Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What's with the youth and Jdha?

With the dawn of modernization in Bhutan, people are also modernized. Like a car can't leave behind its wheels, in the same way a place can't be modernized without the people getting involved in the process. Modernization is not only the clear water in a cup, but also the dust which has already settled at the bottom and most of the time, evade our eyes. People want to see what they like to see, and they believe what they think is best for them. Although there are many drawbacks of modernization, the most subtle (according to me) is the change in the language, which has been escaping the sharp ears of the listeners.

Youth today has inculcated in themselves the habit of saying 'jdha' or 'ja' after every few words. Be it in a school, a market or office, the most commonly used word you find a speaker speaking is 'jdha' or 'ja'. I being a teacher, hesitate most of the time walking beside or along groups of students who are conversing, it's par for the course that sooner or later, you will hear one of them uttering this mono-syllabic word. The amount of reprimanding has no effect on them whatsoever. It seems as if, the word has already and unknowingly attached itself with their language. It is either a suffix or prefix for them. Sometimes, when they utter this word in front of their family members, they don't even blink an eye, because they are not aware of the fact that, they have used that word. This is how much comfortable and spontaneous they have become using it. They have been exposed too much to different kinds of ICT whereby, they watch movies where the characters are mostly seen using the 'F' word in every situation, and they also read books, where again the 'F' word is mentioned time and again. 

Linguists say that language is culturally transmitted, hence, the society we live in has a direct influence over the kind of language we use. So. should we blame the modernized society or the youth themselves? But, before we play the blame game or pass the ball in somebody's court, I would like to put forward few instances on which I have first hand experience. I have seen a father uttering this word in front of his son, a friendly neighbor teaching this word to a toddler because when the toddler repeats it they find it amusing. I have also seen a friend teaching this word to a friend. And worst of all, I have heard (not personally experienced) that they were and still are teachers who use this word in their classroom.

According to the Behaviorist Theory of language acquisition, a child learns language through constant reinforcement and imitation. In other words, a child learns language by observing and listening to its environment in parrot fashion, they speak what they hear, or simply put, they just imitate the elders. And this theory also states that, in the process of language acquisition, constant reinforcement is necessary. So, if the child uses right language, positive reinforcement should be provided and if the child uses negative or abusive language, negative reinforcement should be given.

Now the questions arise, was there nobody to reinforce them when they started uttering this words? Or were they oblivious? Is it the parents/friendly neighbor/teachers/friends or society as whole responsible for the type of language they are using?
I can't ignore the fact that, yes, they get negative reinforcement whenever they use abusive language and also the fact that they know they are not supposed to use it. But still, why? The only logical explanation I can find is that, it is already deep rooted in their mind. It has already become a habit for them to use it and they do so unconsciously. Had there been someone to guide them while they were in the early stages of learning language, I believe they will be more careful.

It is an undebatable fact that, the youth today not only use these words to express surprise, sadness, happiness or shock but also that they can't speak few words without the help of this word. So, we as a parent, teacher, a member of society, a neighbor, should ask ourselves, what can we do to correct our youth? How can we bring change in their language? How can we prevent our future generation from using this abusive language? . 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

R.I.P Dupli

I should say the winter of 2008 brought a new light in my life. The light was in the form of a furry ball, whom I called Dupli. He was no more than two years old, when he forcefully started making his presence at my house time and again. And since I too loved animals I took him in. He added a new meaning of happiness to my household. He made me realize that a real home is never complete without an animal. My daughter was the happiest of all since now she had a playmate. Whenever she played with her kitchen set, he was always there to eat and drink whatever she had to offer. Year by year he started growing up into a sturdy cat, who never backed away even from a dog. He had so much attachment with us that he used to wait for us in the evening seated on the compound wall and the moment he heard the honk of our car, he used to come to the parking to receive us.
Although he was a sturdy cat, he was a bit lazy and never made an effort to perform his rightful duty, i.e, to catch mice. We used to tease him saying that he would be the only cat in the whole universe who was scared of mouse. But when he was in the mood to play, he would turn the house upside down and i had to literally chase him outside which was a bad idea indeed because, one day, when he was turned out of the house he didn't come home for almost 2 hours. I searched for him but he was no where to be found, and since it was lunch time, I sat down to have my lunch. After few minutes, I heard him meowing near the door. I got up and opened the door, and to my utter surprise there was a cat covered in mud. It took me few seconds to recognize him then, I had to leave my lunch half finished to bathe him. Such were the fond memories he left for us for he left this world on 3rd October, 2014. I exactly don't know how old he is, but I assume him to be nearly eight years old.
We were devastated by his sudden death as his death was not natural. 3rd October was a day for celebration but it was red letter day for me. The day began as any other day; I got up and found him meowing near the water filter. When i checked his cup, it was empty, so i filled it with water and after drinking the water he went downstairs to my mom's shop which was a daily routine for him. I was busy loading the washing machine when I got a call from my sister saying that Dupli was dead. I was shocked, my hands started shaking and while going downstairs, the only wish I made was to let it be a joke. But when I reached there, I saw him lying on the floor, without any movement and i could see traces of foam on his mouth. I just stood there staring at his dead body and couldn't even bring myself to touch him. I wanted to cry, but I controlled myself and put his dead body in a cartoon and came upstairs where I left go of my emotions. My daughter was not home when this incident happened, but when she returned and found out he was dead, she let out a heart-wrenching cry.
After an hour we decided to bury him. I took my niece and my daughter with me and drove away. They were seating in the back seat and still crying and touching him. So, i asked them not to touch him and the reply my daughter gave me made me cry even harder. She said."Please mummy, let me touch him because from tomorrow I will never be able to touch him again."
Later we came to know that he had consumed a poisoned food which one of our neighbors had kept for mice. A thoughtless act of my neighbor cost me my dear Dupli. And I am bewildered that this kind of people still exists. Don't they know that if that poisoned food was consumed by their kids who are not even 4 and 2, will kill them? How can they keep such stuffs when they have toddlers running around in their own house? I don't know whom to blame for my lose; should i blame Dupli for consuming the poisoned food? Should i blame the neighbors who kept it? Or should i blame myself for letting him roam freely? But no matter whom i blame or whom i accuse, one thing is for sure, I will never have my Dupli back. He will always be remembered and loved. And today also, I witnessed my daughter going to sleep crying and hugging the toy he used to sleep with. Dupli, wherever you are at the moment, you will always be remembered and loved. we miss you! 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Adieu! Adieu! Adieu! this semester. Today was the last class for the journey which began last year. Today, after spending almost one year to reach where I stand now, I should say, there is an undeniable eruption of joy deep within my heart. When I look back, the journey was not an easy one especially for me since I did my graduation in Education and I choose English Literature for my Masters Degree.
Last year, when I attended my first class I was virtually perplexed. Everything the Professors taught or spoke about sounded Greek to me. But for my mates, since they had B.A Honors, it was just the same wine in a new bottle. Not only the syllabi, the pronunciation of some of the Professors also proved to be a challenge for me. For me it was like trying to fit a square head in a round hole. My contemplation grew frail upon the choice. But, I resolved to flow with the wind rather than against the wind. I became more attentive in the class and what ever was taught, on top of that I started researching things on my own. It was then that out of that gloomy atmosphere, I experienced epiphany telling me, "Come on see! It's quite simple." It was then that I realized nothing was impossible. If you have the will, definitely there is always a way.
When I talk about all these things, people might take me as a hard working learner. But I would say I am otherwise. I bunk classes, as all the normal students do. I keep track of my attendance so at the end, I will have just enough percentage to write my exams. I facebook at least 5-6 hours a day. I never study for my class tests and never prepare my seminars beforehand. BUT I AM ATTENTIVE IN THE CLASS! I ASK QUESTIONS AND DEBATE WITH MY PROFESSORS! I AM NOT A PASSIVE RECEIVER IN THE CLASS RATHER IF I DON'T GET A CONCEPT, I BECOME A PAIN THE ASS!!!!!
So today, when i reflect on how i have fared in my journey which was filled with storm, rain and sunshine, I am very proud to say that I have gained a lot in this short span of time. I alone know how much I have suffered and sacrificed to reach this destination, yet, I would without any doubt say that, all I have gained and learned is just the tip of an iceberg. I know I have a long way to go but what keeps me going is the fact that I have crossed the starting line.
Without any hitch and false claims I can say that I am in love with LITERATURE. I am inspired by literature and it has seeped deep down into my bones. I have a dream; to devote my life in learning the works of all those great writers and never stop. But sadly, I know that this life time will never be enough for that. It will be very unfair on my part not to mention a very motivating and inspiring person in my life. In fact he is my idol and the main driving force behind all this changes in me. He taught us American Literature this semester and he is known as Dr. Kapil. I knew his worth from the very first lecture he gave. I was so excited that when my friends called me, I simply said, "This year is going to be different from last year. My God! the first class (since Dr.Kapil's class was the first class of the day) is simply brilliant. I love this class." And mind you it was not  hollow words, I really loved his classes to such an extend that till now I have missed only two of his lectures. I am really inspired by his knowledge and the way he looks at things and the way he taught us. I know that how much ever I praise him, it will never do justice to him. My language fails me when ever I try to describe him. To actually understand what I want to say, you need to attend his classes and listen to him speaking.
"All is well that ends well" as said by the great bard Shakespeare. The fact that the semester ended well makes me feel exhausted and relaxed at the same time, which I can relate to the feelings of a person sipping his/her evening tea reminiscing the hard day he had. Though this semester has ended for me it is not the end of the road. I still have one more year to complete but I have hoping against all the odds that in next two semesters I will encounter Professors like him.  

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Today, in order to save myself from myself I watched a movie which I had in my HD for a long time. Actually one of my friends encouraged me to watch it. The movie is based on a true life story of a woman who was stoned to death on false charges. I will not say much about the movie right now as I have copied the summary from google since I don’t have the luxury of time at the moment to write a review of my own.
“ Stranded in the remote Iranian village of Kuhpayeh by car trouble, a journalist (Freidoune Sahebjam) is approached by Zahra, a woman with a harrowing tale to tell about her niece, Soraya, and the bloody circumstances of Soraya's death, by stoning, the previous day. The two sit down as Zahra recounts the story to Freidoune, who records the conversation with his tape recorder. The journalist must escape with his life to tell the story to the rest of the world.
Ali is the abusive husband of Soraya who tries to get the village's mullah to convince Soraya to grant him a divorce so that he can marry a 14-year-old. Ali's marriage to the teenager is conditional on Ali's ability to save the girl's father, who has been sentenced to death for an unspecified crime. The mullah proposes that Soraya becomes his lover in exchange for protection and monetary support for Soraya and her two daughters. Soraya refuses. Soraya has two sons whom Ali wants, and who have both turned against her. In a scene where Ali comes home to confront Soraya, a violent argument breaks out, she breaks a dish and Ali beats her, all the while saying things displaying his sexist attitude. Some days following the incident, a woman dies. The mullah, the village's mayor, and Ali ask Zahra to persuade Soraya to care for the widower. Zahra suggests that Soraya may do the job if she is paid.

Soraya starts working for the widower, and Ali plans to use the unusual circumstance to spread lies that Soraya is being unfaithful to him so that she will be stoned and he can remarry. Ali also knows if Soraya were dead, he would not have to pay child support. Ali and the mullah start a rumor about Soraya'sinfidelity so they can charge her with adultery. One day while Zahra is walking in town, she realizes that a rumor has spread that her niece is being unfaithful to her husband.
Ali and the mullah need one more "witness" to Soraya's "infidelity" to be able to formally charge her, so they visit the widower at home and using threats manipulate the widower into agreeing to back up their story. Soon after, Ali drags Soraya through the streets, beating her and publicly declaring that she has been unfaithful. Zahra intervenes and takes her niece, Ali, the Mullah and the Mayor of the village to her house to talk privately. They bring the widower to the house and after he lies and says that they had engaged in adultery, a trial is pursued. Only men are allowed while Soraya is confined with some women in her house. She is quickly convicted. Zahra tries to flee with her and after realizing she cannot, goes to plead with the mayor for Soraya's life, even offering to switch places with Soraya. The conviction is upheld though, and as they are preparing for the stoning, the Mayor prays to Allah for a sign if they are not doing the right thing.
Before the actual stoning can begin, a traveling carnival van comes through and tries to perform their act. They are shooed away, where they wait by the sidelines as the stoning begins. Soraya's father disowns her as he is given the first stone to throw but he misses her repeatedly. A woman in the crowd pleads to the mayor that the stones missing are a sign Soraya is innocent, but none of the men listen. Ali takes up stones and throws them himself. Her two sons are also forced to throw stones. The widower is given two stones to throw but instead walks away. The crowd finally joins in. The stoning stops when she is believed to be dead, but after Ali sees that she is not and the stoning resumes. Soraya finally dies.
Zahra is heard narrating the story to the journalist about her niece. Around this time, the mullah and the widower are informed by Ali that his marriage to the teenaged girl is off, implying that he could not spare her father from execution. As the journalist attempts to leave with his belongings and collect his vehicle after it has been repaired by the widower, the mullah orders a Revolutionary Guard to stop him at gunpoint. They seize his tape recorder and destroy all of the tapes but as the journalist is leaving in his car, Zahra appears out of an alley with the true tape in her hand. As the journalist drives away he stops and grabs the true tape from Zahra and speeds away. Zahra screams that the God that she loves is great and now whole world will know of the injustice that has happened. The movie ends by showing the only known picture of Soraya Manutchehri, taken when she was nine years old.”
Dear readers please do watch this movie. It’s really heart breaking and I couldn’t hold my tears although I rarely cry. In this story you will come to what people are doing in the name of God. How religion is bent and molded to suit their taste. And interestingly the servant of God is the sinner.
And one thing I realized after watching this movie is that women born in Bhutan are indeed blessed ones.

I will surely very soon write my own reaction to this movie...but for the time being enjoy this....

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Love and hate….something almost everyone has experienced yet, if we say you hate the person you love and you love the person you hate…people will start denying it. I too always thought how can you love and hate a person at the same time? Hmm…a question worth contemplation. But today, during American Literature lecture I become conscious, yes, love and hate go hand in hand. So I draw the conclusion that if you love a person, you hate him and if you hate a person you love him. Let me explain my perceptive.

Love and hate…is a pleasantly annoying dichotomy.  Sigmund Freud said that every lover is a hater. A person, who loves the most, hates the most. And if we relate this theory to our lives I guess every one of us will agree. If you have the capacity to insanely love someone then you also have the capacity to insanely hate someone. Today you love someone and tomorrow if something goes wrong you hate that person. We can say that love is positive hatred and hatred is negative love. Love is a kind of oneness. When you fall in love, you belong to someone thus creating a sense of being one. Hate is when the two wants to push away one another at utmost distance.

If we examine the lives of married couples….everyone thinks that since they are not divorced they are happily married. But is it so? Married couples are not necessarily happy couples though there are exceptional cases. They quarrel a lot, why? Because they love a lot. You might be thinking, quarrel due to love is bullshit….so let me elucidate a bit on this. Love is a dream world and marriage a real world. These two worlds collide with each other when they should happily merge. When you are in love, everything is different. You are treated as if you were queens and kings. Lover can hardly wait to meet his beloved. Lover has many praises and lovely words for the beloved. But then where does all this affections go when you get married? Well, after marriage first thing that replaces your love is a sense of possessiveness though in love also it is there, but the manifestation is not as strong as in marriage. They start quarreling due to the emotion of ownership which gradually leads to repulsion. Secondly, we expect our lover to act according to our taste and we have excess expectations. We become demanding owing to lack of sensibility. We think of our self only. So in marriage lover and beloved get the break to see each other at their best and at their worst.

“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” 
 ____Marilyn Monroe

So guys if u can’t handle someone at their worst  then surely you should never fall in love, least it will only add to the hatred list.

Monday, 30 January 2012

An Unholy Realization In a Holy Place.

'Religion' is the most wonderful and pleasing a word can sound. The moment we hear this word, a kind of reverence, faith, hope, truth and calm overtakes our mind. We just want to get drowned in the warmth of religion and feel its soothing effect on us. But yesterday while on a trip to a temple, I realized people have corrupted the sacred word so much so that now religion is nothing but a hypocrisy.
Religion preaches a person to be humble, selfless and to give charity. Being greedy and desirous is against religion. But isn't it an irony, that in spite of preaching against being greedy, the place where religion is preached is adorned with gold, precious stones and with all the riches imaginable?
Religion in its pure form is not corrupt but people who practice it are corrupt. All over the world, the place where religion is taught is so magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful. People want to decorate, redecorate and embed the places with riches. But then again it is a paradox when most of the people who are very much alive and living in that country is suffering from poverty and an inanimate  place where charity is taught covered in wealth from head to toe.
In our case when a person dies we perform 'Gaywa' which we believe will take him to heaven. So, the more 'Gaywa' you perform, more is the chances that he will not remain in purgatory (khorwa). In other words the more money you spent for offering butter lamps, rites and rituals and donate money to lhakhangs and monasteries, more is the chances of him leaving the purgatory. This means eternal destination does not depend on the deeds you do rather it depends on how much wealth you can spare after you die. A man of wealth can commit  a plethora of sins still his eternal destination is heaven whereas if a poor man does the same he will be booking a one way ticket to hell.
Religion was, is and will be corrupted by people who are practicing it. People who are religious  drives prado and land cruiser, they take meals fit for kings and ask us to give up material things while they run after dollars.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Thoughts on a lonely day......

My heart is twitchy and I am petrified. A drop of tear silently rolls down my cheek  to fall on the ground. I bent down to pick up that tear knowing I have shed it for you. I don't want people to stamp on something which belongs to you. I cover my body where you have touched me, because i don't want your scent and warmth to fade away. I built a wall of love, hope, hate, aspiration and desire around my heart which once belonged to you because I don't want anybody invading it again. I lost the battle of love once and I have no intention of losing it twice.
I envy the moon, who is bright, loved and wanted by everyone. The stars surround her as she surveys the world. Her rays burn my skin, as I know that the object of my affection is watching her and she him. I desperately want to eclipse her sight but being an ignorant mortal I can not do that. So, slowly I walk away, broken more than before.