Nopkin.com

Make Someone's Day!

Articles by: kuenza

He wasn't the best but I married him

23 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

I always thought I was going to be a nun. I wanted to pursue a purpose much higher than my parents understood. They were too engaged in their works and in raising children that they couldn’t see me doing anything better than helping them.

So many proposals came. Not a single man could touch my heart. I thought I wasn’t destined to marry and lead a life everyone does. Proposals started coming after I turned fifteen. I can’t say I’m beautiful. But people thought I was going to make the queen of their hearts. If nothing else, why can’t I at least learn to read Dzongkha?

So, when the Non Formal Education scheme started, I was the first in my village to jump for the opportunity. I would have at least one desire fulfilled. I was so happy – that – I felt like I was finally out of a cage that was growing tighter. I was so keen to learn that sometime I forgot household chores, too absorbed in doing my homework. My mother would shout at me – and I would answer her but never really get up to go and help her. I know this was wrong but I felt like my wings were growing larger and I was preparing for the flight I was going to take one day. I had already turned 25 then. I still wasn’t married and my parents were getting worried that I was growing old. Ah! I had turned down proposals for 10 years now and I wasn’t feeling so bad to see someone go dejected. But no, I wasn’t feeling happy at it either.

My youngest sister who is two years younger to me graduated when I turned 26. She got a job in Bumthang. Since my parents worried to let her stay alone, I went to be her friend, a helper and a sister. We got along so well because we were more like friends. By that time I already knew how to read Dzongkha and I could read the prayer books. I prayed in the morning and in the evening. I prepared breakfast and dinner for her. She would have her friends for dinner sometime and I would be the chef. They said I cooked well and it would make me feel happy.

My sister saw my interest and she started teaching me ABC and how to read English words. I was so happy and I was feeling like an educated woman. I started dressing a little different from how I used to in village. I started growing my hair and using shampoo. I dyed my hair a brownish red and let it loose down my shoulders.

My mother was coming to meet us one day, and when I was waiting at the bus station for her, I met this man who so bossily talked as if I would curl up his lap like a cat who had not found affection. I could see how easily he could flirt. I cursed him and talked a little too indifferently and said I was married when he asked me if I was.

I didn’t know my fate was turning its course. He started calling me and asking me out. I was by then a girl who understood the charm of a man. I was too old a girl in fact, but I still felt a little nervous when I had to sit across from him at the table and saw him look at me too deeply.

And yes, this man, who I thought was a flirt, and is 15 years older to me, has become my husband. I wouldn’t complain he is the worst. He is good to me. He has a very different circle of friends. He sometime disappears for a week, saying that he is on business. I cuddle lonely in my bed but I don’t really miss him.

I love him because he is good to me. He cares me and he loves me. But I don’t love him the crazy way a girl would because he makes her heart twitch and ache for him.

We are married for two years now and we don’t have any children just now. I don’t know if our life would take a different turn after that – but right now, life has become a monotonous flow of river.

He has given me a diamond ring and gold chain. I can show this to my friends and feel proud that I’m a rich man’s wife, but who am I really? I might have sought a very different purpose but here I’m now sunk in the life everyone has. I thought I was different – that I was going to be a very different person. But fate stole my dream.

“I'm not disabled only inconvenienced”

22 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

“Hey look at that beautiful wonju, it would look perfect on her,” said my friend. “She’ll love it.”  I wish I knew what color she was really talking about. I said, “Yes, it would. How much does it cost?”

 I didn’t want my friend to hold my hand. I was walking perfect by her side. I could see with my senses and I knew where I was. But it wasn’t the same. She saw every bit of scene, every bit of color.

  I understand what she means when she says red, green, blue etc. but I don’t really see them the way she does. It isn’t the same. I wish I had the same pair of eyes others did. I don’t complain. But every now and then, when I sit in the sitting room with my mother and nieces, I wish I saw what they do on TV. They applaud and laugh at times. The curiosity climbs up my sleeve and irritation sinks in my mind. But I know only too well not to curse my fate.

 I have studied as much as many others have these days. I will soon be doing masters in literature. There isn’t much I have to feel sorry for. I don’t in fact. I don’t feel sorry at all. I will soon marry my beautiful princess. I have met her a year back. Ever since we started seeing each other, she has shown immense interest in my life and my wellbeing. She has shown so much care. She doesn’t want to lead me blindly into believing that love is only for a moment. She is still by my side.

 I have yet to introduce her to my mother. I will do that very soon. I take her hand in mine, feel the curves of her face and know how beautiful she is. She is this angel who will be my eyes, my world and my better half.

 I couldn’t play hide and seek as a child because I didn’t have friends who would have me in their company. I couldn’t run as fast as they did. But once my mother knew that the blind could read and learn as much as others did, I knew I had my path set. Here I am today, sitting in my room, wondering if life would have been more wonderful: I have my mother with me and I have my beautiful princess waiting for me to tell her that I am going to marry her. Though I lost my father when I was four, my mother had cared me and single-handedly shown me the way. She is still my inspiration.

 I know Lhamo will be the best thing that happens in my life. She understands how a pair of eyes is not a shortcoming in the world today. I am thinking that, maybe, I should ask her hand before I go for studies. Life has been so good to me. Learning has been a curiosity I always had and I am thinking that if I had my eyes, perhaps I would not have enjoyed life so much. It has taught me that life’s colors aren’t to be seen and forgotten but felt and cherished. I am meeting Lhamo this evening. I itch to tell her to come over to my place. Maybe, I will ask her. My mother would not be surprised. I shouldn’t be alone so long. 

Credit Card Lost

21 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

A man lost his credit card. He however decided not to report it to the police.

The thief was spending much less than his wife.

courtesy: sms from Duptho

Her Job

18 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

Position classification system has not been too specific with her job it seems. Yanki! Shouts ADM from the other room. “Get me the guest confirmation list for tonight’s dinner right now!”

 “La…” answers Yanki but she knows this isn’t the only job she has to do. Too many errands and at the end of the day, there isn’t any achievement whatsoever. In the meetings, it is the officers who meet and decide everything. Her purpose of being in the office is to listen to the senior colleagues, see what jobs they assign to her and make sure that she executes them in time. Hasn’t she done that all this time? But what has she earned? She hasn’t climbed fast as the officers did. But sometimes, her tasks were tougher.

 Maybe her jobs don’t really need so much of a brain. But need it or not, she must be equally acknowledged for the job she has done well. Yes, she read many times in many books that all people want to feel important. But it is not really what she craves. She only wants the officers not to override her work and leave her only an option of doing what they tell her to. Then even when something is as they said, if it is not up to someone’s liking, she is blamed for not putting it well.

 She now contemplates of studying again. She must complete a degree or she has to choose to just run here and there and listen to what others have to say. She could be just as capable as they are. Why not?

“I want you to do this,” “I want it by 5pm this evening.” Yes, this is how works are assigned and datelines are given. She meekly listens but the condescending officer doesn’t see that her heart pumps just the same blood and has the same valves.

Shyam Remembers

17 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

Shyam wrote…

 

Says he wanted to say hi

 

And that there was nothing new

 

But yes, I’m glad he remembered.

 

 

 
He is going to Punakha.

 

He will be going to Gasa thereafter

 

He asked how Luzee and Dankala are

 

 

 

 

I wondered, “Why just them?”

But maybe, he called the rest

 

Or didn’t he?

 

I know he meant all the nopkins and nopkinmos

 

Don’t wait for tomorrow

 

Call Shyam now and tell him that he is missed

 

 

 

 

 

Hey really, he says he misses us and that he hopes to join the wild nopkin weekends soon. He is in a rush and he is giving us a big treat when he returns. So cross your fingers, pray for his fortune and safe return. When he is back, come to his house with nothing but your empty stomach. Shyam, please know that we miss you and Dankala misses your hairy legs more. 

Thoughts In Mid Air

16 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

None of us has stayed together with the same person forever. We made friends, laughed together, had fun and then, finally had to say goodbye. That was how things were always set to be.

 

“Meeting and parting” are ways of life, we would often say when we had to bid farewell to our loved ones. But how often have we really meant them and not cried to see them go? Yes, life goes on. We cannot just not live because we have parted from someone we loved. We cannot not live because we are alone once more.

 

We have heard of hundreds of births and death. We have lived through just as we have always done. We fell in love. We trusted it would last forever. And when it didn’t, we saw life differently. We accepted life to be defined with betrayals. We accepted the life’s rough edges of unfairness. There always ought to have people talking of inequality, justice and peace. But no one can predict when it is going to prevail on earth. Don’t we need someone to talk of something? There has to be people who will let you believe that things will go well, that life isn’t as you see it when you are marginalized.

 

Yes, these are all facts of life. You deny every bit of truth you know and you want to believe that you can fight it back and restore life to its original beautiful form of untouched sanctity. But evolution has not been able to even out beauty.

 

But if you are lying in your deathbed, thinking of nothing but your end, you will see life differently altogether. If you lost a job that you much deserved to a less deserving candidate, you would not hold grudge to the ones responsible for it. If you shouted at your beloved for not being responsible, you would want to call him near and hold his hand. If you fought justice and wanted your voice to be heard, you would coil back in peace and want to believe that things would go just fine without you. If you were to die now, life would have no faults. Life would have no unfairness. You sink in the simmering beauty of unfairness and injustice being a part of life, as much a thorn is a part of the rose. As peace dawns on your heart, it lets go all hard emotions and smile spreads over your lips. That in fact is how life should be and how we should see it.

 

But now, whether we should stop fighting for the right cause or whether we should all claim our right share, you must tell me.  

Modeling a Dream

14 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

Toiled they did. She had little time to study. “Ama, I will one day take you to the world you have never been. We will be happy together. We will leave past behind,” said Yanki to her mother over dinner.

 
She saw very little of her father. Whenever he came home, he was drunk. He beat her mother and they argued. Her father always thought he should be respected, for just being a husband, a man. But he wasn’t earning. He wasn’t even a father. He was a guest at their house.
 
Yanki heard her mother sob every night. She would be bruised emotionally. She would wake up early and go for her duty at the hospital. She worked not as a doctor but as some assistant at the hospital. She sometime took nightshift just to be away from her husband. Lucky they were to have only one child.
 
Yanki grew up to be a very beautiful woman. She had a very beautiful voice. At the concert at her school, she was the queen of the public. Her voice enveloped the audience in the aura of a euphoric state. She won hearts of many men and women. But what had she to live for? She only had her mother.
 
She left her school from class XII. She looked in the market to be a singer. Yes, she was going to be the first singer who also had looks. She made her records big. She later entered into making movies. And as it always is, her name started appearing on everyone’s lips. Yes, Yanki. She dated that man – she was married to him for one year…. This fame didn’t lure her name though.
 
Amidst the high-blown gossip she climbed the ladder first. She married a foreigner and never came back. She sent dollars to her mother, but she didn’t know if her mother was happy. In the city that had everything and offered money for even a talent of smiling – they called it a charm and she made it big. Yes, she made it big. In the glamour of the money, she forgot her mother. She would come back to get her, or she would not. Money took her far from home. And yes, with past, she also forgot her mother.

Seeing life the hard way

10 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

I feel torn between responsibilities. At home and at office. Yes, there is dateline for everything. Were we not born to take responsibility? To serve a purpose? I guess so.

 If death were the easy answer, I wouldn’t want to escape. I wouldn’t want to run away either. But yes, if there was a way to wipe everything out and write my life new, I might want to – just for this moment. But no, I’m not looking for a way to escape responsibilities. I thought there should have been an easier way. Why not? Not everyone suffers the same, do they?  
 

I was talking to Luzee that sometimes, I break down. It isn’t a shame to break down, is it? But I ain’t running away. I’m only wiping that something I cannot wipe with smile with tears. After I have a good cry, I feel new. I feel like I can grab everything and run a mile and still not feel tired.  

 It is so true life is not a bed of roses. I never thought it was. But I want to feel the thorns too because that makes me realize that I’m alive. Yes, I have always done that. What if I were dead now? I might not have anything to carry with me – probably, except that realization. I have been fighting realization and reality and have tried a little to fake reality. It was only to keep myself away from madness. That was to say, to save myself from depression. And it seems like I have succeeded. I’m glad I’m still here, talking to you guys, writing in nopkin.com and still feeling a little young. But, there are times when something beyond age weighs you down and make you wake up wondering if you prayed right the previous night.  
 

I guess, I’m not gonna take you anywhere with it. But I’m only telling you that times are hard sometimes and you can’t help feel that the pain or hurt or whatever you’re feeling would go away if you threw a stone on someone’s car for no reason – or if you hit your head on the wall. But of course, we must keep ourselves sane. I’m trying hard to do that at this moment. There often are things that drive you mad.

“The Force Within The feminine”

04 Apr 2008 Author kuenza

It is an article from “The Times of India.” It was published on the International Women’s day. I read it when I was in Kolkata. I cut the piece off and carried it in my purse with me, so that I could have nopkin readers have a look. It is wonderful. But I’m not posting it to say that men are weak and bad. I dun argue who is better and who is not. I like the points presented here, maybe because I’m a woman.

 

In his discourse Sermons In Stones, Osho says: “The prolonged condemnation of feminine qualities has seeped deep into women. It is man’s conspiracy to prove himself superior, which he is not. Man is deeply aware that woman has something he does not. First, the woman attracts him, he falls in love with her; she becomes an addiction – that’s where the trouble arises.”

 

The feeling of dependence on women that every man feels makes him react in such a way that he tries to manage the woman as slave – spiritually. He’s afraid of her because she is beautiful; not only to him but to whoever looks at her. Great jealousy arises in the male chauvinist mind.

 

Osho discusses another aspect of femininity that makes man afraid. “In making love, a man is inferior because he can have only one orgasm at a time while the woman can have multiple. And since man feels utterly helpless, he tries not to give her even the first orgasm, for if she knows what an orgasm is, she will be aware that one is not satisfying! She will want more, but the man will be spent. So the most cunning way is not to let her know that anything like an orgasm exists in the world.”

 

Osho adds: “A woman lives five years longer than a man, on average. This means she has more resistance, more stamina. She’s sick lesser, heals quicker. And men go mad twice as often as women. Despite these scientific facts, the superstition continues that man is stronger. Only in one thing is he stronger – his body. He is a good manual worker. Otherwise, he feels deeply inferior. To avoid that, the only way he sees is to force the woman into an inferior position. That is the only thing in which he is more powerful: He can force her to accept an idea that is absolutely false – that she is weak.”

 

To prove that the woman is weak, man condemns all feminine qualities. But, in fact, woman has all the great qualities in her. Whenever a man awakens, he attains these very qualities that he condemns.

 

The woman is more loving. The man has not shown greater love than the woman. Love has its own strength. For example, to carry a child in the womb for nine months need strength, stamina, love. No man could manage it.

 

Love, trust, beauty, sincerity, truthfulness, authenticity – these are all feminine qualities, and they are far greater than any qualities that man has. But the past has been dominated by man and his qualities.

 

In war, there is no use for love, truth, beauty or aesthetic sensibility. In war, you need a heart stonier than stones. You need simply hate, anger, a madness to destroy.

 

In 3,000 years, man has fought 5,000 wars. This too is strength but not worthy of human beings. This is strength derived from our animal inheritance. It belongs to the past. Feminine qualities belong to the future. If men and women can live these qualities, the day is not far when we can transform this world into a paradise.

Swami Chaitanya Keeti

Walking in the Clouds-II

21 Mar 2008 Author kuenza

 

Roughened out and hardened, we walked. Finally crossing the river for the last time, we started climbing up. It wasn’t a step or two. The climb was steep, and the path very dusty.
 
The fear of rebuke hadn’t left me. I started walking faster, though I breathed fast and started sweating. I didn’t have all day to catch them. Three of us: Pema Tenzin, Kezang Jigme and I were caught by three others. We finally reached Serbichang. When the other three stayed back (we thought we were camping there that night), we went on to catch the rest. The girls seemed to have walked faster than anyone. They had covered miraculously long distance. They were ahead of us by three hours.
 
Talking and singing all the way, we kept walking. The dusk was falling fast. When we asked traders we met on the way, they said our girls were way ahead of us. Some would have reached the mystic destination I so came to hate then. I was glad I wasn’t born there.
 
In the flickering torch light we walked. When we reached a hill top called Yebila, we went to a herdsman’s hut and drank yogurt. This gave us instant energy. And the path suddenly was downhill. With the renewed energy, we flew. The two girls at that hut told us that our friends told them they were going to stay at Dawala.
 
I recited this name Dawala like a very sacred prayer. But when we finally reached there, they were gone. They didn’t get a place to stay there. Now we knew, catching them meant reaching our final destination and we would all have a good fiery feast of argument. Each one would have their right.

Walking in the Clouds-III

21 Mar 2008 Author kuenza

 

There were hundreds of people camping by the footpath. They were people going to Samtse to sell oranges. We stopped at one camp with the intention to eat something. But we just had water and left. Not a single household seemed to dwell in that place.
 
When we had almost lost hope, we heard a very clear voice singing. We met a young guy with a horse. He was alone. He sang so beautifully and it had a very sad edge to it. It made me think of my childhood days in my village. He was afraid, walking alone at night. But he had no choice. Life to him was not about making choice of whether to quit one job and apply for a better paying one. He had no worry of many choices confusing him. The path was clearly laid before him and he was taking it. I looked back again, as, even tears trickled in my eyes. When at one side of the world, the modernization was booming and people have to worry only about fashion, and what to buy next, here was a place that was hidden in hardship.
 
Our torch nearly gave in. We had to trust that we would reach our destination, no matter what. Now, we were hungry and we had the last ounce of energy. We walked into another hut, hoping that there would be some food. But it was wrong to think that way. Even when we asked if they would prepare dinner for us, they were not willing. They said they could prepare Wai Wai for us. But that was something I really didn’t want to see at that moment. They told us where the police camp was. There was no town where they could find a hotel. So we thought they might have put up at the police camp.
 
We saw light and crowd of people. Our hopes soared and we almost nearly shouted. But it was wiped out as soon as it rose. One of the police was transferred somewhere and they were having farewell dinner. Our friends were not among them. They danced and sang. The very nice OC there offered to give us shelter for the night. Oh the delicious dinner. We had everything at last.
 
Our friends had put up at Gup’s office. They had dinner and they had already slept when we reached there. Three of us stayed the night at OC’s place. But even before I had sunk into a light sleep, I heard my friends calling me. Another three of our friends had followed us with the same worry – that, girls who left before had nothing with them. No sleeping bag, no mat and nothing to eat. They were so tired; they had so much to say to me. But that was that. I got up and went with them to Gup’s office and the night wasn’t so good.
 
Girls were blamed. We cried.
 
But yesterday, as we bid farewell to our friends who worked with us for nearly three months, we had so much to say, so much to say sorry for. Yet, we had so much to cherish and so much to be happy for. We were happy we took so many long trips together and it truly was a venture of happiness.
 
Yes, this mystic destination overpowered all our senses and we had some misunderstanding. But the sun did shine there. And we had good times there as well. Dorokha. This is the place none of us will forget. Not in near future. Not in our lifetime. We might not go back there again, but we have our story. We made it there. We were really walking in the clouds. We were in the dream. It was like the story of Wizard of Oz. It was like we were away in a different world – away from chaos of the modern world. There was not a buzz of hurry there. We lazed in the sun even as we talked to our respondents. And we achieved something we might never do again. Experience we thus had is a knowledge we will never shed. And I’m glad I made my journey there.

What's the Price?

09 Mar 2008 Author kuenza

I’ve long wanted to see this one heaven on earth. There truly must be something that is not there anywhere else. Zhemgang – this name has echoed for so long in my mind and yet, it has remained far out of touch.

 

Going through the article “Into the INNER Kingdom” in Tashi Delek, Feb. Issue, aroused in me an emotion that engulfed all other feelings.

 

The author says, “This is the closest I’ve ever been to heaven,” and this rings in an overzealous mind – a wish to fly.

 

If all the peace of the world is there, gathered in one spot, what does development aim to achieve?

 

There is such happiness and peace – lurking in the most remote places. They’ve failed to prevail in urban areas. If development means only to rob peace and plant desires and want in the people, I see no need for it. I know how thousands of modernists and developers will argue this point. Yes, we cannot just remain isolated and not be a part of the larger world. But isn’t happiness, what everyone desires most?

 

I sometime think that while, planners and policy makers are trying to put GNH in place, it already exists in the remote villages – i.e. if their definition of GNH means planting a limitation to wants. These people have never wanted more things than those in the urban places who have in their hold luxuries. These people, no matter how hard they have to work hard, have been content. Only that, they open their eyes a little wider and think, maybe, there is something good coming their way, when developments are promised.

 

I feel a sense of melancholy stripping me of my last sense of happiness as I think of how little away we lie from being robbed of the tranquility that pervades through your veins when you look around and nature smiles at you.

 

Yes, they have to work so hard now. But will they not have to work so hard, if their villages are connected by roads and children sent to school?

 

Their children will be literate farmers and businessmen, if not officers. But for the words they learnt to read and write, we would have sold the peace that was showered on us without a price.

 

Thank You Note to My Friends

28 Feb 2008 Author kuenza

 It was the most difficult time of my life. If there was any hope, it was only my heart wanting to believe it wasn’t my reality.

My friends stood strong and tall beside me. I never thought they were fair weather friends. Neither did I think they were only words. But when they turned up strong saying “We are there for you,” what could I mutter but say inwardly that I was blessed?

My nopkin friends, I would like to thank each one of you for being there for me. And the same goes to my friends working at JDWNRH. You have shone light in the path that I didn’t know the difference between light and darkness.

It seems like you are gonna have to go through another hurdle this evening. I hope you will make this work a play and not find so much difficulty.

Thank you for praying for us and for being there beyond words.

Walking in the Clouds-I

30 Jan 2008 Author kuenza

The fiery dust clouding our eyes, we rode up to the base of a river. “You have to cross this same river 20 times,” I heard someone from the group say. Twenty times? My head thumped but I knew there were in store some biggest adventures I had yet to see.

 

We hadn’t done the shopping yet. A group was in town doing shopping – and another group went back to join that shopping group. Girls and a very few guys waited there. All luggage dumped and our brows already furrowed in deep thoughts, thinking “how long?”

 

One said, girls should start walking ahead of them before the shopping group joined. I thought it wasn’t a good idea. Another refuted this and we were asked to wait. Yes, we were waiting until someone jerked up and got active and said they were leaving. They said there were people heading the same way and they would go with them. I had no time to object in fact. Besides, I thought it was good if they could go because many of them were worried of the long path they were to tread. They didn’t say it would take eight hours. We were told, it would take the whole day to reach that mystic destination.

 

Girls left but I remained behind with the very few guys waiting for the shopping group. They reached in what seemed like forever. The sun was high above our head and my stomach had already started growling. For the fear of rebuke, I shut my mouth. I knew there were more important things to think of than hunger. It was taking a long time to get ready the horses and the luggage. I thought I should start walking. We were now told that we would be camping in a place called Serbithang. God knew how far it was. I didn’t know.

 

I set off my journey with Pema Tenzin and Kezang Jigme. Pema Tenzin volunteered to help me with my luggage. Yes inwardly and from deep within, I thanked him for his kindness.

 

Guys grumbled and complained endless times that girls had walked off without carrying anything. Whereas girls thought there would be horses to carry their luggage – they were not on the wrong, because they were made to understand that way.

 

Yes, we walked and when we had crossed this river five times, my stomach’s complaint had reached its limit. So I took out the Britannia cake and munched on it, ravishing it like I never did before. This helped me. After that, I didn’t see my lunch until we were to climb the hill. Our lunch was Wai Wai noodles at a makeshift hut by the side of the river. A very beautiful kid (she), who was around seven years old served us. We agreed she was going to grow into a very beautiful woman – this was only to make us feel alive. Otherwise, our senses were dying down, nerves already mangled. But no, I wasn’t feeling so tired. Not now.

 

There was this fear eating me, pushing me, asking me to walk faster – to catch up the first group. Otherwise things would stand shattered and I would be blamed. We walked singing the song “Daben furu ru ru nga ya fur do sa,” – really wishing I could fly. Fly I did not. But I did catch them. But where? It was longer than I imagined, farther than I thought, hidden in the night’s darkness that chose not to give us any hint of light.

 

You will see what happened next in a few days. I don’t know if it is coming out the way it happened and how it made us all feel. But I do hope I am able to at least make you feel a little of what we went through.

Dreaming Under the Stars

29 Jan 2008 Author kuenza

It’s 8:30 in the morning. We just finished our breakfast. Couple of guys actively attends to preparing meals – they make sure that we are not starved. Today being the ‘nyinlog’ (winter solstice), we’d suja, thup and desi.

 

It seems so early in the morning just now. The dew drops still hang on the leaves. There are frosts on the grasses. The cold still cuts through our skin. A group of people sits around a small fire, talking and laughing. Few guys are playing khuru, unaware of the cold. And, I sit alone in the tent, thoughts running in my mind – trying to feel the lives move on.

 

It seems like it is going to be a bright sunny day. The cold will disappear as the morning sun shines. We will smile more and life will find a cozy place in our heart. This is how we look forward for the day.

 

Our guys have planned to play khuru. At this moment, girls do not have any plan as always. But I’m thinking that we’ll not get bored. We’ve the capability of finding joys even in simple things like just sitting and letting thoughts run through. Maybe we’ll watch our guys play, sing songs and cheer. I am far ahead of the day to predict.

 

Sleeping cramped in the tent, trying to get warmth from each other; sitting around the fire, bearing the tear-rousing smoke; listening to different heart-tearing funny conversations; and laughing our hearts out almost clattering them against each other. And then, sleeping in the midst of different snoring sounds and smiling all alone in the dark still night is nothing short of joy.

 

Even as we walk alone in the night and look at the sky we see thousands of stars promising thousand dreams. We walk back to our tents and dream of making a better tomorrow and as sleep takes us, we embrace life closer than ever, happy that we are living and are capable of dreaming thousand dreams and making them come true.

Tapestry of Memories

21 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

 “You miss bunking class and going to movies? he he…that’s so like u . I came online today to chat with my keli. He is still here in Bombay but all the same I can’t see him. I miss him terribly” wrote Leki, my friend.

 

Have I got any choice not to think of those good old days again? They were not really good days in fact. We thought we were in some kind of a dungeon when we found out that we would have to write applications to the warden to go for outing.

 

But now, those brash edges are forgotten. Once moments become past, memories have this sweetness of creating beautiful tapestry of sweet remembrance. You see, when you think of your past, you get a mellow sweet feeling that smoothens your heart. Even when the past was bitter, the memory sweetens it and give your heart a very soft touch.

 

This is what is happening to me right now.

 

Right now, I’m waiting at Public Accounts. I have some work at MoF but the person I have to meet is gone out. I have been waiting here for a long time now. For once, I almost cried in frustration and tiredness but I thought it wasn’t going to make my work easier. So here I am, instead, trying to weave joy by pouring it out in nopkin. (Thanks CEO for giving me this privilege.)

 

But I shouldn’t be mistaken, for I have also learnt many things today: while waiting in RCSC and Finance, I had the opportunity to look at and learn many works from my friends who work in the same field as me. Thanks to Nopkin Jr. (Yes, I have to let you know here that you are a very true friend indeed. – and hey, by the way, Nopkin Sr. you are a great friend too. You will be born as even a greater nopkin in next life.)

 

Yes, those very first lines in this article were written to me by my friend Leki who now works in Bhutan Telecom. We are good friends. She would give me the company of finding joy in songs. I remember the many afternoons we learnt songs and wrote lyrics.

 

Looking at her lines, I was wondering if I wasn’t really taking my responsibility seriously as a student. But I did, didn’t I?

 

We bunked classes and went for movies because we were sometimes weighed down by works that we would feel like our heads were bursting. We once took our friend Kinley (when she joined us in first year) for a movie with us sneakily and Warden caught us right in the middle of town. And she thought I was behind this scheme. But we had joys whatever. Though those moments were always streaked with fear, we could see the clouds of joys streamlining it. The fear was only a dark cloud that would hide the sun for a while, while, our joys were of overriding unhidden need.

 

We had many harsh moments but now I look back and I see only sweet memories hanging down my heart.

Most Awaited and Feared Day: Result Declaration

18 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

In the clouds of dust we would sit and wait for our names to be read out. Teachers would stand in a row in the front and we would sit like some faithful devotees and wait for the fate that would decide where we would sit the next year.

 

This morning (18th December), I was at Motithang Higher Secondary School to get my niece’s result. No, she hadn’t scored so high a percentage to walk to the front and get a prize. But standing there in the sun with other parents, I had a good time reminiscing my school life and this same day I had for 12 years. After class 12, waiting for result was a different thing. We no longer had to go to college and wait for the lecturers to read out our names. The modern technology made it easier for us. All we needed to do was browse the website and there you would find your name. Or else, the results would be on the notice board.

 

I thought getting her result would be as easy as going to her class teacher. But I had to wait till all the names of the position holders and other merit holders were read out and prizes distributed. There are more than ten sections in class nine and ten. The sun shone bright. The students smiled. The hands clapped in appreciation. I could see myself sitting among the students with anxiety swelling up my chest beside the glory I would for once be haloed in if I were one of the position holders.  Some stood as many times as five to get prizes: for topping different subjects; for topping the class; for topping the whole sections, etc. but there were some who sat just where they were the moment people started assembling for this big day. But I thought, it is how things always are. Not every is the winner. But the beauty lies in the theme that everyone has some potential and they are winners in different ways.

 

There was this guy in class 12 Science who took away more than five prizes. I looked at him closer as if wanting to engrave his face in my mind. As our hands clapped in marvelous unison of victory, our appreciation for those outstanding students was natural.

 

I couldn’t have been that person who took away many prizes. But I for once missed my days as a student and found the glory of my dream fading away as the people dispersed. This is the day your performance is judged, so much like the final judgment day. As I took away my niece’s result and walked away, I could almost find myself counting the similarities of this day and the final judgment day we will have. How well we have done in our life will then be marked in black and white and weighed on a scale that cannot be cheated. The torture wouldn’t be just having to repeat one year in the same class; the torture would be taking thousands rebirth in the same hellish realm if we haven’t been a good person. And it was almost icily teasing my heart.

 

Yes, then, my dream of sitting among those students faded and opened my eyes to the wide daylight as the cars honked and dusts floated. The road condition isn’t good. Everywhere there are holes dug, stones accumulated and dusts flying in your eyes.

Strangling Silence

12 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

Did he say he would be back? He did, didn’t he? It has been two months now.

 

The cattle grazed not very far away. Yanki sat on a stone by the river. Yes, she had heard great masters talk of emptiness and how it is likened to a river. “There is no substantial ‘real’ river – there is only the flowing” (Be a Lamp upon Yourself, pp.160) She mentally concentrated on the flowing of the river and thought of her life. She knew, nothing lasts forever.

 

When she fell in love with Lotay, did she think love could lead her forever? Only one thought existed then – that she was in love. Nothing seemed more important. The day she kissed Lotay by that same river, she wanted to live more than ever.

 

But just that same evening they shared secrets and built dreams, he had to leave. He was on hunt for a dream he said would bring more joy than they could find other wise. But to her, what mattered more was their being together. She would have loved waking up together to see the same sun rise than waking up lonely and wondering everyday where he was.

 

He had not called ever since he left. He had not even written a mail. She was on her holiday at home with her parents. It was at such times when she was all alone by a river side, that she missed him the most. She longed for him to come back and take her with him.

 

She thought of him more than her result. She wouldn’t worry if she got a back paper. But she dreaded never seeing him.

 

It was not like her Lotay to not write to her or not even tell her how he was doing. Was he caught up in some grand scheme of things the world is crazy about? The grand scheme of things that make you think nothing is important but money? Oh, but he was coming back.

 

How long she might have to wait was unknown. Even while it was breaking her heart to think he had left, probably never to return, she couldn’t think of finding love somewhere else. And now, the same reason that once made her want to live forever was conspiring behind her mind and she was thinking if death wouldn’t be so easy as jumping in a river or a cliff and never having to worry about another day.

Is Happiness Possible?

11 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

Happiness. What do I know about it? And, am I a happy person? I wouldn’t take very long to say yes. Yes, I am. What is it that makes me happy then?

 

I’m not a person who has climbed the life’s rank-ladder and holds power over others. Neither am I a person who has done research and found the formula for happiness. I am only, truly, very ordinarily a human. Happiness to me isn’t how much money I earn. It isn’t about the ability to buy land in Thimphu. It isn’t about who likes me and who doesn’t.

 

Happiness to me is my ability to see a purpose in my life. Yes, I want to live but I wouldn’t want me to live, if my purpose were to hoard wealth, give public speeches and make name.

 

Happiness is finding joy in simplicity. Happiness is that kind feeling you get on seeing a child walk by in rags. Happiness is the genuine joy you get in cherishing what you have.

 

We cannot be happy unless we have learnt to be content and be at peace with ourselves. And we cannot have peace until we have borne human feelings towards others. Unless we can see another human as an equal to us for the simple reason of being human, we cannot learn to come to terms with ourselves to find peace. It isn’t something we can buy with big money. It has to come from within. This is the rational feeling of a human being.

 

I’m happy for the simple reason of being a human. I know I wouldn’t have known the difference of pain and pleasure if I were in a different realm. We have the very possibility of finding the truth and finding happiness – and this is truly a blessing.

 

You don’t have to be poor. You only need to know when it is enough.

 

//Inspired by the talk on “Happiness in Scientific Research” by Jean Timsit

Paro Trip Postponed

07 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

Six members of nopkin.com met last evening at Phuensum restaurant to discuss the trip that was scheduled this weekend.

 

I’m so bluntly putting it here that the Paro trip is now postponed to next week. There are several inconveniences – the bigger one being the CEO’s absence. Besides no new member came up to volunteer. It is just the old us, who are the regulars. I hope we can have some new faces with new ideas who want to make a change. A better change.

 

The plan for the next weekend:

We will all go to Paro on Saturday  (i.e. 22nd December) and come back to Thimphu on Sunday evening. We will move to Taktshang on Saturday and do some cleaning on the way. We will have a destination there, right above us, looking at us, urging us to move for the better. That we thought would be enough inspiration for the members to keep going for good cause.

 

I personally want so ardently to see members come up and join us in this venture with vigor and enthusiasm. Join us: we aren’t aiming to fly to taktshang in a second and bring a miracle. We are going to walk with a human pace and make a small difference. Join us guys.

 

All are welcome to chip in their ideas.

*************************************************

 

My Woes: [I had a hard time locating my friends. They didn’t tell me where we were meeting. In the darkness, I finally reached Luzee’s house to find her gone. I walked with much hope to Shyam’s house only to find empty dark night greeting me. Oh yes, but finally NATO came to the rescue and there I was with them in Phuensum restaurant.]

Archive