January 1, 2021

The Corona Virus Year

Pic courtesy: google
As the curtain draws open on the first day of the new year, here is a wishing that it will restore all the good things in life that we have had to forgo due to the onslaught of pandemic. 

So, in retrospect the year 2020 had been a bumpy ride- more aptly annus horibilis- for everyone rife with challenges and setbacks. In fact, there’s no denying that we have had to live every waking hours of our lives dreading the invisible- the badass elusive corona virus- like never before. Consequently, it has left us all crippled and destitute- in dire straits causing economy downturn, displacing livelihoods, losing lives, and posing great jeopardy to homo sapiens race. And worst still, it continues to do so, with ever looming threats showing no signs of receding any time soon. 

Like someone said, it has truly challenged the heights of the claim and mights of the nations. 

Fortuitously for Bhutan, we have held up our guards sturdily and fared quite well ever since the onset of pandemic in the country. Apparently, this would not have seen light of the day had it not been for His majesty’s tireless exertion and visionary leadership. And we also owe great deal of gratitude to the government, health workers, front-liners and volunteers for beavering away round the clock even compromising their personal safety. 

On the flipside, the pandemic has revealed the best out of every single Bhutanese and helped fortify our guards against the fearsome foe. Of all, people coming together from all walks of life, young and old alike, to show solidarity and support culminated in a great restoration of faith in our battle against the unknown. Most admirably, scenes of Good Samaritan coming out unconditionally to offer help spoke volumes on how much of us Bhutanese are steadfast in our spirits when challenged by daunting tasks. Indeed, with His majesty at the helm of affairs and stalwart subjects at his disposal, it only triggered inspirations that made us come a long way. 

However, our tales of triumphs were not without its setbacks. Despite of our best combative measures, the virus did manage to go slack. Perhaps it was only obvious given the mysterious nature of the virus. So, with the first confirmed case of community transmission, came the first ever lockdown sending waves of panic across the nation. Although there were lockdown-induced glitches and various other issues that came tandem with the imposition, the entire nation coped well to emerge unscathed. There was a pure display of Palden Drukpa spirit by majority of the population. And within a short span of time, life reverted but the splendour and the carefree nature didn’t as we had to adjust to the new normal. 

Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the recent case which surfaced from one of the flu clinics that we were imposed with yet another lockdown. But this case, I fain accept was divine intervened and well-timed because we’ve been going quite cool not realising the badass was nigh. Maybe it was a premonition that even if the vaccines were on its way, we must not lose grip and let the guards loose. So here we are in lockdown 2.0.


Now with numbers of cases spiking every day, it has alerted everyone and sent chill down the spine. Hereafter, if we fail to heed the words of caution and remain ignorant of our past lessons, it is highly plausible that we will fail big time in flattening the curve. This is why I hope the lockdown will at least perpetuate until we see a nosedive in the everyday curve. 

We are at the crossroad- one wrong move and we will undo everything we have achieved so far or risk dooming it forever. Hence for now, let’s keep tackling head-on even if it means the sky is falling apart. 

May the new year give us herculean strength to tide over the situation soon. 

April 23, 2020

Bird photography

Posting after a very long time. Hope you would enjoy the photos.

Ashy drongo

Dark breasted rosefinch

Grey winged blackbird

Greybacked shrike

Red vented bulbul

River lapwing

September 18, 2019

"Ganbatte" factor matters

 “Ganbatte”- a Japanese word which caught my attention ever since I enrolled in Nagoya university- translates to beavering away with indefatigable stamina in any testing circumstances or endeavours. My guesswork is it might be one of the extensively articulated lexical expressions in Japan. In my close to 3 years stay, I have had fair share of it- mostly coming from my professors. And on my numerous nerve-wracking discussions with them, however heated the discussion may become, the session would always terminate with soothing reinforcement “Ganbatte”. Not even friends- both locals and internationals- spared spewing out the catchphrase, at times to create a mockery out of it and other times to muster up the valour.
Once it was spelled out, and as was their wont, I had found in my Japanese friends they take on it damn seriously, not minding even if the hell broke loose. Such was its power- mighty and punchy. I dreaded to hear it at times because of the expectations that came along attached to it. Indeed, days and days of endurance training had preceded in trying to embrace the catchphrase gracefully.
Sectioning ovaries on one of the Sundays'. Of course not human ovary.
So, eventually the ripple effect was up. There had not been any outlet to get away.  Then I realised- it was one thing to have heard someone say it and quite another to have borne its impact. Even now, as I translate my experiences into words, it sends a chill down my spine- not to mention the cortisols in blood- musing over all the struggles that had to come tandem with the “Ganbatte” factor. But the chill down my spine exacerbated by the elevating levels of cortisols was worth the effort, as substantiated by the bang that panned-out at the end.
As I try to gather and piece together my Nihon memoirs, it hits me hard that what on earth has moulded the Japanese to be one of the resilient and grit laden Homo sapiens. This confusion had me soaked in bewildering thoughts several times even as I was sleeping under their sky.
Now with my grappling professional and personal life everyday- I let my head do the simple breakdown. One thing keeps bobbing up recurrently. It is the mental muscle power, what I label as “Ganbatte” factor. Mental muscle power, because that’s the site first in the hierarchy regulating all the other bodily functions and others follow suit. So to say, it must also complement and come along with its other closer traits -if not higher- that will unquestionably change, or decide, the game piecemeal.  
Over time, as I grew too comfortable with “Ganbatte” factor, it didn’t even surprise to see one of my professors come directly to lab straight from the airport with all his travel gears and check on us. It appeared nothing of a big deal sort to hear of my elderly Japanese friend working madly beyond human hours and trespassing into ghost hours. It had only deepened my appreciations though it antagonises our approach of middle path.
Today, I often pause and pose a question- must I keep this “Ganbatte” factor going? No sooner would I ask, then a rejuvenated voice within sparks up a loud shoutout- “Ganbatte” factor matters.