Having overcome several obstacles and tragedies over the past 34 years of my life, I consider myself an optimistic person. My life has never been a bed of roses but still my failures and misfortunes hardly discouraged me to keep going. I know I have a good sense of humour and I love to laugh with people around me. Social interactions and laughter always help me forget the pain of my past and present. Even when I am stressed, I can afford to smile and laugh. That’s why my old school friends still tell me that I seem to be happy forever. But once in a while, a very strange wave of sadness runs through my nerves without any warning. I am still trying to figure out what is it all about and where it’s coming from.
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I was fortunate to be part of the team selected by Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) to take part in the international cultural exchange programme for persons with disabilities in New Delhi, India from 14th to 16th November, 2014. As usual, the event ‘Sambhav 2014’ was organized by Association of Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (ALPANA) and it has been an annual event since 2006. I have learned that Sambhav which means “Possible” has been initiated to provide artists with disabilities a platform to showcase their artistic talents and promote the exchange of rich cultures among persons with disabilities from different parts of the world. Personally for me, it was an enriching experience to be part of the event amongst highly talented artists with disabilities from about 15 countries.
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Reposing in the cool shadow of His sacred wings,
This tiny Holy Land has a lot to say
How was she blest in every corner with magical strings
To play for the world a great melody of glory today.
Within the past eight years of my service in the government, I have actually got the opportunity to officially fly abroad only once. It was in September 2009 when I and one of my colleagues were nominated for a 10-day training on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health at ASEAN Institute for Health Development in Thailand. I am still grateful to my immediate boss for kindly giving me that opportunity to attend the ex-country training for the first time after 2.5 years of my service. I was very excited to travel in air for the first time in my life. The flight journey from Bakdokra to Kolkata and then to Bangkok was a thrilling experience and although it was scary at the beginning, I gradually enjoyed my entire journey. Fortunately or unfortunately, all Druk Air tickets were booked and that gave me the opportunity to travel via India, which meant longer flying hours for me. So, I had a wonderful experience and I had a lot of fun with my friend. That was one of the most memorable moments of my life. Today as I sit here and reflect on those moments, I feel that I had made that special journey on a very auspicious day because although I have not got the opportunity to fly on official passport since then, I have flown once every year privately so far.
While today marks the anniversary of the Coronation Day of our beloved king the 5th Druk Gyalpo and Clean Bhutan Day, it’s also a day for me to celebrate my three years of vegetarian life. I don’t really care about the religious merits I might have accumulated over the past three years for quitting meat and thereby saving some animals, but I really feel good that I have managed my health pretty well even without meat. So on this special day, I would like to share some personal experiences of being a vegetarian in a society in which the majority of people are non-vegetarians.