Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “February, 2017”

Who can be called a STAR or a National HERO?

Lately, I have been wanting to write so much on who can actually be called a star especially in the midst of all those people who either claims a star title or who have been placed on the pedestal just so one can come in the limelight even at the cost of naming and shaming our nation.

Let me start with the story of a chilly pounder.

Jigme Namgyel-the Chilly pounder whose pounding was heard loud and high by then the Trongsa Poenlop was the force behind the unification of Bhutan after he took over Trongsa Poenlop. He is none other than the father of first King of Bhutan Sir Ugyen Wangchuck whose coronation took place on 17th December 1907 thus bringing forth the great Wangchuck Dynasty. Remember, in the whole of Bhutan we have only one person who has been knighted so far and deserves the title of ‘SIR’ and that is our first king.

Since then Bhutan has been enjoying the peace, stability, tranquility and happiness both at individual and national level. Let me not even talk of the roles played by our forefathers to bring Bhutan to where we are now. All of us have read history and we know very well the heroic deeds of our leaders.

Our Kings are beyond the title of the so called STARS. They are our living gods.

Just a decade and four years back on 15 December 2003, His Majesty The Fourth King by the code name of Hotel Mike led a team of armed forces and few militia volunteers to flush out the militants from the densest of forest in the south east of Bhutan. Now for me those are the guys who deserve to be called national heroes. They are the stars amongst us- sons and daughters who fought for the peace, security and sovereignty of the country. The people who lost their lives in the operation, those who are surviving without hands and limbs, those who are amongst us now but on wheel chairs, for me these are the real heroes.

Remember the tourist guide who dived into Mebar Tsho to save the life of a tourist. For me he is a star. The policeman who risked his life several times saving the lives of the people deserves to be called a national hero. The lady who goes out of her way to preserve the national environment of the country is our STAR.

The teacher who walks several days and nights to reach to his destination so that education can be imparted to the unreached children residing in the remotest of our country is a STAR.

A graduate who instead of complaining of no jobs in the country but takes up modern farming is a STAR.

An artist without claiming any publicity but quietly training hundreds of more artists in the country is a STAR for me.

A person who without any inhibition goes around cleaning the poops of others and public toilets, is a STAR to me. Someone who quietly picks up the garbage thrown by others is a STAR.

The comedians of the likes of Gyem Dorji, Gem Tshering and Phurba Thinley who bring smiles and laughers in the lives of people- they are the STARS for me.

The forester, who works in the midst of jungles without even seeing the glitters of the city life to save our forest and endangered species, is a STAR in my eyes.

Someone who works 24/7 to monitor the glacier lakes somewhere in the most coldest region of Bhutan having to stay away from his near and dear one, is a STAR as far I am concerned.

These are the people who actually serve at the ground level making a lot of impacts on the lives of people around them. For me they are the stars and without a second thought I would call them as our National Heroes.

A real hero is the one who does so many things for the well being of the country without claiming any ‘STAR’ title. There is no greater a hero than those people who serve the Tsa- WA – Sum (King, Country & People)  with utmost loyalty, integrity, and who knows the value of Tha-Damtse- Lay-Jumdrey.(Trust and Faith)

So just because someone has the gift of the gab, is vocal, can talk about freedom of speech and talks about protecting the rights of someone considered lesser, cannot be called a star. And especially not someone who belittles the very country that fed him/her to gain self-publicity or be in the limelight. It is like “Et tu, Brute” (BETRAYAL)

But “time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: who cover faults, at last shame them derides.”- William Shakespeare.

And which of the birds is a star anyways- The parrot who jabbers nonstop claiming to be the know-all or the silent eagle who soars high having done great deeds?



Book Review Title: A tale of Sikkim told by two

Book Title: Smash & Grab +Sikkim-The Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom

Authors: Sunanda K.Datta-Ray & Andrew Duff

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Same story of Sikkim told by two people differently based on their level of involvement and research. While Sunanda K.Datta’s was of a personal account of the experiences in the capacity of a journalist based in the area, Andrew Duff’s work was that of a highly and richly researched works along with that of interviews and also the world of information that he retraced from the exchange of letters between the two Scottish head mistresses- Martha Hamilton and Ishbel Ritchie who served in Sikkim at the time.

The only difference is the way it has been reflected in the title…while the one portrays very aggressively as ‘Smash and Grab-Annexation of Sikkim’, the other one mildly puts as S’ikkim-the Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom.’

As much as one can understand the stand of Sunanda K. Datta on the last Chogyal of Sikkim and Sikkim itself so is the requiem for the Chogyal by Adnrew Duff as much as the requiem was for Sikkim.

Both the books tell the story of ‘Divide and Rule’ –the basic concept of colonization adopted by the British India. Thondup –the last Chogyal of Sikiim is portrayed as failure, the victim and having died a very tragic death. On the other hand the uncanny Kazi Lhendup Dorji and his Scottish wife Kazini of Chakung-Elisa Maria Layford-Rae were portrayed as having played the opposition role to the Palace thus showing them as the main villain.

Sikkim left to see its 12th and the last King – Palden Thondup Chogyal (23 May 1923 – 29 January 1982) who had a fairy tale wedding with a 23-year-old American wife Hope Cook in 1963 when he was at his 40s. The marriage called in controversy in the midst of Indo-China Cold War. Hope Cook was looked upon as American Spy, which was to India’s bad taste. Fueled by the opposition of the Kazi and Kazini, Sikkim ultimately landed with the annexation by India under the governance of then Indira Gandhi in 1975 especially under the influence of the cold car that went between India and China in 1960s and 1970s. Sikkim thus became the 22nd state of India.

The way the stories are narrated leaves one with wanting to know more, leaves you in doubt and more so in reflection.

At the end of the book one is left wondering whether the people of Sikkim were pulled into deception, exploitation or betrayals. One is also left wondering the role of RAW and the shrewdness with which India annexed Sikkim with the help of its political officers based in Sikkim and off course the works of RAW.

Both the books are nothing short of a thrilling reader or a movie with lots of intriguing twists as reflected in the plots as it unfolds.

However, for a Bhutanese, the books are a must read. As a Bhutanese as I unfold every chapter of both the books I couldn’t help thinking about how our Monarchs dealt with the situation in the midst of over powering neighbhours and especially at a time when the neighbhoring small kingdom like ours was not only going through severe turmoil but eventually got annexed.

I as a Bhutanese could not help being more grateful to our Leaders who played a very significant role in preserving the security and sovereignty of the Kingdom in the light of all that was happening during the most vulnerable time.

This is the very reason why I chose to do this book review as my pledge to my Gyalsey- who symbolizes the continuity of peace, progress and sovereignty of our country. Our kings have never failed us in the past and they will ensure that the future kings will be even stronger. Gyalsey in that way is very special. HRH Gyalsey has the blessings, love and guidance of not only their Majesties but our Great Fourth, Their Majesties the Royal Grand Queen Mothers, Great Grand Parents from both the sides of the family and love of the people of Bhutan.

Wishing HRH Gyalsey a very happy 1st Birth Anniversary. My sincere prayers for Gyalsey’s Happy growing up with wisdom, grace, intellects, and compassion that befits the future King.


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