Lower Thimphu
The years have come and gone
Where I have stayed for thirty years and more
Once lined up with endless paddy fields
Where soaked in mud and barefooted
We hunted for dragonflies and tadpoles
And mercy was a knowledge ungained
Dragonflies, we detached their tails
And filled them with tiny twigs
We rejoiced at them faltering
To fly…
Tadpoles, we collected them
In our hands and jars
And watched them for eternity
Exulting at the massacre

I had a visitor yesterday; a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and we chatted up about his business after he quit his job. Strangely he revealed how happy he is being his own boss after he nearly went into depression in the job that he quit. He said he wasn’t the most laudable employee but that he wasn’t naturally insincere; he was made to be one, by the working environment he was in. His bosses despised him for it but they couldn’t simply lay him off because he knew too much and he was a threat to them.

“If you were suffering, why didn’t you ever expose them? How does it help to swallow your pride and compromise yourself for the wrong reasons” I asked

The number of members of the opposition party standing up against the direct appointment of BBS MD Tshering Wangchuk, by the government during the Parliament session, as aired during BBS News session yesterday was really appalling(http://www.bbs.bt/news/?p=46418). The discussion was murky but perhaps that is just a reflection of a society that we are turning into.

Democracy was gifted by our Monarchs to empower people by involving them in the functioning of the State, but since 2008, people have unreasonably abused the freedom vested in them. Does anyone realize how negative we have turned and how engaged everybody is in finger pointing blame games? It makes me wonder where all the peace loving and tooth-baring Bhutanese that once used to be have gone? Our once longsighted, peripheral vision has escaped us and what remains of it just sees our short term longings. Everybody seems to be grouped in one political party or the other, including the ones pretentiously unbiased as required by their posts, depending on who will serve your interests better than the other, and for some section of the society, who can afford a fitting zipper for their lips! For businessmen, they eternally and faithfully stand by the party that wins. I have turned paranoid to the extent that if you told me, I would easily believe that even the dogs in T-town have vouched their loyalty to different parties!

This is just showing off the doughnuts I made for my babe's 6th birthday..The kids all loved it! The first one is the batch with chocolate sauce and coconut sprinkles, the second one with chocolate sauce and colorful sprinkles. Most of my siblings chipped in some effort -my eldest brother made KFC style chicken fry which became the hero of the night, my sister made savory pakoras for the wining session among other things. You see, the love of food runs in the blood! We ordered the monster high cake(vanilla chocolate flavoured) from Art Cafe which albeit a bit pricey was worth every bit of money it cost! I think they are the best in town.

I feel both awed and dismayed at the dynamics and struggle, the back and forth play for power in the battleground of offices. The contention for power, for praises and promotions often saturates the workplace to an extent that it will casually seep onto you even if you just intend to mind your own business at your own desk.

My friends in the civil service has similar things to say – of how office politics is defamed by people with corrupt practices, sycophants who vie for perks at the cost of others' opportunities, because you see, office politics in itself need not necessarily be so bad and manipulative.

A man is born and bred so he can set his own goal for the journey of his life, irrespective of whether he reaches there, because in the end, it is never about the goal..it is all about the journey. A common man's usual goal is either prosperity or happiness. Yet, Buddhist practitioners may see this as mediocre wherein a man is led to revolve in his own circle of Karma. This confusion has led me to write the piece below. Help enlighten me if you please!

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Life’s unending promises drive many
To the illusions of gold and riches
Or the hues of love and happiness
The assumed purposes above mediocrity
For a man to define himself

So on a lifelong journey sets he
Sweat on his brows
Ideal Dirt on his hand
Often beyond redemption
For dreams that crowned his mind

My five year old daughter once looked at the mirror and tucked her tummy in, by holding her breath and said “I don’t want to be fat like Mandy “. Mandy, the victim of comparison here happens to be her unfortunate four year old cousin who is not in the least bit bothered about fashion or figure as long as she is well fed and comfortable in what she’s wearing. My daughter further declares that some of her friends at school wear light eye makeups and lip glosses, indicating that failure to follow suit would make her unforgivingly inferior to her friends. And her ambition in life, she says, is to become a fashionista (seemingly taking after her older cousin who models as a part time) and forcibly seeks our audience to applaud her ramp walks at home.

If love could be painted on a canvas, it would probably look like a multi-colored rainbow in an Autumn Sky and if it could be sung, it would probably sound like Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”. Love may be multi-faceted yet it undeniably forms a huge chunk of whatever durable happiness a person can experience in life because love brings meanings and fulfillments in ways that nothing else in the world does. And once in a lifetime can someone make your knees wobble, and your heart summersault and when you do find such a person, you can be sure that he will turn your life around and downside up.

The last few weeks, some friends commented when they saw me with what’s happened with your idol lines. I feel for Shashi Tharoor and the untimely demise of the beautiful woman he seemed besotted with. I have been reading news on this ever since his wife was found dead in a hotel. Man, what bad luck! And of all the time, it had to be just before elections! Or wait, maybe it is timely afterall! To bring down somebody as potential a candidate as Shashi Tharoor- it would take the just person he most loved. And here I was hoping all the while that he would possibly be the next Indian Presidential candidate! The turn of events in such a thing as politics is bizzare – some rise, others fall; whether this is all justifiable or fair is mind boggling. It’s a game for the thick skinned because they will either build a shrine around you or entomb you alive depending on which side of the game you are on. Only the tough ones will prevail…

We may own a place, a piece of land, a car or a country but can we ever really call them our own without ever struggling to protect what is ours till the end of us? Forget that, people weren’t even allowed to own their habits when smoking or chewing tobacco was banned some two or three years back at a time when it was easier to drink, dope or kill than smoke. A law is a law is a law and must be stringently applied across. However, when laws start acting funny, it calls for fiery frowns and judgments from the ones it is supposed to judge. Every single law is supposed to make things better for the society, not worse and for the record, the tobacco ban and its many amendments should have served as a lesson of sorts. But I guess, some people never really learn.