Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Noiseless, Patient Spider

A Noiseless, Patient Spider
                                                                  -Walt Whitman

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you, O my soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.


The above poem is one of my favorite poems. The poem is short but it has multi-faceted meanings. The poem describes a spider, which is noiseless, patient and isolated (bother less) and it works on its web. It’s doing the most uncertain part of hard work: trying to shoot out lots of little filaments ceaselessly, patiently and tirelessly, and trying to get one of them to stick to something.  We too ceaselessly muse, venture, and seek all of our lives to achieve the height of enlightenment; trying to find the meaning of life, but we get obstructed, tired, bogged down and bothered so much by the world that surrounds us. We must learn all kinds of super-perseverance from this creepy creature.


This poem is not only about a spider; Whitman tells us that spider is a metaphor for the human soul, which also explores and tries to connect. Whitman describes about the vulnerability of soul in this vast realm of existence. He tries to find ways to accommodate the soul and find a place for it amongst the rest of the soul-filled world, hence the bit about venturing, seeking, and connecting in this measureless ocean of space. With the use of lots of imagery and figure of speech (metaphor), it portrays a deeper human emotion.


The poem is about hard work, exploration, spirituality and the man and the natural world. 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Dzongkha Lopens

One of the weird kind of people that we encounter in our life is our Dzongkha Lopens. They have a typical ways of misbehaving and dealing with people. And they tease girls like anything! And happy would be if female Dzongkha lopens behave such to boys. But i tell you, they are timidly naughty too. Though, looked as the upholder of good ethics and discipliners in the school, they themselves are utterly breaker of all these. Their disorderliness and unruliness are the order of the day. They seem to be acting very strict; smack or beat students but they are not really so; I say this now with regret (I would have climbed on their heads if I had known in my school days). Their personalities can be worst of any humankind sometimes. They sometimes think they are the only people around.

I was disciplined by so many of my Dzongkha Lopens. One Lopen in Pemagatshel Jr. School was known as Lopen Goenpo Lhudrup (nicknamed), as he used to tell us the story of Goenpo Lhudrup every time. The story interested us so much so that we felt almost sleepy in the class. Lopen Goenpo Lhudrup had a habit of drinking and coming to the class. He, in his drunken, sleepy state used to ask us to pluck his beard from his face. The smell of alcohol made us depleted in the class.  We were not as stupid as Goenpo Lhudrup had thought; some of us took out the sharpest pins from our Lhagay and pierced on Lopen’s chin. The Lopen stood up grunting. Tiny blood oozed from his face. Stunned, he would go.

For that whole year, the Lopen didn’t ask the class to pluck his hairs from his face.

Lopens, especially Dzongkah Lopens are heavy drinker. Lopen X in Darla MSS (name withheld) revolves his life around drinks and women. Lopens are usually not good womanizer but indisputably good in drinking. They don’t have a patient to pour sweet talks and wait; they just jump into conclusion with many contacts on forbidden parts of the body. But this Mr. X, once he drinks, he becomes wild. There is no word as shame in his dictionary. He speaks around in whatever he likes. He moves around carefree. He dances on the stage -less stage. He becomes one and he thinks he dominates the world. Such is the height of his sense.

One day, I asked him why he was so desperate that made him to behave like dogs. The respond Mr.X gave was even worse than dog’s barking. It was somewhat like cat’s meowing. “Don’t just catch rats.” He said. I guessed what he really meant to say, it would certainly mean that one should do everything in life. Cat must not sleep hush near the fire and wait for rats. The cat must behave like mouse, like bird, move around the holes. That was absolutely true. Mr. X was right.

With the change of time, our Lopens have changed a great deal. Lopens, who supposedly are responsible and are exponent of Dzongkha language, have become fan of English language. The twists of their mouths and producing different accent make English more popular in school than Dzongkha. I have seen Mr. X communicating and making fun of English accent right from the morning with colleagues. In this way Dzongkha is forgotten by our own Dzongkha Lopens. I remember Lopens translating almost everything in English to make understand the lesson better; and it seems like giving more importance to English.

Our Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC) has done nothing to upgrade Dzongkha. English enthusiast Dzongkha Lopens will one day speak Dzonglish - mixture of dzongkha and english. DDC must promote Dzongkha learning through fun ways. It should let loose of its fixed phonologies, words, grammar, etc, and make easier like English. Our Dzongkha Lopens are sometimes tough on silly little mistakes. It demotivates learners so much. Mr. X has only one particular word for maize as ‘Gayza,’ limiting vocabulary. Why not ‘a:shome?’

Note: The above article is the memories and observation of the author and doesn’t intend to hurt anyone implicitly or explicitly, especially some of our dedicate Lopens.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Atheist Or Pantheist

Our class is supposed to start before two weeks ago, but as many friends are coming late, very late indeed, there was no class for these two weeks. So I have been doing nothing productive in this period. I have been sleeping, watching movies, writing, and downloading notes for the semester. And most of the time, I have been roving and wandering around. But where can I go; everywhere I go, traffic noises dumb and dump me at times. In a place like Majestic, Bangalore, there is nothing as such as majestic in the Majestic, but continuous drone of traffic and noises. Everywhere. Though, malls fascinated to do lots of window shopping.

Majestic is the place away from my place. It is about a distance between Gedu and Phuntsholing. It is the central of all routes; buses, trains and people. Transport facilities are all available here; buses, rikshas/autos, jeeps, cars, and soon metro train is in the pipeline. But of all, bus transportation is very cheap and reliable one, though; it takes more than two or more hours to reach Majestic. The fare is only rs.13 and if you don’t have change and have to give rs.20; there is a possibility that conductor would write balance on the reverse side of the ticket, and if you don’t ask the balance while getting down the bus, they wouldn’t bother to give. That is their business and you know my friend told me every single Indian is a cheater. So be it, if you have loaded pocket.  On the way, because of traffic jams and frequent stops make one to see scene around. And what could be the picture; the pollution and noises of vehicles. There are huge numbers of people everywhere, people walking, people eating, people working; everyone is busy. You would lose in the crowd.

As I walked around, I looked around and thought about the life. Everything is ephemeral and subject to death. The transitory life is moving fast, seemingly purposeful but everything is meaningless. It is empty and as useless as life. Everyone aims to the aimless, hollow things, at last. It looks like everything has great weight and meaning but we are like having no effect to the substantial things. It saddens me and saddens me to think about leaving the world. Where is more cruel life than this? Having seen and known everything and then to go to the unknown world of darkness.

I recite mantras and counts are on to millions. It was said that there is light side after death if the count reaches three or four millions. But note that I never pray for myself, I pray for others; others sentient beings, ignorant like me to bring up close to the heaven. I believe in all religions. People sadly said that I am an atheist or follower of Christian or such types. It’s not good to talk about religion. It’s a personal thing anyway, I have a feeling. My own family accused me when I took very lightly to our religious beliefs, especially the customs and traditions of rituals, offerings and the deep reverences to our some of the fake Lamas and religious people. I told them one day that I hate monks. I have seen and heard monks engaging in deadly and horrific affairs like murder, rape and other misconducts. They know the consequence of sins, and yet they do all these horrific things which are against the cannons and principles of religion. I have encountered a man who knows everything about religion and knows nothing about basic of life; doing good and being good. Deep inside me, I, myself think sometimes that I have a heart of butter!! And heart as good as gold. I have basic human rules in my mind. I have compassion and think good about others. I never engaged in unsocial or hurtful things. I mean good and doesn’t affect any one. I have these two beliefs in my heart; being compassionate and doing good. I have no intention to hurt others through telling lies or working for the benefits of oneself. I don’t like to show. There are outsiders, who act religiously outside and do for the benefits for themselves and don’t bother to care others’ heart. Very hurting man. Very disguise to our religion. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

We Never Say Goodbye

Last time, I parted from my beloved family. My friend told me that it’s always hard to say goodbye. And it really was, but I wonder why there is aching word in English called goodbye, and I don’t feel like to use it and I have never use it also. “We never say goodbye.” I told him. “We don’t have a word for it. I said them only to stay well and see them.” I explained to him.

Truly, as per my dictionary, two major Bhutanese languages; Dzongkha and Sharchop don’t have word called goodbye. We believe in coming back. We believe in reincarnation. ‘We only part to meet again,’ says John Gay.

We have Kuzuzangpo for hello, but this greeting is used regardless of time of day, denoting that Bhutanese believes the time is same and it should remain same throughout the life. There is no good evening, good morning generally in Sharchoph. We have Kadrinchhe for thank you, but we say Lashom bay  joen (if the person is leaving) and Lashom bay shug (if the person is staying) it literary means ‘go nicely’ or ‘stay well’ and it is not equivalent to the word goodbye. And in Sharchop we use Tshingai rumey na which actually means ‘see you in future’ and there is no other equivalent words for goodbye.

So I never say goodbye to my loved ones. I say only Lagpan choina (stay well) believing that we will meet again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Noise Maker

The huge talker is a person who talks so much. And I have heard about it a lot. But I have never encountered it till recently. He is my new Bhutanese friend in Bangalore (name withheld for personal reason). He talks too much, so very too much I think so. Gross indeed. He opens his mouth from the time he wakes up and closes only when he sleeps, given the chance. Good talker is a good listener, we say. But he is not.

I would like to narrate an incident of his unending talks. Once we were walking to buy some vegetables in the market. He went on talking from the door we left... up to the vegetable market. “I was this…that…when I was…I would like to…my life…” Everything about him and his life. Many a times, I shammed to be listening to him. I felt like to run. “Ya, ya.” Is all that I can say. And the return journey was all about vegetables; the shapes of the vegetables, the texture of it, the mixture with it, the cost and his likes. “Ya, ya.” Is all I can say.  

He would talk about his family, his wife, his studies, his and his, everything good about himself. Talking about oneself is not always good, I imagine; it doesn’t interest others but internally knowing oneself is important, most important than others; I push on. I would like to state that he is not an empty vessel, as he sometimes talks the wisest talk than life could offer. Anyway, happy that I have to stay with him for two or three days, not a garrulous future-forever.

The opposite of him is perfectly me. I am non-spoken most of the time. I am tacit, kind of babyish tantrums inside. I listen and can listen as much as I can. But his talks break my nerves, I couldn’t. It reaches the limit, and it seems like barking dog, and now, and I hope I may get fed up listening to others’ talks in future.

The climax of all his talks come in social media Face book. Very recently he has opened his account. He talks with it. He comments on every piece of post and photo. He sent hundreds of request to unknown people and chats with unknown online. I squeak with a big laughter everytime he sent to unknown girls. And surprise it may seem, he gets reply from some and become good friends. And that is how seemingly insane person kicks his talking desire when I don’t make any hush to his talks.

Communication is complete when listener can decode and encode the messages. The exchange of messages or information is effective when it is worth and appreciated. It’s understandable.

The Bad Things of Good Things

“Ask! Ask! If you don’t know. Inquire, if you want to know. Ask Zangpo, why I drink often quite a lot. Zangpo knows all. He sees me as I see. He does what I do. He cares me as nobody else.”

Once upon a time, flowers bloomed. The fruits dunned and dropped before anyone could pick. No one could eat the fruit. Hoped and desperation hung in the empty spaces. Everyone was left alone.

Alone, to me then, and now, I need to survive. How will I survive when I have given part of my heart and life? It takes a long time to mend the life like before, that was so full. My broken heart sinks and cuts like a knife. But why did you do such things; our friendship has been pretentious. Rich friends have rich heart of love, sounds now befuddled to me. I’m retracing now that you have just shown me the duplicity of friendship.

“Birds of same feather flock together,” read it when I was in seven standards. So were Pasang(name changed) and me, who became fast friend in a distant school in the capital. Similarities attract each other. We were silent. We were first time. Ours were innocent parents.

Pasang as I observed as the days began to move was too conservative, hardworking, divinely religious, self-praised, did not drink any kind of liquor and had a best habit of always volunteering to be the class captain or some such like others. In this sense, I was quite different; I was always silent observer, and I sometimes sneaked out silently from the class and drank in melancholy moods.

When the months passed, we were seen and regarded as friend by other fellow mates. So, the chance of having other friends was less. You can’t be friend with all in the school, if you are, you have no true friend. This happens in school life. You can’t be friend every time with all.

Seeds of friendship were planted spontaneously. Our surrounding said so. Hence, we shared to eat, to study together, sometimes in my house and occasionally in his house. I supposed we became true friend then. He was our volunteered captain. We were in different class then. Many mates of his cursed him of being so authoritarian in the class and refused to have him the next month captain. So I guessed he lost the future chance.

Life rolled on. The youth was the age of rupture. Everything ruptured in a wee time.

After two years, we were again in NIE, Samtse as a training mate. He was different then. I had have always considered him as a friend, anywhere, everywhere, whatever I did. But he was quite different. He ignored me simply. I didn’t mind much. When the day passed, he had begun to win respect from elders and lecturers by polishing and volunteering for them. He himself volunteered to be a house counselor in the first year. The story was same; many mates cursed him for being authoritative and using his power wickedly. I always thought he was really a bad leader and counsellorship.

Our friendship became so thin that whenever we met, he talked little or ignored me. The petals of the flowers fell soon. Although, I thought he would help when the need would come. The truth was I was under him, in his house, and it was only me who, he could make me work SUPW in front of his eyes. I didn’t mind it so much.

I remember vividly, the beginning of the death of our friendship and I have to mind this very much, what he did to me that day. He himself, without any reason turned against me completely. It was in the NIE football field. Such a sycophantic person he was to become one of the judges of the football match. I was a ball retriever. He threatened me to be the retriever, if not; he would report to his another sycophant lecturer, and if I refused to do, that would have created enough problems to lose marks. The ball retriever job was to get the ball when it went outside. Half-match over. Resting time was it. I was about to sit on the empty chair nearby him. And what he said was never to be forgotten and forgiven, “Go, don’t sit here ball boy, go there.” He pointed to the sewage drain. It wasn’t his chair, and the ball boy would usually sit sometimes. I remained silent and sat on the muddy smelling tank. It wouldn’t have been so ashamed, if it weren’t for the crowd of girls, who had heard it and were looking at me in an unpleasant way. I had not had any single girl in my life. My face would be on the iron fire if I ever talked with them. The match started. I went to talk with him, but he was damned.

The match got over. Player came for the refreshment. They took out the fruity juice. Juice distributor was about to give me the juice but he came and snatched the juice away from me. Then he turned his back and announced to all the players and judges to drink all juice bottles. I tried reacting to him by saying something in a comical way to make matter light, but he was damned. At that moment, I couldn’t resist, and I was about to hit my best friend. But I controlled. I was really ashamed. What wrong did I do my true friend? I didn’t realize anything of that. Behind the curtain, I thought something was there in his mind that he hated me so much. I questioned to myself that real friend wouldn’t exploit or deride with such things among people.

Now I know, some people are like dry leaves, they fall without any use to his own tree. They fall, move here and there for sometimes, and get blown away, unseen from the mother tree. So are many of our friends.

It was the last thing I would ever see or hear in my life.

I wished for the dearest death! Five years back! The devil minded friend lost his wife. How deep he loved her. She ran into the jungle to be hanged herself.
Few months later, there was a very devastating letter. I didn’t look at with surprised.
“Why anyone didn’t tell me of that. It became clear now, that you, my best friend have kept up spirited throughout these many years. I lost my wife for I was mindless and treated like you, Zangpo. I drink my life now.” There was little satisfaction in my mind that he still remembers those bad days. I replied him, “In life, we remember only bad things; let’s try to forget those bad happenings, and remember good things.” I hoped this small universal lesson would help him.  


Note: The above article is the true story of author’s life, though some details are truncated for brevity of the story.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Being Patience

Within a year in Bangalore, I have learned one thing; to be patience – an ability to wait, most presumably. I have learned that life is not all about me. I have learned to look inwards, not outwards. I have learned to be patience from the impatience people. I have grown up, horizontally and diametrically, probably!

I have a few friends who are impatient, and are arrogant, insensitive, and impulsive which even affect relationships altogether. May be, on the other hand, I am not getting any younger, I tend to resist everything; get angry slower or often never at all, patience to wait, patience to oppose points, and etc. Previously, I was a patient of the patience. I was in emotional upheavals trying to change other before I changed myself. Now I have submitted under patience. Everything changes me, bringing me in order to a circle of the best humanity! I feel I am following one of the principles practices of the Buddha. To have patience is to have respect. I am viewed positively by many friends recently.

I feel the patience can be controlled by letting go any troubles/impatience completely, absolutely, totally; with no feeling but moving forth. If there isn't anything to resolve, just let it go.  It’s possible, and it's the only healthy thing to do. Accepting the twist and turns in life gracefully keeps my dreams realistic. Life is not always a race but the journey to be watched every step on the way. Patience works in terms of anger, nervousness, tension or anxiety.

I have changed the attitude and the way I looked at life. I have always tried to have a positive outlook in life. Being always positive is very imperative as possessing a sense of patience.

Once I was like horrid river, rushing through hills or plans hurriedly, not hinting to any speaker. I was on my own way. My students checked my patience so many times and the result they got black and blue. I vividly remember picking up a log and raining on their backs. I regret now and feel sorry for losing such behaviors and being so crude and wild. Wilder than the hot dogs. Sorry and sorry seems to be the hardest word now.

My child has also tested my real patience. My anger changed into passive observer and did what he liked to do-let it go. I have developed an ability to tolerate and persevere when things got tough within us. I have become little anxious on how to keep calm. And I kept. Thank you my dear son for teaching me forbearance and serenity in life.

My wife has also trimmed me down to a better person; a sort of passionate person is who I have become. Otherwise I used to rant and rave and nag more than many women would have done. Now I am a cool lover of everything.

I can now tolerate many things. I have learned these through many means; patience in anger, patience in sadness, happiness, loneliness, and through every person in my walk of my life. This patience has helped me to endure any tribulation, no matter how long-lasting or difficult. On the other hand it reduces my stress levels and improves my health and wealth, I feel so, and being able to have patience makes me happier. Thinking about the positive effects of patience kills impatient.

So, patience is persistence. It takes time and it takes effort. We are so accustomed to anger that we find the natural state of patience to be quite strange. However, impatience is outside value that we have but patience is an intrinsic value we have in all of us. We can change.

I would like to let loose my patience to write further with this thought from Lao Tzu, “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”