Of all the memories of incidents that happened to me during my almost twelve years of stay in Khaling as a student, the memory of what happened on the night of 15th June 1996 still lives afresh in my brain. The incident became so memorable that I can still clearly remember even the exact day and date when it happened. It was a cool Saturday night and in the boys’ hostel in the present-day Muenselling Institute, my friend Leki and I were still awake in our beds talking about all sorts of things as usual. Most of the Saturday nights, we usually used to stay late at night, either gossiping or playing card games/carom because the next day being Sunday, we didn’t have to worry about getting up late in the morning. But on this particular night as we were chitchatting, a mischievous thought ran through our mind. I don’t remember who suggested first but we both decided to venture out on a nightly adventure that eventually brought us in conflict with school authorities.
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My brother-in-law and his wife who live in a government quarter just across the road from my house have a lot of stories to share about some mysterious things happening in their house at night which, science cannot explain. Since they shifted to the house about three years ago, they have noticed a number of so-called paranormal activities going on in their house especially at night. They say that they can often hear somebody walking around the rooms or somebody flushing water in the toilet and coming out, or some mysterious sounds in and around the house. Almost all of their guests have the same complaints and they now believe that something is not right in the house.
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9th December 2014 was the 5th birth anniversary of my youngest son Rigden Subba. As usual, we decided to treat our children with cake and sweets, and of course, some simple gifts, just to make them enjoy the day among themselves. Actually I had wanted to make it a grand celebration and invite close relatives and friends, but my wife rejected my proposal on the ground that there was nobody at home to help her with cooking and making other logistic arrangements. So, we only invited her brother and his wife for a simple dinner at my place. To mark the day, I had asked my wife to order a birthday cake that morning.
18th December is the annual Judgment Day for students throughout Bhutan. It’s a big day for both students and their parents because this is the day which all of us have been anxiously waiting for. It’s the day on which our children who go to school harvest the outcome of their year-long hard-work and struggle and it’s the day for parents to find out whether what they have invested in their children’s education for one year has borne any fruit. After all, it’s the day which decides the next move of our children. But if you are not cautious enough, a small typing error on the results sheet of your child, which the school authorities attribute to the computer, can mar the academic performances of your child.
It was about fifteen years ago when I was studying in Khaling. There was a boy who was in love with a girl from the same school. He was junior to me though. Many of us knew that the girl also loved him but the problem was that neither of them had the guts to confess their love for each other. We were all aware that both of them had soft corners for each other. The boy would often share with me his feelings for her and we heard that the girl used to do the same with her girl-friends. Soon, we began to tease them for each other as it was a common practice in the school, but I think that worsened the situation for them. They even seemed to avoid each other in the public and remained as if they were strangers to each other.
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The shops around Thai Temple area are just within a walking distance from where I live and my children often go there on their own to buy things. But last year, my eldest son Thukten Subba was made to realize that going to even to the nearest shop alone and that too with money in hand is not always safe in Thimphu.