Wednesday, December 29, 2010

puffing away to glory

I have heard people taking oath to quit something but never heard of people taking oath to do something. I have never seen anyone taking oath but I have experienced firsthand – an oath taking ceremony.

I was forced to take an oath, an oath to quit smoking and drinking. I didn’t really know the significance of taking an oath… I still don’t. Yet I had to take the oath (sounds like I was forced. Those who witnessed might not have seen it as a forceful however; I was mentally and literally forced to take it.)

An oath taking ceremony was organized by the Young Buddhist Association. Not many youths came to the oath taking ceremony. It was mostly the elderly people. However all said and done, the ceremony went well.
A very observation though. I saw a father with his sons. He had four with him. What was amazing was that he was introducing them to Garab Rinpochhe and was actually forcing them to take the oath. Very young to argue with their dad, they quietly and very obediently took their oath.  

What I don’t understand is that why are they being forced to take the oath? There is a popular Bhutanese believe that if you break the oath, you will bleed and puke blood to death. If that is true, then does he want his sons to bleed to death, more so, want me to puke blood and die as I was also forced to take the oath?
I remember telling my mother that I don’t want to take the oath and there my mom goes, always being THE mom… “Don’t try to act so smart, be in the line,” she ordered and I embarrassed as many heard her order, stood in the line to take the oath.

As drew near Rinpochhe, I was scared and thought if i will be able to keep the promise not to smoke, drink and do drugs. Rinpochhe asked “which one do you want to quit?” I said “alcohol.” I was given the holy water but after a minute, he asked “do you smoke?” I was so scared, I said “No.” and then he said, the oath is for drinking and smoking then.

I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. Wanted to throw the holy water but my mother was just behind me.  

A trick I did not realizing if it would work or not. I said to myself, “oath to stop alcohol for a month and oath to smoke smoking for an hour,” and I sipped the holy water.

Funny! An hour later, there I was again with a cigarette in between my fingers, puffing away to glory. 

After thinking real hard, i have finally decided to quit it... willingly... after new years...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

few pigs live in peace

For the past 24 years, every time I visited my village for the annual puja, it’s a bad smell that attacks the nostrils to let you know you have reached home.
It’s the smelly pigs and its sty, and the “oink oink” cry.
The annual puja was a regular thing and so was slaughtering. The pigs were raised like children from birth, fed well, only to be slaughtered for the annual puja.
During the regular puja gathering last year, I remember my family gathered on the front porch. We were catching up on the years we haven’t been home.
Suddenly I saw my grandmother covering her ears and chanting prayers. Then I realized what was happening.
Just below our porch, the pig was being slaughtered.
“Grunt, grunt,” the pig cried in pain.
The excitement in my brother’s voice was heard simultaneously.
“Grunt grunt,” went the pig again and finally it fell silent.
The flesh was cut, the waste and uncookable parts were thrown, a bowl was filled with the pig’s intestine (juma). Half the flesh was hung to make shikam.
But now, a religious order not to slaughter pigs for pujas is a welcome move.
A year back, my grandmother, the head of the house, said there would be no killings and we stopped it, however, it didn’t stop the butchers from killing them as we bought the pork for the puja from the shop.
The pig sty in my ancestral house has been empty for the past one year, neither cleaned nor destroyed.
The competition in villages for giving the best meat dish would also decrease with the ban.
 “With the ban, the animals would be excused and the competition in the villages would also be minimal,” said Ap Gyeltshen, a farmer from Punakha. However, another farmer added that bringing in more varieties of vegetable curries would be a challenge.
Bhutanese are not very good in preparing a variety of vegetable dishes. But with the slaughter ban, it would be interesting to see how delicious our puja dishes can become.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

when sex victimizes men

It is always disturbing to read boys being convicted for rape when it is a case of consensual sex. Recently two boys (both 19 years old) were charged for consensual sex with a 17-year-old girl.
According to the law of the land she is a minor, but by nature’s law she is old enough to make decisions and her body is ready for motherhood.
But in the recent case, only the boys were punished for a decision that also involved the consensus of the girl.
The huge inflow of funds into gender programs have increased the number of mike-loving lipstick feminists who have fallen in love with the ‘victim’ word. Their main pastime is to raise the victimhood of women and brand boys as predators.
I totally agree with the law to punish the boys when the girl is under-age.  But I see no reason why it is only the boys who are punished while the girl is free.
Sex is a natural desire, but ‘jail’ is not a natural place to stay.  The humiliation the girl has suffered with the case is also shared by the boys when they are jailed for the most productive time of their life.
In most cases, especially in the rural Bhutan, people do not know of any law about consensual sex.
My question is not about the boys being convicted, but is about having a law whereby a girl found guilty of consensual sex is also convicted, if the law is so adamant about jailing people for making love.  I guess then the law would be equal and justified.
We always talk about discrimination in gender and that there should be no gender discrimination, but there is gender discrimination when it comes to consensual sex.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a 14 year-old Brazilian girl was jailed for ‘consensual sex’ with a 25-year-old Pakistani school bus driver.  The girl was sentenced to six months while the man was sentenced to a year in prison.
Why can’t Bhutan also have a law where the girl is also punished for having consensual sex?
There are early marriages happening in the rural areas. Girls are getting married at the age of 16 and some girls are mothers when they are 17. Do you still think the girls should not be punished?
An aunt of mine who has two sons feels that the law is unfair too. She said “when the girl is agreeing on having sex, I don’t see a point in just punishing the boys.” The girl needs to be equally punished, she said.
Perhaps a law to punish girls may bring down cases of premarital sex and unwanted pregnancies.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PAIN is the only thing that is telling me, I AM STILL ALIVE…

A person with a mole on the stomach is said to be lazy… I disagree… I have a mole on my stomach too… and I was NOT lazy until I heard about my problem. A five minute walk tires me, carrying dinner plates back to the kitchen tires me, talking tires me, taking stress hurts my chest… blah blah blah… the list goes on… yet I could not find a cure to my HEART pain.
When I say I have a heart problem, everyone relates it to love crisis. Sometimes I wish it was some sort of love crisis for there is a cure to that, but HEART PROBLEM… how am I going to live with this problem my whole life.
The pain of pin and needles pinching my whole body, the pain of not being able to take in breaths and the pain of the joints in the body is all the pain I can take for now… have been taking in for the past one year… I fear of the thoughts of pains I might have to endure in the future… the pains that might make me want to give up on life…
However, nothing I could do to reduce it. Pretending it to be a chocolate, medicines on time has become my daily life and weighing myself has now become a compulsion for me… a little increase in my weight would bother me for doctors say “weight is not good for heart.”
Talking about weighing myself, I still see the images of me swelling like a balloon. Today I am I 45kgs and the very next day, I am 59 kg. I couldn’t sleep, walk nor could I sit. “Are you pregnant?” asked few people I know. … Doctors say my swelling is due to the pressure my heart is unable handle. And because of that pumping becomes difficult which results to the accumulation of water in the body. My body’s incapability of relieving it thus results in swelling. My weight would increase from 45 kg to 59 kg over a night and taking ‘Dytor’- a medicine prescribed by doctors- my weight however, would come down to 45kg… AGAIN……
How long now!!!!                                                                                                              
How many sweet more years to LIVE… till….

Friday, February 5, 2010

COUNTDOWN begins.......

Never have I seen such hustle and bustle. It has been for the past few weeks where Business Bhutan (BB) people are running around dashing, nearly kissing, hitting each other and on verge of coming to blows(you guys know who i am talking about*wink*).

Sonam Pelden back in office after orientation with her loud voice disturbing everyone just to spend time with the staff and Barun of course, Tshering Dorji and Phurba always stuck to their chairs, Yeega with her sore bumps running around, helping either CEO sir with the invitations or me with stupid stuffs, Sara going out for interviews but always coming back empty handed or still waiting for quotes, Tshering Eden trying to finish what was assigned to her and how can I forget the notorious of all, Jathu with his smartass face running around disturbing everyone.
Yeega and I were titled as “rebels” for having done the talking for everyone. Salary! Salary we shouted but at the end we were the rebels *laughing*

Sir Tshering, CEO, always seen running around the office for some reason. ‘Smoking’ he does not, but he is always seen in the smoking room trying to make everyone at ease.

Serious face and deadly of all, Aby started smoking and chewing doma just to relief himself from stress and Ata Tashi doing things to extreme – chewing doma, smoking and taking sugar.

Taking a break from their busy and hectic schedules, Renuka and kuenzang, both from marketing section come to the smoking room and puff cigarettes.

Jathu, the lama of BB names Sara as ‘Queen of snow Ville’ and Renuka as ‘Queen of Kong go’ to irritate them.
Au Lhendup with the camera hung over his neck and with the attitude “do what I say, not what I do” is the only photographer in BB. Without him, BB will be incomplete.

One more day for launch and one more day of stress, excitement, yet worried. GOOD LUCK FOR THE LAUNCH BB PEOPLE.