25 August, 2014

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

My eyes welled up, tears rolled down the cheeks, I was lying on bed flipping through the last few pages of the novel when the story is at its climax. My eyes couldn’t hold tears. I let it flow. Until this, I haven’t realized how emotional I am. How easily I could break down. As Nicholas Sparks took me through the height of his novel, each line is a droplet in the ocean of my tear-filled eyes.

The novel is intricately woven with threads of love, family and friends. Of course the waves and tides along the ocean ride of life.

The main characters include Kim, Steve, Ronnie, Jonah, Will, Blaze and Marcus. Kim is a single mother finding her way for her second love with Brian. She has a daughter and a son; Ronnie and Jonah. Their father Steve is away from New York, living a solitary new life in Wilmington, North Carolina. The story in between, connects the characters: Will,  Tom, Susan, Megan, Blaze, Marcus, Lance, Teddy, Scott, Pastor Harris, and others as Ronnie and Jonah sets for summer vacation with their father in Wilmington. The story gains momentum here.

The story turns wavy: low to high, high to low, sad to happy, happy to sad in Wilmington on vacationing their summer with  father whom they haven’t met for last three years, since he had moved from New York. Ronnie had never talked and responded to letters and calls her father made. She hadn’t been in good terms with her mother at home. Visiting her father isn’t her best time to see off summer. However, under duress, she consents to her mother to spend summer with her father who had been desperately starving to see his daughter growing to become a woman in a year and his growing son who is ten. He wants to make sure that his children understand why he’d moved away from them though that wasn’t his option. 

Ronnie falls in love with Will. Both of them love each other despite knowing the fact that the summer vacation shall set them apart. However, they remain adamant on their love. They’ve found common ground of love that synced. The summer seems flying as she spends time with Will.

With time she also starts loving her father whom she hated seeing. In a speck of few weeks of summer, she has changed a lot. She has undergone hell and heaven modification in her behavior, her attitude in a whole. The love around beautiful summer at Wilmington has done a lot to her as much as happiness between father and a daughter. She has seen different person in his father whom she thought otherwise. She thinks he is the best father she could have, a father who sees lot in his children. The summer goes beautifully with ambient love in family and Ronnie’s love with Will.

Source: Google
Their happiness is found short lived when Steve, the father feels ill of cancer which was known to himself, Kim and Pastor Harris. That was the same reason why he’d insisted Kim to send them with him for summer vacation and she has accepted his request. He wanted to spend his remaining days with his children whom he missed those three years since he moved away from New York.

Finally he succumbs to this terminal illness leaving his daughter and a son. But he has taught them a lot in a short summer they spent together. As a father, he did his duty to instill life lessons. Those were miracles.

The story ends on happy note: Will comes to New York for his studies and meets his charming Princess Ronnie.

The story is wrapped with lessons. I have enjoyed going through. My eyes were literally glued to the pages of the novel until the last page. The novel has lot to say of love, family and friends. Hate can turn into love and vice-versa. It largely delves into how relationships can turn sour and revert to its normalcy of sweetness. How relations once hurt and wounded can heal again. It also lessons how vital is the time of parents to their children to read correctly of each other.

I can bet many would break into tears if you read this novel, Nicholas Sparks is capable of it. Message in a Bottle is no less than this. Next in my to-read-list is The Note Book which is unfortunately out of stock in many stores last time I visited. That is really popular selling Novel and I should find it sooner. I can’t wait to read it soon but I have some preparation to do in between. I will read it one day sooner.

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 | Categories:

19 August, 2014

Agay (old man) who hands us chocolate every morning

Barely a mile from my office, around the basement of Changkha Lhakhang(temple) lays apartment where I stay. The place is fairly quiet unlike near Flyover Bridge where I used to stay before which was full of commotion; vehicular honks could impose dreams to awake at the pitch night when many are enjoying a sound sleep. As young as four in the morning people walk off from their cozy bed to make as many circumambulations of the temple doing rosary concurrently. Old and young, from all walks of lives visit the temple for a lot of religious reasons; to pray for a newborn’s well-being, receive blessings for long journey and important undertakings, and many reasons within. The places nearby is a good combination of all. But rental is also quite high. It takes half of my salary. For me I have no choice as my Office is caged by the basement of Sangaygang (roughly translates to Buddha hill). The diameter of my travel would pinch me in monetary terms to look for reasonable apartment in places like Olakha, Hejo, Taba and Babesa. So, I have to put up here, which is walking distance to Office.

Quarter to nine in the morning, as I ferry to my office with my office mate, a few meters away on the way, a man at his eighties trudges every day from his home to do rosary at the temple. His upper part of body bends to form distorted 90 degree angle and walks with a stick. Walking down to the temple and doing rosary is his daily work. This is what many old people do. As they count down their days, they engage more into religion and confine their lives around the thread of prayer beads.

Every morning I and my friend meet him on the way, he pockets his right hand holding his walking stick with left, and he offers us a chocolate each. “Thanks Agay” we say.  Then he walks. He does it every day. On the first encounter, we just thought he might have seen us like school going children, because usually the old people use to gift kids with chocolate to make them happy. He might have seen us like school going children as we have a bag each on our back and a lunch bag each on our hand.
Source; Google
We’re blessed to be greeted with sweet chocolates every day from the man of his age. Man who would outrun longevity of today’s generations. He might have many to take of the world with his lifespan near the heel of century. We have never asked any questions to him for he might have lot to do at the temple and he would take longer to reach there at his tortoise pace.
We are fortunate to savor chocolate from Agay; we believe that if we get something to eat from old people, we would be blessed with longevity. We feel immensely blessed on that ground thinking that we would have extended our lives to his age. Everyone likes to live longer if it is possible.

On the sad note, we still don’t know who he is. All about him remain questions in our mind. We love calling him Agay. Our talk with him starts and ends with ‘thanks Agay’ upon handing us chocolate each.

He is definitely a kind man. He flashes a smile every day when he sees us. This brightens our day at office. This prelude of our day with this wonderful Agay handing us chocolate is really worth engraving in our hearts. We shall remain indebted for his chocolate and kind heart that he carries.

May this dainty sweet Agay live longer with his kindness to spark a light in many lives of school going children who meets along the way and receives chocolate.

We know very little of him but know much of his kindness at heart. Thanks Agay.

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | Categories:

15 August, 2014

Appreciate the rain as much as the sun

Umbrella is invented for protecting from rain as it is also to keep away from scorching sun. To this end every one of us tries to keep away from rain and sun. If it rains, we use umbrella, if it pours, we use umbrella. By this, we have implied we don’t appreciate both; rain and shine.

Of the two, we are inclined to sun. When it shines, we generally believe a day is good to do something; work in the field, make a journey, go for walk, etc. When it rains, by chance we need to go we go with umbrella. If at all not necessary, we confine staying at home. We have accepted sun a compatible companion but rain we haven’t accepted it unless it is needed for irrigating fields. We haven’t called for its need until crops in the field are drying out of thirst. We haven’t felt the need unless drinking water sources are drying out and faced water shortages at home.

At this time of the year, villagers are praying for bountiful downpour. They have their irrigation fields to get watered and crops are wilting under sun yearning for rainfall. Rainfall is only timed for them at this hour when the days are busiest prepping for bountiful harvest few months later. So, they need rainfall as much as sun for their crops.

Urbanites and everyone in Bhutan must smile to hear sky thunder, for it signals coming of rain to boost up our hydropower productions. Without a good amount of rainfall around this monsoon, the government’s earning through electricity is going to nosedive. With less rainfall, the face of Hydropower Sector’s Balance Sheet is not going to be as colorful as with deluging rainfall. Know that huge chunk of Bhutan’s GDP comes through Hydropower sector. Appreciate rainfall as much as sun. Rainfall is no any less than sun. It has become dearer with development policy clustered around hydropower. Celebrate when it rains.
To honor indebtedness to rain, I with some of my office friends walked under rain post lunch as we usually go for a few minutes’ walk.  We thought it is worth appreciating rain by walking under it without umbrella thwarting it. We did it in its petty way to honor our appreciation.

It was not enough I felt. After the office, still the rain is drizzling enough to sift through my gho and drench completely, I decided to walk under it. It was equally enjoying. I felt like I am taking a cleansing bath. It is as if like blessing from heaven to wash off sins that I have accumulated. It has lightened my body as much as brightening my mind. It was little I could do for rainfall.

Please appreciate rainfall as much as sun.
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 | Categories:

14 August, 2014

More graduates less graduate jobs; government’s full employment afar

“It is not that we don’t have enough jobs, we have but it’s a mismatch of job requirements and what graduates look for”.

The above statement is a cliche of labor ministers and anyone who talks on unemployment in Bhutan. This is the statement that rings ears of the graduates every time they've to listen of unemployment. The government had stuck to their stance that there are enough jobs in the country.

Partially, I agree with this and partially not. It’s true that we have jobs in the market but these are not-for-graduate jobs. Those jobs don’t require theories and kind of studies that graduates has gone through. After undergoing Bachelor’s degree for three to four years just to get into some jobs which aren't for graduate qualifications, it isn't fair to the kind of time and money they've invested in. This is a big kick to their qualification.

There are enough jobs but there aren't enough jobs for graduates.

Government has been telling over and again to seek opportunities in corporate and private sectors for jobs rather than confining to old thinking that civil service is the first preference. Yes, time is changing, corporate and private sectors are doing well in job packages they have to offer. The density of thought that civil service should be the foremost option is steadily lessening. There are graduates who have seen greener pasture in corporate and private sectors. Nonetheless, general assumption that civil service jobs are the most secured still pervades across the minds of graduates which keeps alight the hope to sit on government chairs.
Source: Google
Whatever is the number of vacancies, how dim the possibility to get through it appears, graduates put up their ticket to sit for Civil Service Exam. For most of the graduates, they’re compelled to sit for examination as handful vacancies are being announced for corporate and private sectors. The vacancies as far as I have heard and seen in Newspapers are minimal. It could hardly be in few hundreds. We have few thousands with degree passports at their credit.

Our private and corporate sectors haven’t matured so much that it can absorb in flooding graduates. Neither can government machinery for barely more than a half million population require huge human resources to take in graduate population for the sake of employment. Until such time our private and corporate sectors mature to grow in its scale to provide enough for graduates, this perennial issue of unemployment must go on. We have to keep on pointing fingers and graduates have to keep on whining.

Government has said graduates to change their attitude and accept dignity of labor. They've said to start business. But these aren't working and it won’t work. Changing attitude isn't easy. Inculcating dignity of labor would go long down the line, it is attached with money. If you’re paid handsomely, dignity of labor is with it. If you are not paid enough, dignity is nowhere with it. It appears dignity is money today. Go to Australia and US, you clean and sweep toilets, still dignity of labor is with it. Here, we cannot put dignity of labor in cleaning, sweeping, labor work and all of those which we dub ‘blue collar jobs’. We can’t unless our economy could afford.

The solution for this perpetuating unemployment issue is through growth in private and corporate sectors. The government must look through beyond taxes to provide space for growth of private sectors. With the kind of taxes we are imposed, future entrepreneurs, business tycoons are made to die at its buds.

Government need to see how they can multiply entrepreneurs, convert unemployed graduates to enterprising businessmen, grow indigenous business titans, etc. This could be few solutions for all of economic problems. However, this isn't overnight miracle. It would take time. It would require politics to frame policies. It would require government machinery, the engagement of general people to implement and make these come through.

We need to breed our own businessmen and multiply it exponentially.
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 | Categories:

12 August, 2014

Judging from external appearance isn’t right judgment

When we see artists; lead actors and actresses, comedians and any other popular mega figures, we generally assume that they’re enjoying life at its height. We presume they’re the happiest around, surrounded by cameras and lights. Their lives are glamorous, always put on pedestal by huge number of fans yearning to watch them. But this doesn't hold true many a times.
Actor Robin Williams, the great comedian was found dead at his home. It was suspected that he committed suicide. It was reported that he might have been undergoing silent battle of depression within though he might have acted externally happy as comedian. He made others laugh but internally he might have been bleeding profusely.

 Even comedian is not happy as much as he appears. He wasn't enjoying the jokes as much as his fans did. Finally, he had decided to kill himself, incapable of crossing insurmountable state of mind he had been struggling through. It would be deadening shocks for many fans to hear of his demise, a person who had projected himself happy and who had been spreading happiness to others with his laudable comedies.
Late Actor Robin Williams. Source: Google. RIP

It was reported that someone had even gone to an extent of accusing that his passing was selfish act. This is morally wrong to say. He would have done his best to keep going until no longer he could carry the load of depression. A state of mind is something that goes beyond ordinary thinking. By sheer appearances one cannot make out his true state of mind. Inside, the bitter part dwells unexposed and covered by the external realities. Our judgment is purely external. Inside is something that no magnifying glass could make it visible to human eyes. Sometimes it is even difficult for heart to feel it.

Our hypothetical thought that people who are on limelight, life encircled by cameras and lights, richness in billions, are happy aren't true as we see many tragic stories of popular figures unroll on our way.

Atsara (clown) isn't happy inside as much as he is represented by mask.

PS: Written to convey my feeling that even comedians, as happy they appear aren't really happy. We don’t see inside part by looking from outside. 
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | Categories:

08 August, 2014

Losing eyes; the windows of the world

Windows through which I see the beauty of world is deteriorating slowly. Within a speck of barely two years into job, I can make it clearly. It’s losing its reach. I have considered myself with the best eyesight, not to have use enhancing glass, specs.  I had a clear vision of fairly far-off objects then. Now the same distanced object would appear blur to my eye. It’s on fall. This I assume may be the case for many office goers, especially who find themselves glued on the computer screen; officially or to kill off time. This is coupled up by TV at home; watching interesting movies, series, news and talk shows. Our eyes aren’t able to take all of these so often. This, it has already signaled though physically it is in form.  

I cannot afford to lose precious part of my world. It is priceless. What I get for my job cannot buy it either. Its value would be immeasurably high that salary of mine can replace. I cannot imagine entering into darkness after having seen beauty it mirrors. The world would be hard for me. I have been accustomed with this world through these two wonderful windows.

It is irrational for anyone to lose one’s eyesight for exchange of performing official duties. I shouldn’t overburden my eyes. The normal routine work would flow on, same way my eyes ain’t capable. Intermission is required. Pause is required. Break is required. Suspension for a while is required. These are the ways we treat our eyes. Our eyes ought to get treated every time we stretch on for few hours. It has to be paid in return. We cannot afford to overuse it. 

Source: Google

I have seen many friends who have started wearing glasses. They had good eyesight before. No unusual things did damage to it. It was  attributed to normal routine job that everyone of us do; office works, social networking, watching TV, playing computer games, playing with mobile phones, etc. I didn’t include reading in the list as it would account to very few.

We cannot insert full-stop on aforementioned causes, it has to go on. Our everyday homework must be to find out equilibrium of it. There is a need for setting a point of equilibrium, between work and rest. As much as work is important, our eyes are more important. The right balance is required. Every individual needs to find their own equilibrium. Equilibrium of me cannot be equilibrium for others. So set your own equilibrium; see how much your eyes can take.

Friends, think over this if you haven’t realized it. It is not too late. For me I have seen it declining. If I am to put on graph, it would be steep downward curve. This isn’t right time for my age to suffer Presbyopia. It is too early for that.

I shouldn't damage my eyes for helping Optical Business.
Posted on Friday, August 08, 2014 | Categories:

07 August, 2014

When Birth coincides Death

“If peace can only come through killing someone, then I don't want it.”-Hiro Mashima

Sorry for one, for whom birth coincided the death. Given to see a light for seconds, he is made to resign immediately, never to enjoy the real beauty again. Though he might have a lot to say, he is just born. Though he might’ve the heart to seek refuge in others, he is just born. Though he might’ve hopes to grow big in life, it is torn apart at root. Though he might’ve lots to give back tomorrow, he is stripped off to go on. Though he might have much to tell world tomorrow, he couldn’t past a day to convey. For him dead tomb was nearby his birth. Sorry for all he couldn’t despite lots in him, he has to face inhumanly treat right upon his birth.

Who has the grave heart to kill one’s own? She couldn’t be a mother. If she is, she could be a heartless bitch not a mother. How can she throw her infant otherwise? How can she do that, dreadful act? She is not a mother by this act.

How can she justify tossing her own like a by-product. Even animals don’t. Her act is the worst of all, not doing of animals. Animals could teach her books on love and care one’s offspring ought to get.

If she says he’s fatherless, too hard to take shame of it, why not give him a humanly decent birth. Confess to the world that you cannot carry shame along and want to dispose him off, not to the forests, jungles, drains, safety tanks and host of grossly places, but to someone who has heart to grow him big, who sees future in him, someone who sees human in him. He would be happy that he is not in the hand of monster. He is given right to live not in his own home but in better-than-own home of other. The human home in fact.

If she is not ready for motherhood and got him by accident, why kill him? Look for someone who is in need of one but couldn’t procreate because of biological lag. They’d be happy as much as you are. He would be more than happy that he was given right of his own to live.

Why this innocent infant has to suffer out of his no mistakes. His only mistake was him being conceived in a wrong womb, for which he has no choice. It wouldn’t be his choice, if he has to make. It was an invisible karmic wind that has landed him into a wrong womb. That is the worst possible disaster, one cannot call for rescue. The only rescue is the human heart. Human heart is not heart, sometimes it is meant to hurt which is the case of Throwing Mothers.
Source: Google
Please would-be mothers, never find second womb in forests, jungles, drains, dustbins, safety tanks, riversides, caves and roads. You have to care your young ones as much as you were blessed with love bestowed by your mother. What is wrong in giving birth to a young one? Only difference is that he has no father, technically he has one. You are not the one example, the first one to do that. There are many who did it. There is nothing wrong in this. This isn’t sinful but killing him is sinful.

There is no solution in throwing?

Laws of land must see through. Kith and kin around must see through. Friends must see through. Everyone in her circle must see through and give rightful birth.

Never throw your own born. He is all of your blood and flesh. He would be more of you as he grows. He wouldn’t be dissenting that he is fatherless, he would be grateful that single parent had brought him up bravely. In him everything of you is golden at heart. So, never throw.

If you cannot grow him, at least do not kill him. Never Throw. Throwing isn’t a peaceful solution. Solution lies in your love to him.

PS: I have written this in the light of increasing child abortion and leaving (precisely dumping) infant in odd places for someone to take care or die.
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 | Categories:

06 August, 2014

Of 100%

If you want to love;
Love all your heart,
No half-heartedness,
No wish for return,
Love in its purest,
You Love 100%.

If you like to offer;
Take no regret,
For it calls suffer,
Offer in its purest,
You offer 100%.

If you give helping hand;
Wrap not with expectations,
Put no gown of conditions,
Help in its purest,
You help 100%.
Source: Google
If you want to talk;
Put on all senses,
Look, listen and feel,
Talk in its purest,
You talk 100%.

If you want to read;
Read in, through, over and beyond,
Invite no distractions,
Call no interactions,
Read in its purest,
You read 100%.

Everything you do;
Do with everything of it,
Do everything in its purest,
You do everything 100%.

So friends; every time, everything 100%.
Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2014 | Categories:

04 August, 2014

Who should be blamed for poor performance in English?

English is a second language to Bhutanese so it’s not a big concern. Know the truth and it is a concern. More than the national language we correspond in English.  In schools, students write in English more, read in English more, speak in English more and everything that student does in school is more in English medium. Why poor in English? Equally the question looms, is performance in Dzongkha better than English? For now let me dwell on former.
We know that the performance is poor in English if the scores of exam is a scale by which we draw lines of standard. This issue is not very new to us for any surprise. The question of education standard itself has been on debate for years. There are some local school of thoughts who say the standard is on fall and other side we also have some school of thoughts who say it has gone up. It is a hot bed for debates and discussions.
There is a need we crane our necks to see beyond the question of poor performance or standard. The students couldn’t perform well. For this neither can we blame students nor teachers. They did their share of responsibility-learning and teaching. Teachers, they do full compliance on curriculum checklist as designed by CAPSD. Students, they do their learning as taught. Where did either of them, or any of the stakeholders go wrong? Who is to be blamed for this? This is a home work for students, teachers, parents, education ministry, and policy makers to answer. These remain incomplete in the book of education. We have thrived on the issue for long but never raised ourselves out of it. It was a long conundrum for our education system.
Source: Google

We whined questions are tough. We have pointed the reading habit is poor, I agree. We said it is too technical and lengthy, time given was not enough. The poor performance is attributed to those reasons, simply these impeded the performance.
We cannot always sit on comfort, with these whining solutions. It’s a misnomer to label it solutions. These are mere excuses. It isn’t solution in itself. We have lived this way and nobody sees anything beyond. At least this is an indication at this point in time. It’s a case; we knew there is worm inside intestine, we also knew that there exists a cure for it. But we couldn’t spot what has led that worm in, which is all-time panacea for it. In the same line, our issue is to dig out what factored for poor performance. The clicks and tricks that has to be unearthed.
Report says urban students could better perform in English than their rural friends. There is truth in it. There are many parents-most of the urban dwellers in fact, the first language in family is English. So, performing well in English is the trait inherent. Whereas, in rural areas students hesitate to utter a word in English unless they are in class.
Despite all odds and dim future in going with it, we sit hopeful, optimistic and positive of the radical reform that the present Education Ministry is under way. We hope our teachers become better teachers, students become better learners and score board is colorful. We anticipate the question of standard and poor performance would be dropped with this major surgery that the Education Ministry is under process.
The question stands on our way-who should be blamed for poor performance or standard; students, or teachers, or parents or policy makers? Who should look beyond and where? Should we wait, wait and wait… for solution to come from blue? These are food for thought everyone must put on their plate of thought over and over again.

We accept we are wrong somewhere at some point. Need to spot that point. Where do you think is a problem area? 
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2014 | Categories:
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