Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 2011 Sketches

My niece 
Yenten Tshomo...my sister in-law
Nawang after finishing touch

My wife

My nephew Ngawang

My best friend and wife...awaits my final touches

Sketch of my friend. She saw my art work on facebook and wanted me to do one for her. She sent me two photo references and I chose this. Tried out photo realistic sketch and it came out nice although it still lacks perspective and expressions. With practice and time will I gain over these two important aspects of the art?

Once a DLGian

Friday, December 16, 2011

Long Live our Kings

Since tomorrow, the 17th December, 2011 marks a big day for us as citizens of Bhutan I could not think of anything else then to pay a tribute to our forefathers and our Kings, under whose guidance and dynamic leadership we have continued to enjoy peace and prosperity. A short poem (I don't know if it would qualify) below is therefore my way of joining rest of my fellowmen to mark this day.

Long Live our Kings

Behold there!
The flutters of saffron
In the turquoise sky, that adorn.
Installed by our forefathers –
To withstand all weathers
An icon of unity –
Rendering continued peace and prosperity.
Since five score and four years ago,
When Dharmic torch was handed down,
Our able and dynamic Monarchs firmly held it so;
With glory and renown,
The light of unprecedented peace and harmony ever glow;
Long live our Kings, under whose feet I pledge to remain
A humble subject, and with loyalty and dedication I bow.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

She has to learn anyhow

As I stooped down to untie my shoe lace, “Apa…Apa, tha godcho ley,” (Father look here in Sharchop language) Dechog, my elder daughter blocked my sight placing a piece of paper with scribbles on it. I didn’t care. I removed my shoes and carefully placed them in our newly bought shoe rack. My daughter disappeared in a moment.

Usually after the monotonous office hours, nothing interests me than a quiet and peaceful rest for a while. I took over a corner, picked up the remote control and browsed through TV programs. Except for those regular Hindi serials there weren’t any interesting programs to watch.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some more sketches from my old collection

This is new...still working on it.

From my 2009 works

Taktshang from my 2009 works

Tried out charcoal...from my 2009 works

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Kukpa in me

“Every word you utter is as sharp as a double edged sword,” remarked one of my friends some years ago. I also remember, my wife once telling me that I become rude and rogue when drunk. I was least bothered then, partly because frequent alcoholic intoxications left no room for my mind to reflect upon it.

When I was a teenager, I remember my uncle shouting at me “Wai Kukpa (dumb)! Don’t you have a reply?” and then he’d clarify to other person, “Unlike his brother, he doesn’t speak much.” My mother would often worry how I would be able to get along with my life being a talk-less type. And whenever, I hear people say “Kukpa” to me, I would politely say in my mind, “I’ll when I’m required to speak.” Repeatedly hearing this word has only muted me further and I wouldn’t dare to utter a word be it in family gatherings or any other social gatherings. But then, being a silent boy I was loved and admired by my teachers and friends during my youthful days. I could feel their trust and confidence in me although at times some must have even taken me for a reserved kind of person. When few words came out from my mouth, it was always served politely. I used to fall under goodies list of most of my teachers then. My teachers wouldn’t believe even if someone reported badly against me. That was me those days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Triple Five...Continued.

I could have been one of the dullest pupils for I was promoted to class five with just “CP”, meaning Considered Pass. I got chance to continue my study any way.

It was in 1987; I was in class five, section-B. Yeshi Sir, a new teacher in the school was my class teacher. He taught us English. He was a voracious reader himself and would narrate lots of stories from his readings to us in the class. Of all the stories I heard from him, I’ll never forget the one – about Gasa Lamai Singye. Around that time my class teacher got entangled in love with a woman from the nearby village and this was one reason what motivated him to narrate such a great love story in the class that took almost a month to end. And when it ended, he announced his marriage with that village woman.

Yeshi Sir was a great teacher. He would always keep us busy – make us read books, draw and paint, and go through games and activities that helped us build our learning capability.
One morning, he walked in late to the class. As he entered, his hands were loaded with chart papers, bundles of paint brushes and pencils, and packets of water colours and crayons. He carefully placed these materials on his table and announced, “My dear boys and girls, today there is an announcement in the Kuensel newspaper about an art competition on nature. Therefore, we shall do drawings and paintings in the class and best entries shall be sent for the competition.”

Monday, November 28, 2011

On loosing a virginity

One Friday evening, I was on my way home after attending to my students’ queries on reproductive systems in the class. A chapter on reproductive system always kept me awake when I was myself a student. Today’s students’ are no different; I had lots of questions from my students, which had me extended hours of teaching that evening.

It was a pleasant summer evening. Walking past football field towards my home located on a hilltop always reminded me of my days here in Monggar High School, twenty years ago. The corner where Rinzin, Sherub and I used to spend Saturday nights over a bottle of ara still had thick bushy grasses. I could imagine the trio sitting and gossiping under the influence of ara while the full moon cruised silently in the clouds above.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Embroidery is yet another form of Art

I always love to choose the toughest subject and land up not completing it. Here is one such work of mine.

When I was little boy, I saw one of my uncles play with thread and needles and come up with beautiful intricate designs of flowers and objects. It's nothing but an art of embroidery, that we call it "Tshemdu" in our language. I tried out a dragon - one of the most sought after subjects of artists in our part of the world.
This Tshemdru was initiated long time back on my old and unusable "Gong". It got my finishing touch very recently.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My first journey to School...Contd.

Once in a while, in a life time, everyone tend to lose their way often travelling all alone. This is the time when one gets an opportunity to exercise one’s own reasoning – the power of intuition that everyone is bestowed upon with. Life otherwise would be dull, had there not been any jigsaw puzzles that puts our intuitions to test. And my intuition brought me back to the bosom of my loving mother.

Hours of gradual descent along thick chirpine forests took us to a stream – Tsharzam Chhu that ultimately joined the roaring bubbles of Kuri Chhu few meters below our foot path. With scorching sun above our head it was already time for lunch.
As we approached the stream, “Boys come along with me, we’ll go and fetch some firewood,” Aku Tshering lead us to the confluence. Other members proceeded through the path to prepare the halt place. The river banks weren’t in dearth of such woods. It had woods piled in a hay-wire fashion. To grab a bundle each had not been a problem for us.
On our return, my eyes caught hold of a young plant by the side of the river bank drooping with heavy fruits on it. It was an Amla tree. On a long journey, Amla serves a dual purpose of quenching thirst as well as hunger. No wonder Amla is one of the prized ingredients in traditional medicines since time immemorial.
“It’s ripe. Let me take some for the group to munch before our lunch gets cooked,” and I pulled out a branch, plucked a handful and slid them into my gho. Before I could collect enough of it my friends were all gone.
“Which way did they go?” I wondered. With my ears troubled with constant loud noise of rapids, tracing the sound of their footsteps or conversations had not been possible.
There was a path leading up and I took that with bundle of woods in my arms.
I climbed up and up. There was no sign of any halt place or the group.
“A little more up and you are there,” I assured myself.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Laughter isn't always a best medicine

On Tuesday, the 2nd August, 2011 I underwent Laparoscopic cholecystectomy - a surgical procedure in which the gallbladder is removed by laparoscopic techniques. It is supposed to be minimally invasive surgery with small incisions but it is not without pains. My wounds require few more days to heal, so I was taking rest at home. I was recovering well. Lying on the bed in supine position for long hours had been quite tiresome and boring. Fortunately, yesterday was Saturday and there was popular Druk Super Star programme going on from 2:00 pm. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thank You Doctor

I had a mole on my nose - large enough, that my own eyes could see it. I had it since my childhood days and it’s a kind of my birth mark too. I remember it was small when I was young, but with my growth it also started to expand almost deforming my otherwise a beautiful nose.

People say, moles are normally associated with good luck and my mother would never budge herself from this contention. But my mole had me more bad lucks than good lucks. I’m sure most of my friends, bosses, peers and subordinates would have had their own versions of my personality printed in their minds, although only few people dared to speak to me upfront. Some (particularly strangers) must have surely taken it for a housefly at their first sight. During my youthful age, some girls might have even turned away depressed after seeing this awful mark on my nose. Or they might have never cared about it at all, but this was how I used to feel – a constant depression and hopelessness. Amidst all these negative thoughts, there was one person who liked my mole – he was then the Assistant Principal of Sherubtse College. He said, “You’ve a beautiful mole on the nose.” This did not impress me for I knew what he actually meant.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Will stringent law of the government wash off stains of nicotine from me?

“Police ki tshungni buni bu drikpey la, onu zancho la kam,” my wife frowned at me furiously. Well, this is not the first time I’m experiencing her disapprovals. I’m more or less quite used to such frowns of her and every time I kept it aside turning my deaf ear. But that day, it was different. Her remarks really got into my spines making me go numb and speechless, not because I’m afraid of either police or going to prison, but because I’ve a mission to accomplish and definitely not to waste rest of my life behind bars.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


“…and in the second place, we have Thubten,” announced our class teacher on December 18, 1989. The atmosphere of school football ground was filled with continuous applause from teachers and students. 
Timid and shy, I rose from the line and slowly cleared my gho from any dusts it might have collected from the ground and walked up carefully to the front. 

“You’ve done well this time. Tashi Delek,” said my teacher as he handed me my mark sheet and a bundle of books as the prize. I received them and returned to my seat. On my way, one of my class-mates murmured, “Holding positions isn’t a big deal, particularly after reading in the same class for last three years.” My classmate Ugyen envied my achievement. I could sense he probably flunked that year. 

“Yes, there was nothing to feel great about it,” I was beginning to feel as traces of pride bubbled up within me. It served a good dosage to suppress my pride, which otherwise would have further stimulated envy among other friends too. 

“Second position in three years!  It’s not a great achievement,” I further pressed it down.

Yeah! Three years in class five had been one of the rarest things that have ever happened in my life. In three years, I was able to remember some of my favorite chapters from top to bottom with meticulous flow; draw maps of seven continents without any reference and pin-point names of countries, bays, and mountains on it; and, remember some of the mathematical questions along with solutions. I could even remember page numbers of some of the chapters. 

My friend Ugyen was right; flipping the pages of same books for three years would have even topped the class. I couldn’t do that. But these three years in the same class had been crucial for my educational path. My actual learning began from there for I never missed positions thereafter until class ten. 

But, why three years? There are reasons…

                             Year One: Lured by the prize money loses focus on studies
                             Year Two: False Accusation compels change of school
                             Year Three: Fear of Marriage Proposal puts me back to school

"This may sound unusual, but all these happened to me and I see no reason why I shouldn't let others know about my personal saga of my childhood days. If you enjoy, I shall unfold it gradually, provided my laziness do not sway me midway..."
Triple Five continued

Monday, June 13, 2011

Portrait of my brother

Portrait of my brother done using wash technique(water colour). This was done some years ago. He has been instrumental in shaping our (younger siblings) lives. We owe him so much. He deserves all our thanks and gratitude for his love and affection showered upon us.

Series of letters sent to me while you were at Colleges have definitely inspired me to pursue my degree too, and today I've a certificate that earns me my bread and butter. I value your advises for they always help me rejuvenate. You are one of my role models. Thank you, Acho.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Ruins of Nyalazur

Tales of Nyala Duem of Trongsa have been told and retold time and again. It has been heard and read by many, often rendering goose pimples all over the body, while it’s notoriety and wrathful nature makes one extra cautious every time we pass through Nyala Lungma. There were times when demons were active in most places. Therefore, it’s quite uncommon in Bhutan not to find deities and demons residing on every mountain tops and deep down gorges. Where demons ruled, humans were either devoured or compelled to abandon their homes – the ruins of which can be seen even today in some places.

One such ruin can be seen at Nyalazur, a place situated at few hours walk from Banjar village (Tsamang Gewog, Monggar Dzongkhag) to the north. Today, traces of totally dilapidated walls of once a beautiful home of one of the families of that locality can still be seen in the forest. People of that locality believe the Demoness of Nyalazur as the youngest sister of Nyala Duem while Demoness of Nyalamdung (Khoma Gewog) under Lhuentse Dzongkhag is the middle sister of the three demonesses.

The nature of Nyalazur Duem had not been any different from her elder sisters. Travelers were often surprised with her unexpected greetings – if people wore caps, their caps were thrown away; if people wore swords, swords were thrown away; if people rode horses, they were pushed off the saddle suddenly; and on many occasions she devoured people’s lives. Therefore, during those days people dismounted themselves from the horses, removed their caps and swords as they reach that area and travelled silently and in groups.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My daughter

Dechog, my elder daughter playing in the sand. Watercolor painting done from a photograph taken few years back, while at Lhuentse dzongkhag.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An incomplete sketch

This is an incomplete sketch of my younger daughter. It started out well but somehow my laziness barred me from its completion. Even today, I'm not able to get back to it and declare it complete. So waiting for one fine day...that shouldn't be far away.

My unsuccessful artworks

While still a college student one of my friends embarked on compilation of folktales from South and East of Bhutan. I contributed few stories from the East (which comes from those narrated to me by my mother). He wanted me to do illustrations for his stories and I did give in my heart to it. I was then learning to do illustrations that required not just imaginations but clear understanding of the story...while skills were just beginning to emerge. 

The chances of his stories getting published was bleak those days. He tried hard seeking Bhutanese publishers. Meanwhile, I kept focusing on illustrations to his compilation of stories. But our togetherness was to give way to our graduation. Thereafter, he pursued teaching and I joined administrative job that separated us wide apart. We lost contact. 

After few years my friend managed to publish his story book. It has been illustrated by one of his friends - also an artist (whose artworks I admire since college days). Today he is a writer with already few books published and I'm still an aspiring artist. I wish him good luck.

Following are some of my illustrations done for his stories:

Some of my old artworks

Browsing through my shelves, I came across some of my old artworks. All these years my wife had been kind enough to keep it safe. Today, as I look at it, it has it's own story to tell. I hope my visitors would enjoy it.

Tadzong of Trongsa painted in 1998 (a decade ago). As a member of Sherubtse Art Club, I must have been learning to use watercolor. Looking at it after almost a decade, it still appears beautiful and it keeps me encouraging to push further.

Gasa Dzong, also one of my watercolor works from college days. I've never been to Gasa, but it's majestic grandeur kept me captivating.This is why I tried out a painting of it from one of those photographs available those days.

This bird, probably I may have painted from one of the books while at Sherubtse College. I was then a member of Sherubtse Nature Club (Singye Karm) and later served as Secretary to that Club. Bird watching used to be one of the main activities of the club then.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Midnight phone calls

Do you get any phone calls at midnight? Well I did get couple of times. That also in the middle of the night. I never fancied anyone's girl/women, or, I never had any extra-marital affairs, or, I do not remember to have made enemies in my life. But someone called me several times in the middle of the night about few months back. Every time when I received it, line was cut off immediately. These calls have given me this idea to write a ghost story...

...and this is just the beginning! 

“Deki…Deki! Can you hold this table for me,” Karjey climbed on it to fix the portrait of His Majesty the King on the wall of their large spacious living room in one of the apartments that they hired recently in Thimphu. That was the last thing left to declare them settled that evening. 

Karjey got down the table and diligently pushed it to one corner of the room saying, “Here we shall have our 32 inch Flat TV very soon.” Deki, his wife shyly giggled, “Very soon! It’s easier said than done.”   

Karjey stood staring at the portrait for a long time in akimbo, with his right hand still holding the hammer. He finally sighed, “Hmm…It looks perfect with HM’s portrait in the middle.” But Deki felt incompleteness of the room setting and blurted out, “Either this room is too large or our furnishings are inadequate.” “Cool darling. We’ll have them done, but slowly,” he assured his wife.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Khe Yongbu gives me a hope

People say if child is notoriously active and inquisitive from the moment they learn to speak, they grow up as normally (in fact generally) intelligent and bright individual. So does our old Bhutanese proverb proclaim, “Mi chig wongna chunglay wong; Ta chig wongna tewlay wong” meaning if a person is to grow as responsible human being with all the qualities of a good human, then s/he will exhibit those traits from the childhood itself as is the case with a horse. 

As parent and a father, I often land up observing my child’s development on daily basis. My elder daughter, like any other children is naughty and would not listen to anyone. In fact, she would want to do what we insist her not to do. This allows her mother to yell at her repeatedly (I don’t know how many times…countless!) and father to catch hold of a small whip (particularly designed for that only). This doesn’t help, because she is a child and she wants to learn things by herself as she grows. That’s fine! But one thing she has not been able to impress me and my wife until now. Amidst all these notorious acts of hers, she has never come up asking us how, who, what, when, where and why? Should she ask I’m sure we would find ourselves in an embarrassing situation?

Last weekend, my wife and I bought her new school bag, a pair of shoes and a sun cap. The moment it was presented to her she got so excited to own these new items – she put on her cap, wore new shoes, loaded her bag with books, pencils, water bottle and other accessories and started carrying it. That Sunday evening I was doing a story on “The Real Supermom” as she came near me still carrying her new bag. I ignored her presence. She patted on my right shoulder and said, “Apa…apa! Yongbu,” pointing her finger to a large Khe Yongbu on the plastic matt. Then she said, “Apa why Yongbu is not flying today?” I stared at her for a moment with great excitement that she is now learning to seek answers and replied, “It fell down from the window just now and it’s sick. Please don’t disturb.” She said, “I’ll not disturb but I watch with my eyes namo Apa.” I said okay. She lay on the bed still carrying the bag and fell asleep watching that sick Khe Yongbu on the floor.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pencil sketch of my best friend

My wife: December 2011

We saw each other for the first time in 2001 in the far east of Bhutan. We became good  friends in 2002. And today, we are still a good friend...

She is my Best Friend!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some more from my watercolour collections

Lone temple: A4 Size

Mountains from elsewhere and Lhakhang from somewhere: A4 size

An old Taktshang: A4 size

Sunday, May 1, 2011

24 Hours On: the Real Supermom

Image courtesy: Google Images
“Sleep well my guests and see you tomorrow morning,” wished Aum Penzin as she lit the bunch of bamboo from the furnace. She served us Kharang mixed with white rice and ema datsi for our dinner. She prepared us our bed in her altar room and served us Zimchang – ara to ensure good night’s sleep. But for Aum Penzin, activities kept rolling in one after another and to miss one of them by chance would mean foregoing better days ahead. With her bamboo lighting raised above her head she left to guard her maize fields from wild animals while we laid down in her altar room for a much desired rest.
In the silence of the night, even noise of fleas hovering underneath the blanket is heard distinctly. Fleas kept jumping from my eyes to nose, and to my ears almost making me sing along a popular nursery rhyme – head and shoulder. It wasn’t a nightmare that kept me awake. Fleas all over had been really nasty but something deep inside my heart kept me wandering all night long.
The music of monsoon showers kept playing at a regular interval and “Oie…Ah…ho…ho” noises of people from the surrounding maize fields filled the hell of the dark night. Not a single dog barked and I wandered why people are not using dogs at night. Oh! Yes, Aum Penzin did tell us about the whole of village dogs falling prey to a leopard. My friend, a Surveyor on my left enjoyed sound sleep, probably few cups of Ara that he had must have been in action.
Frequent showers outside and its cool breezes that rushed in through crevices of window shutters kept us cool that hot summer night. “Ah…hooo,” I could hear our host lady shoo away wild animals from time to time.  Fully awake, I let my thoughts wander back to the moment we got in here.
My friend and I made a late start that in the maize field we lost our way as darkness surrounded us. Fully drenched by the drizzles throughout our journey we landed up seeking a nice place to halt for the night. Our quest took us to a large house in the middle of the maize field. The house appeared deserted. We knocked on the door hesitantly. There appeared a young boy, probably around six or seven year old boy, from the dimly lit room. As he opened the door, cloud of smokes gushed out through the door almost choking us.
On the left side of the hearth was a lady, Aum Penzin who was busy preparing dinner. As we stepped in, “We lost our way and we would like to seek your permission for a night halt here,” she, at first ignored while her hands kept busy over her dinner preparation. Probably our presence meant an additional activity on top of her already busy schedule. She managed few eye contacts with her daughter, Yangzom who sat on the other side of the hearth feeding her infant baby and then said, “You are welcome. We have a large house although we might not have anything special to offer you.” With a hope to dry our clothes we sat around the hearth.
Not long after we settled there, “How old is your baby?” I was asking Yangzom, “Where did the father of the baby go?” She just smiled and did not answer. “This is her second child,” Aum Penzin answered from behind, “That boy is also her son. His father left us long ago.” The child on her lap was probably a result of illegitimate relationship that left her handicapped from helping her mother although she tactfully hid her helplessness in that smile. “Had her husband been with us, I would not be in such a chaos,” Aum Penzin expressed her difficulty.
While our conversations went on, “Ahem…Ah..aw” came from one corner of the room. I tried to catch a glimpse of him in the flickering light, when Aum Penzin interrupted, “He is my husband. He has been lying there bedridden for last two years.” But “why?” I started to question, “Why is he not in the hospital?” There was no answer. I looked at my friend. He nodded and said, “Medication would cure him.”
“He has been to all the hospitals – even traditional hospital at Thimphu and tried out all sorts of medicines. Nothing seems to cure him. His medication and treatment has only left us broke with our minimal savings already spent on it,” came in the frustrations of Aum Penzin as two of us sat there filled with guilt over putting-up such a question. After about few seconds Aum Penzin continued, “Nothing would cure him it seems. He is under the spell of someone’s black magic. And only return magical spell would let him free, but to hire a magician is beyond our capacity,” as she lay dinner in front of us.
Thinking these over and over again and sometimes feelings of guilt for troubling this family running through my mind kept me awake whole night while my hands desperately sought fleas underneath the blanket.
At around 5:00 AM, my host lady returned home. I could not resist myself from going to the kitchen only to discover that she is 24 hours “On”. Yes, she was 24 hours on, her cycle of activities kept her on toes. At night she guarded her fields from wild animals. Her day started with breakfast preparation while her daughter could not be of much help with infant baby on her lap. Aum Penzin feeds her husband food and helps him to toilet; she dressed that boy and sends him to school located about a kilometer away; she collects nettle leaves, minces banana trunks, boils them and feed their pig; she collects grasses to feed their ox; she makes a round of her maize field during day time too to ensure crops are safe; she sometimes even manages to go on errands; and in the evening she is near the hearth preparing dinner for the family and by the time she finishes her dinner, it’s already time to go and guard her field from wild animals. Yet she was full of energy and hope in keeping the family spirit alive. Therefore, I would not be wrong even if I call her – the Real Supermom.
My friend joined us in the kitchen and soon breakfast was served. My friend and I handed her Nu. 300.00 each, as we left to the next village – our final destination.

***I wrote this story to pay tribute to my host lady, whose true identity I beg to conceal. While it is based on my real life experiences I may have spiced it up to make it more interesting to its readers. The names of characters have been changed and actual places are not reflected in the story. Therefore, it may as well be considered as a work of fiction.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An awkward see-off

One early morning at the busy bus terminal of Thimphu city, I checked my wallet. My eyes peered through few green notes. My brown wallet made out of an elephant skin was probably under severe recession that time. 

Hmm… If I take out all, my wallet would go hungry the whole day and might continue until next few days when it’s refilled again with fresh notes from my monthly earnings. To see-off someone empty handed is not something that I would like to cherish. I miserly pinched out three of them. By then my sister in-law and her friend got settled on their seats. I looked at them with a grin. Both of them smiled back simultaneously. Two other girls stood on my left. I guess they were friends of my in-law and her friend, probably classmates in the college. The two had come to see them off. They didn’t have much talk to share but were waiting for the bus to take off. None of us dared to introduce each other and not even my sister in-law cared about it. But it was all the more better for me.

I hesitantly stretched my right hand through the window of the bus, “Ya… I do not have much to give, but this should buy you nice lunch on the way.” Her friend straightened her back rendering straight view of my in-law. Both seemed baffled by my poor gesture. After about few seconds, my in-law indicated “No” to it. My hand remained there desperately seeking anyone of them to relieve me off that three old green notes. “Come on don’t let me down!” I spoke to myself and dropped it on their laps. The blood of shame and disappointment rushed through my neck and over to my head. I could feel my head swell as I withdrew my hand. Thereafter, I don’t know if they even cared to pick it up or simply trampled it under their feet. It wasn't appreciated, I know.

Two girls on my left silently noticed all these happen. I did not dare to look directly on their faces but from their chuckles I could make out that they mocked at my modest gesture. This came like oil over a flame and the next thing I wished for was “Oh Driver, take this bus immediately” bringing an end to this awkward see-off.

“Alright! Next time around, don’t ever show such gestures in open,” that was the first thing that came to my mind as I drove back to my home. But as I ruminate more over this incident, it posed more questions than solutions: Where they shy to receive because the amount was too small? Is it because they knew my financial status at that point of time? Was it because they were going home and there was no need for any extra expenses? Or, even worse could be, did they think who is he to show such gesture? Or did they think why should they depend on a person like me? 

Whatever may be the answers to these questions, this incident finds a slot in my memory sheet as one of the most unforgettable and awkward see-offs of my life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I’ve a son

“Rigzin…he has a good name,” said my Acho (elder brother) as he extended his right arm to pinch the cheek of my younger child. “Yes he has,” seconded my sister in-law. I glanced at my wife. She was busy pulling up the stockings of our child. My brother and sister in-law have come at our place to meet us since we haven’t met for the last couple of months. Their conversations made me observe my child’s face once again. I stared on the face of my child not knowing how to clarify them.
“No wai, child is a girl,” not a polite way, I thought, this would only embarrass them.
“No Acho, child is a girl,” sounds decent but this would still put some sort of discomforts in them. I wondered for couple of minutes not knowing how to clarify them.
“Rigzin Yangzom,” I happened to call my child suddenly. It wasn’t my intention to clarify them like that, but it did the job even more awkwardly when my brother got alerted, “Is the child girl? I thought the child is a boy.”
I could see and feel the discomforts spread over his face as he leaned backward over the sofa with a smile. I said, “It’s okay Acho. Everyone calls her Kota at their first sight.” Kota means a boy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God's Will, Our Plights: the thin and the fat

“Aow…I’ve developed partial pressure now,” Dorji a co-worker enters the office.

“I walk every morning and still my weight never seems to shed. Oofs!” settles Dorji in his chair in complete dejection.

He raised his eyes from behind his computer and stared at Dorji as if to say something. He did not speak. Instead he wondered with a slight grin on his face, “Why this fat people are always talking about shedding their weights.” He was increasingly getting frustrated to hear all these weight loss programmes and talks. He saw some of his friends even opt smoking to lean themselves. Some tried out drinking while quite a few went for Doma. All of them did these for a single cause – to reduce extra pounds they had with them. He feels like laughing because he knew that around ninety percent of such efforts have failed. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome Spring

A watercolor painting of a Peach Flower (Close-up study). As Thimphu got adorned with these beautiful flowers I could not resist my strong desire to have them in my collections. So I painted this. Hope you would enjoy the same, like I do.

This is Dochula. I tried this painting from one of my photographs and added a fully bloomed cherry tree in front of this beautiful monument. My idea was to make it look even more beautiful with the rays of sun spreading from the branches and flowers of the cherry tree. But it did not happen. This is what happens, when our skills do not match our ideas. On the whole it came out nice. I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peng…pa Yurung

I’ve tried out a story based on the local belief, “Pengpa Yurung Bo Tshe, Koncho Towa Treto” in Kurmedkha. (Pengpa Yurung is name of a bird. In Dzongkha it’s known as Ser Juru) This belief is commonly shared in the localities of Tsamang region under Monggar dzongkhag. This local belief embodies in itself the prevalence of seasonal poverty in the locality. The bird, Pengpa Yurung sings at a time when seeds have gone to the grounds for next generation of crops. This is the time when farmers would have their granaries gone at its lowest, therefore facing acute shortage of grains until next generation crops fill their granaries to the brim. Now with development initiatives penetrating deeper at the grassroots level, this may no longer be relevant to many farmers but this painful situation had been a farmers’ part of life until mid 1980s or so.

Peng…pa yurung! Peng…pa yurung! a melancholic song of a bird comes from a distant forest as the morning sun hits the roof of Ap Pema’s traditional duplex house. Monsoon is at its peak, with sudden and unexpected showers. “Tik…tik, tik…tik,” last drops from the midnight’s rain dripped down from the edges of their bamboo roofing. Ap Pema was still in his bed lying sideways facing the window with his head rested on his left palm, lost in a deep thought. He wasn’t thinking about his day’s work or any of those sorts. Hearing the song of a bird, and recollecting the words of his elders, his heart ached, as with the songs of this bird tough days awaited him and his family.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My first journey to School

As I watched through the window, the willow tree adjacent to my house was in full bloom. Several bees hovered over it, their buzzing sounds collectively generating music of Dhungchhen blown at a distant place.

A blossom of willow is an alarm for school reopening like rooster is for the day break. It’s time for school children to leave behind their loved ones and head to schools to pursue learning. It was March 1981. In the kitchen Ai Boa (grandma with goiter) was busy cooking food. She was the main cook of the Drongmey family consisting of large joint family of four grandmas and their two generations of offspring. Ai Boa was tall and sturdy. At home she would hardly stay idle. Right after breakfast she would go and fetch firewood from nearby forests, and then water which used to be around half a kilometer away from our house. By the time other members of the family return home she would sit by the side of the oven chanting Mani with her dinner ready to be served. She had a sizable goiter on her neck due to which she earned her name as Ai Boa. We used to be very fond of her. Her presence would mean warmth and happiness in the house.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Snow fall

I tried out a portrait of my daughter in snow fall from a photograph taken at Dochula on 1st January, 2011. My family was going to Gelephu on Chunyip Losar break. That day my small car experienced several skids in the snow. To keep it short, the journey was nerve wrecking - never before experienced such.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Emotional Parting, but for good

I was rolling on my bed helplessly. My friend had long gone leaving behind a dreaded hangover as usual. It could have been around 3 O’clock. On my right was my wife in her deep slumber although our first baby in her womb rendered bit of discomfort that made her moan sometimes. 

How I reached my bed that night? I still don’t remember. Last I remember was holding a glass of Special Courier and chatting with Ata Tashi and other regular mates. I remember, it was in Shangrila Restaurant whose underground dungeon like bar offered a best place for my friends and I to hang out, with latest Bhutanese movie songs at full blast.