Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Chosen Son

When I was a little girl, my Grandmother used to tell me stories of Great Kings, their noble deeds, and the battles that they fought to protect our Kingdom.  My grandmother filled my childhood with stories I still remember, and one such story is about a King “Gyalchen Drimey Kundhen” – which I will tell you all today.
It is the story of a father who was blessed with many sons and daughters, wealth, and precious ‘Norbus’ that held magical powers. The most special Norbu was Gyeldhun Puenjom- an all wish fulfilling jewel.  The father believed in his children and nurtured them so that they would become great person some day.  He provided everything possible that they could have wished for, but he was still not satisfied. So one day, he decided to give his children a precious ‘norbu’. A sense of fear overcame him, as he knew of the powers that he would be granting his children, and the responsibilities that would come with it.  He did not give his children the most precious norbu as he felt that they had not come of age.  He kept giving them some of the smaller Norbus that could grant a few wishes.  After seeing his children grow into responsible adults, without facing difficulties in handling the precious norbus, he decided to give them the bigger Norbus, which would grant them greater wishes.  Then one day the father chose his wise and capable son to guide his brothers and sisters with the last and most precious Norbu ‘Gyeldhun Puenjom’. 
The chosen son was given all the necessary education and training from highly learned people inside and outside the country. In time, the chosen son showed unimaginable progress in his capability to guide his brothers and sisters. His undoubted capabilities were not only recognized within the country, but far across the oceans and around the globe. He earned the respect and love from people of all ages, status, and race.
The father’s decision had prepared his children to be ready to hold the most precious Norbu “Gyeldhun Puenjom”.  The father announced that the time had come for him to hand over the most precious gift to his children.  The precious norbus were handed down to him by his ancestors who had fought bravely, and worked tirelessly to bring good from a gift so great.  For years the father had provided endlessly for the wellbeing of his children and he had shown them the true lessons on selflessness, compassion, and true happiness.  The children felt that there could be no one better suited to hold the precious norbu, and that he should keep it in safe-keeping a bit longer.  However, the father had already decided that the time had come, and his children were ready to work together to protect the norbu from harm, and to make the right choices. 
This story is true in Bhutan where we have such a father who has always wanted our wishes to be fulfilled, and he has now handed over to a chosen son.
That chosen son was born to Bhutan on the 21st of February 1980.  His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the torchbearer who brightens the darkest of days and guides our people through the darkness.  His Majesty was granted the Norbu by his father, His Majesty the 4th king Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who worked with selfless compassion and generosity despite the hardships and troubles that he faced to hand over a safe, secure, peaceful, and happy nation to the Bhutanese people.  His Majesty is our father, and he protected us from harm, he gave us Gross National Happiness, decentralization to prepare us for democracy, and the Constitution.  Like the selfless King Gyalchen Drimey Kundhen, who sacrificed his own children and his own body for his people, our Fourth King sacrificed his powers to his people.  
In 2005, when His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo stepped down from the throne, His Majesty had full confidence in the young and dynamic then Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.  Despite his young age, our Fifth King has always put duty over self, and has shown us his passion, love for the country and people, and his vision for a greater Bhutan

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Memorable trip cum picnic to Punakha

Travel gives me the opportunity to walk through the sectors of cities where one can clearly see the passage of time. So we the TPS (Trongsa Poenlop Scholar) family stepped out a memorable trip to Punakha. It was a wonderful trip that I ever had in my life. Indeed it was a trip organized by the Gyelpoi Zimpoen office, Thimphu.

TPS at Dochola......
We took off our journey at 3:30 pm from Thimphu on the 27th of December with Dasho Zimpoen and an officer from the zimpoen office. As we are of huge number we occupied two buses of Etho Meto Tours and Treks Company. When I looked at my friends, all seems so excited and everyone flashes a set of perfect teeth with the atmosphere of laugher and gesture. On the way we had a photo session at Dochola around half an hour. All were so delighted to see the bountiful forest views and beautiful snow capped mountain views from that peak. Though the wind was chilly and the weather was cold, still we felt warm as our hearts are warmed with the feeling of joyous and excitement. So the time passes in the flick of second, as we know that the time is too short for those who enjoy and too long for those who waits.
Right:Outer view of De-Sung Hostel.
Left:Inner view of De-Sung Hostel.
We spent the wonderful night of 27th December at De-Sung Hostel, Wangdue Phodrang. We made our stay there fruitful and incredible one with an interesting program of camp fire.  We had group dances, solo songs and finally with Antakshri(The game of the ending letter). We really had fun and had great time there.

Top: Ladies in group.
Bottom: Gents sweating for pleasure.
On 28th December, we headed towards Punakha. We are escorted by one of the lopen to tour around entire dzong. That lopen was there not only to escort us but to guide us with the explanation about Punakha dzong. There we also had a photo session to capture the beautiful views of the dzong from every direction as we like. After that we proceeded to our picnic spot at Zomling Thang, Punakha. So we were there at the spot, ladies in their own world basking in the sun, chit chating and teasing each other as usual. While the gents were enjoying futsal, rushing for the ball and sweating for pleasure. So the time for lunch appeared and lunch also arrived at zomling Thang from Kinga hotel of Punakha. Then we had lunch and to engrave the long lasting memory, we took a shot snap there.
Final snap at our picnic spot.
Finally, we were on our way back to Thimphu. So contented and happily back to our destiny by 28th evening. That was an incredible and memorable trip so far in my life. I wish such moment could be frozen to last forever. 
Top: Two coordinators with Dasho...
Bottom: Two ladies with Leki Sir....

Friday, September 30, 2011

“If you can’t convince someone, confuse them!”

Do any one remember this stanza from our text? I am certain that most of the Bhutanese guys must have come across this text.
Rang-Lay Chea Pa Jur Pa Ne. 
Jig-Ten De-Nang Med-Zhen Dhu.
Rang Gi Koen Yoen Ma Sam Na.
Due Dro Nam Dang Khepar Chi?
Everyone of us must have tough time in memorizing and reciting it in front of our teacher. I am confident that some might have punished by one's teacher. Haven't you? Same thing happened with one of my friend's teacher as she narrates a story of her teacher. Who finds dzongkha as the most toughest subject but he was clever enough to convince his teacher in one or the other way. As he was lacking behind in that particular subject, his teacher keep an eye on him and he became the target of his dzongkha lopen. As usual the teacher entered the class and done with the exchange of greetings. The teacher reminds about the homework that was assigned. So they were assigned to memorize the above stanza and recite to the class. As he was the target, the lopen approached him and asked him to recite. He stand up confidently and recited as follow:
Rang-Gi Chea Pi Juta Na. 
Jig-Ten De Na Om Sok Mi.
Rang-Gi Kam De Ma Chu Na. 
Nam Mi Sa Mi Drem Nam Mey.
Here he followed the law which says "If you can't convince someone, confuse them!" So the smart teacher of my friend confused his teacher in that way.
P.S: Story narrated by my friend Kuenzang.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Thrue Bab" The beginning of all those auspicious festivals of the year.

Happy TPS Family during Blessed Rainy Day.

Approaching of an auspicious occasion, so called Day Blessed Rainy brings the relief in people’s heart. It lightens the heavy burdens of people as it transforms the greenery summer with hectic works to the yellow glory of autumn with lightened works. Though the rich greenery of the grasses and plants beautifies the nature and summer seems the picturesque but people, especially the farmers hate the works come up with that season. So with the dawn of autumn the numerous festivals lined up and the people developed a festive mood from that occasion. The fruits of their hard works are almost ripen and at the verge to harvest. Not very far from that season pleasant months of winter appeared, where people are blessed with plenty of leisure times and relaxation. Where the numerous of family gathering festivals like Nilo (winter Solstice), Locho( Annual ritual) and finally Losar( Bhutanese New Year) are in queue. Thrue Bab (Blessed Rainy Day) is the beginning of all those auspicious festivals. According to Bhutanese beliefs if we start the first one in better way, the following one will go in that way. So this is the way I celebrated my first and foremost festival of the year.
Dinner Time, all busy at battle field.
On the evening of 22nd September, I called all my relatives and wished them a “Happy Thrue Bab” and then I started with the preparation of delicious Thup(porridge) to make myself feel homely here. Though I am out of my country, I still brought the age old tradition with me. In Bhutan the “Thup” shows it’s reappearance in the menu from that occasion and Losar is the last time to see delicious “Thup” in menu.
On the 23rd of September, as we the Bhutanese people believe that taking bath in the early morning of that day cleansed the sins and defilements accumulated as a result of bad deeds. So I got up early in the morning and took a cleansing bath. Then I and my roommate invited two of our friends for thup and we had a great starting session. Towards the day, I wish to have free day but being in foreign country where no one recognize this auspicious day. So I had a hectic usual class for whole day. Still I am in the mood to celebrate. So as I wish, there was gathering of TPS( Trongsa Poenlop Family).
My Friends busy serving dinner......
The gathering was mainly to celebrate Blessed Rainy Day cum “Farewell Dinner” for 3rd batch master students who will be completing soon. This time the 2nd batch students organized the dinner. The dinner was delicious with fried chicken, pork curry, mushroom curry and sea weed soup. They even arranged the drinks both hard and soft drinks. Usually we restricted from hard drinks during our gatherings but this time we free to take any kind of drinks as the day was very special occasion for we the Bhutanese. So we end the day with dances and finally with Tashi Labay (well-wish dance which we performed at the end of special occasion). It was almost 11pm when we disperse. That was the best Thrue Bab ever in Bangkok. That made my day bright and homely. So it is in our own hand to make the day bright or dull. Therefore always make it bright, have fun and make the day fruitful one.
Happy family

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our bit of Contribution to our Mother nature

Thai friends
A couple of days ago the students of Rangsit University joint the “Reforestation Program” organized by the Thai government, which reminds me of social Forestry Day that was celebrated widely across all schools and institutions in Bhutan since 1985. Thus, Social Forestry Day is more than just an event  for planting tree saplings. It is a moment to remind ourselves and reflect upon our own inevitable reliance on the natural environment and what it has to offer to the survival of many living beings including ourselves. This day also aims to provide opportunities for people to learn how forest can be protected, managed and used sustainably for many purposes. The day has been set aside to promote education and awareness of the importance of forests and the benefits of planting trees.I used to participate in such program annually since I was in Junior High school. I really enjoyed during that day, Social Forestry Day as I like planting trees and gardening. I still love planting trees if I am given the chance. So such chance knocked me even here, I got notification for the volunteer for tree plantation at Nakhon Ratchasima Province. With keen interest, I with some Bhutanese friends volunteered to join there.
Right:At Project, Left: Thais in action in Bus
On the 4th of September, we the interested Bhutanese students volunteered to join in that interesting and valuable program with our Thai fellow mates. Number of Bhutanese participating in that program was just 10 of us out of 80 plus Bhutanese students, but with huge number of Thais made our day fruitful one. We started our journey by 7:30 am from my University to the site of plantation which was in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, 200 km away from my college. On the way we visited a pumped storage project, Lam Ta Khong in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand.Before we tour around that project we were gathered in the conference hall for briefing. At the entrance some crew members of that project were waiting for us with a shirt, a cap and a helmet for the safety while visiting through tunnel there.  After short briefing, we visited the Pumped storage project with the staff guides and after that we are provided with snacks. And then some men from that Project lead us to the site of Plantation which is located some kilometers away from that Project.

Plants a hope
Really had fun even in the bus while travelling as our Thai fellow mates, started with karaoke and dancing in the bus. Frankly saying that it was more like noise than music as all the songs they sang was in Thai but I enjoyed that moment with their funny acting and funny songs. They were making fun of each other and some teachers also join the students for karaoke and acting really funny at the back seat of bus. So that makes our journey interesting and joyous one. By noon we were there at the site of plantation. We had lunch and after lunch, they provided us with at least five saplings for each student. We were assigned to plant the saplings in the ready made holes. That afternoon we planted more than 500 saplings.  As the hole was already dug, it was an easy job to do. So we finished around 7 to 10 tree saplings each.
On the way back to my University we have visited a Temple, and had great time at local market. As girls like shopping, we did some shopping and finally at 9:0 pm we were back to our University. With all those events like tree plantation, visiting new places and shopping makes our trip wonderful one.  We are looking forward for such kind of trips in future too. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun Time with nightingales of Bhutan

My Fav, Singer Jigme Nidup(in green) at dinner
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wing to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm to one’s life. Music is also one of the elements of the song which includes melody, chords, and lyrics. When we create a melody, a chord progression (a series of chords), and lyrics that all go together with the sweet and soothing voice of the singers, to form a song. The melodic voices of the singers add up more charm and gaiety to the song that we are listening to. Every individual has their own choice of songs and singers. So I do have my own choice of singers and songs. I am deeply in love with Mr. Jigme Nidup and Mrs. Pema Lhams’ touchy and incredible voice. Their sweet voice really touched my heart and brings me happiness as I listened to it. No matter what song they sing, they really dragged me into their songs. No doubt that it was my wish to meet them in my life at least for once. Unexpectedly last week, a group of singers from Bhutan arrived here in my University to record the songs for Royal Wedding indeed it was good news for me. A huge group of people consists of some music artists and famous singers of Bhutan. Back in Bhutan they were very famous and an ordinary person like me lack opportunity to meet them, how crazy I am over their voice but it was extremely fortunate to have them here. I am so delighted to see them, chat with them, and invite them to my place for dinner.
With my fav. Singer Pema Lham at her room.
Moreover on the night of 29th Aug, We the “Trongsa Poenlop Scholars” organized a simple dinner for them and I had the great privilege to meet them, interact with them and listen to their songs live. With their presence remarked that day as “most memorable day” for me. They sang a song as requested by we the fans over here. I was so glad to hear my favorite song from my best singer. The title of the song that I liked is “Sem Gawi Tasha” by Jigme Nidup. I really enjoyed that get-together. That would be the most joyous get-together ever.
Then finally, on the night of 30th Aug, my friend and I dropped by to see off them but again we started with our chit chat. So till late night we had been there at the apartment of male singers and then back to lady singer’s room till their departure at 3:0 am of 31st August. Hope they enjoyed their stay here. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Fat free Suja" is possible.......

Krematop Suja

As long as I know most of the Bhutanese people were addicted to “Suja” (butter tea). I too love it and really enjoyed it when I was back at home but for more than a year I have survive without suja as I am away from home. It seems unhealthy as it contains high calories of fat but most of the people don’t care about their health.  After knowing that high deposition of fat in our body is not good, still people hardly give up drinking suja. It is harm full for the people of high blood pressure. So doctors’ advice such patients to reduce the consumption of butter and salt but some are addicted to such tea. I am sure some people won’t be able to quit it easily.  Fortunately few months back one of my friends came up with an idea of fat free suja. So I am here with fat free Suja as a substitution for Suja. It sounds weird and one may think that it would be tasteless but I would say it is delicious. In term of taste it comes to the same level of real Suja.  I had been enjoying it last few months and still continuing with it. Those are the main ingredients: krematop milk powder, tea leave (homemade), and salt.
Procedures are almost the same as real suja. Just the difference is to add krematop milk powder instead of butter. If such milk powder is available at your place please try it yourself. I am sure you will enjoy the flavor of this fat free suja. Or you can drop by to have this delicious tea at my place in future. I will prepare it for you.
 Those are the ingredients:

Tea Leave

PS: If anyone of your family member is high BP patient but addicted to Suja, share this and let them try it. They will surely enjoy it.