August 24, 2014

Thursday and Friday evenings with Sancha and Pelden

My students are well conscious of what makes them not a Buddhist and when asked on this, they hum in unison- ego, pride, self-centeredness and clinging to materialistic objects. The same question I do a bit of modification and ask- what makes you all not a reader. They all go silent staring at each other seemingly they have just heard the world’s hardest question. This is the cold fact and, surprisingly, we see quite a lot making mention of the hues and cries of language when they have not even read one.

Given the opportunity, I would love to ask the same to the entire students of the nation and hear what makes them not a reader too. Regardless of free access and easy availability of books at their disposal, many appear indifferent for the liking of the books.

Notwithstanding incessant marvels and geniuses of books, I was stumped to see only few of whole students read a book. Confused and not confirmed by the reaction, I asked them why…..

One of the top excuse they make is time constraint. Not being able to balance time between thick text book and recess period seems to hit high on index.

Another reason is habit, not well bred, which makes them indisposed to even try for one. Others include limited interest and a fancy that language should be focused more by someone from literary fraternity. While many seem to have never thought on this serious matter.

Driven by plight, I along with one of my teacher friend started a book talk titled “READ ZHSS” to mainly inspire and inject the habit of reading in students. And, perhaps, also to make reading a part of their leisure activities rather than to squander time wildly.

It was good of them to take up the concern positively and impressive enough to see readers from all levels of class. The number of reader turnout was more than expected.

Although the program is in embryo, having witnessed the interest of readers, we are on upbeat that no stones would be left unturned in come Thursdays and Fridays. However with list of after class activities impeding their way, so far it was only one evening that we could make.

All in all, one evening had been a great success.

What my calculated guess have is reading does miracle -from his holiness the Dalai Lama to guns and roses, books influence have never ceased to inspire them. Likewise by beholding the zenith of inspiration, I hope to infuse the healthy practice and see more of my students stirred up by the charm of reading. 

Someone has rightly quoted “reading a book is like having conversation with sublime soul of centuries”. Needless to say, books not only nourish the mind but as well serve as unremitting companion in times of solitariness. Through reading we become traveler around the world and seeker of the fact.

Source: Google
Even more, it treats couples with chicken soup for healthy relationship and tell us men are from mars and women are from Venus. 

August 10, 2014

The philanthropist

I bet you if there is a noble prize for best cow herding, Alfred noble should definitely consider my owner for the award.

A man as cheerful as his nick name defines, Balay Balay is my house owner. At first glance, his staid face and unkempt looks may bring an aroma of repugnance, but at heart people like Balay Balay are too rare to find. Even rarest is his unconditional love and unfaltering kindness for animals.

He is industrious man possessed with higher caliber. But with no one around to help him with household chores, it becomes grueling to manage everything on his own at times.

Whether or not it is rain or shine, he has no holidays and before the light is out, he is geared up for the day’s work. It begins with warm greetings from the cows. And with genial smile on the face, he milks and treats them to a scrumptious breakfast until their belly paunches out. He hoards some for the calves too. Until there is no sign of satisfaction, he never sets them free. After everything is done it’s time for him to see off. Filling his own tummy comes afterward.

By sundown, when it’s time for the cows to be home, he would ready their feast and wait like a desperate wife for her husband’s arrival from war. He tethers them warm in their adobe baked barn and goes for gardening, next.

It is a rare sight of him to see him whiling away time. However, as the dusk matures into night, he would not miss the attendance in the shop located ground floor of his house.

He orders for locally brewed brand and engages himself in a conversation. Few hours after the tempo of the round has picked up, the medium of his language changes. It would be his Pidgin English dominating the conversation. He barely cares about his audiences who never went to school. One time, he talked on constitution of Bhutan and to put someone in league of conversation to shame, he spoke in English to puzzle the counterpart. As I eavesdrop, I could not help myself burst with laughter.

Though drunk, Balay Balay keeps accurate calculations on the bottles and retires the accomplished day with amusement. Sometimes, he debates a lot over trivial matters to the point of hearing verdict from court if he assume others wrong. And when severely drunk, without a tinge of slightest hesitation, utters Balay Balay the boss, money no problem. Few are the occasions when I see him turn alcoholic from workaholic.

What the man possess is rare in many of us. Whatever ripens in his garden goes for free to anyone who comes to him. Since I am on lease in his house, I am one among few who is enjoying his hard toil. Guilty I feel but he never consent the idea of taking in money when it is from the garden. Lately, it was cucumber that topped my kitchen menu. Thanks to him.

Of all, it is his altruistic disposition that makes his sobriquet, Balay Balay go viral among his friends.

August 5, 2014

Say NO to sticks and filthy words

A mother sends her seven years old son to school with brand new geometry box, polished shoe and well covered books. The boy then takes a leave with a kiss planted on his right cheek. His mom waits until the boy joins his friends and see them fade into the throngs of students.

In the school, the boy obeys his elders. His demeanor is admired by teachers and every other kids love to frolic with him. He never dirties his dress, writes with immaculate handwriting, never loses his pencils and comes back home on time.

As soon as he is home, he grooms his hands and legs. Then sits for cartoon network channel and settles down on assigned home works. If he is unable to do on his own, instead of closing the book, he seeks help from the mother. When everything is done, he is headed for bed on time.

Even at home, he exhibits good conduct and wins his mothers’ heart. The mother feels lucky to have son like him.

But how many would believe a boy of seven to have all the aforementioned traits? Who would not find the boy losing pencils and dirtying his dress frequently? Will it be complete shock to see him return home with torn books and laddered socks? Let alone a boy of seven, even the grown-ups today are unable to catch hold of their own.

Then does it take a beating to mend the decadence of the child.
I have been witness to some parents going unmerciful on their little ones. Some even to the extent of passing obnoxious remarks like “bastard or dead meat”. And paradoxically, they talk of the child messing up in school when all is not well with his upbringing at home.

A recent scene from a mother to her son shook me badly. Given her decent education, the way she dealt her son was not at par. The boy had returned home with pencils lost and dress dirtied. He appeared tensed. Everything was disordered. Moreover, to worsen the situation, he showed up home late than usual.

“What makes you late today?” rang the voice coarsely with harsh pull of the ear. The boy stooped and uttered nothing.

“Where is the geometry box?” “Ah…los….lost” came the quivering response.

Then commenced the drama. Were it not been for me than she could have whipped the child. She went all filthy while the boy trembled helplessly. I couldn’t interject either, rather her American way made me flee the scene.

Soon I doubted that she had an unhealthy way of parenting. When enquired, she admitted honestly. Vexed by her traditional approach, I made a feeble attempt to convince her. I told her to daily guide the child and do away with abusing or maltreating. She responded positively and supposedly repented for the vulgar treatment.

I suggested her to treat him in a way he would like and not to inject much of fear as it would kill the seeds of confidence in him. She beamed with smiles and I was hopeful.

My final suggestion to all the parents here is- say NO to sticks and invest time to nurture, for even Rome was not build in a day. 

Source: Google