karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

Lomba on the eve of New Year

This year for the first time in my awareness Lomba falls on the eve of the New Year. Indeed it is a double celebration for the people of Haa and Paro region. Since this new year eve is a unique one I do not intend to go out and party. Rather I thought it might be a good idea to stay stuck at home with family members and end 2013 in a cozy manner with my family as well as welcome 2014 in the best of our family spirits. I intend to celebrate my lomba and new year with loads of hontey. Off course the honteys that my siblings and cousins drop in for me since i can not prepare it myself.  (I know it is a shame to admit it) Unfortunately this time I can’t go around distributing honteys to my friends and colleagues as my only source of hontey making is attending her teachings at Phuentsholing under the tutelage of His Holliness Namkhai Ningpo Rinpoche. So I don’t wish to disturb her.

This new year eve shall remain as one of the most memorable day in my life. This is the day for the family to sit and discuss the way forward. Time for one to encourage the other in the family, lift the spirit of every one and build a strong family bonding. There is no other better way to end one year and welcome the other in the spirit of family. It is the people in the family that we need to give more attention and time to. After all these are the only people who will be by your side when everything and everyone leaves you. Instead of spending thousands on clubbing and partying, how about a warm count down at home with out any aches, hangovers or regrets of having spent too much in the state of drunkenness.

 

And I see 2014 beckoning me with lots of hopes and aspirations and a lot of things to look forward to. I see 2014 taking me to a new direction in my career. My girl is getting into grade 10. My boy will be in grade 8. Both the kids will be sitting for Board examinations. My hubby will be taking his business to a new heights. My pug will be turning 4 months old. And above everything I see this small and happy family growing even more closer to each other.

Happy Lomba, Happy New Year and A Happy Family Bonding.

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New Year and Resolutions

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The culprit of my Tongue inflammation!

Some few days back, Dawa Tshering @thedawaring in Twitter asked me if I made any New Year Resolutions to which I replied that I don’t make any resolutions. That I just go with the flow based on my principles and values. Now on the eve of New Year my entire thought system has taken a shift. I felt a great urge to make one strong, practical, realistic, doable and achievable resolution. This strong feeling came in the wee hour of the new year eve when I was still half way through my sleep.

I got up in my half sleep with a sever inflammation  on my entire tongue. I could barely move my tongue. It was burning severely and my sleep got disturbed. I could not bring myself to go back to sleep again. It was at that point of time that I just ran over in my mind what caused me such a severe inflammation on my tongue and what should I be doing to prevent such things in future. The answer was right there within me. All I had to do was to gather my will power and stand by it.

So what was the cause of the inflammation? I know I was going very strong with this stuff called RAJNIGANDHA supposed to be flavoured pan masala made from Assam in India. The cover says, ‘World’s largest selling premium pan masala. superb in freshness and taste.’ Without my knowledge I had unconsciously become addicted to the stuff. I would finish two to three large packets costing Nu. 50 for each packet a day.

When I came to my realization, I had already become the victim of this addiction. I even ignored the many advises my friends and colleagues gave me. Some of them even told me that this stuff contains small pieces of broken glasses just so that the glasses can cut the tongue so the addictive substance in Rajnigandha can be absorbed by the tongue thus leading to addiction. I ignored even that advise. I suffered from breathing problems. Everyone attributed it to rajnigandha except myself. I had stomach problems. My family members blamed it on rajnigandha except myself.

Now I realize that it indeed is this stuff that was and is associated with all the health problems I suffered from. And what better day than on the eve of the new year to come to this realization. So my one and the only new year resolution for 2014 is to give up completely on rajnigandha. I also advise everyone to refrain from getting into the habit of chewing this stuff. I tell you, it can really drag you into it and you will find it very difficult to come out of this once you get addicted to it.

Will it and you can do it.

“Willpower is trying very hard not to do something you want to do very much.” – John Ortberg

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2014 filled with joy, peace, success, good health and lots of wealth. May 2014 be the year that all of you out there have been waiting for. My sincerest prayers and blessings on your way.

NO ONE STEALS BOOKS HERE

It was in 2006 that I first heard about this community school, which is a five hour walk from the road point in Chapcha. I was a principal in Doteng LSS then. But I could visit Paga Community Primary School in 2008 only after I was transferred to the Education Monitoring Support Service Division.

The multi-grade school has classes ranging from PP to VI but had only four semi-permanent rammed earth classrooms. The school did not have a safe drinking water facility and the 68 students used pit latrines. Despite many challenges, the campus was neat and classrooms were kept tidy. There were three teachers including the principal and a support staff. I noticed that all of them were well dressed with neatly combed hair.

The students imitated the teachers in neatness. Children at the primary and community schools look up to their teachers and try to imitate them. It is at this tender stage that as teachers we can build or break them.

One important aspect of the school that impressed me the most was the way the school allowed children to have free access to the store and library. While we see in most schools books neatly stacked up in the school library as decorative pieces, this school allowed children to take books of their choice any time of the day whether there is a teacher or not to issue it. No cases of books being stolen were ever reported. Children returned the books as soon as they were done with reading. This has greatly helped to instill reading habits in children, the principal told me.

I was amazed at this certain trust between the teachers and students, an essential quality needed for a good school climate. We made a round of the classrooms and I was awed beyond comprehension. The beautiful teaching aids dangled from all corners of the classrooms. The teacher was modest to admit that she made it herself. “Her class is the best. I can’t seem to compete with her”, the principal said about the teacher who is also his wife. Together, they had built that community primary school.

The principal’s office was well equipped with three computers connected to the internet. There was a computer for each of the staff which was also accessible to students at any time of the day. I commended his effort to have pulled in such resources which even high schools don’t seem to have in some of the Dzongkhags. He replied, “We just need to do a bit of pushing here and there and we get what we want”

Now this is the kind of attitude we want in every principal.

 

NOTE: This article was posted in Business Bhutan column in 2010.

Be Patient at the Hospital

My mother used to cover her head and get herself into the blanket the moment she knew a particular doctor was on the round. It was six years back. The doctor had really hurt the sentiment of the old lady in desperation. During those days in the hospital I used to observe lots of patients crying in pain not from the illness but from the harsh scolding of the doctors and nurses on duty.

Just a few days ago, my neighbour had gone to the emergency ward when her little son fell sick suddenly. To her dismay, the doctor on duty behaved very rudely and even handled the child roughly. The child got so scared that when the doctor asked him if he was feeling sick again, the child said, ‘No’ much to the pain of the concerned mother. It almost tore the mother’s heart.

some years back when I used to go for my regular pap smear test at the Motithang BHU, I noticed pregnant women and mothers with new born for their routine checkup. It annoyed me to see how the lady puts the babies in the weighing machine just like weighing any other objects in the vegetable market or a grocery shop.

A year back I was in the emergency ward along with my brother. There, I noticed a doctor talking gently with the patients, comforting them and giving them hopes. I could see smiles on the faces of the old and young sick people there. The way he handled the patients looked very professional yet very personal. I couldn’t help but wonder if all the doctors and nurses could be like his kind. Later I learned that he was doctor Lotay.

We do understand that doctors have a stressful life but taking it out on the patients does not seem to be right as much as it is wrong on the part of the teachers to turn their frustrations on their students. It is more so inhumane to be handling an innocent child in a rough manner. I always assumed doctors would be trained to be sympathetic and empathetic and be more humane than inhumane. May be I was wrong in my assumption. But what is more compassionate than patting on the back of a patient and saying that he will be alright. That itself would cure half of his illness.

I guess sick people need more of emotional support and continuous assurance that they are cared for. This will have greater impact on their psychology. If someone is mentally happy he will feel much lesser physical pain. And at the end of the day it is important to remember that everyone is a human being and that no matter what we go through it is our responsibilty to be respectful of the feelings of the other person.

I guess our doctors and nurses need to be more Patient with the Patients.

NOTE: This article was posted in Business Bhutan column some 3 years ago.

 

Experiences of the PAST

 

The discussions on twitter last night brought flood of memories of my child hood. That child hood which at one point I made an attempt to put in writing because I wanted to tell a story. But somehow I could never bring to an end in the writing even though I could start off. I was afraid that people might start stigmatizing me after reading my post.

However, last night I got renewed feelings to continue writing my story and share it with others. I could see that there will be many who share my story at some point of their lives.  

How the discussion took place in twitter? I was following the posts @sonamongmo where in she was having good discussions with @ksingye and @dorji Wangchuk regarding the way of life in the past which was filled with innocence and simplicity. The discussions that focused on BGTS, truck rides, helping father with the BGTS, a mother that would throw up every time she took the BGTS ride. I barged in the discussion narrating a fraction of a part of my past about how I had to walk to my school in the cold winters of Haa on bare foot lifting my feet turn wise to save myself from the biting chill.

Then came in floods of tweets each sharing the experiences of their childhood, schooling, and hostel lives and all. Most shared their experiences of having to collect firewood for the hostels, for the principals and teachers failing which they would be penalized with no breakfast or beatings. (the fire wood had to be hard wood/oak wood) The experiences also included from how some were sent on to collect mushrooms and water for the teachers to how one ended up in the empty Thukpa kala (Porridge pot)  on bata chapals (slippers) while still in class PP.

There were some hilarious yet very innocent act of having dug up the dead pig and eating it after roasting and no cases of any illness being reported to some who ate a dead cow and got hospitalized. I also got the glimpse of the lives of those who went to bed hungry every night and woke up hungrier every morning and how WFP came out as a LIFE SAVIOUR for them.

Each experience were followed by some comments like how lucky and fortunate it was for those who did not collect poisonous mushrooms or else the teacher and the collector both would have faced untimely death. The discussions went on to how writing can be very therapeutic to telling our own stories for our own sake. Some joined in the discussions to tell us how it was an eye opener and a source of inspirations for them.

Some may sound hilarious and some may bring tears but each one in twitter in the convoy of discussions had some story to tell. At the end of it all, it is apparent that each was waiting for the other to start telling the story. It was a very inspiring discussion and more than anything it inspired me to tell my story and I am sure others will agree with me too on this.

Thank you all for the wonderful glimpses of your past experiences and for the huge INSPIRATIONS that I got.

 

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