the recreational point of view, it was a wonderful experience visit the holy sites of Rajgir and Nalanda, visiting the various temples from various Buddhist countries thus relishing the mind which is otherwise occupied by the daily mundane of college routine.

And if fate is to be considered, I could meet some of my high school teachers who after quite a year and meet friends from the colleges in Kolkata and Allahabad. Such a meeting in a holy site, though it seems a mere coincidence but it’s an indication of continuity of my previous fate and hence I prayed for the further continuity of good fate, fate for my mind to adhere more towards religion.

The Five Texts that were deliberated by HHDL is as follows;

1.     A hymn to [the Buddha], the World Transcendent by Master Nagarjuna,
2.     The Second volume of the Sages of Meditation by Master Kamalashila,
3.     The Eight Verses on Mind Training by Geshe Langri Thangpa Dorje Senge,
4.     The Thirty Seven Practices of Bodhisattavas by Bodhisatava Thongmey Zangpo,
5.     The jewel lamp: Verses in Praise of Bodhichitta by Khunnu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

First Page of the 366 Days Journey.

If we are to believe that what we do on 1st day of first month of any new year will repeat throughout the year, then the year 2012 meant a lonely year for me without much companions, often confronted by the harshness of external forces compelling to fast without a cause.

When I woke up in the morning today (I made my mind to wake up early starting the New Years Day but it was already 6:30a.m when I was awake), I did not feel the chill of morning air as I use to feel on other days. Looking through the window I found that the otherwise parched lawn appeared quite fresh and the air was humid with blanket of thick clouds over us. With a cup of hot coffee in hand, I walked on the porch contemplating the very first step of the year’s journey, sipping the hot coffee with the air of cosy environment.  Will it rain today? I thought. After all winter rains are not as interesting as those of spring. But at such a peak winter season it won’t rain, rather there might be a drizzle I comforted myself. Such a drizzle if ever poured will be a good omen for the year as we Buddhist consider such drizzles a flowery shower from heaven. 

The other day at the New Years Eve after taking the dinner, my friend and me discussed about how we should celebrate the New Year. Since we are, only two remainders left in the otherwise noisy three-storied hostel, partying the New Years Eve sounds odd and it won’t be of much charm if we do so also. Therefore, we decided to go to the city on the New Year’s Day and have a lunch in the restaurant.

 Actually, it was a good coincidence that New Years Eve falls on Saturday so one can rock the night until dawn and rest the whole Sunday. This might have happened with others but for me I waited for the New Year surfing net and then dosed off to sleep quarter past mid night with the mind to wake up early.

So at around 9:00a.m I called upon my friend and two of us as decided the other day went for roaming the town to seek the company of strangers on a warm foggy yet gloomy weathered New Year day. The sun never radiated its light down to earth the whole day. As soon as we reached the periphery of the town, it started drizzling. So two of us in haste rode on a rickshaw asking the rickshawahla to reach us to the nearest restaurant. The restaurant is some two kilometres far and no sooner did the rickshaw ride started than the rain poured in full velocity, after which the old rickshawahla too was fatigued in the rain to paddle harder, and two of us got totally drenched in wetness.

"It seems that the cyclone from Tamil has reached this far now. It’s not advisable to stay in the restaurant for a lunch in this condition." He told me so I with a nod we headed towards auto stand to reach back to the hostel which is some 8 kilometres. By then the intensity of rain has reduced and it was little comfortable though we were wet in and out. Therefore, our idea of taking a lunch didn't materialize. He suggested me to take either fish or chicken so that we can have our own supper in the hostel but I refused. Fish I don't like and chicken, I don't want to see them dying in agony in front of our eye.

 "We have enough vegetable in there, so let’s have a salivating kewa datse." I told him as we walked towards the auto stand. Two of us are on self catering since a month ago, my room serving a mini kitchen . Still raining but lightly. There wasn't much pedestrians and consequently only few autos were there. One was already packed and it was ready to leave, and other few, they were empty. So, we had to squeeze in the single auto which was already packed.

Fourteen passengers and the autowala. Indian traffic rule is so liberal but in times it’s beneficial for needy passengers. I was allotted an inch of the driver’s seat from the right side and my friend a same proportion from the left. As we travelled, it started raining harder and heavier again. Every drop of water from the cable fall unto me and with the splashes of rain from beneath, yet again I was totally soaked and I couldn't even sit. Same was the case with my friend but somehow we reached the campus.

So two of us rushed to the hostel, changed ourselves and we were to prepare a hot tea and then a delicious lunch, but unluckily there was no power. This is the problem here, rain comes, power goes. So, we were to go for fasting for no cause. All alone without much jolly I looked through the window reminiscing the summer days which I use to spent with parents back home during my childhood days. My friend seems frustrated and never came out of his room until 5:00p.m when he knocked on my door to ask me about dinner. I looked at the florescent tube. Outside it was still raining.