Articles by: kuenza
I know your baby is crying, calling for you. I know your wife has better things to do than attend to the crying baby. I know your life isn't designed to include me in the plan. But I beg you, stay for just 15 minutes and I will be happy.
I know this isn't how I wanted my life to turn out. But I met you and it changed. What plans I made 5 years back do not matter. If I fell in love before, it is no longer my story today. I know you aren't mine, but I beg you, stay for 15 more minutes and nothing will matter.
If a fortune teller told me that I would be falling in love over and again, over and again, I am sure, I would have been better prepared. But much as I was excited, what pulled me closer was your beautiful heart. A handsome heart you say. What more does a person need when he has a 'handsome heart' of course? Even if I haven't the right this time to keep you with me, I beg you, stay with me for 15 more minutes and I will surrender all my dreams.
Yes you must leave now. In a tug of war such as this, a family always wins. I am aware that your fate was cruel not to include me. For, this is the general story of a life, I take my loss with straight head. I know I lose this time. Even if you are to disappear like an apparition, I beg you, please stay for 15 more minutes and I will not care if I can't lay on your bosom forever.
Note* Written in the frenzied, messy thoughts of a crazy woman begging for a married man to love her and be with her, for 15 more minutes would make her the happiest.
I'm taking PHP class these days. I returned home straight from the class. The instructor said, we will have test tomorrow, so more reason to be home. But a useless Internet Freak, I log in on before I can fold my dress and stack it up neatly. Take time online longer than intended. Studying, if at all was the plan is soon forgotten. And just when I am deciding to log out, I get this sms from Luzee: “Wai Bumo, I and UP are enjoying wine in this baby making weather. How about joining us here? We can dine here at my place.”
Too big a temptation. Test is secondary. I'm sure I don't need to pass it. I reply their sms showing a small reluctance and they write back: “Da, come now. We are almost at the tipsy level. Let's make baby here.” That is too funny now. But don't you laugh at it yet. They win and I quickly ask for lift from this beautiful stranger I have met a year back. Luckily he is online. He says, “Don't blackmail me now,” but picks me up. Unlucky. I am seeing this guy for the first time and yet, I am to see him at night, almost at pitch dark. If I bump into him in town and don't recognize him, it is not my fault. I have this very bad memory lapse.
When I'm near Luzee's house, I text them: “Do you want me to bring the guy in?” and they send me an instant yes. But he says he will join us some other time.
I walk in to find these two crazy girls sitting on the floor, cross legged. They haven't changed their dresses. They have been sitting there, coming straight from office. Two wine glasses. They have emptied a big bowl of cabbage fried curry. So unusual. Apa is praying in the chhoesham. Ama is busy in the kitchen. Niece Lucy has fallen asleep on the chair. Today, Luzee isn't bothered by this scene. As I walk in, we make even more noise. At one point of time, I really thought, we were gonna blast the house.
I'm a person not blessed in the area of drinking. So I can't help them much in it but I do have the capacity to talk and make noise as much as any drunkard. So that helps. We make more noises. Then I send an sms to darling honey, 'to please pick me up.' Despite a little complaint, he does come. That is my man. But we aren't hindered a bit by male presence. Gunda and Honey take a glass of hot water each. Too modest. They are coming straight from basket ball game. But who cares? We offer whatever, only once.
Hmm…I'm sorry but Kdaza says, Man are 'A….holes' and will always remain so. Here is how she is subduing a male species.I don't know if it was under the influence of alcohol (if that is any consolation to men).
This isn't how she usually looks.
Modestly sitting and sipping hot water. I'm sure he won't be suffering from alcoholic gastritis now if he were that good guy then.
Yes, hot water. Fashion, is it?
The host, Luzee has time to pose for camera even in the kitchen.
Did she not complain that she can't cook? Seen first time in the kitchen. But she did marry a man, who is also a fine cook. Aren't women smart?
Luzee's Ama Morab. We are too alike in this: we take amas for best friend. They understand us best. And they see us normal even when they say, 'praley mo'.
The two hot water drinkers took us home early. 9:30 p.m. and we were home.
A disturbing sleep. Fuzzy dreams. But it isn't because of wine. It was good fun. I wish, the 'guy' did stay back. I must admit, I thought more than I should have. I have reasons to. And on this, no sip of wine I took had its effect.
I have class at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. It is a consolation that the class gets over by 1:15 p.m. I can eat a very heavy lunch and sleep the rest of the afternoon. So, yes, I think, I can afford to stay awake as late as 3 a.m.
We have been chatting for five hours now. We did not sleep at all for two nights. I'm lucky sms is free. Just with the movement of my fingers I can say everything I want to say. And even at the end of five hours, there are so many things to say to each other.
And finally, when I have responded positively to his proposal, I wonder how he looks like. It isn't really a big concern but I wonder if his words alone will take my heart in the wrap of warm feelings and I will not judge him by his looks. I have two months to see him. He is coming to meet me in two months. I will have puja holidays then. I find myself getting excited and little breathless. I quickly make a drama of how to greet him, and even, how I might respond if he tries to kiss me.
But that quickly passes. He says, I want to hold you. And I tell him, oh yes, of course, I long for you much. And just as quickly as I say it, I wonder if I mean it. At 3 a.m., I don't seem to know if I mean half the things I tell him, but as if I'm under a trance, my fingers type everything I would never tell a man in my full good sense. I think we kissed more than 10 times already. If it isn't for the good 700 km that separates us, I wonder if I would still be holding my good old principle.
I have to sleep now. I have networking class tomorrow. I cannot miss it. But no, I want to stay awake. I want to tell him much more than my fingers can type. I want to tell him, I will marry him; and yet, I don't know what marriage is. I want to tell him I love him; and yet I don't know what love is. As fleeting as feelings can be, this moment, what I feel is so strong. It pushes apart the walls of my heart and I can't contain but tell him, “I didn't want to say it but I think I must now. I can't hold it any longer. I love you.” Hell with the networking class. I am so in love. This moment, I'm singing a love song. This moment, I don't care anything more. I will chant my mantra that things will fall into place somehow.
I want this feeling to last. So tonight, I will forget my responsibility. I don't care if I wake up at midday tomorrow.
I'm a sportsman. I swear I love my wife but I can't give up watching sports on TV, for her. I wonder if she doubts my love for her because of this. Tonight, as I begged her permission to watch IPL, I could see tears in her eyes. I don't understand why women need such closeness even when they know that they are loved.
Though I noticed the tears, I really wanted to watch my favourite team play. So I didn't say anything about it. I didn't console her. I didn't stay back. I wanted to get away rather quick. Her ironical remarks that, “Oh yes I know three hours sleep is enough for you, whereas I need eight hours of sleep. I have to be in office on time, but you can go late” as an excuse, I went out of the bedroom. I heard her say behind me, “Ok go, I Know I will fall asleep in a while.”
I wanted to hold her but more than that, I wanted to watch my favourite team CSK play. As she shouted for me to put out the light, I did.
These days, she had not complained of me not coming to bed with her at the same time. I've been watching TV and she would be asleep by the time I sneaked into the bedroom. I would say a quick prayer and slip beside her. Knowing that I didn't come to bed as she did, despite knowing how much she loves me to hold her close against me as she falls asleep, I felt guilty and I slept without disturbing her. I don't know if it is because of this: this afternoon, for the first time, she said something about not being happy.
Though I really can't give up watching TV and going to bed late, I don' want to hear her say that she is not happy. I know it is when a woman realizes that there is something she must get and is not given that she seeks to get it from outside. I don't know how to differentiate my love for my wife and sports. Not only do I play games every evening, and miss to give her company when she returns from office, I am not home to have dinner together. If I am losing her, I know I cannot dig love and care out of the TV. Even if I were to break it, its parts will only clatter. But man, no, I can't compromise.
If she leaves me, I will curse and fiddle the remote control and wish she would come back, but still, I want to watch TV; I want to play games; And every once in a while I want to play this godforsaken card game called marriage. If God will forgive me for not making a compromise, it will only be because, till now, I have had no girlfriends. Many of my friends do but I have valued the trust my wife has put in me.
I wish, she would just take my hand and say, “Honey, watch TV. Play games and hang around with friends. I enjoy staying home, cooking for you and waiting for you, counting seconds even as clock strikes midnight and I doze off.”
I wanna quit my job and run home. I wanna speak right on the face of my boss and stand right. I wanna hold my right and not listen. I wanna go away and not worry of such stupid things. As respected a position as he created for himself, I'm sure he stepped up the ladder just as we are doing now.
And if we are to dwell wisely on it, what good does it give us? If we are to be reprimanded and make seem like a fool for all the hard work, why even try doing it better? Suffering badly from cough and cold, and fever, baseless scolding takes away all my energy and leaves me limp and weak. But no, I know for sure that I'm better than what he makes me believe. If this isn't the right place for me to thrive, I sure know this isn't the only place on earth. Just as everyone has the basic human quality of goodness, I know everyone has his/her capabilities.
My capabilities don't have to translate into the prototype he has set. I need not be in his good books. I'm sure there is a better path I can take. If my existence were merely to worry about being scolded or things not being appreciated, I see no reason why I must prolong being here. As dimly as I may understand his plans, I'm not a complete fool. And just before my tears dry, I must sign out with the hope that my future isn't goona be so completely bleak.
//As I punched this note in my mobile, pain throbbing in my head and throat, I could have really torn apart some flesh out of some people. A friend comes and says, 'Zepa gom cho ley,' but I honestly had no positive energy left.
It is 10:00 p.m. now. I was watching Drukstar today. I usually don't. I heard some people say that the MC/anchor sensationalizes the situation when the disqualified candidates leave, so much so that people feel too emotional and cry. Today I saw it myself and so write my opinion.
My nephew takes great interest in this show. He never misses it. I have watched the show, but never from the beginning till the end. However, I did pass my judgment on the singers. Some did quite well than others. I'm a person who believes that whatever the prize–must go to the person who deserves it. So, I was too unhappy when last year's Bhutan Star title was won by a person rather unexpected. To save it from going the same way, I do vote for the person who I think is most capable.
Happy I'm that I met you
Ample of things I have in my mind, but
Present I have not
Pending I will not keep them
Yes, this I must tell you now
But, remember, you are now my love, and
I cannot take any excuses if you leave me
Regret I will not
Today I'm surer than ever
Heart to heart I must tell you I love you
Day seems brighter since I met you
Anger has found no place in my heart
Your love dwells, singly sweet and true
And as your love sinks in me
Really, there is nothing more I want
Roaming around with friends sometimes
Over and over I must tell myself
Gift I have received from my destiny
A love that is like no other
Nothing is more beautiful, I lie in peace
To you on your birthday
Before anyone else has wished you, I must say
Until we have lived and died together
Dearer than ever I have come to you
Don't you leave me for another
Happy birthday I wish you now
Another year and hundred more may we see together
“There is a new restaurant; you get nice jaju there,” Aby says. He straight away asks me if I'm coming for lunch, without actually properly extending an invitation. I call up Shyam and two of us drive off to eat at this new restaurant. Aby's treat it is. He says, “Food here is good but surprisingly cheap.” As we eat our lunch, Shyam and I agree that the food is good.
It is Tuesday. I tell Aby if he is interested to go for meditation at the deer park. He says he will come.
I sit next to him, my back straight. I close most of my senses and concentrate on a checkered square on the floor in front of me. After an hour, as we walk out, I ask him how he found it. He says it was good. And the next day, I tell him that even though we are advised not to analyze our thoughts, even if we do so, this is the only time we so closely look at ourselves and so it in fact detaches our senses from most of the preconceived notions.
I still do not have no idea that, he was in deeper thought and prayer than I imagined. The next day, I'm in tears as I read through the letter he wrote to his father. He talks of him with fond memories; in each line you can see that he misses him and wants to discuss so many more things in this world. In each line he expresses his wish of wanting his father next to him as he makes his life through with more success and less hardship than he had in his childhood. And if he had the chance, he would make everything right; marry off his sister graciously with bountiful gifts and he would make his parents proud. And even if his father and he do not agree on the same things, he would prove his worth, bring home fruits of his success, show him what he is good at. This, he has done. He has brought home success. He stands matured, unbiased in his opinion. But he misses his father now.
NOTE: In his heart-wrenching letter to his father at http://trueslant.com/abytharakan/2010/03/02/letter-to-my-dead-father-on-his-second-year-to-heaven you will see the profundity of his love for his father, his mother and sister and his strength in believing in his own belief, not swayed by money or his friend's success.
As I wait for my husband to come back from his basket ball match, I'm reading a book called, 'The Life of Shabkar,' an auto-biography of a Tibetan saint. Also, simultaneously, I'm watching a movie, 'Half Past Dead.'
I thought it wasn't so good a work, because, I was diverting my concentration by trying to do two things at a time. However, I finished the movie, but I started dozing off when I had read three chapters of the book. I also thought, reading a book about a saint and watching an action movie was wrong, but just as soon, I realized that, the movie in fact talked about death, the fear we face at the moment of death, and many such important lessons.
When I see Steven Seagal smoke, a sudden thought of which is something like, it-isn't-right passes through me. Then he says, 'I just can't let her go.' He is talking about his late wife. That makes me have the same sudden thought. In the book, I am reading about how important it is to lead a fully ordained, ascetic life and then in the movie, I hear about the biggest attachment. Paradoxical in fact. Hasn't this been always a dilemma?
Love, we say. But is it love? As much as I'm attached to this ephemeral feeling, I do like to ask myself once in a while, how enduring it is; how long it is going to last; and how far or where it is going to take me. This saint, popularly known in Tibet as Shabkar realizes at a very young age the importance of spiritual pursuit and the shortcomings of delusional worldly pleasures. Despite his mother begging him to stay with her, he pursues what he knows is the right path.
As he parts from his mother and sister who watch him leave till he disappears beyond view, crying their hearts out in pain, I can so vividly see him torn between the need to leave and the need to be at home. His mother getting older by day, no one to fend for them, yet, as his more important call wins his heart and leaves despite shedding many tears, I find myself wanting to make such a big call myself. And I wonder, why I'm still sitting here, writing this shitty piece of article that is not gonna take me anywhere (this honestly isn't what I intended, but I think I felt a little frustrated at my own weakness, so I will not delete it. This being the first thought, I will let it lie here).
The love that we so popularly call, the love that we say makes the world go around, the love that we say tears our heart into thousand pieces if not returned, now, at this moment, I want to ask if it is love at all. I admit, I love my husband so truly from deep within my heart. But, then, does that justify why I must still linger in suffering? I do not know. I do not yet know. Despite this deep feeling I call love—the one that always come together with a splinter of pain piercing from the edge of my heart, I wonder if it is going to take me anywhere worthwhile. If I'm to make the brutal judgment, I don't see nothing but its result to be giving birth and raising a family. I do not deny that marriage brings to us a lifetime companion we can rely on. But then again, do we need a lifetime companion if we can so truly be climbing a better ladder?
As much as I would like to admit that what I feel for my husband is love, I think I would also like to admit that when we feel this feeling we call love, it is never in the purest form of one emotion. As I love him, I fear I might lose him. As I love him, I fear, I might get hurt. As I love him, I fear I might not be loved in return. As I love him, I fear he might not really be what I see him to be. And more often than I would like to admit, there is fear of his death lurking just behind my ear. It is like, I hear a bell of this truth ringing only to send me into more fear. So this love we would like to call is always mixed with the fear of uncertainty.
And so, this feeling that isn't in the purest form, do we still call it love?
Lucky that the date was on 1st March. Otherwise the time would have come sooner and I would have not have enough time to calm down. He said, 'I will meet you at the Memorial Chorten after office.' I agreed. Even as I wanted to see him and feel him hold me near, I dreaded the meeting. I wasn't just in love with a younger man. It didn't matter much. But I was letting my dreams fall apart, yet again.
I wasn't known to be an ambitious woman, but what dream I held close to my heart, people did not know. I've always wanted to see what it was like to be enlightened for example. I wondered of heaven and hell since young. And whether they existed for real or not, I thought I should know for sure. But now, here was I, standing at the juncture, hour of my date drawing closer, already saying yes to the man who I have not seen before.
I had called home and said, I would be reaching home late. So many times I wished, whatever there was more to happen in love could happen online. Except from the not-so-clear picture in nopkin.com, I had no idea about how he looked like. It wasn't the looks that mattered, we had our hearts connected somehow, but still, I wondered, if it was real that I was in love with this younger man who was gonna take me away from that very important dream I held since childhood. I wanted to curse the internet again. But then, whose doing is it but mine? I could so easily say no to him and walk away free. But then, emotions are always so difficult to understand. I wanted to lie on love for all the days to come. I thought, even if it is gonna pass later, I would not miss that one moment I would know love for real.
And there I was at the Chorten before I knew. A little breathless, I looked for a familiar contour of a man. To check if the lone man sitting in front of the Chorten was him, I made a call. I don't know what I said the first time I looked at him in the eyes. Face to face, I think we smiled more than was required not finding the right words to start a conversation. But, after it began, it was like we were old friends. And before we knew, as the dusk set in, without worry about what people would think, our hands clasped, we walked out the gate.
I couldn't believe things happened so fast. He drove me home and just before I walked out the car, he held me back and kissed me softly on my lips. Back in my room, I sat on my bed, head reeling, the world floating around me, the dreams fluttering away, but love blooming in my heart. And yes, we met and our hearts sealed in love.
You won't believe me but you gotta know that human heart melts with sweet words, of nice promises. It doesn't really want to know if they are real. And yet again, here I am, in love, wondering what better thing there is in this world.
I didn't want to write about it here, but I think, there is no place better than this site to let him know of my feelings. Hmm…I'm smiling shyly as I'm about to write his name. I feel a little uncomfortable to utter his name. I'm not so used to calling him by his name but let me do that for now, so that, you know too, who I'm talking of. It is no one but our famous ArrogantBuddha who has melted my heart this time.
We have been talking online on nopkin.com and with each new day, we found that we share more similarities than we could count and, at last, it was beyond our control to say no to this call of fate. I will not elaborate more but just let him know that, if he is waiting for my answer now, he should know that my heart is beating with his.
A librarian, a recent graduate, 4 years younger to me with wisdom of a 90 year old man, he holds me in awe sometimes. But as our hearts beat as one, there is no question but to follow the rhythm. He is nothing like he has described in his articles. Arrogant may be sometimes, but most of the times, he is that kind, gentle, loving person. If I'm so angry at something not working, I meet him and smile spreads on my face. He looks at me with those deep eyes, takes my hand and says, 'it is ok dear, things aren't always perfect,' and I find myself calming down.
If I'm to decide between marriage and my career now, I'm going for the former. I know, even if it means risking my ambition, I would not see another man like him. And today, as I meet him at the Memorial Chorten, I'm gonna tell him 'yes'. We probably might see many downs in marriage, but for now, all I wanna know and all I care about is that, I love him too.
I loved a man so truly once. I wrote to him, 'you are the man I wanna grow old with.' I felt too sad that it didn't happen. But there was reason for me to be happy too, for I did meet a person who loved me truly. A little confused, I had married this man before I actually realized if I was ready to get married. I had no regret since then. I had a happy life, and I felt blessed.
I thought, I had forgotten this man. But I think, I had only denied to myself the feelings I still cherished, the love I still had for him. Meeting him in Phuntsholing out of the blue took me by surprise. A colleague and I were taking lunch at a restaurant, when suddenly he walked up to me and introduced his girlfriend to me. Ah! That was some nerves.
That night, I couldn't sleep. I felt so hurt that sleep just wouldn't come. I wrote about this unexpected encounter in my journal but it didn't help me. So I took a quiet walk in the dead night outside the hotel. I sat down in the cold night and cried. It was as if, I wanted him to have remained single, mourning my leaving, begging for my return. I didn't know what I wanted; I didn't even know if I thought I should have been married to him. But I felt so bruised, so deeply hurt that I had no control over my tears. When I had looked up to the sky for more than 10 times, wiped my tears dry and said a small prayer to let him go, I walked back to my room to sleep.
It was a hardship I never faced; struggling to sleep, I just couldn't wipe out his face from my mind. It was strange. It was as if, I knew love for the very first time. I cursed the thought that made me think, he looked better than I remembered. I cursed the thought that made me remember of the good old moments. I cursed my fate that I had to love him even when I knew he was no longer mine. But, despite every single denial, I only felt surer that, I still loved him in some ways. In some ways, I still felt he was mine, as if, our hearts were strewn once never to be separated; I felt like, our hearts were married. Strange as it may sound, I thought, we felt for each other strongly than we could understand. Even that day, no matter how short the moment, I could feel the love enveloping us. He looked at me, as if, he was not sure what to say, and as he moved closer to introduce his girlfriend, looking straight at me, he let his girlfriend's hand go.
He is a father of three children; divorced three times.
All the children are grown up. He must have married young (I have shared all my secrets to him, but I didn't even ask him this). Sometime, I hate internet for this hypnotic power it has over people. Sometime I hate it for having altered my life. I had it all planned; I was gonna graduate, bring my parents with me and not marry for five years after I got a job. I feel this would have all fallen into place if it wasn't for the internet.
I was in second year of my BBA course when I first chatted with him on internet. It was that damned druknet that took me on his lap. From druknet to yahoo messenger to MSN, I was hooked for sure. Little did I know that, I would be a wife of a man 26 years older to me. God knows what trick that was!
I didn't think he was serious when he told me that he would come back home from the US to marry me. There is no regret in marrying him, except that, sometimes, I wonder about how my life would have been otherwise. And, it sometimes makes me want to look into the eyes of a smart young man with beautiful eyes, walking hand in hand, as people look at me in envy. But for now, my reality is: I walk beside a much older man, most people mistaking him for my father.
Late night, he takes my hand, puts it on his heart and then softly asks me, 'Do you love me Yanki?' And my answer is, 'I care for you, dear.' I never really knew if it was love, but from the start, there was this strong concern for him. He would sometime tell me about him falling sick and I would worry so much because he was so far away from home and there was no one to take care of him. And then, as he shared his story of lonely nights, my heart wrapped around him like I was born to take care of him.
Then, he closes up the little space between us, hugs me tight and tells me, 'I love you sweetheart. I had lost meaning in my life until I met you.' I have no response to this but to hug him close and hope that we will go on this way for a long time. I honestly want to take care of him until I die. Maybe it isn't love like the ones described in love stories where you feel jumpy and full of passion, thrilled at the sight of your lover. But this surely calms me down and makes me know what it is to care genuinely for someone.
All the three children are from his first wife. He wasn't married for long to the other two wives. Assuming that he had met his soul mate, after his first wife gave birth to three children, swept by the family planning policy that our government set out, he thought three children was enough.
And so, whether we want to have children or not, we cannot choose. We have only each other. And for that, I even more care for him, simply because, he is also like a child to me. Yes, he is my baby. In his arms, even when I feel like a cub between the huge paws of its mother, he is like a baby I must care. And yes, I love him, because, I care.
My colleague wanted me to wait for her to file the PIT. Silly, but I did wait for her and that took me till the last date of filing it. This time, we can also file online. We decided to file online, but I'm glad for some reason, I didn't do it.
The corridor at the PIT Section, RRCO office in Thimphu is packed with people. There is not even a space to breathe. I'm not exaggerating. How true that Bhutanese are laid back. We always think, things will fall into place somehow, in the last minute, without us having to do much work (I'm one of that too). I sympathize the staff working on it. They are all hooked on that; all year round their job is that. I sympathize more because, I feel, that is not some job that would make your energy jump up in enthusiasm, neither a job that will enhance your knowledge. It might, but all year round it is the same job; nothing new.
I went to PIT office yesterday. This morning, I get a call saying that there is mistake in my TDS. Damn! I could really throw away things on my way when I think we have made silly mistakes that could have been easily avoided. But of course, I can't say that on the face. So I must simply collect my form and make correction, which in fact ensues much commotion and argument, simply because most often, Bhutanese also have the habit of not accepting one's mistake.
Anyway, I only conclude, no matter who or how many exceptions there are that, Bhutanese usually are laid back, they keep things for the last minute and they don't concentrate on their work. We simply want to get things done simply for the sake of getting them done. This made me wonder if I am too strict a person to look for perfection in such small works. But, my question is, why shouldn't we do perfectly, what we can?
The Changzamtok School's Principal can really put in me positive energy and the drive to be a teacher. Seeing her makes me wanna become a teacher; even more than my usual interest. If I were one of the teachers under her, I would not have any complaint but to work with the principle she exudes. She seems like a woman of words.
She calls me up and says, “Kuenzang, nan gi 11 ga morning ga ja teachers ba ka GNH kor gai dasur talk thur biley oofe mar bam wai? (Kuenzang, wouldn't you be able to give a talk on GNH to my teachers on 11th morning?) Now, that is my responsibility. That is everyone's responsibility, so why not? I gave an instant positive answer and there I was with them this morning.
I sat among 50 teachers and you won't believe what kind of energy each of them exudes. The principal introduces me and says, “Some principals expressed that it would be difficult to convince teachers why we have to have GNH in the school curriculum but in my school, it will not be difficult. We have been talking about values all this time and all my teachers are very active and open to learning new things.” Was I inspired! I honestly felt they were.
They say, “We are now experiencing earthquakes. The water level is rising. The glaciers are melting. We are getting back what we have been giving to the world. We have to care, we have to give earth what we want–to put it back to the way it was.”
And, Mr. Gupta, a Science teacher from India shares his experience: “Near my house lives a person who burns rubbers every morning to warm himself. I observed it for three days and then, I went to him and told him about how much harm he is causing the world through burning rubbers.” He said, that person did stop burning rubbers after that.
The principal says: “Yesterday, I went to a shop to buy some things with a friend. Our things didn't fit in one plastic bag. When the shopkeeper was about to give us another plastic bag, we said, we will take it in our hands to minimize polluting by another plastic bag.”
Another teacher says: “We can make rules that no student should carry plastic wrapped things to school. We can impose fine if they do.” I found myself wanting to share with them my deepest, deepest desire of wanting to fine people who drop a chewing gum, chocolate or chips wrapping on the path they are walking on.
I left them at 10:45. They are going to discuss the action plans now. The principal says, “Our PM has been giving talks on GNH in other countries and some people began to think that GNH is for the elite; that it is very difficult. But in fact, it is simple. We all can contribute. We can do it.”
Yes, why not? We can all do it. We can all contribute towards saving the world.
The man, who I will call Dorji here says to his colleagues: “I had no idea that she conceived during our one nightstand.” (My opinion: Whether it was just one nightstand or he was married to him, God knows.) But the truth is, a child was born and the child is his. Whether it was a single nightstand or whether the child was born from their marriage, there isn't much difference. The child still remains his.
“I came to know that a son was born only after so many years.” (My opinion: F******, did you even think that you had carelessly given yourself up to a momentary pleasure and released your sperm beyond the area you can take care of?) Whether Dorji came to know about the birth of his son soon after his relationship with that woman or after many years, there isn't much difference. There is only one truth. He didn't bring him up. Even after he came to know about his son, he was a coward who could not extend his hand beyond the length of his own body.
“I wanted to bring him with me,” he says. (My opinion: What held him back? Why should a decision take so long?) Whether he wanted to take his son with him or not, there remains only one truth. The son grew up without a father. Leave that alone. He had not even thought if his son was getting a proper education; or whether his son had proper clothes and food. Now what matters is that, if he is a good father, if he has any remorse at all, he would want to talk to him like a father to a son. (It wouldn't matter much if he doesn't, that is, if he can go to his grave regretting for the things he didn't do.)
A hen pecked husband or not, what matters is that, in his heart he should have known that somewhere out there in the world there was his son, who wasn't getting what his other children did. He should have known that, when he could so gaily swing his hand and wrap his arms around another woman, there was this woman who had to raise a child on her own. And now, no matter where he is or who he is, this one guy who has now grown up to be a gentle man still remains his son.
'I'm listening to Westlife's songs these days,' says a friend. He means to tell me that he is all blue, missing someone who has touched his heart and left like a butterfly that came to suck the nectar on the flower without actually noticing the colors and beauty of the flower. 'Aii' is all I can sigh out. I wish I could hold his hand and tell him that life has so many things in store for us –and that with every feeling we feel loved, there is an edge of hurt right there at the corner. But of course, I can't tell him that.
Then I remember of my time I went crazy over Westlife. I thought I was in love. How could it be possible? But yes, the feeling I felt inside was nothing like I ever felt. I wrote letters in my diary; I wrote poems even. I didn't have any single heart in my mind. The sheer madness was that, I loved them. The expression on their faces as they sang made my heart jumped. And that almost made me fail in class 12.
I subscribed to every single bullshit kind of junk website about them. I looked for a way to get in touch with them but realized it wasn't possible. When I was at the heights of love, going mad and crazy, a friend of my brother's friend visited us in Thimphu. She is from Hongkong. She studied in Australia with my brother and his friend. She saw me go crazy over them and she promised to send me nice posters of Westlife.
Then soon I left for India. I think when you are young and your blood is rushing out wanting to ooze out any time and your heart is boiling on different feelings wanting to blurt out any moment, your thought is crowded by nothing but these crazy feelings of wanting to fly away in love.
Yes, that friend from Hongkong kept her word. “On a bundle of strong cover is written…CSE 1st Year, Vellore Institute of Technology.” I sure jumped in joy. Two beautiful huge posters of Westlife hung on the rooms of my wall till I graduated. They sure gave me company during the dark nights and gloomy days. Because I read so many crime stories, I started feeling like I was followed. Paranoia would have killed me but for those crazy moments I was driven into by my love for them and for the songs. The beautiful lyrics always knew how to talk to me. They touched my heart softly, caressed my face gently and always kissed me with nice, wonderful feelings which gave me the capability to write hundreds of stories in my journal. And yes, even when I had to visit a doctor because I thought I was not well mentally, the doctor who saw me was a young, smart, gentleman. However fleeting the moment, I look back and find those were the most wonderful moments, the most inspiring days. Staying up as late as 3 a.m. and writing letters to my friends or stories in my journal always brought out the most truthful moments.
I last sang national anthem as student in class 10. That was in 1999. I don't remember if I prayed strongly for the nation to stand strong, in peace and prosperity, throughout the ages. But I do remember, I did stand solemn and serious. And yes, I have loved my country even then.
And today, at the Paro College of Education, I stood with more than 200 principals, lecturers and DEOs, solemnly singing the national anthem. As I stood solemn and words flowed out in smooth rhythm, I cried. This time, I was more matured. I knew the meaning of each word I sang. And yes, this time, I was surer than ever before: I wanted my country to stand strong; I wanted my country to be an example to the world. I was proud that Bhutan has already given a gift of GNH when the world has started desperately searching for an alternative to the measurement of progress.
And today, standing among this many educators, I felt, I could really pledge my life to live up to the principles that would cleanse every soul and leave no tint of guilt. I mean, I really was in a moment where I wanted to be a teacher. This has been a secret desire but I have not have the courage to remove the enjoyment and benefit I have currently. My husband says, 'leave aside your stupid idea,' and I doubt my interest. But today was the time when I thought, if I were one of those educators, I would probably be a proud person. The most content and fulfilled.
Why not? If in a crowded Thimphu city, or when I'm walking lost in a government office, if someone comes up and greet me, 'Kuzangpola Madam, I was your student in…school in…year,' I would feel like a mother who has seen his son grow up to be the most successful person in the world. I think I will not want anything more but to see that the students I have taught have become learned adults, the future holders.
I'm talking to NATO. Naturally we are at this topic of further studies. Doing masters has become fashionable. Almost fanciful. No matter where I am, I keep hearing of people talking about who has gone for masters and where. I know I might sound defensive if I said that I'm not in any hurry. Not right now. But I honestly am not. The more experience I have, more I am gonna be sure of what I want to study. That is my stupid theory there, but I will stick by it for maybe as long as I find myself genuinely interested to study something. Right now, I am not sure of what course I must take.
He gives me names of a few universities. Then he asks me, “Aren't you going to have baby until you have done your masters?” I tell him, I am decided on neither, the baby as well as further studies. I'm quick, I told you I speak on impulse. So my hands type the answers before I can think if I said the right thing: “Neither is a priority in my life.”
And on the screen glares, “wow.” I sure threw NATO off his chair with my answer. Yes, I love children. I'm fond of them. But I have found that people want children for their own reasons: to feel a sense of fulfillment; to have someone look after them at old age; to have their genes carried on. Maybe there are many more reasons I don't know. But I don't know if there are reasons that I will not find selfish.
As much as I love children, I don't see myself becoming a mother, holding hands with my daughter, taking her for shopping, or shouting at her for bringing rowdy boyfriends home. I might sound weird but I think my reasons to be on earth stand higher than that. And so, even if I might die frail and dirty, lonely and shattered, why care? Whether I die surrounded by thousand of relatives, wrapped in brocades and silks, or whether I die in a dirty isolated cold cement pavement, the body will no longer belong to me. I'm already traveling to another form, another world.
And yes, there goes my reason to live and not want anyone to carry my genes.
I'm at a male friend's office. He works in an office where there is no fixed closing time, where employees are forced to smoke countless sticks of cigarettes and drink countless mugs of coffee. I usually go there when I'm in town and I have to wait for some of my friends. I got an unpunctual bunch of friends. So, I end up waiting in his office often. This time, I'm to attend a friend's farewell. The organizer never comes. I must have flicked my mobile a hundred times; I'm so tempted to call but I know this will irritate her. I think I flicked through the pile of newspapers on my friend's table for the 20th time now.
He wants to smoke. “Do you mind if I smoke?” he asks. I tell him not to smoke if his urge isn't to the point of no-control. And so he decides not to smoke. He puts down the cigarette on the table. We are talking. We always have so many things to discuss, mostly about writing, about politics even. Surprisingly, just like another man, I can talk politics with him. I take his suggestions seriously. Then…
A colleague of his walks into his room. Without a word, he passes a cigarette packet to him and he takes out a stick without a word. “Now, what on earth…?” my mind spins and stops standstill. I wonder what it means. It isn't two minutes back that he decided not to smoke. And here he is, lighting it in front of me, puffing out the smoke in curls. I can see him relax as he sends out a thick curl of smoke every time; he leans back on the chair as if it has the sensualizing effect of making him forget the real world; as if his stress is all gone. But I'm not worried about what smoking does to a man in helping ease the stress. I am shocked by the man's ego. He could have refused the cigarette when his colleague offered him. But he just couldn't say no. My guess is that, he doesn't want his colleague to think that he is respecting my presence. He doesn't want to seem like that female-caring covertly gentleman.
As he relaxes on his chair, probably in another world, I quickly make a note in my mind to write about it one day.
A man's ego. If it is a man giving them a challenge, they will take it, not because they believe they have to, but because, they can't have their ego bruised, especially not by another man.