karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “April, 2017”

Sensitivity and In-sensitivity of Social Media

IMG20170428215958Yesterday there was a post by a mother pleading the help of everyone on FB to help find her lost son who was only four years old. The post sounded so desperate and says the boy could be anywhere in Babesa or any part of Thimphu. He looked so cute clad in a black pant and a black pull over holding a even cute black pug. My heart went out to the boy, the parents and especially the mother whose heart must have bled a thousand times.

I neither shared the post nor I commented on every post that went viral on FB but I silently prayed for the well being of the little boy with a hope that he may soon be united with his parents.

To be exact, I recited Chapdro, Baza Guru, Mani, Drolma, Guru Soelldep Tsig Duen, Barche Lamsel and sincerely prayed for the boy and his parents. The first thing I saw on FB today morning when I got up was the good news that the boy has been found and reunited with his parents. That was the report by the Royal Bhutan Police. My heart heaved a sigh of relieve and prayed for the reunion of the family.

And Lo and Be Hold… the next news I hear is that the boy has been drowned and fished out of Thimphu Chu somewhere near Terma Linca Resort. My mind refused to accept the news. But then again there were viral posts on FB showing the photo of the little boy and people commenting ‘RIP’ (Rest In Peace)

And then there were posts going in every private or group WeChat App- the most famous in Bhutan when it comes to spreading anything- be it good or bad, serious or not, sensitive or insensitive, jokes and many more. The worst part is to see some of these members sending the screen shot of the various photos and messages on FB Group page- the most famous or infamous ‘The Bhutanese Forums’ and people either sympathizing or blaming the parents for the carelessness.

The more I read the posts the more my heart went out to the mother and the little boy and off course the father too. I was wishing against the hope that people would stop putting more picture of the little boy on FB. Every post made my heart bleed so one can imagine what the parents must have gone through.

Well, what I am trying to say is the mother seeking the social media help to find her lost boy was fine. It was a desperate deed done. And it is heartwarming to see most people coming forward to sympathize and support and help look out for the little boy.

The media reporting that the boy was found out from Thimpchhu was also fine but then it is the others who tried spreading the post inviting many debates around the disappearance of the boy. Some even went to the extend of posting the boy’s body wrapped in a white cloth near the river where a monk is seen reciting prayers.

Some blamed the parents for their negligence, some hypothecated on many other reasons. Some said the grandmother was involved in the drowning of the child. And some even posted contradictory posts by different people and sought for justification not realizing what the parents must be going through for the loss of their gem of a child.

My earnest request is if anyone of you come to know of lending a supporting hand, do share as much as possible but once you know that the incidence has occurred beyond recovery, please stop sharing, commenting and discussing. Respect the departed soul and the souls who are grieving at the moment for the departed one.

And more than anything else lets stop putting the blame game. This will make the situation even worse for the ones who are alive and make it difficult for the departed soul to find peace.

And let me end this post with an invocation of taking a refuge:

I take refuge in the Lama,

I take refuge in the Bhuddha,

I take refuge in the Dharma,

I take refuge in the Sangha,

I take refuge in the three jewels, the supreme object of refuge.

And may the soul of this little boy find refuge in the three jewels of the supreme object of refuge.

May the parents of the little boy take refuge in the three jewels of the supreme object of refuge.

May the soul of the departed little boy find peace.

May the souls of the living parents find peaceMy sincere prayers your ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Picture that tells a story…

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A story of a King who is known as ‘The People’s King.’ Somewhere down the history of Bhutan, we would be telling the story to our great great grand children that Bhutan in its 21st Century had a King who was lovingly called as ‘The People’s King” by its citizens and known as the ‘Dragon Kingdom’s People’s King’ by the world.

The moment I opened my Face Book, this was the first post that welcomed me and then every post on my wall had gone viral with this picture. I searched for His Majesty’s FB page to see the post only to realize that this was just one of the pictures from the entire post from HM’s FB Page.

But the fact that people picked this photo out of the many on the post says a lot about how much this picture has impacted the thoughts of the Bhutanese Citizens including mine. I for once was like, wow!!! This pic deserves a story and so am I here with the picture story for posterity at least for myself, for my children, my grand children and great grand children.

We have had five generations of Kings since Sir Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously crowned as the First King of Bhutan not to forget the ground work laid down by Desi Jigme Namgyel for the very foundation of the Wangchuck Dynasty.

Each of the Kings had his unique charismatic ways of building Bhutan- the Bhutan that we see today.

For instance, Sir Ugyen Wangchuck at the age of 17, had to lead his troops to fight against the then Paro Penlop Tshewang Norbu. His father Desi Jigme Namgyel left him to take care of himself, his family and the entire country at the very youthful age of 21 years old. At 23 years old in 1885 he had to lead 2400 troops in a series of battles that ultimately ended in Changlimithang. And it was in 1907 that people of Bhutan unanimously elected his as the first hereditary King of Bhutan.

Son of Sir Ugyen Wangchuck, Jigme Wangchuck ascended the throne at 21 years old in 1926. He focused more on powerful central government formation and infrastructure development and enhanced bilateral relationships with India.

Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck is known as the father of modern Bhutan. He is also known as the father of modern education in Bhutan. He is still survived by His Queen in the form of Her Majesty The Royal Great Grand Mother. (Personally I revered as my Khandoma)

He was the King who removed slavery systems in Bhutan. He was the King who granted lands to the landless in Bhutan and made all equal. He was the one who removed taxations too. Surprisingly he also became at the age of 23 years old.

Fourth King His Majesty King jIgme Singye Wanghcuck had to take over the country even at a very young age. He was only 16 when his father left him. He had to take over a country when it was left in the midst of its third year plan. He is the King who introduced the developmental philosophy of Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product. He is the King who brought about the significant changes we see in Bhutan now. He is the King who tried to live the values of all his former forefathers. He is the King who put himself at the forefront at the time when Bhutan had to flush out the militants from the country.

He is the King who made one of the most self-sacrificing decisions of his life- that of abdicating the throne for the sake of democracy of Bhutan.

No where in the world have we read or heard of a story where a King gave up his crown for the sake of his country. For this very reason, he is known as The Bodhisattva King, The Dharma King, and Chenrezig in its true form.

And now we have our ‘The People’s King” in the form of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. He is truly deserving of the name and title that both at the national and international level are calling him. He has his own different ways of connecting to the people and the country. And who knows may be it is the way that best suits the time now. We love our King who can walk down to the level of common people and hold their hands. We love our king to whom we feel comfortable to speak up our needs and doubts. We love our king who is ready to listen to any concern of our people. We love our king with whom  feel connected. We love our king to whom we feel we can reach out to- A King like no body else.

Its been over a decade His Majesty reigned Bhutan in its most glorious form and I have a lot to write but for now let me just focus on this particular picture.

The picture here is of an old lady with His Majesty- the photo depicting of a victim of windstorm that took place in Punakha. It is my personal observation but I see the old lady more in commanding force and His Majesty more or less listening. Where in the world would a King listen to the command of an ordinary people? I think it happens only in Bhutan.

The photo not only made me write this this article, it made me more emotional, more connected, and left me feeling more luckier that I am born in Bhutan and that I am a proud citizen of Bhutan.

This article is dedicated to my two gems of children Osel Norbu Dema and Yonten Jigme Tshering and to their children and their grand children as well as great grand children. I want them to know that they are living under such protective forces in Bhutan that they will never feel the need of another protection.

Palden Drukpa Gyalo.

 

Disclaimer:  I am neither a Historian nor an Academic.  I wrote this post purely as a Citizen and from a Citizen’s perspective and as spontaneously as it came into my mind.  So nay errors in dates and history if you find, please kindly feel comfortable to correct me.

Book Review Title: Divided by War, United by Love.

IMG20170415014056Book Title: HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Publisher: Harper Perennial.

Year of publishing: 2007.

8th Impression: 2016

First published in Great Britain by Fourth Estate in 2006, “Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the heart breaking tales of the civil war that took place in Nigeria which is also known as the Biafran War that stayed on for almost 3 years from 1967 to 1970.

The excruciating horror of the civil war dates back to 1960s in Nigeria and is fictionally narrated through the main protagonists in the book such as Ugwu-a poor village boy who goes to work for Odenigbo-a radical university professor who are soon joined by Olanna living in with Odenigbo followed by Richard –the English writer who falls for Kainene-twin sister of Olanna.

The dynamism of the relationships between these main characters get affected during the civil war as their personal decisions tear them apart yet they find themselves back together due to the love and loyalty they hold for each other.

Through their lives in the civil war, the author attempts to actually tell the story of the Nigerian Civil War that divided many people and left the country torn apart. The history of Nigeria is richly told in a very enriching, heartbreaking yet with a mix of humour in a very beautiful English and off course the readers get introduced to various African words and phrases which makes the book even more an interesting read.

Although Nigerian Civil War is a notable aspect of the book, it also talks a lot about the African politics, the western influence during and post war, about marriages and how women were portrayed and perceived as during the time.

As you read one chapter after another, you actually realize that you feel them and see them in the civil war and somewhere somehow you kind of make a connection with the people then.

In a review by Daily Telegraph, it says, “Over the course of the book the characters burrow into your marrow and mind, and you come to care for them deeply-something that is all too rare when reading the tricksier contemporary novels.”

Daily Mail has this to say about the book, “Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.’

And this is what the Guardian has to say, “ A landmark novel. Adichie brings to history a lucid intelligence and compassion and a heartfelt plea for memory.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba in Anambara State. The book won the most coveted Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007

and is now a major film starring famous stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton.

Orange Prize for Fiction is usually given to a female author who writes a full-length original novel in English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review Title: The Journey of a King and His People in the last ten years.

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Book Title: Bhutan’s Crowning Glory- The Journey of a King and His People in the last ten years.

Author: Ugyen Tenzin

Year of Publishing: 2017

‘Bhutan’s Crowning Glory-The Journey of a King and His People in the last ten years’ was launched on February 22, 2017, dedicated to the 37th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King. The book chronicles the selfless and self-sacrificing actions that ushered from the Throne since enthronement of His Majesty on December 9, 2006.

This is one of the first and the newest books in the town that contains the latest information in the making of the history in Bhutan. It has in one package documented His Majesty’s actions at home and beyond with relevant portraits connecting to every information.

In short the book talks about the following:

  1. A brief introduction about His Majesty and the abdication of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
  2. A section explaining why His Majesty is called The People’s King.
  3. Contribution of His Majesty to the four pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH)
  4. Diplomacy.
  5. Different forms of kidus.

Touching stories and anecdotes of kidu beneficiaries and those who have had the opportunities of getting audience with Their Majesties are prominently recorded in the book some of which brings tears to one eyes. One will marvel at why March 4 means a lot for Kezang from Merak, how Tashi Wangmo from Lhuentse got a new leash of life, what it meant for the villagers of Wafay to be given a new settlement at Khenadrang and many more personal anecdotes.

Tashi Wangmo’s story of how she got a new life from being ostracized her entire life until then brought tears to my eyes. The fourth paragraph of the story on page 15 reads like this, “His Majesty went towards Tashi, drank two cups of ara (home brewed liquor) from her and told Tashi to inform the world that His Majesty drank two cups of ara from her and nothing happened.” It touched me to the core.

Important Khasos (Royal Edicts) passed by His Majesty are also included along with some excerpts from the Royal Addresses as well as some Royal Addresses given beyond home. The author has tried to capture very intricately the selfless actions of His Majesty in the last ten years of His Majesty’s glorious reign, which will not only serve as source of information and record of the history but also help people understand the noble deeds of His Majesty The King.

The book is written in a very simple, reader friendly, very lucid and easy to comprehend language. This is one book that will serve as a great supporting reading material for our students who will come to learn about the unprecedented actions and reforms brought about by His Majesty and in doing so build the bonding between our youth and The King.

In terms of the quality of the book, I would boldly claim that the binding is done very perfectly, the paper quality is great, the size of the letters are appropriate, the lay out is done very well and the pictures are placed appropriately with relevant write ups.

The cost of the book in the market is Nu.1200. However, for bulk purchase, the book is offered at the rate of Nu.750 and if the bulk purchases are more than 700 copies of the book, the rate is further discounted to Nu.700.

Captured in 156 pages the deeds of His Majesty, the book is highly recommended for everyone to be apprised of the latest information in the history of Bhutan and most importantly it is recommended for every schools, institutions and colleges so that our students have access to such information which will help them understand the unprecedented actions of His Majesty The King and build connections with His Majesty.

If you would like to own a copy for your personal collection or for bulk purchases for schools and institutions, contact the author at 17975243 or email him at uktonzin@gmail.com.

 

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