Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

There is nothing so inhuman than shaming a sick person and his family

Today as I opened my Face Book page, I was quite taken aback to see my feed flooded with the same status shared by different individuals and forums on FB. Each shared status was followed by numerous comments condemning the inhuman act that took place in the Drukair which apparently took place on 25th September from my calculation.

Well, I am talking about the status posted by Dolkar Tenzin on Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines wherein she has poured her heart out for what her father and family had to go through owing to her father’s sinusitis with chronic nose ulcer that naturally emitted bad odour. They were on their way to Bangkok for the treatment of the same disease which was the last hope of the father to permanently get rid of the disease.

Can you imagine what would have gone through the sick person and his family when they were inhumanely brought to shame first in the process of voting that was made to happen and ultimately disallowing them to board the plane?

My question is why in the hell the voting had to happen in the first place? Aren’t all passengers with tickets given the rights to fly until and unless held back at the check point for some suspicious behaviour? Even if the voting took place, out of 90 plus passengers in the plane, why did the pilot decide to go by the four votes that objected to the boarding of the sick person and his escorts? Why couldn’ the rest of the passengers say anything when right under their noses such injustice was being displayed? Would those passengers still live without feeling a tinge of guilt and with clear conscience when they know they could have come to the rescue of the desolate family? And I am left wondering whether the pilot in question did have a peaceful sleep that night.

Are we reduced to such level where one cannot identify with the plight of a sick person so desperately in need of help? Where did our so called buddhist values of compassion and kindness disappear at that point of time. Why didn’t the pilot and co-team make an informed decision? Why did the pilot compromise on the need of the sick person rather than attending to the comfort of the four non-objective, unfeeling and heartless people?

The whole incident left me with so many questions and had me completely worried and saddened. Such inhuman and unacceptable act by the Drukair staff left me feeling dazed and my heart went outright to the victims of thr incident. No amount of justification from the pilot and Drukair will erase the pain that the sick person and family had to go through. Imagine when just by reading the narration of the incident could put me through so much pain, I am sure Mr. Tashi Tshering and his family went through much greater pain.

Can we expect some justice from the esteemed Drukair as an organisation that is meant to be catering to all Bhutanese and other passengers irrespective of cast, creed, colour, wealth, power or with smell or no smell?

My sincere prayers on the way to Mr. Tashi Tshering, daughter Dolka Tenzin and the entire family for quick recovery from this traumatic experience and for a much sooner treatment.

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Book Review Title: A Mysterious Death of a 13 Year old Girl

Book Title: Aarushi
Author: Avirook Sen
Year of publishing: 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Number of pages: 302

Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar-the parents of Aarushi discover the dead body of their daughter in the morning of 16 May 2008. They suspect their man-servant Hemraj to be the murderer of their daughter Aarushi. However, the very next day they discover that the very suspect has succumbed to the same fate as that of their daughter in their home.
The fact that two murders at the same time under the same roof without the slightest knowledge of the Talwars raised many questions in the eyes of the public, the police force and the CBI. If it was not Hemraj, then who killed Aarushi? Could Talwars be the murderer? If they did kill both the victims, what could have been their motives?
Thus, goes the whole process of investigations involving various characters from servants to family to relatives and the acquaintances. With subsequent investigation, first Dr. Rajesh Talwar gets arrested for the murder of his daughter. Then, even Nupur Talwar gets jailed. The Talwars are accused of ‘Honour Killing.’ Did they really kill their only daughter? Did they kill their man-servant so as to save the honour of their status because their daughter had sexual relationship with the servant?
The entire story of investigation and with different witnesses giving different versions of their statements each time they were interrogated is filled with mystery. For instance report of the nacro analysis test on other witnesses such as Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijoy reveals that they were present with Hemraj at the time of murder of Aarushi. Krishna says Rajkumar killed Aarushi while Raj Kumar says Krishna killed her. The test also reports Krishna saying that they first raped Aarushi turn wise and that they killed her when she tried to fend for herself.
The way the story about the investigations is narrated takes us through some chilling moments and each time we are left to wonder who could be the real murders. Or is it the CBIs who were purposefully playing down on the evidences just so they were bent on implicating the Talwar Couple. Avirook Sen brings to light many evidences which could have been implicating for people involved in the murder but he points out that these evidences were tampered with and never used in the courts.
Even when the book ends with the story of the Talwars being in jail and their plea for justice left for an indefinite time, we the readers are left with the question as to who could be the real murders. We are also left to wonder whether the justice system of India has implicated an innocent couple because some influential people and CBI wanted them behind the bars.
As I go through each chapter I am like ‘is this a work of a fiction? Unfortunately, this is a real story of a 13 year old girl who lost her life when she was about to turn 14 a few days before her gruesome murder. The author Avirook Sen with his journalistic background has detailed every process of the investigation in this book. However, the mystery still remains.
Aarushi is a story of a gruesome murder of a 13 year old and how she was left to humiliation after her death which personally I would not wish for any parents and a child.
If not for the repetition of certain versions of the investigative story, the book would have made for a real thriller.
NOTE: Thank you Ma’am Deki Tshering for the book.

Book Review Title: A powerful tale of courage of a woman

Book Title: The Bride
Author: Bapsi Sidwa (background: Pakistani)
Year of publishing: 1983
Publisher: Jonathan Cape (1st edition), (2nd edition in 2005 by Sama Editorial and Publishing Services)
Number of pages: 226
A little girl finds herself all alone and lost amidst the riots that were taking place in certain parts of Punjab as the aftermath of the partition between India and Pakistan. Qasim, a tribesman from the mountains happens to be at the same spot also finding his ways out of the riots. With no one around and not having the heart to leave the little girl to her fate, Qasim decides to adopt the girl, names her Zaitoon and heads to find their destination in Pakistan.
Zaitoon was beautifully brought up by Qasim and leads a happy life in the glittering city of Lahore in Pakistan until her father decides to marry her off to a fellow tribesman from the mountains. The girl turns only 15 years old. With no heart to refuse the wishes of her father, she agrees into marriage only to find herself surrounded with the harsh realities of life.
Zaitoon faces the harsh treatments, constant beatings and humiliations in the hands of her husband who knows no love but savagery embedded in him through years of tribes’ culture. It is then when she garners all her will power and courage to find out a way for herself.
Will she find her way? Will she be successful in getting away from the ill fated life in the mountains? What kinds of struggles await her on her pursuit to her freedom? Will she finally gain her freedom?
These are the questions one will be tempted to probe as you read the book and it makes the reader wants to turn the last page to see what happens to Zaitoon.
Beautifully crafted in imageries and lyrics, Bapsi Sidwa tells us the tale of the struggling life of Zaitton through the portrayal of the culture and tradition of the city the author was brought up with. The introduction to the author by Aamer Hussein says that ‘The Bride’ is based on a true and tragic story but webbed very beautifully into a work of fiction by the author.
Personally, I enjoyed the book because for me reading different authors gives me insights into the glimpses of the culture and tradition of the country the author hails from. Reading Bapsi Sidwa has taken me through the different aspects of the lives of women in a culture of subjugation and control by men.
Note: The book is gifted to me by a young friend who had graduated recently and is following his passion by practicing freelance photography. He had the opportunity to travel to Pakistan by virtue of his practice as a Radio Jockey at ‘The Centennial Radio’ Thank you Zhonba for this precious gift.

An open letter to the vice principal of the school where my son is studying:12/09/2015

Dear Vice Principal,
I understand that my son had a friction with a girl from his class and that you have decided to suspend them from the school. Well, at least this is what I heard from my husband and son and the girl and her father much later when I could afford to meet them all. True to their statements my boy missed his class today and he would be missing for the next five days till the school decides the kind of punishment for him and the girl involved in the case.

Before, you decide on any course of action I want you to know certain facts about my son which I am sure impossible for you to gauge from more than 1000 plus students.

Well my son turned 14 this July 2015 and he is in grade 9. He is 5.4ft tall, weighs 54 kg and wears size 43 shoes. For your information let me tell you that he is too tall and big for his age. I have seen boys of his age much too small and cute and a voice that of a little child. However, in my case I have realized that he has entered into what we call teenage stage- a stage where lots of hormonal changes take place within a child that makes them temperamental, emotional, and moody at times, low and high within a fraction of second and so on. This is the time where I am witnessing my boy not only change physically but also other related changes in him that is not only stressful for him but on us-the parents too. I understand what means for you to handle 1000 plus such teenagers. I want you to know that some children enter into teenage stage much earlier than others.

I know my son has lots of weaknesses just like any kids of his age. Being a teenager and going through what he has to go through has put additional pressure on him. He has become temperamental lately, gets angry at the slightest mention of his name and often locks himself in when he feels like he is being reprimanded. He is just average in his studies and does not make any attempts to score higher in his examinations with his greatest weakness being the play station and video games. Now mobile games and social sites have been added to the list of his weaknesses.
However, I am a proud mother still and with so much pride I happily say that my son is not into substance abuse, into gang fights, into juvenile delinquency that we hear of every few seconds these days. I am a proud mother because my boy has lots of other talents although he brings low marks in his summative assessment. I do my own assessment of my son and I know where I should capitalize on his talents. My boy is a great artist, he has beautiful voice, he can play guitar and drum, he reads books of his interest, and most importantly he has lots of compassion in him. I know it by the way he indulges with our pet dog, Nuchu. He is a big brother to our pet, a protective brother to his elder sister, and a loving son to us.
He makes bed tea for me, makes breakfast for me when we are alone, knowing the fact that I sleep late and get up late.(most evenings I end up reading and doing book reviews or catching up on news on social medias) He does his own laundry, does his dish washing, and helps me in cleaning the house.

I want you to understand that with all his negativity there are equally or more positives to counter those negative qualities. I want you to understand that my boy is at the stage where he needs more love than hate, understanding over indifference, care over negligence, guidance over lack of supervision, and counseling more than punishment.
Above all I want you to understand that my boy is at a very fragile point of his life. This is the point where we as parents and teachers can break or make the lives of children. I as a mother am doing my part. I would like to request you to support the effort I am putting in to building the life of my boy. I applaud you and your team for all the efforts you all put into taking care of more than 1000 plus children every year but at the same time I do not wish to see the efforts gone into vain for a wrong decision that you may make at the wrong time.

Most importantly, I want you to understand that my boy is a jewel for me. My two kids are my eyes in this world. If anything happens to him one of my sights is one. He is so special for me and he is such a joy in my life.

Lastly, I want you to know that this is the first complaint I have ever received against my son from the school and that also of a nature which does not seem to call for suspension from the school. I understand that as per the school disciplinary policy, cases of such nature for a first timer warrants school intervention in terms of counseling and guidance. Is there also any justification as to why children are suspended for the first five days while you meet up with your team to decide the course of action to be taken? What about those five days of missed classes? Don’t you also look into the nature of the disciplinary issues and the severity of the case? May I, therefore, request the school authority to reconsider looking into all these issues?

Looking forward to more supportive and positive intervention from your end.
Gratefully yours,
Copy to:
1. Principal of the school.
2. Class teacher of my son.
3. Subject teachers of my son.

Book Review Title: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age

Book Title: A Good Childhood

Authors: Judy Dunn, Richard Layard, Baron Layard

Published: February 5, 2009.

No. of pages: 256

The book is about childhood. It talks about the needs of a child during the early stages of growing up as well as understanding them throughout. There is a lot about psychological needs of a child that every parents and teachers should know or be reminded of.

Most often we hear of a youth having committed suicide due to depression or a youth having indulged in substance abuse or some sort of juvenile delinquency. There is a lot of issue regarding dysfunctional family, divorce, lack of parental care or too much of aggressive parenting. The nation is putting in place strategies to support the youth and curb juvenile
delinquencies and also to ensure that we bring up youth who will be productive for themselves, their family and the nation.

Answers to many of the questions and doubts that we carry with ourselves in terms of parenting and how our children grow up can be found in this book.

In addition to the brief synopsis above, following are the reasons why I would recommend
everyone to read the book:
1. This book is a result of independent research on childhood done over eighteen months by a panel of experts from diverse educational backgrounds.
2. The book starts with whether there is a problem and what children need to have a good childhood.
3. The book tells us about the different styles of parenting and how each can have positive and negative impacts on childhood.
4. The book talks about the role of a family- increasing role of the fathers besides the traditional roles played by the mother.
5. It talks about the role of the working parents and how one can change one’s perspectives to overcome the belief that working parents do not have time for children’s care.
6. It talks about the negative effects of putting children under group care which most working parents seem to do in this modern times.
7. It also talks about how a family discord can affect happy childhood.
8. The book tells us about the seven ways of promoting a better and more loving family for our children which can serve as a reminder for those who already practice and a lesson for those who do not practice and who are going to be new parents.
9. The book also tells us about the need for good friendship and friends, romance and sex as they grow up and how as parents we need to understand these needs. Mental health of children as well as many great recommendations to take care of children above everything.

I found this book very helpful especially at the time when I am juggling between work and two teenagers. Teenage is a very stressful time for children and it is equally stressful for the parents to handle situations. This book with its practical recommendations will help anyone through.

PS. I do not have the copy of the book. The book was gifted to our Hon’ble Minister by His Majesty The King. It was my luck that I got hold of the book. However, I have asked some book shops in Thimphu if they can bring in the book. I shall duly inform everyone as and when the book is in town.

There is so much in a NAME!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So said William Shakespeare in his famous play Romeo and Juliet.

But not when names become the cause of confusion and lack of direction. My recent post on Face Book page regarding the advertisement on the catering of food for home, picnic, party and gathering had some confusion especially because I did the posting on behalf ‘A Mr. Chundu Tshering.’ Now my husband’s name is also Chundu Tshering, my brother’s name is Chundu Tshering and also I have a student by the same name and there are many private agencies by the name such as Chundu automobiles, Chundu saw mills, Chundu Tours and Travel, Chundu Motors and many more.
For the information of all, let me tell you that on an average most men from Haa will have the first name as Chundu followed by different second names. And most people even if they are not from Haa but born in Haa will have the similar kind of names. It is because of App Chundu being the local deity of the place and most are named after him since people go to either Lhakhang Karpo or the Genchukha Lhakhang to get the names for the new born and also to pay their gratitude for the gift of a child.
For instance my husband is from Kurtoe. However, he was born in Haa while his dad was serving in the arm force at Damthang. And that is how he got his name. My brother has the same name because we are from Haa.
Interestingly, the very next day after my post on FB, I was greeted with lots of inquiry when I got at my work place. Colleagues started inquiring me what kind of food specialty that my husband deals in. Some even congratulated me about the creative business idea and some said it would be nice to have door to door step food delivery and many wanted to order food for immediate gathering. I even started to get calls on my phone and that was the time I realized I had made a big blunder in posting the advertisement on behalf of ‘A Chundu Tshering’ who has the same name as my husband’s.
By the way this Mr. Chundu Tshering is very good with his food and most people who have tasted his food will agree with me. He used to run a restaurant and was in the business for a very long time. However, recently his creative mind started to work and he decided catering for and on various occasions with special homemade food would be a hit with the people in this busy modern day life. If people are interested here is the number, 17607346 but please remember that he is not my Chundu Tshering.

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