Showing posts from May, 2011

A Lonely Journey to the US (Part IV)

(links to: Part III ) Cell phone glued onto my right ear, I aimlessly walked on the grassy land. “Please God, let us talk for the last time again,” I said prayer silently. Luckily, she picked up the phone. “Oye (Hello)!” “Hello! Where are you, still here?” “Yeah, at Paro waiting for the flight! What are you doing today?” I asked her in a subdued tone. “Nothing; I don’t feel like doing anything. I am at home, can’t study,” she replied. “Oh is it? Don’t worry my dear, we will see happily after four years. Do study well all right?” “Hope you will keep all those promises you have made to me, but anyway I will wait and see. I started to miss you already!” “Of course, don’t you trust me?” I answered with a question. “So far I have never trusted anybody like I trust you. Don’t forget me!” The conservation just got deeper and more emotional. I promised her I won’t forget ever and together we prayed for our healthy relationship. In the meantime, the whole Paro valley shook by

Bumthang ‘Charm-Fire’ (Chamkhar)?

Bumthang is known for its natural beauty blessed by numerous saints and lamas including the second Buddha Guru Rinpoche. From Kurje Lhakhang to Mebartsho, Bumthang indeed is a land of Charm. But unfortunately the charm is under attack by fire as of late. The Chamkhar town, which is now third in a row gutted down by the disastrous fire accident, has raised so many eye brows across the nation. The very first accident garnered a nation-wide sympathy, while second one raised a few questions/suspicions, and I am sure now this third one would raise ever more questions and eye brows! Why just in the Chamkhar town? Is Chamkhar town electrified differently? Are people being stubbornly careless with electricity? Is our disaster management proactive or reactive or more importantly prepared enough to fight with such a catastrophe? If it was an electric short-circuit, are our electric appliances or wiring safe? So on and on…These are the very pertinent questions that everybody should be pondering o

A Lonely Journey to the US (Part III)

(Links to: Part I , Part II ) As our car accumulated more and more mileage towards the destination (the airport), the breathtaking beauty of Paro valley unfurled itself naturally. “No wonder foreigners pay USD 250 per head per day to visit our country,” I convinced myself. I was still challenged with my speech, though; neither did I scream for joy nor cry out loud for departing with my loved ones. I did that all by myself in complete silence! Shortly into the Paro valley the Paro International Airport came to my sight-the green roofed terminal buildings, and the only runway running parallel to the road leading to the main Paro downtown. The gate welcomes us into the airport compound; this time even more welcoming as our car rolled in full speed straight towards the entrance. I remember and agree with how a tourist described his first experience on the road right after landing on the soil of Bhutan. Loosely paraphrasing, the tourist wrote, “The first half a kilometer or so of road

Our Royal Wedding!

HM & would-be-queen Jetsun Pema Picture courtesy: Bhutan Observer It was 2 AM, and I was on the bed when I suddenly felt like checking the twitter updates. The first thing I saw was just unbelievable. I couldn't believe for a while, but as I scrolled further, I saw few more similar updates-The HISTORIC update indeed about the "Royal Wedding"! Immediately the next prominent question popped up in my mind "who could be that future Queen?" A few more scrolls down, I found someone already twitted "HM to be married with a commoner Jetsun Pema..." Normally I don't miss to listen to HM's speech and other important events on live BBS radio from the internet. Being away from country, I rely heavily on the online news for the updates about the country and the world. But last night when I saw the updates, I had already missed the live speech! Because I didn't know that the National Assembly Session was beginning from yesterday. None of the new pa

A Lonely Journey to the US (Part II)

(Picture courtesy: Google Images) (Link to: Part I ) They were all seated at the back seat and kept the front seat for me. I gestured to my Ata to sit on the front seat to which he stubbornly declined without even a word. As I stepped onto the sit, the driver (Anna’s co-worker) turned the engine ignition bringing ‘our car’ into life in a roaring fashion. After tapping a few times on the gas pedal (accelerator) oozing out a thick smoke from the rear exhaust, it rolled to a full momentum meandering along the road above Zilukha Lower Secondary School. Just as it was about to make a U-turn at Chophel-Jungshina-Zilukha tri-junction, my phone beeped. It was from my long time friend Kinzang Chophel whom at that time was training for traditional physician (Menpa) at Institute of Traditional Medicines, the only institute in the country catering to people of traditional Tibetan diagnosis and medication. We have been friends since 4 th standard at Tsebar Lower Secondary School, under Pema Gatsh

Conversation with a curious eye doctor!

My eyes have been bothering me even more lately, however I couldn’t go for checkup until today. I was recommended to wear glasses during my first eye exam in 2009, subsequently which I wore glasses. But as of late it seems to give me more problems than solutions to my already poor vision. I get terrible eye pain often leading to dizziness and headache. Despite sensing the deteriorating health of my eyes, I had been forced to put up with the same old glasses and continue to push my academic requirements first. Now that I am officially done with the studies, first thing that I wanted to address is my eye problem. So today my Peruvian friend Bryan took me to the ‘Eyeglass World’ store for check up. I had an appointment at 3 pm with the doctor. At the counter, I was greeted by a lady receptionist and escorted to the doctor’s room after doing preliminary exams. “Doctor will be here in a minute,” says she as she returns to the counter with a file. I nodded and took the seat right next to s

A Lonely Journey to the US (Part I)

It was 5 AM when I woke to a chilly weather of Zilukha hill, Thimphu, Bhutan on October 7, 2007. I was bound for New Delhi and beyond to the US for studies. My flight from Paro International Airport, the only airport in the kingdom of Bhutan yet, was at 10:00 AM. I could hear Anna (sister) Karma already in the kitchen preparing breakfast and doing the dishes as I tried to ‘wipe’ off my sleep. I stepped off the bed slowly without disrupting Ata Sangay who was slept just next to me. He had come the other day all the way from the border town of Phuntsholing taking a day off to reach me till Paro. After I took a brief shower, I woke him and let him in to the shower. Anna Karma had already prepared the breakfast of rice, pork curry with several other side dishes. “Khochung (“Uncle”; she calls me like her daughter would call me as), eat well now. You may not feel well in the plane otherwise,” says my sister handing me a plateful of rice. I could already feel my poor early morning appetite,

Finally Graduated!!

Shaking hands with the President Dr. Anthony J. Catanese I t’s been a long journey, both bumpy and smooth, but eventually I made it through My alarm began to beep rather obnoxiously; it was 7 AM, Saturday morning of May 7, 2011-the commence day! I had to be 'checked in by 8:30 AM' according to the email received earlier the other day. In about 40 minutes later, I and my roommate (a grad student from Thailand) got checked in, and headed to the waiting room before we proceeded to the actual commencement hall.  "What is your department and your last name?" stared a lady seated next to a bunch of files and ropes.  "Mathematical Sciences, Wangdi" I replied trying to spot my name on the check sheet. "Cum Laude!" says the lady handing me a little more than a meter long white-rope, "678 is your seat number". I didn't know what that rope was until a Chinese friend said "oh thats an award, congrats!"  Moments later, I was in the