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Articles by: kuenza

Intelligence vs. Diligence

05 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

An intelligent person knows things but don’t usually do them as he knows. He often flies and floats in the flowers of praises and forgets when he is going wrong.

 

This is so clearly portrayed in the movie ‘Chhe da Jigten’ – a movie where Gyem Dorji stars. It talks much about samsara, the desires and how it chains us down forever to be there. He realizes this a bit too late – only when he has lost everything – his wife, his children, his mother – everything. Realizing late is better than not realizing it at all. When he returns to his monastery after he loses everything he cherishes, he finds his diligent, but not so intelligent friend who failed in final year – the year he passed out from shedra become a khyenpo there. This doesn’t only show us the obvious difference of the two qualities. It shows us the subtle values of how they can be mastered together.

 

I saw some of my intelligent friends getting lost in the middle of the way – much the same way as the star in that movie does. This movie sends a big message.

 

The desire that soars higher than we could catch. The attachment that digs hole deeper than the depth we can measure. The ignorance that builds castle that has smaller windows than we can see the world…they are all making us wonder in this cyclic existence of the world. Life is perfect in one way: we have every opportunity to not get defiled. And yet again, it is imperfect in every sense: Nothing lasts forever. Even the joy that we have for a moment in meeting a good friend has to be followed in a second by its parting.  

 

But, aren’t we really who we think we are? Aren’t we who we choose to be?

 

We have always had hope that took us to the next day. We cannot just hope now. I would like to think that even as we live as a part of this world, the glitters of gold will not buy our mind.

“We are the problem; we are also the solution”

03 Dec 2007 Author kuenza

“I’m a confused person. Completely perplexed,” said Aum Neten Zangmo.

 

She is a person I have looked up to with respect and awe ever since I knew her. She represents every value I respect and she exudes so much of strength. You see, I see her and I get a feeling that says: yes, the world is not going to fall apart.

 

I don’t know if I should be even asking permission to write about her here. But here I am and I feel it is going to make me feel good. Isn’t that GNH too?

 

I was intrigued when Aum Neten said that Gross National Happiness is wisdom. It is values, morality and stability. That in short, it is the wellbeing of humanity and that it is all about people. She said that people can make a difference – only if they care. Isn’t it so true?

 

Yes, GNH can be made real. We only have to start it with ourselves. Like the editorial in Kuensel read, GNH, like charity, begins at home.

“We are the problems and we are also the solution.” ~ Aum Neten Zangmo, ACC.

 

My intention is to have this sentence inspire other people as much it inspires me.

“Flying without Wings”

23 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

The first time we met tchoden, she sang the song “Guna milu shodro mey” and now, this has found its way so deep in our heart that every time we meet, we sing it unconsciously reeling our heart. No, the hearts don’t stop beating. But we find ourselves laughing a little crazily.

 

The westlife sings: Everybody is looking for that something / one thing that makes it all complete / you’ll find it in the strangest places… / who can deny the joy it brings / when you’ve found that special thing / you’re flying without wings.

Write something like this to your partner and I’m sure he/she will fly without wings.

“I want to love every inch of you
Taste every part of your body
……………………
I want to get lost in your eyes
Consumed by your kiss
Set my body on fire
Quench the fire in my blood
…………………
Touch my soul with your passion
Lay down beside me
Feel my body crying for you
…………………
We will exceed passion, go beyond bliss
For this is our time
………………..
Together, one mind, one soul
Fused in the heat of passionate love
Existing in this moment
Forever” (courtesy: www.lovingyou.com, “Forever In A Moment” by Breanna )

I almost got lost reading this and I thought I should make you fly without wings too.

 

And you Luzee, I wanted to tell you that you are flying without wings.

What Changes and What Doesn’t

21 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

It wasn’t sadness that murders a person. It wasn’t sadness that makes you kill yourself. It was sadness that kills you softly. It had infested me. I thought of nothing but people who are plagued by some unfairness.

 

Then, one day a friend of mine asked me why I always write about negative stories. I am not going to defend myself here. I’m not going to explain. I identity myself with people who are like myself. I wasn’t born in the chamber of rich-infested glory. I was born in the bare ground of a home that only knew the value of family’s warmth. No, I didn’t have toys – there was no barbie, no dolls, no cars, no bikes. I only had those small metal containers (Khaini timi). I didn’t go to school where I could return home to my parents’ everyday. And when I was born, the world wasn’t talking about computers.

 

What I went through isn’t even half of what generation past me did. I’m not trying to compare the differences there are in generations. Of course, with development there is betterment of everything. Not many years back, in Bhutan, parents feared to have their children go to school. But today, just to the contrary, they have to request endless times for their kids who are barely four years to be in school. But even when the development has seen its height and people have climbed its ladder, there are some who have not even seen the ladder. There are people have just remained as they were the previous generation. Yes, I identify with them. I am not some rigid person, refusing to get out of his cave he had lived for decades. But I know changes aren’t bringing better things to everyone.

 

Oh, yes, that is how I’m. I open my heart. I speak it out. So what? If I feel something, why should I not say it, as long as I know the nature of it? Have I changed? Wasn’t I like that? Yes, we grow. Our hairs become grey. Veins in our hands stand out clearer. But what doesn’t change? The mind thinks. The eyes see. The brain reasons. The heart feels. The body grows and then breaks. But one thing remains the same – the person. It was you ten years ago. It is you now, ten years after.

 

I was talking about a sadness eating me softly, wasn’t I? Everyone has some pain in life. Everyone has some trouble at one point in life. This sadness I felt however wasn’t the momentary infliction of downfall. It was change that was forcing me to see the world with the eyes of a woman. It was the change that was breaking what was valued once.

 

 

Drilling through the Night

20 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

Drive wasn’t forever. Hunger did not kill us. How many kilometers was it? The crestfallen night embraced us dearly as if looking for a friend, and we strained our eyes through it.

 

My brother was coming from Tashigang. The friend who gave him a lift was going to stay in Wangdi – and he wanted us to come and pick him up from Wangdi. He said he will be reaching Wangdi at 9:00pm.

 

Karma and I were still in the office when my cell rang and those kids of his uncle asked if I was home. They wanted to practice Math. I told them I would be home at four thirty. A while later my cell rang again. It was my mathang’s brother who said was coming to my place but couldn’t locate it. I gave him the directions and told him I would be home in a while.

 

There was no time for me to sit and talk with my guest. I had to right away start sitting with the kids and then prepare dinner. We didn’t have time to have dinner but it had to be ready for us. The road isn’t smooth. There are little too many speed breakers and we reached Wangdi in a little more than two hours. By the time we reached Wangdi we were hungry. We (My nephew, Karma and myself) walked Wangdi town in the little illumination but it was useless to hope a restaurant would be open. It was past nine and all the shops were closed. In front of the parking, a woman washed clothes and her shop door was ajar. We bought korntos, wai wai, water, and juice (something like frooti) and made room in the car.

 

There at the corner of the parking area, the drain is a toilet for the public as well as the people residing in town. I wondered why the town changed so much from how it was once when Dasho Pem L Dorji was a Dzongda there. I wondered if there has to be someone always to make things right for us. Can’t we pave the path ourselves? Does someone have to show us what is good at the edge of a knife? This didn’t leave me happy.

 

We kept dialing my brother’s number but it was unreachable. He finally reached after two hours of waiting in the car. It wasn’t boring and an impatient waiting. The wait wasn’t to be a vain idle sitting.

We finally drove back to Thimphu and reached home at 2 this morning. Glad we were to be home. The drive wasn’t so long. The waiting wasn’t even a wait. We were driving home and I was meeting my brother after a long time. I was all ears to hear the news of our village.

 

Hunger didn’t kill us. Sleep wasn’t welcomed. Even when my eyes drooped, I wanted to stay awake in the happy hours. No, I wouldn’t count on my dreams. Sleep would only wash away the reality. So I wanted the moment to be. Tiredness vanished.

 

The door was latched from outside. As I entered in, I heard my mother’s voice – she was still awake waiting for us. There are such times when you don’t have a second to borrow and yet there is always someone waiting for you, counting your safe return.

Only Dreams

20 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

An innocent child sat by the roadside begging, hoping for a penny some kind heart would drop in her bowl. But she had pain written all over her face. I couldn’t wonder what made her suffer such big afflictions. What karma! What burden! What ironic fate.

 

She was only six and she had no childhood to play hide and seek, or run with her friends freely in the field. Not everyone is born rich. I heard people say that some are born rich and some have luck thrust on them. But this little girl, who was named Yanki was to have none. Yanki – the meaning of her name wasn’t to bring luck as her mother wanted.

 

Early morning, she ran to the nearest road and sat by the road keeping a steel bowl in front of her. If she saw someone well-bred walk by, even if she were in public places, she begged. She asked them for a few change, hoping it could change her day and run home with smile.

 

But not many saw her. They didn’t look down. They looked up. Their world wasn’t defined with pain. They had not known what it was like to live everyday with a fear of going hungry. They didn’t know what it was like to cry in the middle of the night and pray that she never woke up.

 

It was only dreams. Yanki started selling doma at the age of ten. Four years of begging brought little in her life. Her hair ruffled with dust and dirt, her hands cracked by winter cold, her face succumbed by hunger, she stood at the nearest gas station, saying “Aue, doma chi nyo mey. Please.” But who heard her? If she made 100 bucks, that was the richest she could get.

 

Then two years later when she was 12, a couple from her locality took her with them to look after their child. She thought, life was getting better. She could already imagine the soft bed in which she would sleep and the good meals she would get to eat. This was only a dream again.

She didn’t think she would be mothering a child. Playing with the baby wasn’t so much work but it wasn’t a small discomfort of sore throat that you get, when she was beaten for no reason and was cursed for no reason but for being born poor. Only because she wasn’t born with the same weight of luck, just because she didn’t have a status they did, she had to take the cold scolding for every small reason even when the fault wasn’t there.

 

Then one night, when her uncle stole into her room, she had no one to seek help from. She squeezed her eyes shut and succumbed to fate. When pain tore through, she prayed she would never wake up. But who could kill reality?

 

 When she was thrown away with a child inside her, she had only a bigger burden. She had to look for a home for her and her child. It was only dreams. She wished she would die during the childbirth. If there was a God, it was time he saw her pain. If there was a fate that exacted revenge, it was time it was evened. Prayer wasn’t enough. She only spoke to herself. There was no God to rescue her.

Seeking Future in the Rain

16 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

Like ugeent, I often looked towards my house and prayed that the weekend would come soon. But to walk all the way through the jungle? I wasn’t a brave young boy. I was a meek little girl who only knew how to pray.

 

My mother and I walked to my school on a Sunday evening. The mountains at the other side of the valley were covered with dark heavy clouds and it seemed to carry the rain that would put pain on our tired feet.  We crossed the river before rain beat on our back. We were climbing up the hill when suddenly the thunder roared and lighting flashed. Suddenly the dark clouds covered the sky and it brought darkness before the sun set.

 

Our tired feet carried us up but when the torrent of muddy water flowed down from the hill, and we were drenched in the hell of heavy rain, there wasn’t a way we could choose. We lost our path but up we walked. Up we walked. And up we walked. But our destination wasn’t still visible. We had lost our way and it took us longer by many minutes. But the rain still thumped harder on our back.  

 

I was then only in class five and my mother was younger by 14 years. But she still was my mother who was older to me by many years and was worn by many hard works. She might have been able to climb the hills better than me but it pains me now to think of the darkness we had to clasp with to seek future. It was my future we were treading to. But she took pain for my sake.

 

When we reached around five kilometers away from my school, she had to leave. I walked up towards my school even as pain tore me to bid goodbye to my mother who walked down towards home. She walked down alone in the rain that was fearful than a ghost. How was she going to cross the river that would have grown five times bigger? The fear that she might drown grabbed my heart and it was the struggle I had to undergo at the cost of a mental torture. I wanted to run back and take her hands in mine. But no, I was building a future that would buy peace…

 

My mother…there was no telephone to ask if she reached home fine. It worried me sick and her image wouldn’t leave me till next week I was home again. Yes my mother, she is my mother in many ways and she hasn’t only brought me in this world, she has bought my life for me.  (I love you…I wish I could tell everything I write here to her and she could read open my heart)

Growing up, Picking Subjects

15 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

I first went to boarding school in class five. Bidung primary school: it was a school located on the hill-top that overlooked many valleys and beautiful villages. I remember my father telling me that it had the best location. You could sit outside and see more villages than you could count. And it was like you stood above the world looking down on earth.

 

I didn’t have many Indian teachers till class four. There in Bidung, History teacher, Math teacher, and English teacher – all were Indian. Surprisingly they were all from Kerala. Oh man, this Math teacher was a wonder. He made me like the subject so much. History teacher had been in Bidung for so long that he had even taught my brothers. But I didn’t like the subject much. Memorizing wasn’t fun for me even as a child. Remembering dates wasn’t fun either. I liked Math that drew the flow as if you are blowing out water out of a pipe. (But it wasn’t so simple after crossing class X. Differential Calculus? That would always grit its teeth on our brain)

 

There was Lopen Phurpa who was our basket ball coach. He would treat us like his kids. I remember my twin-like friends Dupten, Sonam Tshomo, Sonam Wangmo and Ngawang. There would be misunderstandings sometimes but it never lasted longer than a minute. Lopen Kinzang thought I wasn’t studying when he saw me play rubber game outside the hostel. This kind of made me extra careful about my studies and I often sat above the football ground and studied. I practiced Math on a slate. The most I did was pray and then practice Math. Science would have caught my interest if only the subject wasn’t changed to a workbook that only had group works and didn’t talk much about science.

I know my brothers studied a science book that detailed out everything about molecules, atoms and electrons. I liked that much better when I went through it with the help of my brother during the winter of class V. But unluckily, the next summer I got to school, I found that science text book I held was only a very scantily written book with only boring work groups. I didn’t understand why the curriculum was changed. I thought if my seniors could understand the other text book, so would the younger batches.

 

I wrote a letter to my brother for the first time when I was in class four. Then I was in Bartsham Primary School. He was always very encouraging. Usually those who study in rural areas have good written Dzongkha. My first letter to my brother was written in Dzongkha too. Don’t find it queer but when I was in class five, then, I started writing love letters for my friends to their boyfriends. It never occurred to me that I should get a boyfriend. No, not at that age. My friend had a boyfriend. She was a looker. Boys didn’t leave you if you had looks. You see, unluckily my friend got married when she was in class eight and couldn’t even graduate. This leaves me with a relief that I was so fortunate not to have met someone who would take me out of school.

 

I don’t know if I wrote “Cow needs grass and I need you” but I did write letters for my friends for their boyfriends. I felt myself so tender an age to have a boyfriend. But getting paired up then meant only writing letters and meeting sometime at the blink of a second.

 

Math since then left me with an interest that hasn’t died yet. Chemistry left me without a goodbye when I reached class nine when I met a teacher who only asked questions and never gave answers.

Design of Life

14 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

I didn’t think I would hear of death this morning before anything else – even before I had my breakfast. You mean, my neighbor who I walked with not a month ago is not on earth anymore?

 
 A deer barked at midnight. Was it midnight already? But why was a lone deer barking? Ana Sonam said it wasn’t a healthy sound but plead of an injured animal. As she prayed, she asked another friend if they should go and look for it. The sound didn’t come from very far. It wasn’t barking. It was crying. Each time we heard it, a splinter of pain ran through our hearts. I silently sank in my sleeping bag and caught my heart in my hand and prayed that it wasn’t being chased by a predator or was got into a trap.
  

We were in Gasa, sleeping cramped in a tent. But this wasn’t life we were leading forever. We had only come for a holiday. But the deer’s bark? The death of my friend? It wasn’t a choice they had made out of fun. That night, I wished life were designed a little way different – like – I wished the food chain wasn’t as it is. I wished the interdependence wasn’t designed in a way of having to depend on another’s life for one’s survival. I wished we (all organisms) were interdependent only in the sense of having to seek help and help others, but not in a matter of sustaining a life. How this shredded my heart in thousand pieces. If every piece were a mirror, you really would have seen the pain of having to accept life as it is.

  

Yes, this neighbor I know, she was fine just a month back. When I wondered why her car never moved from where it was parked, I knew she was taken ill and was diagnosed leukemia. And now today, I hear that she passed away. What is all this truth telling me? What is it trying to tell me to do? When I talked to my mother about it, she told me that it is the youngsters who have to be aware of death because old people already are and they are always chanting mani. Yes, it is the younger lot who haven’t time to think of death. But when it silently asks for our heart, we have to give it. It doesn’t beg and it isn’t in our hand to say no. It asks and we give. This is how life is designed. Her death left me wondering and thousands of questions still linger in my mind. I haven’t any answer. It had me shocked but I know I will have no time to seek answers when death takes me. So I have only now.

  

Life isn’t unfair, you are. Fate isn’t cruel your heart is – for you are your own creator of happiness and sadness.

Reflection of Love

09 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

“I can’t exactly remember what really happened…I was fully enchanted; I felt like I have never been happier. I could see the same in the eyes of my beloved.”

It was when I was in my college studying in some kind of a pretext. Doing nothing much than missing home and my friends, wishing there was a way to disappear. I wasn’t feeling that fine. A gloomy face. A tainted hope. An unpinned dream. And I was moving with a thought of a damned man. I didn’t feel like doing anything much. If I wanted to, things demanded effort. I however gave them little care and opted my way and floated in a space – I didn’t even know what I was trying to do.

The days just passed by. I lived. The days came and went and I remained just the same. I didn’t even feel like I owed the world even a little more than what I was doing. When you really are out of mood, you don’t accept the good reasons. I headed my way.

But, in all this misery…the person I have loved and cared walked in. I didn’t know until then, how much he cared and loved me too. He did say so, but I had never really taken them to heart. It was like seeing the sun after long foggy days. A hope emerged. The dreams fluttered. Everything came alive within me. He held me close and I could feel that he felt the same. As we sat, holding each other, it was nothing but love.

I felt like all that mattered was us. It was just he and me. We didn’t see anything further – we didn’t want to see anything more. We were happy that way. We didn’t want the moment to pass and wished time stood still.

The few days passed in the same way. We were meeting after a year. We sat together the whole day, as if we wanted to make up for all those times we had been away. It was beautiful to see him beside me.

He made me see a lot more than I was aware of. He gave me hope, the strength, and we built dreams. I knew I would work for it and I would be happy. I knew all I had to do was think of being with him again, where we could be ourselves in a few years. And that hope was going to push me forward.

When it was time for him to leave, it was less than what I would have wanted. We stood there, looking at each other. “I’ll be missing you,” – this is all we spoke to each other. I cried, unable to bear to see him go. He looked at me with his deep eyes and I felt love embracing me. It was all a reflection of love – he standing in front of me. Looking at me without a word and yet saying thousand things; then coming closer and kissing me softly on my lips.

He would take me in his arms and I would feel like never before. It was love I was wrapped in.  (23/12/02, Monday)

Age isn’t The Reason

08 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

My mother gave birth to eight children. My parents brought us up at the expense of growing old at a pace others found incredible. My mother is 64 now and still cannot think of sitting idle.

 

Our parents work their way all their life and feed us and bring us up into the world of our own. No, they don’t think their children will at one point of time in their life find their ways wrong. They don’t expect to thank them either. They simply want their children to be fitted well in the world where only the fittest survive.

 

When children grow up and reach an age where they are the parents, their parents aren’t any longer the same strong hands. So what do children do? Not many children in Bhutan are against their parents – despite a very few stories we hear of parents being mistreated.

 

With age, the flow falters. They can no longer walk with the same stride. They can no longer see with the same clear sight. They can no longer hear the same clear voice. They can no longer see the world as they saw and it is not their wrong, for the world changes at a faster rate  than their senses can cope. The senses wane with age. The cells die, and no longer are they reproduced or replicated.

 

Parents find themselves being unwanted and useless when their works and their effort to help their children are not appreciated. Because of the technology, the ways to cook, the styles of life, the timing of meals, the taste of food – all change which make them a little unfit. But I would say that isn’t a reason why their work shouldn’t go fine with our ways. If they have worked all their life without your help and seen life through, why should their work suddenly be wrong?

 

We should appreciate their effort to help us; their unconditional love for us – and we should respect them as they are and see beyond their act and talk with their intention. We should accept them as they are, the truth of they being our parents and the truth of they having been brought us up to what we are now. We should let them be and validate the small works they do for us. We should authenticate their efforts and not make them feel like an invalid – for how many years have they fed us?

 

Age isn’t the eyes through which you should see your parents. See them through the sight of a human. 

Simple Truth: A teaching by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

06 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

Every thought, every action – i.e. every step we take is for happiness. Even eating bittergaut for example is for some kind of satisfaction. Yes, everything is for happiness.

 

Happiness is the end. And the Buddhist term for happiness – the ultimate happiness that is, is nirvana. But how do we get there? There are many different ways. Many thinkers thought that we can reach it through materialism. But if you want to have happiness, you have to know the truth.  This truth isn’t any divine, god-made, beyond-ordinary truth. It is a very simple truth.

We’re all born; we all die – and this is the incorruptible truth. We know many people have died before us – but we forget this after a while.

 

And yes, everything in this world is designed to take us away from the truth. We call people who plan ahead a visionary person, a person with good management, but we don’t even know if we are going to live until that time. And when we say ‘long’ we mean forever. We have to plan, but we have to keep reminding ourselves of the truth. If we have this alarm set on all the time, it will help us economically, as well as environmentally. This will bring a balance in everything.

 

View, the truth, such as death is important but to live with it is difficult. To achieve this, we need to meditate. Truth of impermanence of death is only one aspect of the truth. Then, what is the whole truth? Everything by nature is perfect – and this is the truth. The primordial perfection is the truth. This truth is too simple to believe, too close to see. We can achieve it only by doing nothing – by not touching it, or trying to alter or distort it.

 

The quintessence of Buddhist teaching is to keep things as they are – undisturbed – without fabrication and manipulation. You don’t have to leave behind the life you lead now to be enlightened. You feel you should leave your job and lead an ascetic life of a monk because you hold Milarepa and the like as your model. But there are many like Ashoka for example, who led a worldly life and still was enlightened. What is important is perseverance and consistency.

 

We are always trying to secure ourselves from problem that may or may not come. But then, how do we solve the problem? The problem that the ‘I’ creates? The answer is to just watch. Don’t try to find solution, simply let it be and watch. Mind can be destructed and the destruction of mind is enlightenment. Don’t judge – just watch. Break the habit of finding solutions to problems and just watch. This is Buddhism.

 

Note: I unluckily could attend only the third day of the teaching. It was mainly on the view and meditation. This is a very summarized form of the teaching I attended on 28th October, 2007, Sunday. The teaching is from the book “The Ways of the Bodhisattva” by Shantideva.

The Death of Love

06 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

You just sit by the table or lie on a bed and think over what you have been doing all this time. The life that you have lived so far. You did pass the days. But what did you really do? What’s there to show? You just open your eyes, blink and think again if what you’ve been doing all this time is right. If at all you have been right.

You call yourself superior to the rest of the beings and you just go on tearing apart even the slightest right others have. You sometime claim to have done everything right. A man can sometime be blind and simply be ignorant. Sometime, he can even fail to understand the fellow humans. He can also be so selfish. More than he knows. He becomes too wild when he says he is in love. You will find it hard to believe as much as I did.

I was wondering all this time if love is meant to cause the chaos and disorders of the human mentality. That is how I have come to see. I’ve seen more than enough to say that a man goes wild when he claims to be in love. True love, I mean. What I don’t understand is this: if it is love, why would it ever lead to disappointment, enmity, pain and hatred? I have seen people undergo some of that emotional imbalance.

Now listen. You will be surprised for a while too. But I’m not sure if I can put the story down in the correct form. I’ll tell you the story but I can’t assure you that I can narrate accurately word to word.

It was a long time ago. It is now as old as you and me. I thought I would better let you know too, because it isn’t doing me any good by keeping inside. There was once a boy named Karma. He was then studying in high school, when he first spotted a pretty girl who stole his heart away.

He was in class ten. A new girl was admitted in his class. He felt a gallop of hope and a surge of something that he couldn’t really name. He was later to understand that he was in love. He wrote a letter to the girl confessing his feelings and all he got was a blank reply. He didn’t give up there. He was still with hope that a day would come when he could call her his. And true to his hope, she did accept him, whether the girl loved him or not. When you insist for something too much, you get it one time – but it doesn’t mean you really have it. I really can’t say if she loved him or not, because even Karma didn’t seem to know it.

They were so happy together – but for a while. It was a dream come true for Karma and they were seen as two people who were too much in love. The match was almost made in heaven. Everyone who saw them together envied them. Yangden however told him from time to time about how uncertain everything was. He didn’t want to know the uncertainty of things. What he wanted was their love to last forever. He kept telling her that he loved her so much and everything would work fine. She knew he would be terribly hurt if something went wrong. He never considered the worst. Living in a moment is important but it is equally important to consider the negative sides of things.

She held no secrets from him. He was the closest person she had. But as the days wore on, she started feeling unsure and uneasy with their relationship. All sorts of doubts and reasons crept up. She began to see how everything they dreamt was so impossible – the life with him. She began to know that all she shared with him was an acknowledgement of her being a lady, a girl with passions and emotions that could be coaxed. It was all a display of reciprocating some sort of soft feelings for each other. If a person loves you, you can’t hate him. I guess it works like the Newton’s third law.  

She came to know that she didn’t love him the same way he loved her. The realization hit her hard. It meant hurting him – and she didn’t know how to let him see it. She honestly didn’t want to hurt him. Marrying him would mean seeing him everyday. It would mean many things she even hated to think.

And just on the process she saw another guy. The next time Karma called, she said, “I’m in love…” and the words trailed off. She could feel thousands of questions rising in his mind. The silence spoke more than she could take in. Yangden tried to explain. But the receiver at the other end clicked a little too soon. Her phone kept ringing that night but there was only silence when she picked it. When it rang again, she was ready to shout, whoever it was. “Hello…” – a muffled soft voice came over. It was Karma. He had been crying. He was hurt. But what could she do? She couldn’t live for him. No she couldn’t make any sacrifices. Even if she tried, it wouldn’t work. She couldn’t have pretended what she didn’t like.

“Yangden, please don’t leave me. I can’t live without you. I love you so much…” he went on, “Don’t go away.”

“I’m not going away. I’ll always be there for you. It is just like renaming our relationship. You know I will always be there for you as a friend,” said Yangden with much hope to console him. But he told her that he didn’t want her as a friend – and thus their relationship slipped away. Yangden felt a freedom seep in, but not victorious. He was hurt. He didn’t understand how hard it was for her too. If there was a choice – if it meant staying with him for a day – it would have been easier. She couldn’t bring herself to love him like he did and she couldn’t pretend. She didn’t want to end what they shared with a bang. She wanted them to be friends. She didn’t want to lose him forever. Not like that. He was more than she could forget in a minute.  

After what was said that night, he did try to tell her again. He asked her to reconsider, to think again. But with those, it all the more became clearer that she would only want to end the relationship.

She didn’t hear from him after that for months. The next time he called her, it was only to let her know what had become of him. He gave up on life. He started seeking meanings in beer. “After the only girl I loved left me, I had no one to turn to, no reason to live. It is better to go for some soulless companion, that doesn’t say anything but simply be with you,” he told me when I visited him after he was taken to hospital for the 2nd time. He sounded mad to me in some ways. Yangden could only pray.

In looking for meanings in the beer he held in his hand, he was reduced to a creature that had no dreams, no responsibilities and no nothing. He didn’t know that love cannot be forced, that it should come from within. He didn’t know that true love is mutual. To me, it seemed like he was possessive and he wanted to have her call his own and not love her. If your love is so true – why not – you can love a person even if she/he is someone else’s. Love flows, it doesn’t accumulate. Love lets free, it doesn’t trap. Love breeds love, not hatred.

He seemed so normal, except that he was all worn out and he was living with a half-gone liver. I pitied him. I sympathized him. I prayed for him. But there was nothing I could do to bring his sense back to life. To let him see that life was more than dying for love. He didn’t know me well. We only met by chance in the hospital. How could I let him know what true love means to let him see things truly? I simply listened to his story and I hoped I could give him some relief. He called me a good friend and he said I was nice. “You see, people think I am mad over a girl and they don’t listen to me.” I could see that he had slipped away from all human affection. I only could tell him that no one hates another man – obviously not for no reason.

After a week, I got message that he died. I attended the funeral. I saw a solitary figure in the corner. I went and talked to her. She felt sorry, more because he made her the sole cause for his death.

A man gets wild. Emotions are poisons sometimes. When they adulterate your wit, they don’t kill you. They murder your sanity.

Thus Karma left his world and he felt he was dying for a cause. He wasn’t sad he was dying. He thought love was all the reason.  (28/12/2002, Saturday, 11:20PM)

A goodbye too soon

05 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing. But Yanki had to and tears weren’t enough.

 

An invisible friend he was. But he was the closest friend she had. Internet does miracle sometimes – it did, when she met him online many months back. Did she choose him by the look of his nick? Or was she led there by her fate?

 

The intimacy grew. The talks geared. Emotions soared. And though they hadn’t seen each other, all the while, they groomed in their hearts something near love. Was it love? Neither was sure –but it wasn’t just nothing. Probably it wasn’t love, perhaps it was. But they knew they could have named it, if they had the right to, the right which was hidden far behind the wall of a commitment they didn’t want to name.

 

It is strange, how things run in the world; how feelings circulate. It was out of the blue that they met. It was out of the blue that they became close. The feelings grew, not from the mere attraction, but from the talks they shared and the attitudes they held. It was as if, if only there wasn’t one thing missing, they would have married in the woods without having to read vow by a priest.

 

But it had only time to bud, not bloom. He bombed the news to her one day that he was going away, perhaps never to return. She asked, “So you’re gonna look for a fortune there?” to which he replied that “Sometimes in life, you’ve to give up something to achieve something.” What he was giving up and what he wanted to achieve was beyond her to see. But a goodbye came a little too soon. And though, she had never seen him, she cried to say goodbye to him for he was the closest friend she had.

Welcoming back our CEO, the Nopkin

02 Nov 2007 Author kuenza

We have in our mind carved, the phrase that, to be a nopkin isn’t an easy task. Ask one of the nopkins what makes it so hard to be a nopkin and you will believe him, and yes, you will think, ‘I can’t be the nopkin.’

 

When Nopkin left, we couldn’t even have a gathering to see him off properly. Leave that apart, we didn’t even know he was leaving, until the very last minute. And then, we had nothing we could do. I didn’t even write him a message, taking a revenge that he didn’t tell me…funny huh?

 

But he is now back – did we see some changes in him when we met him last evening? There is always one comment he gives about why he doesn’t put on weight, no matter how much he eats. He knows where it goes. But, I have a big doubt because of what happens to his love. But I’m not blaming him.

 

Yes, Shyam called, and we met. The Daichee restaurant nearly blasted with our laughter. It was as if we were the only people present – and yes, circle of such friends makes you forget that you care about the world. All you care about is yourself at such moments. And laughter got the better of us – but I hope we didn’t make our NATO’s Indonesian (or is he a Filipino?) friend out of place. We laughed till our lungs felt empty and our ribs ached.

 

Welcoming Nopkin back from the US, he was the one who had to actually clear the bill – since he has the dollars. Shyam did well by bringing along a friend of his, who works in Trongsa because he was kind enough to share it. We thank them and we welcome back our CEO. We are glad to have him back without a scratch. We were surprisingly so glad that he hasn’t forgotten how to sing Hindi songs.

 

We did leave the restaurant in one piece when we left. We all rushed home early since Luzee had a guest at home.

 

Our CEO has so much to work for in a very short time. We are glad to have him with us again. It wasn’t the same without him, was it?

(Nopkins present were: oCoP, Luzee, 5457, NATO, NATO’s friend, Shyam, Shyam’s friend, Nopkin, and Kuenza )

Quotes from the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

31 Oct 2007 Author kuenza

 

 

3.      The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.

 

 

  1. "Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against… We're after power and we mean it… There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be
    much easier to deal with."

 

  1. "The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth."

 

 

  1. People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked. And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie – the purpose the price one pays is the destruction of that which the gain was intended to serve. The man, who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on.

Balancing Sanity

31 Oct 2007 Author kuenza

I sit alone on the lawn in front of the police mess. The football match is going on. I didn’t think I will sit here and watch the football match but that is what I am doing now.

I squat, take out my knitting kit, and plug the earphone. The infamous RJ of Radio Valley (FM 99.9), Ms. Tshernyen goes on. The music is soothing. Many are requests for lovers – and music is just as heart wrenching as their messages. But here I sit, watching the football, knitting and listening to the radio, all at the same time. There is a bizarre cacophony of cheering coming from the group of guys sitting at the far end of the steps.

No sooner do I sit and make a place for myself in the lawn, a guy comes and pees behind a broken-wall at the end of the ground. Then comes another. He turns towards my direction, but lucky that he sees me before he starts to pee. He cannot control the burst of laughter that forces out of his lungs. I can’t control either. So I hide my face behind the culvert that sits taller than me. Ah, when the match is in full swing, another man comes and comfortably finds relief behind the wall. But I sit here, witnessing nothing, except the imagination of the world I would make if I were the builder.

My honey runs in the ground among the players. He seems to be looking straight at me – and though, I doubt he will see me – I wave my hand at him. Even as the very few cheering groups cheer the players, I think of my primary school days. I was in Bidung then. How we cheered during the house football matches! I remember so clearly, me, sitting in front of my hostel in the middle of tall grasses, shouting at the top of my voice, wishing from deep within my heart that my house would win.

The cold wind blows through my dress, and it almost drills holes through my bones. Few people leave cursing the wind but I sit like I’m resistant against it. If people find me crazy to sit there alone for a purpose that isn’t visible, they are not wrong.

The cacophonic cheering roars louder and I listen carefully if they are cursing the referee – for the referee is my honey. They didn’t say anything. Even if they do, it isn’t anything personal – but we feel good when they don’t say anything bad.

I won’t be sitting here, witnessing the match. But I had to witness the reality in the commotion, waiting for the identity card. When I submitted the form in the morning, I was asked to come at two in the afternoon and I did reach there at dot two. But the bossy announcer said that Trashigangpas are to back off and wait. I did. When, after two hours of waiting my Geog’s turn came, my name wasn’t called. In more of a mood to complain and shout at the first person than request for my ID card, I walked in taking a friend. In a little less fuss than I wanted, a friend my friend knows volunteers to search for my card. And he later returns and tells me that I hadn’t listened when my name was called. I only heard the name ‘Kezang Lhamo’ being called. He joked with my friend that I should be punched for this – but I thought the person who read out the names should really be punched hard and I really wanted him to be punched hard and knocked down. This is the reality in the midst of a commotion.

Because of this, I am here now watching the football match. I weighed between going home and going to watch the match and the later won. I thought my honey would like to see me waiting for him there and I did. Was he happy? I would like to think he did though, I didn’t really read it in his face.

Yes, this is the reality. The wind blew hard and cold but it didn’t drill holes through my bones. The Health HQ team B lost to the Dental group – which shows that in a match one has to lose. I waited for him and I didn’t shiver of the rebuke but was smiling when I saw him walk up. The sun had long set but everyone waited for the moon, for the life hasn’t ended.

My Experience of Nungney

30 Oct 2007 Author kuenza

After much hurry and hustle, my mother and I walked out of home – and it was past five already. Were we supposed to meet the other group at Sanjaygang at five thirty? I cursed that I couldn’t take off early from office. But inwardly, I prayed they were waiting for us.

 

We didn’t have to carry a big backpack. Thanks to L, she had everything arranged with the help of the kind lama. Dusk fell before we reached the Goenpa. Thujedrag in Phajoding was our destination. My mother lagged behind, her energy exhausted. We couldn’t expect her to walk at the pace of the youngsters. I was rather surprised she had the stamina to keep on.

 

When we reached the lawn below Thujedrag, my mother got cramps on her feet and she pleaded that she would sleep there and go the next day. But the lights shined and looked at us with so much of hope – it was rather really near. We had walked this far…and we could really reach the final destination. All we needed was determination. So my mother, after the encouragement and persuasion, went on in her socks. She thought putting on shoes was going to cause some pain in her feet. The cramp got better with some miraculous blessing. I’m sure, the invisible power we felt, looking down on us from that blessed cave really did some work for the miracle.

 

The lama was a very humble, down to earth person, wrapped in red robes with compassionate eyes. The calm naturalness in his eyes made us ease out in his place. We slumped out and dreams fluttered before our eyes even before we had actually fallen asleep. I looked up at nothing in particular and excitement held my mind and I found myself looking forward for the next day.

 

We slept at around nine and got up at four the next day. This is a routine we don’t even dream of in our normal life. The chilling breeze and the ice-cold water chased away the last of the dreams and we were in the temple ready to start the first ever nungney. Since Luzee wrote about the details of the process, I won’t go on about it here.

  

We only gestured and we had no speech when we went to bed the second day. But so much of my forgetfulness got me that, the early next morning, when the jug fell off the shelf, I said, “Ooouu..” and only when lama smiled at me did I realize that I was not to utter a word. I had taken oath of silence.

 

And before it was eleven the next morning, my body slumped and I couldn’t prostrate. I shivered and sweated and I was passing out. So I had to beg a monk there that I had to eat something. And he rescued me from the slouch I was becoming. I was not supposed to chew. The kapchhey mixed in sugar tea was the best meal I ever had in my life. I never cherished a taste of a meal like I did that day.

 

This helped me go on with the rest till the next day. More than hungry, we were thirsty. You could really imagine the kind of suffering in the realm of yidag – yes there are feasts – only that you can’t eat. You could feel yourself dying and even then you can’t eat it. Such is the suffering and I felt more alert and alive than before.

 

I don’t know if I would like to attend a nungney again. But I’m really a person who nearly collapses the minute the hunger strikes. I haven’t any stored energy. But it really teaches you meaning you might not otherwise find in the jumbo life that covers many truths.

 I was wrong to worry about my mother. She had stamina I could never dream of in me.
 

More than chill morning air sank in us when we sat for prayer the 3rd day at 3a.m. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I told you that even when you looked back at the temple, while you descended down back home, you felt yourself wanting to stay there. There you have the luxury of silence that we are deprived of in town.

Everything in nature is perfect; our perceptions create faults.

You only need a car

29 Oct 2007 Author kuenza

“I met a girl in the taxi this morning and she asked for my phone number, but I didn’t give it,” says a friend.

 

Another friend says, “There is a girl who I never met but says is madly in love with me.” What are we to understand from this? I only sat in a little wonderment as to the change the world has come through. Probably I was too in with myself that I never saw what was going on in the world, but I strongly believe that the world wasn’t like this a few years back. Definitely not during my parents’ time.

 

 “Young girls in the United States, when asked what they regard as important about a boy, immediately list a car./ …confirmed gloomily that ‘if a guy doesn’t have a car, he doesn’t have a girl.’”(Future Shock, Alvin Toffler.)I was like, what? But this is the reality now.

 

Men say that if they have a car, girls are easy. Easy? That is what they say. And by easy, it couldn’t mean a simple date. I wonder what is going to happen if this should go on and girls should continue being a commodity-like object. And why is it women who have to care how they look like, more than men do?

 

I was watching a movie called “Hombre” where a young girl talks flirtatiously with a rough-looking man and when the man forcefully kisses her and later complains, the elderly woman tells her that she wagged her tail and she got what she asked for. I mean, many say (women too) that it is women who initiate it and I wonder if there isn’t some truth there. There is a friend of mine who keeps telling me that, when you place meat in front of a dog, you cannot expect the dog to not eat it. But, don’t we women know better than this?

 

When men talk to us, we cannot just not reply. And when we do reply in the same tone, they think we are going to give in. I wish they would stop assuming. They can’t judge, can they? Their assumptions cannot always come true.

 

But a car can only take you where the road is.

The Cold Saturday Morning

27 Oct 2007 Author kuenza

Don’t ask me what I understand from the songs I’m listening now. These are songs Sangay (sdd, who is now working in Telecom) recorded for me when we were in class 12. These are Hindi songs from the movie “Mohabattein,” which was a hit that year. Is it seven years already?

Saturday usually is the day I look forward to, for I can sleep as late as I want. And on Friday evening, I don’t have to worry about what time I go to bed. But I always go to bed early.

Saturday – today, it isn’t so beautiful as in keeping me excited and on the ground. I thought I will go, do some work such as wash the car, but the situation wasn’t to favor me. I came back home and entered the house that seemed almost as cold as a ruin that was left decade back.

One thing I always do every Saturday is rearrange things. I did this even today. I made sure a book shelf was shifted to a different corner and the setting changed which left me satisfied.

But that was in the morning before nine. Now, I’m here on my bed, wondering about nothing in particular and yet some kind of sadness simmering in my heart lower than I want to allow.

The music goes on and I still can’t seem to locate what it is that is making me feel this chilling feeling. It isn’t loneliness. It is – a peace that is mixed with a chill of escape that you want from earth. I like being alone and yet I can’t seem to know what to do.

Did you ever get such feeling? I have always often got such feeling and that is when I always got the closest look at myself. It tells us of many things that we don’t know in the normal situation of enjoyment where we have many friends around.

I look out the window and see two people talking in the new construction coming up. The one is standing at the door, his hands stretched out on the bamboo support, almost hanging his body. They don’t seem to see this Saturday like I do. But I’m sure they have many worries than I do. It isn’t like living in a fairly comfortable house and thinking life should be better than this. They have to work hard day and night and haven’t time to worry about what tomorrow is going to be like. They don’t even have time to worry about what kind of work they will be doing tomorrow.  Work they do is so much worse and harder and they have a way to catch meaning in it than we do by working on a computer. I envy them for their capability to accept life as it is. How many of us think, life we have is good enough? Eh? Desire is always soaring higher up and we haven’t time to rejoice the life we have. Yes, their worry is greater than we have.

Yes, this Saturday unlike many others is cold and it is trying to tell me many things. It isn’t about love or broken hearts.

This Saturday is still cooling my heart and freezing it around more than music. The music is still going on but I hardly hear it. My heart isn’t beating for it but it is wandering already in some far, far place.

 

 

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