December 14, 2013

Toilets in Bhutan

Scores of us are exposed and will be not upset to witness the hygiene of toilets in Bhutan. If ever anyone feel, probably it is just that the person has never been out of his personal lavatory. 

Descending right from few high profiles toilet to plumbers it would be no different. Either it is well festooned with spits of doma (betel nut) or blocked with junks. This is the fate of toilets around the places. 

I remember during my recent workshop, one of the teachers pointing out about the condition of toilets in schools. Sincerely admitting, it is worse than anything. The reeking smell alone will suffice the visitors to back off from a distance. Forget about the interior.

Bhutan is lauded for pioneering holistic philosophy, Gross National Happiness. We have been receiving applauds from other countries and admired for being one of the cleanest country on the globe. Perhaps, at the core we are not. By saying so, I am in no way trying to defame my motherland. Nor do I claim to have the tidiest washroom. Truth is truth and must be confessed. 

Our bosses believe that cleanliness begin from toilet. If we are unable to wield the matters at toilet level, perhaps it would be herculean task to run and orchestrate things at administrative level. Isn’t it true friends? 

We are being complacent all the time. We dare not to be responsible just because the toilet doesn’t belong to us. Paradoxically, we are the ones who soil it and complain about the sanitation issues. We hardly chew over the negligence. 

I personally feel that we are lacking when it comes to cleanliness of the toilets, mainly the schools. Only one in a hundred schools will have washrooms that many will feel relaxed with. 

Because of our negligence and poor attitudes, many toilets are now becoming functionless and abandoned. Consequently, we are the ones who are victimized during the times of emergencies. I am sure there isn’t anyone who hasn’t dealt with the dire situation. 

To bring to light and to create awareness among the people around the globe, December 19 is observed as the World Toilet Day. The central idea is the right to sanitation. 

Billions around the world don’t own a proper toilet. Recent studies show that more than half a population has access to cell phones than toilets. Outbreak of water and air borne diseases has been closely attributed to poor toilets and other sanitation problems. Moreover, it has also impacted the overall cleanliness of the community in some parts of the world.

Now with much awareness and advocacy on the rising concerns of sanitation, I hope to have change first in the mindset and then acquire love for cleaning toilets, regardless of everything.
Let us all pledge to keep our toilets clean and promise to spread the joy of clean toilet everywhere. 

Mahatma Gandhi said “sanitation is more important than independence”

December 3, 2013

Books and looks

The little angels
At this digital age, it’s too rare to find someone who comes to borrow books from a public library or a school library. Even if one shows up, it won’t be other than some serious book lovers or students. Few are compelled to do so because of the taxing assignments or research works. But such readers are not deemed genuine since it isn’t by virtue of their will.

However, I was proven wrong when an audacious bunch of tiny girls turned up at my friend’s place desperately asking for a book. I was left speech less and baffled by those little girls. Enthralled by their love for reading, it vividly flashed me of my school days. 

Did I think of reading when I was of their age? Have I ever dared of knocking at somebody’s door looking out for books? Were I keen enough to explore the unknown? Well, apart from the text I never looked out of syllabus to find out what’s even there in the school library. All I was a voracious eater. And the only book I remember today is the “Momo monkey and Dechen”

Unlike many of us, these four angels are incredibly fond of books despite their frolicking age. My heart glowed further when they portrayed their politeness which some of us lack. 

Prying their conversation, I halted their way back home. Since I was stunned by their good habit, I couldn’t resist the itch in my brain to inquire them. Not only were they good in books but also in looks. The eldest in the group goes to class six while the other three are mates studying in class three. 

We shared a little moment together. Often so they tried escaping my sight and occasionally hid their face. But I engaged them with praises and jokes to which they responded amusingly. Soon after, four of them acquainted well with my hospitality and they didn’t even hesitate to introduce. 

Every time they had something to ask, they made it sure that they structured the language in esteemed way. Carried away by their civic sense, I could not agree more than to appreciate their attitude towards elders. 

As gratitude, I pleaded for a snap to archive the flashing reminiscences. At first, they appeared uneasy. Upon my several supplications, they accepted gladly.

But they were little displeased for they weren’t able to fetch the books. Perhaps to recompense their time and effort, I pledged them to notify my friend once he is back. They headed off merrily with giggles and waving hands.
After their leave I conceived, if students, regardless of class and age cultivate the reading habits like the tiny four, Bhutan would be constellated with wise leaders to the brim. 

Since majority of students are reluctant to books, reading custom in our country is relatively low. As the habit is also not rooted in from their early age, some have difficulty coping up with language when they grow up. 

As I aspire, I inspire everyone to snatch a copy today and ransack through, exchanging words with finest man of the centuries to discover glory ahead.

November 30, 2013

Rolling times

Past three weeks had been so packed owing to various reasons. I was also out of school since I was shortlisted for one interview. Although I have failed to make it through, I have imbibed experiences more worth than gold. I am very much well equipped and certain that the experiences will steer me in times to come.

On the other end, the sad part was my blog which had gone barren for many weeks.

While I was absent from my blog, I have missed updates from the other fellow bloggers. It saddened me. Now that I am on track, I am rekindled and make it sure that I don’t miss any post of my blog mates.

Well, four days in the capital city after seven months break had me sank in heavy thoughts. Number of cars has shot up drastically. Everywhere it is the honk and the hooting of the engines. Buildings and construction have sprouted everywhere despite the congestion. Yet, the poor is getting poorer and the rich is getting richer.

In the name of religion, mendicants are exploiting the sacred robes of monk and the enlightened ones. Many residents are falling victim to this unhealthy practice and still the show is ongoing. 

Some have picked up the western culture to align with the current modernization while forgetting our own. Some even feel shame to speak our own dialect while not fluent in others. A few chose to live by the supremacy of others in bleak hope of good life ultimately to seek trouble.

The joy of serving selflessly is fading. Around the town is the OZtralian fever where lust for money has preceded everything. Everyone wants to mount heaps of wealth overnight and lavish the next day. Everyone wants to migrate towards west and come back with glut bank balance. But nobody wants to discover the pristine places and get into the wild with our own.

Wide highways and lanes have been paved everywhere connecting every corner yet the viewpoints are very confined. Many voyage overseas yet some are reluctant enough to even pay visit to their immediate neighbor. While in some places on globe are struggling for a plate of rice, here we are making waste out of it.

There is no time for loved and near ones to put up an evening together. Everyone is absorbed in money making business.

Social issues are frequent. One need not be surprised to hear about burglary, murdering, rape and gang fights because since it is not a new trend, everyone is aware of it. It has become rather unsafe to travel alone in broad light too.  I was flabbergasted to hear that one of my friends got kidnapped by a group of school going boys.

Time has changed. In fact everything has changed. Along with the drift in time, people have become insatiable and self centered. People are hiding to accept truth when deception is practiced openly.

We are losing faith on each other; we are distancing ourselves from reality and finding Shangri-La, when happiness and comfort is all intuited in us.

November 1, 2013

October 30, 2013

Earthquake last night

It’s quite unbelievable to think about last night’s incidence. Though it was a feeble shake, it suddenly recapped me of previous year’s lethal incident. 

It occurred at 12:04 am sharp. I was up due to some work. As soon as I stood up, the walls enclosing me trembled. I was helpless and couldn’t do anything. I was abruptly reminded of the mock drill demonstrated by one of our friends in the school. Fortunately, the shake subsided after a minute. Had it been for some more shake, I would have gotten under the table. 

It dreaded me. I could not sleep no more. The thought of aftershock haunted me. 

What panicked me more was the condition of house. It was attached as an extra room to the existing house. One could see lots of crack developed over the walls. The roofing’s and windows are also not so strong. And in such frail house was me wide awake in the dead of the night deprived of sleep.

Outside, the dogs were hollering wildly. Inside, I was totally wrapped up in fear. I was oscillating in between “to go or not to go out”.

Two hours of unrelieved thoughts over a minutes’ shake eventually brought me an intermittent sleep. But the fear still lingered.
With myriad of prayers said, I went back to sleeping. 

In the morning I woke up to find if it was the real shake or the shake left by my neighbor because it has been pretty long time since his girl friend last visited him. No doubt, it was real quake.

October 21, 2013

My maiden ascension

While many were intriguingly waiting before start line for the resuscitation of health walk, I was readying my undone bag pack. I felt rivulets of sadness oozing out of me for not being the part of nations occasion. To compensate the loss, I just contributed some cash in jubilation for the revival of long slumbered “move for health walk” program.

I have long before thought of scaling the mountain which stood before me enticingly. Ever since it caught my eyes, I have always wanted to mount and ride it.  But as I was not exposed to the place, my plan of conquering the miniature mountain failed many times. Sometimes it was the unexpected rain and other times it was the unavailability of friends that impeded me from the climbing. Had it been not for the above stated reason, I would have mounted it before. 

Finally on 19th October, my much awaited hope was turned into reality. 

The expedition began with loads of excitement, fueled up by enthusiasm and boosted by gentle rays of the sun. As we steadily descended the slope, a sense of impatience overwhelmed me to desperately ascend over the top but not until I have walked miles distance. On reaching the road point, we were fortunate enough to be picked up by a generous trucker. Within half an hour, we made it to the entry point of our maiden journey to which we plunged wildly, following the remnant of faint tread left by early mountaineers.

The night scene of Zhemgang
We soon departed from the comfort and embarked on our laborious climb. The snaking trail was loose and sticky, flanked from both the sides by lurking vegetation. It was unwelcoming initially. Often the paths need to be cleared and crawled on all fours. Slips, falls and clambering were risky but unavoidable.  All of us were determined to reach the destination regardless of numerous problems.

The incessant uphill hike was tougher with scorching sun oblique over us. It was bathing us in sweat, excavating the available energy out of us and even the weight of the cell phone was felt. Having arduously combated the difficulty, we were soaked fully in exhaustion. Until we were stronger enough to begin the next episode, we heaved the limpid air of relaxation brought about by the uninterrupted nature. 
An avalanche of cloud engulfing Zhemgang

The blazing sun stroke directly overhead, demanding more of fluids to be replenished but hardly anyone of us ceased to care. With strong stamina generated within us, it was yet another “move for health walk” in the middle of thickest forest cheered up by finely tuned cacophony of animals and insects. 

It was the race against the sun. By the time it was lunch, some of us were already feeble that we no longer could stride on further.
 Once again the priceless voyage began after the refueling. Soaring through the hills and combing through the valleys, the nature’s composition pleasingly left me awestruck. While silently enjoying its unwavering beauty of ridges and grooves, it also left some of us frustrated over the endless path. 

Far across the horizon the sun was ebbing away when we were ascending over the last hill. We failed to keep our words. Nevertheless, as we elevated higher and higher, the mountain which once allured me stood nervously before me like a timid girl. Plagued by its ingenious exquisiteness I almost forgot the pain of hard toil over the treacherous hill.

As I started to perch on the top, my muscles were almost stiffed and taut which barely left me fixed when it was just a step away from me. On reaching the top, the view overlooking the whole Zhemgang was majestic. It was beyond my wildest imagination. Hallucinated by the exotic beauty and tranquility of the view, I stood with every ounce of energy only to be barricaded by the twilight of the evening.

But sadly, I could not snap the shots like what my real eyes have viewed due to lack of appropriate camera. However, as a testimony of my love for photography, I have few shots framed in the post with my simple point and shoot camera. 

The hungry cloud frees after it has slaked off its thirst
I returned back with a promise to surmount it next year and capture it with my dream SLR camera, just like my eyes has been witness to it.