11 October, 2013

Memories of Kolkata

Kolkata, erstwhile Calcutta is one of the Mega metro-cities of India, exactly 40 minutes journey onboard, equivalent to Thimphu-Paro on-road journey. The place is famous for aplenty fish and leather goods. Everywhere, the fish pounds in abundance, the staple menu of the city. The goods made from leathers are seen in every shop. The leather being pure, the prices could be high.

One memorable thing would be our first journey into Kolkata. It was really funny thing that happened on that very day. Our friend, one who was involved in arranging our training and the logistics, after having reached Kolkata Airport decided arranging prepaid taxes where he was required to give the address of the Guest House where we are supposed to go, he provided the details as required. Since we are many, three taxes had to be hired. We got the receipt for the taxi we are in and started our journey, we haven’t enquired the cabbie, and neither did he, about the exact destination. Everyone thought that the cabbie would drop us to the Guest House. We reached Sector-V, Salt Lake, Kolkata, which was written in the receipt. We started reading every details of the receipt and spotted Kestapur, and decided to go ahead to Kestapur but couldn’t find our Guest House. Calling was never a solution as none of us had the Indian Number.

One of our friends could dimly pronounce the name of the Guest House that we had booked as ‘Orinda Guest House’. We started making rounds, browsing every corner of the city, enquiring the people by the roadside about Orinda Guest House. But no one from good number that we interacted could know the hotel or guest house so called ‘Orinda’. This could be true as the city is one of the top listed metropolitan cities of India. On other side, this cannot hold true for we had interacted a good lots of people. At least one of them could have heard of the Guest House and Taxi Drivers ought to know as they are always reaching people to the hotels.

All exhausted and hopeless, after 4 hours blinded search, we decided to find a different hotel to stay for a night. The taxi driver had one hotel address and he took us to the hotel. The hotel rent is exceedingly high, it could deplete fairly adequate coffer. The next decision was proposed, to use the WiFi of the hotel and have address of the Guest House, the address was being shared on mail correspondences that they had before on e-booking. The same was being requested to the hotel owner but he denied that even after convincing him that we pay him the internet charges. Desperate as we were to forward him a lucrative offer, provide us a few minutes access to WiFi internet and we pay him the single hotel room charge. That too didn’t work for him. Fully frustrated, we came out from the hotel, decided we search one internet café to get the address. The cabbie that dropped us there was waiting outside, for commission or a kind of reward from the hotelier, should we finalize to stay in. That is the usual practice, the business tactics of the Indian businesses.

At that very point, I had a realization that if it was in Bhutan, people might have been kind enough helping us out, search for the hotel. This thing is never expected of Indians, at least if those absurd encounter was anything to speak of them. They were rigid and stiff in their decision, the qualities like sympathy, compassion and empathy is not theirs.

Nowadays, finding internet café in India is very difficult as mobile caters to internet, omnipresent whole across India. No slightest of the doubts for Kolkata, being one of the metro cities of India, in this case. However, the time clicked on our favor when we could find one at the suburb of the city. We finally succeeded to spot our Guest House, the address was crystal clear written in the mail correspondence. We told the Cabbie about the address and he knew the same. This was a huge relief.

The Guest House is called Oindrillas, D-225, Salt Lake 2 and not Orinda, Salt Lake V. our friend got to mispronounce it. It was really a funny incident and a memory for all of us. It also lessoned us that we have to be very specific in providing the location address, be it in India or elsewhere abroad. What we do in small Bhutan won’t really serve the need elsewhere. It could probably land up into incident like ours. Be careful next time, if you travel to India or abroad.
Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 | Categories:

30 August, 2013

The government decides to do away Pedestrian Day

The news that Pedestrian Day will be done away with, came quite obvious and unsurprised, as it was something that the erstwhile Opposition Party, the Ruling Government of the day, had lot of reservations when the Day was instituted a weekly routine, by the then on power, the Opposition of the day, DPT. With much clamor and grumblings from the business community on its inconvenience, it was switched to be once every month, the first Sunday of the month. At least in a month, a seldom scenery it could be hitherto, we had witnessed families and friends in droves making a healthy walk through the aisle of Thimphu City which would be flooded with vehicles tailgating endlessly. Now, with Pedestrian Day off, it is old same town hassles that we would see across the nation but it was all for reasons.

When the news of putting out the Day from monthly face to a yearly one, it was a long drawn-out welcome by the business community who had to bear the brunt because of the Day. The government in the ring have started to tune themselves along the lines of what people has to say, the very day it came on helm. This was what they pledged during their election campaign and it was through unlike the doing away of the Preliminary Exam for graduates, which has to wait until next batch of graduates come into market, a decision to come through looks grim with the trend of increase in graduates every year, for government alone cannot accommodate all graduates pouring out of different colleges from Bhutan and outside, neither was their such precedence elsewhere.

Former PM of Bhutan on Pedestrian Day(Source: Google)

Hitherto, the Pedestrian Day shall be observed once in a year, on World Environment Day, which was celebrated World Environment day Cum Pedestrian Day by the past government. By this, we could also say that Pedestrian Day is not totally out, the difference is in its frequency. Where we had monthly, we shall have a yearly Pedestrian Day. This doesn’t mean that the past government was keen in conservation of environment and the present government otherwise. It is a matter of how one takes thing way forward in the interest of nation and the people. In doing so, there is also a gap not fully aligning to one side or the other.

Adieu 'Pedestrian Day'.

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 | Categories:

18 July, 2013

Bhutan voted for Change

The people of Bhutan had voted in People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the then first Opposition Party of the Bhutan, perhaps the least Opposition in the world it had been. PDP won 32 seats casting in as the ruling government for next five years, where Druk Phuentsum Tshogpa (DPT), the then first democratically elected government secured 15 seats, making up the Opposition.

It was a matter of immense surprise to witness unexpectedly huge victory over DPT, which had proved formidable if primary result is anything to indicate, wherein DPT received a grand victory over three contesting parties. Until the eve of General Election, undoubtedly, DPT had a huge support. If not for the events that unfolded in the proximity of Poll Day that was all against DPT, the face of Election Result could have been very different than what had been witnessed. The events that unrolled at the eve of election though (might be) well-intentioned were ill-timed. This, to my understanding and knowledge had hugely impacted the election outcome. There was also a lot of scaremongering that went length and breadth, which stirred the sentiments of the people. Also, as reported by Former PM, the likely Opposition Leader, there were some lapses in the election process. However, this can be strengthened with time. Whatever be the case, the will of the people would be respected for they have exercised their franchise to elect PDP as the new government, a choice for change.

The conceivable reason why people of Bhutan voted for PDP could be that they have ample promises to offer for the people, the pledges that could lift up the sentiments of the voters, who are all loaded with earthly expectations. So, PDP could provide in black-and-white, the promises that well sync with the expectations of the voters. For, DPT they were under duress to squander off their campaign period in replying to the accusations made by the PDP who had numerous flaws to point out from the past five years. Some people (possibly anti-DPT) even blamed that DPT had no pledges for they had observed DPT candidates talking about their achievements and successes of the past five years when time was earmarked for talking about their pledges to the people, an offer for next five year if elected.

Personally, I see no justifiable reason, a lone benefit that would accrue out my inclination to either of the parties. My vote is not for the party but for the candidate of my constituency, who can act as proxy on behalf of the constituency uncompromising the larger interest, the interest of the nation at the cost of one’s constituency. A candidate who could stake to save the interest of the nation for continued peace, harmony and prosperity in the country. The self interest must be subordinated by party interest and party interest must be subordinated by the interest of the nation. The nation must seat atop.

We congratulate both the parties for breaking through primaries, for it only shows the trust and faith that people have for the two parties who were in the ring to take a new journey, a journey towards Democracy. Also, we applaud the parties for transcending through thorny pathways of general election and look forward for yet another season of growths in our country under the helm of PDP government, a horse on whom our trust and faith had been loaded expecting to carry on without losing faith. A nation’s wishes and prayers are resoundingly chanted. It’s time for the government to listen and meditate for enlightening growth of peace and harmony in the country.

Adieu Election 2013!
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Categories:

15 July, 2013

Ill-timed Events and clarifications witnessed during General Election 2013

At the eve of General Election 2013, Bhutan had witnessed numerous events that might have factored into the election result.

The Royal Government of India decided to withdraw subsidies on LPG and Kerosene skyrocketing the prices to more than cent percent increase. This had raised a suspicion among the voters. A room for suspicion was made spacious when People’s Democratic Party (PDP) related the issue with deteriorating relationships with India when Druk Phuentsum Tshogpa (DPT) was a ruling government. The Indian government had untimely decided to withdraw the subsidies when a tiny neighbor of his’ is at the eve of General Election.

The social media like facebook, twitter, and host of others saw videos of Chinese militants camped in northern part of Bhutan, a news being telecasted in India, specifically from the Zee News. As most of the people in Bhutan have a ready access to numerous social media, the propaganda became rift in the country. Fortunately, this went unnoticed by the party candidates. Otherwise this could have syringed in a fear and confusion among the people. The videos might have been pirated, it was shared all across the facebook accounts. However, to such extent, it might have impacted the election process.

Yet to another surprise, the General Election saw an article written in the The Times of India about the Bhutan’s dwindling relationships with India. The article went into delineating about the Bhutan’s new friendship development with Northern giant, China. It also accused of former Prime Minister of Bhutan cozying up with the Chinese Premiere. The article dealt about the Bhutan’s purchase of 20 numbers of buses of China in the line of fostered relationships. The President of DPT responded saying that relationship with India remains undisturbed and relationship with China is indispensable for resolving border issues.

These all unfolded when the election had drawn near. It was unwelcomed events that might have undue impact on the election process of the General Election 2013.

The people of Bhutan were optimistic that Government of India would timely step in to clear the fog of confusion regarding the Bhutan-India relationship that was afloat in the election period. But this never happened. What all we knew was the weakening Indo-Bhutan relationship as brought up in the media and election campaign. When the election is all done and pain of disaster was felt, the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan clarified that Bhutan-India relations remain formidable as it is. He also demystified that the withdrawal of subsidies was not to factor into political agenda and the reconsidering of the subsidies as done before would be soon tabled for discussion. These clarifications should have come pre-poll days not post election. There is no way we can undo the impact it could have in our election process. Thus, events came ill-timed and clarifications were delayed, it was just like an axiom, truth delayed is truth denied. The truth was denied here, the truth that should have come much early.

All we can do now is, pray for undisturbed election next time!

Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 | Categories:

10 July, 2013

When you go to Poll Day

Pre-poll days, the politicians traveled any lengths to sway voters. The general public, the voters also saw themselves along two party lines in the fray. They too went rumoring around to lure in the voters to the party of their choice. Amidst these activities, a lot of complaints inundated the desks of District Dispute Settlement Bodies in various districts. The most of the complaints, as reported through media outlets by ECB, was found baseless, it was about trying to down bring the opponents as a vantage point to further political mileage. In these political dramas staged and witnessed across the nation, the voters were made to oscillate between two parties. They were fully confused as to whom should one trust and place faith by pressing the EVM button on Poll Day. Some avid amateur political analysts were worried of growing voter apathy which may get replicated in our country too, if the kind of election process that is faring in 2nd Parliamentary Election in Bhutan is anything to indicate. This was also indicated by the voter turn out in the primary round as compared to the figures of first Parliamentary Election. The people saw the disparate election process in 2013 unlike that of 2008 which fared  well albeit handful problems in remote parts, that is only usual scene around the globe. We can understand and tolerate in 2008 but not in 2013, for we must progress as nation at all levels rather than treading the downhill way. This was never a noble vision  and dream behind, by our monarchs handing over the country to people attaching with it a huge trust. More than any one in the nation, I felt that political process in the country would have worried our dynamic monarchs, after all it was monarchs who with farsighted view decided to let people take charge of the government, an unprecedented epitome in the world. Thus, we have seen ourselves walking blindfolded.

Whatever happened had happened. We have no option for undo button, it's all done  and let it be done forever. For now, we must lift our heart and mind to provide final judgement. We should let the justice echo with the chorus of "Paldhen Drukpa, Gyal Lo" that we sing together on all rejoicing victories. When there is call of nation, we cannot remain complacent, constantly moved by political winds blowing at all directions. Now, its time for us to rationalize in the truest sense the pledges parties offered, the talks about one party accusing another and vice-versa. The verdict is tabled for 13/07/13 Poll Day. These verdict is to be passed not by the judges  of judiciary but by electorate, for whom the parties went greasing the palms. But we must not get easily lubricated and set motion to press button, our heart is  hidden  inside so that we can judge with highest privacy without the worry of being seen by anyone. So, we need to think not for today but for eons, the generations that would follow, it would be our blood links that would face the brunt of our wrong decision.We ought be right in our decisions. 

All I am pleading and calling on nation's behest is that we must set our conscience right on Poll Day, not being influenced by bountiful political mucks that we have witnessed pre-poll days, we must act our judgement single mindedly without an undue tiny hint of foreign body's say overshadowing our decision to vote. We should act our franchise in the most righteous manner. One goes to Voting Compartment all alone, it is secret judgement line that your drop in for completing a book of final judgement. People of Bhutan had been always right and this time you shouldn't be wrong. I can vouch a right shall be born.

Your vote is your franchise, a precious gift that came from golden throne and we cannot think of abusing the legal right by trading for self-good, a larger interest must rein. Vote for the best and let glorious PALDHEN DRUKPA see yet another unprecedented progress under new government, with a  right choice that people make.

Your vote is ONLY yours! Adieu for Poll Day.

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | Categories:

09 July, 2013

Torrential rain to drench the purse(of Bhutanese)

It is like torrential rain in the abundance of water, a saying in Dzongkha. People of Bhutan shares  brunt of Rupee Crunch, Frozen Loans, Ban on Vehicle Import. The pang of the pinch these had brought is still heard in the hearts of every Bhutanese whatever be the noble reasons asserted forth by the concerned.

Those are not an exhaustive list, today it is about doubling the prices of LPG gas and Kerosene. Yet another catastrophe that thunder-stormed the sentiments of the people.  No sooner than the news rustled the ears of people, the people rushed to respective depots to get their empty cylinders refilled. It was an unwelcome hike when an economy is already hard hit with the inflation at its climax. When the pain of inflation is still on, the news of doubling prices of LPG gas and kerosene is definitely the tornado to the household exchequer that shall deplete a meager income of many.

People have started planning for their expenditure and village folks think of firewood as a better substitute but this may not come easy where constitution mandates to maintain 60% forest cover for all-time. There are people who went onto accusing the government, the deteriorating relations with India, who then started phasing out  the subsidy(as the news of deteriorating relations is rift around this time of the year).

The past government may not be in position to undo it until it comes to the helm, the interim government had forwarded bilateral request for the reconsidering the subsidy. The response looks dim, if the news of tapering-off bilateral relations with India is anything to go by. Presuming it otherwise, the people are optimistic of the response from India as he had always stood by our side, the highest development partner since the start of FYP development in the country. So, probably India may not have tripped off a strong bond that two countries had nurtured, an epitome of bilateral relations until date. The duo had a typical neighborhood, noticeable globally. A little smearing by political propaganda may not shake to that extent it is construed today. And this should not be the case in any way. Bond with India must be kept pristine and any government government coming to the reign could possibly think of concreting it further.

PDP had accused DPT for the dwindling relationship which had then resulted into coming of aforementioned consequences. They construes these consequences the aftermath of weakened bilateral relations with India. Personally  I feel, that there is need for every Bhutanese to have look to the problems straight. But there is no reason for a tiny ant like Bhutan, sandwiched between two giants to point fingers one another. We should rather come to consensus to resolve the problems if these are in the interest of the nation.

Whatever be the case, the brunt of doubling the prices of LPG and Kerosene, the frozen loans, ban of vehicle import and Rupee Shortage will remain a talk of every Bhutanese. There is nothing one could do until the next government elect. Probably, we could only hope for better.

Posted on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 | Categories:

30 June, 2013

Reminiscing the bygones


Thinking that he should grow,
She dragged him to the School
Ignorant of the importance,
He showed utmost reluctance,
To squander away a year off

Thinking that he should grow,
She pulled her guts to push him again
Devised myriad tact for only his gain:
Dragging a kid of his age [of her neighbor],
Only to befriend her son away from home,
Who led her son embark a wrong plane

Thinking that he should grow,
She takes him away from his mate,
Remote that they couldn’t meet,
For their bond could toss away,
An eye wink life, too precious to do that way

Thinking that he should grow,
She tells him to stand tall,
For he needs to face the world call
Now he is too grown to tell her nay,
He seasons all, on his ways,
To stand tall for new days

Thinking that he should grow,
He preps for world anew
Swayed by his friends,
He finds no place affixed
World around is all adrift,
Pushed back-and-forth by windy cranes,
The good and bad cranes of the days

Thinking that he should grow,
He withstands the roaring winds,
Those that came trailing behind,
With black-n-white hints
And he had transcended all,
To find himself stand tall

Thinking that he should grow,
He keeps himself upbeat,
Unmoved by daily bustles,
Unworn by daily hassles
All time his head high,
Breathing in the air of sigh

He stands tall, grew up with odds,
With the pervading oaths,
Of his only mother,
Taking him all along,
With her formidable wish to make him grow

Today he is grown,
B’cause of her wish,For so long she cherish
He finds himself privileged, 
To provide her the best,
On all his odds,
Just to stoop with THANKS,
A word that should prick him,
Formidable like her wish to grow

Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Categories:

01 June, 2013

My first date with Blogging Kingdom

I have visited the pages of talented bevy of Bhutanese bloggers. Their blogging have pricked me several times each time I dip my eyes through those well-penned thoughts of bloggers. Sometimes I thought they were born-bloggers and many occasions I concluded their interest to blog had made them so. Every time I visit, I assure I go through atleast one article that is catchy and finally I used to think, they are gifted and I am not. So, I can't follow the footsteps of the bloggers. These are thoughts that went inside me, few years before. I have to admit that I never gave single attempt to blog, because I knew my writings could take me nowhere. I am for sure that people won't like my writing style, which would squander their valuable time and may take them to sleep depriving them of a good treat from popular bloggers.

Quite sometime, after telling myself the aforementioned thoughts, the inner voice in me patted me to give a try. There is no harm in giving a try. Because you decide to fail even before trying. So, started thinking on how I should go about creating a blog page. It drive me nuts out. I googled "how to create blog page". It listed myriad link options against my search strings. I couldn't succeed to make one. I thought of shooting a mail to bloggers I know and advise me on this but inside of me intuited me not to do (as I may not blog well). I didn't mail them.

So, today I got it. I have created one and I shall hereon start blogging all those crude thoughts of mine. I must blatantly admit that my writings could take readers to a wasteful nap as I am not a seasoned blogger. However, I am fueled by my unquenchable thirst for blogging.

Posted on Saturday, June 01, 2013 | Categories:
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