Friday, December 18, 2015

As hard as finding a baby sitter



Not long ago, a senior friend of mine called me up, “Wai training tey mala mo?”

“Training! It’s as hard as finding a baby sitter,” I responded. May be he got offended at the other end but his earlier response when I sought his help to find me a baby sitter prompted me to reply so. This is bad I know, but can’t help it, particularly when one is going through bad situation. It’s not unacceptable norm either.
My daughter Dechog, 8 years old trying to baby-sit her youngest sister
I know this is a serious problem most of us are going through. Yet we don’t want to share because it’s a family matter. It’s something that deserves to be kept hidden. Therefore, with much hesitation I chose to share my problem here on the blog.

 Bravo!

 Well, some might call me weak. But that’s okay. 

Actually, this is not something that should remain concealed. This problem affects wider spheres of our lives. It all started when my former baby sitter (who had been more than my own sister to me) decided to return home (about a year after I became resident of Thimphu). That was in 2012. Since then, me and my small family has been going through turbulence.

Recollecting my childhood days - I grew up in dusts and soot; with dogs and pigs; cocks and hens; and, with cows and horses playing all day long in and around our home. Those were beautiful days when we were safe and peaceful. But today, modernization has brought in so many challenges in child upbringing. The risk of children loosing to someone, danger of vehicular hit and run, risks over electrical and gasoline accidents, risks of falling over tall buildings...and so on. It all together makes it difficult to leave behind our children on their own. That's why the need for a reliable baby sitter is all the more necessary.
 Particularly when you have infants, it becomes difficult for parents who are both office goers. Besides having disorders at home it adversely affects your professional life . Personally I find it hard to balance between my professional and family affairs (well, this may not be the case with everyone). I think sound family is important to perform well in one's career. Without which, it's bit too hard to focus on one's day to day office works - it distracts one's thought processes; it's hard to dedicate wholeheartedly in any important discussions and meetings as one has to constantly attend to personal obligations from time to time; and then, there are bosses and peers who take it as negligence and inefficiency not knowing the kind of problems one is going through. I sometimes feel, "Why did I have a family in the first place?" LOL. Both are important of course. I value both of them equally.
My mother comes to my rescue for a while

Unable to bear these pains I was going through, my mother came to help me sometime in February last year (2014). It was a great relief for my wife and I for over eight months. Unfortunately, she had to return because my younger sister back in village is going through same problem.  For a farmer, you miss a day or two then you miss your food for next season. Our mother's help was much needed there too, so we decided that she should go and help my sister back home. As for me, I assured her that I'll have to do some over time works or seriously think of finding another compatible job to pull through this momentary crisis.

So, here I'm today still seriously thinking over this issue. Called up few friends near and far desperately seeking their help to find me a helper. It seems like this is not going to happen. But its matter of few years, another few years only. And, I constantly pray that I'll not let my children go through similar situation when they start their family. Seriously, I want to baby sit if I live long.

So many things to write but its already become lengthy enough so I stop here..."STOP"




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Paying tribute to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in my own small way

I feel sorry if I had not been able to catch up with some of my friends, colleagues and well wishers in my recent past. I was little bit caught up with my small dream - a dream that's taken shape now. Over a year ago, I came across a man named Ugyen Tenzin who proposed to me on this dream project. Oh I know him right from the college days. He's Kota. Our juniors would call him Ata Kota. He came up with this brilliant idea of paying tribute to our Beloved Fourth Druk Gyalpo on His 60th Birth Anniversary in the form of a Book. I too had similar thought at the back of my mind that I should do something with my artistic skills but individually its just too hard to bring things to shape. Our ideas and skills matched - he can write and I can draw/paint. So we embarked on it. He came up with brilliant write-ups covering about 14 themes and I contributed about 20 different arts comprising of few large canvases and pencil sketches. All these combined has given birth to a book titled "Bhutan's Beloved Beacon: The World's Enigma" a small tribute to our Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck on His 60th Birth Anniversary.
 For now printing orders have been placed and its launch is tentatively scheduled to take place on 1st November, 2015 at the NRDCL Hall, Thimphu with a day long exhibition of my arts. For any updates on our book kindly follow our facebook page @  https://www.facebook.com/Tribute2K4?ref=hl
Till then have a good day and hope you will enjoy taking hold of our book.
Thank you :D

Monday, September 21, 2015

Festive Diarrhea

It was around this time of the year, last year. Thimphu Lhamoi Drubchhen followed by Thimphu Tshechu was going on. Festive moods spreading from Kabesa to Babesa, people were seen happy with family and friends, everyone sparkling with their most prized attires combed the streets of Thimphu after watching Tshechu at Tendrel Thang. For the residents of Thimphu it's a long holiday whether you deserve it or not. Like any other Thimphu resident, I value such holidays because I get to sleep more and relieve a bit from tensions of reaching and picking up my children from the school and those from my job and bosses :D . Last year, I didn't want to get out of my house during the Tshechu but I had to fulfill the wishes of my daughter's teacher who had specifically instructed my daughter to see Atsaras during the Tshechu. Alright, it was an opportunity to expose my brand new Sersho Gho my mother in-law had woven me some years ago. So we went to Tshechu all dressed well. Tendrel Thang was already packed when we reached there. Slowly we moved north and managed to settle on a grassy lawn. From there, we watched Cham and dances, Atsaras and tourists and, monks and ladies. Munching Domas one after another I let my daughter watch abnormal acts of Atsaras. My daughter soon realized what Atsara was as she laughed and screamed at them often. With Doma from the top and wet grounds from below, my stomach was gradually grumbling. Seeing my daughter's happiness I wanted to stay bit longer but my stomach was only getting louder and severe. So I asked my daughter, did you see Atsara? "Yes" she said. Shall we go back home now? She smiled and didn't want to say anything. I think we should go back home now because the sun is too strong here, I negotiated with my family members. Oh! its pushing hard, I have to hurry and with me they have to hurry too. With such terrible thing happening in your stomach its hard to walk fast and to drive a car. You don't really care who passes by. Sorry kids I can't compliment on your brand new toys; sorry ladies I don't have time to stare at the beautiful patterns on your figure or feel the elegance of your footsteps; sorry old people I have no time to pay respect for your age; and, sorry police I cannot wait to follow your rules...I need to hurry. Oh! ho ho! its seriously coming. As soon as we reached our home, I rushed to the restroom and locked myself in. Finally, that terrible thing went out through the toilet pot giving me so much relief. It was like having stepped on to a heaven now. Much relieved I opened the restroom door. My wife was folding her Tego. She asked "Hawaya nan sho?" Enn... that was a Festive Diarrhea! I walked in to our living room to re-hydrate myself with few gulps of water.

"HAPPY THRUEBAB AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Enjoying the kiss of art

I have not been able to update much here on this blog since the close of year 2013. While stories keep on happening I have not been able to live upto my words. That's because I have found out another darling that interests me more than writing - my passion for art. The day I got paired up with it was also the day I stopped reading and when you stop reading, writing doesn't happen too (at least in my case). And, these art and reading-writing are two separate things that doesn't seem to get along well simultaneously. But i got to please both and I hope to return some day. But for now, art of painting is so sweet even to spare a second. Hoping to improve upon my skills through supports from my friends and well wishers I created a facebook page as KinsArt and that's still struggling with about 468 likes and that for me is already enough supports. And with this, I would like to divert you to my facebook page if it may please you...and i wanna continue enjoying the kiss of art till I quench my thirst fully. ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Relationship is a Fragile Thing

Remember, I promised to come back, but sorry I almost forgot that I promised. Here's another story for your reading pleasure...

The Centenary Park at Changlimethang was already swarming with children playing and running while their parents stood appreciatively gazing at them. Penjo, a mid level civil servant walked in with his five year old daughter to catch hold of some fresh air. Among the crowd he faintly caught a glimpse of his childhood friend Karma cheering up a little boy who pushed himself over the slide boldly. A pretty lady on his left cheered along while she murmured words of appreciation on their son's achievement. From the way his friend and wife shared the moment that day, Penjo wished he had such a life too. Well, this is not the first happy family he's been seeing. Wherever he went - be it Norzin Lam or Centenary Farmers' Market and in the parks or at Botanical Garden he saw many happy families - at least to his eyes they seemed perfect.

But on the other hand he thought that until three years ago, others' would have seen his family the same way. A family filled with love and care. At times he painfully missed those moments.

But things can go wrong anytime and relationship is one such fragile thing that comes with a mark "FRAGILE - Handle with Care". And this is one thing Penjo failed to handle with care. 

At first meeting, Penjo's wife seemed a perfect match for him. She was simple, shy and hardworking woman. As their union matured from hours to days; days to months; and months to years they both started finding flaws in each other. His wife would frequently yell at him, frown at him even over a trivial matters. She would scold and shout at him right from the morning at their home and in the public places. And of course,  Penjo isn't any flawless guy. He drank liquor beyond limits. He frequently went out with his colleagues to gamble. He spent more of his time with his friends than with his wife. All these gave his wife enough reasons to behave the way she did until one day Penjo realized his fault and decided to change his behaviour. This brought about few years of peace and calm in their relationship. It was during that time his wife also gave birth to a healthy baby girl. With the improvement in his own behaviour along with the birth of their first child, Penjo only hoped their relationship to get better and better. But there are certain things in life which are beyond our control. Often things do not work out the way we want them to be. So is with the drama of his wife - she doesn't change. He would often go to the office totally pissed off. Sometimes, he was seen off with her scolding on his long distance journeys. Their problem was only increasing.

A problem without any solution becomes a perennial problem. It is such perennial problem which inflicts mental distress that ultimately opens up door to many other unforeseen consequences. Penjo was gradually losing his patience. At one point of time he even thought of giving up his life. But every time he thought of giving up his life the thought of his new born child held him back. One day he even posted SMS to her saying, "I would rather prefer a gulp of potion from you than those regular doses of your disgruntlement." Despite so much of his effort their relationship never improved. And he could only think of one solution to this problem - a separation. So they separated. Penjo continued as single parent while his wife returned to her parents in the village.

"Apa, when is Ama coming back?" his five year old daughter pleaded.
"Oh! yes, your Ama is away with an important work, she should be coming in another few months time." So he had to lie to his innocent child. So this is it, when things don't go right best thing we can do is pretend that everything is fine.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Few tips for preparing canvas for your oil painting

"Necessity is the mother of invention" and this is my recent discovery or perhaps other artists already know or use it. Just in case you don't know, I thought I'll share my experiences here.
After five years of rigorous labour into practicing drawings and paintings using pencils and water colour, I felt an urge to try out oil-painting (in the last few months). Since then, I have been desperately looking for a canvas to try out my passion. I visited shops in Thimphu and could not find one. I searched Gelephu town and nearby places - nil. I asked one of my friends to search Jaigoan if he could find me few meters from there. No, he could not get it from there too. He said there are canvas boards of smaller sizes only, but what I require is a larger size - I really want to upscale my painting works.

But I found out my ways to get there! It's bit tedious but comes out much cheaper and at your convenience.

1. I visited a cloth store and bought three meters of thick white cotton cloth @ Nu. 350/- per meter.
2. I bought a can of Shalimar white Primer from one of the hardware stores along with brushes and thiner.
3. I bought few wooden bids from the saw-mill.
4. Made frames using wooden bids according to the desired size of painting I want to work on.
5. Once wooden frame is ready, I cut out the cloth as per the size of wooden frame.
6. Now I stretched out cloth piece over the frame tightly using stapler (for soft wood stapler does just fine but in case wooden frame is of hard wood we may have to look for stronger pins).
7. Once its stretched uniformly, I painted white primer over it. I guess most Thanka painters use this method these days. Since oil-painting requires slightly thicker canvas, I chose to give it a second coat and let it dry. As per the instructions on the can, primer requires about 24 hours to fully dry, but if you can let it dry for slightly longer nothing like it.

I have my canvas ready now. I will let you know about what I painted on those home-made canvases in the times to come. Till then stay tuned :)


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10,000 Hour-rule inspiration

One day, my brother brought me a book "Outliers - The story of success" by Malcolm Gladwell. I do not really take interest in reading books but I do flip through few pages just to get the feel of what its all about. During one of those flipping through that book, the author has convincingly brought about case studies suggesting that 'to master any skills, one need to undergo minimum of 10,000 hours of constant practice.' Since then I've been rigorously pursuing my artistic dreams. Mastery of it is way far to be achieved but I only see improvement with every art I complete. I suggest you should try it out as well.

Well, this is not the first time my brother has inspired me. The first time he inspired me was when I received Runners-up prize (a transistor radio and cash of Nu.320/-) for poster competition organized by the RSPN in 1987 wherein as a token of appreciation and encouragement he bought me a set of water colour and paint brushes. He is responsible for keeping me engaged with this wonderful hobby. Thank you Bro.

Some of my recent works include...
  
Water color art of Chumphu Lhakhang, Paro
My own caricature
An illustration for my own short story - The story of Mirgola
Hope you enjoy going through my works. For more please visit and like my facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/Kindraws?ref=hl  ... :D           
ENJOY!