Friday, 17 January 2014

Of Reflections- 2013 in Diary

Only that shines early in the east,
Is the sun that rises from the east,
That brightens the world at its best,
Is what it does, that shines in the east.

"Years come and go but this year, I specially wish for you a double dose of health and happiness topped with loads of good fortunes. Have a great year ahead. Happy New Year 2013." Read one of the sms that I received from a friend at the 2013 New Years Eve. 2013 was a landmark in my life. It was a year of fulfillment, of pride and satisfaction. Years of persistent perspiration finally landed me a job in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, the park with its core, the legendary Jowo Durshing and inhabited by the mythical animal, the giant tigers, to pursue conservation and management of country’s natural heritage; a cause destined and profession chosen.

“Your scenic beauty is tantalizing,
The crystalline flakes are glistening,
With divine blessings accumulated in countless stupas,
Joyfully I cross you, the panoramic Dochula.” –
January 2013

Crossing the panoramic Dochula and reversing the trails long traversed by Pema Lingpa the Pelela, I finally landed in Tshangkha, a valley overlooking the swift Mangde Chhu and facing the dark hills of Black Mountains, and I for the first time felt the chill of cold Black mountain breezes. However, the sun that rose with the dawn of 2013 was there to stay brighten whole of my year.

Under the intellectual and dynamic supervision of the Kelzang sir, Park Manager for JSWNP and my first boss, I availed the best of privileges to explore and experience the life of a forester. One week in and I had my first experience in wilderness, and there was no looking back. Firstly, it was the Biological Corridor survey, followed by the Tiger survey and of late monitoring Golden langurs and White-bellied Herons. The adventure revolved around the black mountains, sleeping by caves, crossing the rivers, drenching in the rains thus experiencing the true man vs. wild fantasies. In the north, the cold of Black mountains chilled me, the temperate rhododendrons mesmerized me, and down in the south, it’s the tweets of birds that bonded me to the nature. We explored the untraveled ancient trails and discovered the secrets of aboriginal Monpas. While the entire journey seems adventurous, there were instances where we suffered and bereaved.

“My body it sweated gallons, my muscles got fatigued.
My boot stinked coat accumulated layers of dust.
My leg burnt and it ached. Hiking the terrains and jungle of JSWNP
Sixth day and still counting with rain drenching and sun soaking,
Thus adventuring in lost land of tigers.” -
April 2013

I have been seldom idle in the office. While the field works fatigued me hard, the meetings, workshops and festivals rejuvenated by shrinking spirit in wild. Nomadic festival of WCP in February was the first park festival I have attended in my life, and also my maiden journey to Bumthang and of course Choekhor Toe. I had the first glimpse of how Home stay for tourists are run and had a wonderful stay in one of the farm Houses. Yet again, ‘R’ a brainstorming statistics pulled me to the spiritual valley of Bumthang in June, during which not only did had fun with R and my fellow mates but also got to visit many of the sacred Nyes and witness the Tsechus.   

Jomolhari Mountain festival was an escapade. It was autumn. The monsoon has left and extremes of winter was awaited. The two day trek to Jomolhari base camp on the dry trail, warm day, accompanied by new friends and senior conservationists was mesmerizing as the autumn colours of fruitfulness. First of its kind, the Jomokhari Mountain Festival was one of the most cherishing moments of 2013.
Yet, in times, emotional lows wrecked me as well.

“The hope has faded with the morning dew,
The aspiration dispersed in the day light haze,
In the chilly evening air, towards the western horizon,
I am to gaze, In forlorn for the unfathomable mystery of life.”-
August 2013

We were 10 of us. 10 fresh Forestry Graduates of 2012 posted in different agencies in capacity of Forestry Officer/Research Officer and since our departure to respective destination in January 2013, we never had an opportunity to gather together. It was the “Global Leadership Training for Results in Conservation”, which happened in November that brought us all together in Thimphu. Togetherness, laughter, dines and wines, only because we didn’t understand What does the Fox say? As the progressive 2013 approached its final curtain, the 3rd Forestry Conference pulled me towards Samtse, offering a chance to meet and know many conservationists, from Forest Guard at the base till Minister at the Apex.

Our two Lady Friends Missing Here.

Rejoicing-ly, my village is just an hour drive from my office, so periodic home visits further bonded our intimacy, without having to borne any homesickness and as the 2013 ended, the festive mood of Winter Solstices pooled me towards my sweet home where together with my parents, I reflected back to the year just gone by, and looking forward many more such activities in the newly dawned 2014. The year really dosed me with health and happiness topped with loads of good fortunes.

“Let us join and farewell good year 2013 with happy ending and welcome our good another good year 2014 with joys and happiness, peace and success. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year 2014.”  I thus received the first New Year greeting from a field colleague. 


  1. quite a diary ;) fascinating and delightful... keep writing!!!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. :) I will try to keep my pace.

  2. what a beautiful memories you had... how beautifully you recalls... its a beautiful write-up bro... I wish you a even better, healthier and successful year ahead...

    1. Hey bro, thank you so much for the praise though not worthy of it. Thank you so much for the good wishes and hope I can achieve them. visit again.