A devil with a human face

It was in March 1998. I and my late father were on our way to my school in Khaling. My uncle and aunt with whom we were living at the time had given us only Nu.500 to go to Khaling which was not enough even for the one-way journey, forget about the round-trip for my late father who had to return home after reaching me to school. But fortunately during those days, we used to get money from the school for the return journey which used to be enough for our escorts. With Nu.400 in the pocket after paying the bus fares, we boarded a passenger bus in Samtse bound for Phuntsholing at around 8 o’clock in the morning. My uncle and aunt also boarded the same bus to go to Phuntsholing to see aunt’s brother who had met with an accident and was in Phuntsholing hospital. But from the moment we got out of the house, we walked as if we were strangers. They never bothered to talk to us even in the bus. When we reached Phuntsholing, they had left without saying a word to us. Read more

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The invisible killer lurking in the air

Due to the intensive development of wireless communication technologies in the world today, our atmosphere is being loaded with thousands of low intensity microwaves which travel through us at various frequencies every second. If visible, you would see that the air, be it at home or anywhere else, hosts a huge traffic of such electromagnetic radiation and we are just caught in between those waves. The sad thing is that there’s no physical boundary for these waves and we can’t see what do they do to our nervous system when they pass through our brain.
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A broken promise

I must have been little more than 9-years-old and I was still recovering from the painful experience of having lost my sight. As a visually impaired child, I had been busy finding ways to adapt myself to the new environment which I had lived in only at nights. But as days piled up into weeks and then to months, I slowly began to find some comfort in my new world. My life started rolling back to normalcy as children of my age in the neighborhood resumed to play with me although I was never the same person who had played with them before. It was in Trashila in Wangdue Phodrang where we had to travel on a cable-box from Chhu Zomsa. My father was working for a company which produced charcoal. Most of the people working there were from our village in Chengmari, Samtse and hence, we lived as a small community.
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Loss and grief as seen through the lens of my own personal experience

On 11th September 2005, the telephone rang and the news came of my father’s death. He was 71. At that time, I and my wife were busy preparing to go to see him in Samtse hospital where he was being treated for jaundice. We had already bought bus tickets to go to Samtse, but when the devastating news came in, I lost my world. Everything went blank in my head and I broke down in tears even before hanging up the receiver. My wife and her brother consoled me saying it’s part of human existence but even the reminder of that universal truth did not do much to make me feel better. At the time, I was attending the National Graduate Orientation Program (NGOP) in Thimphu and I was waiting for the program to end but just then, the tragedy befell me. As soon as the program ended, I and my wife rushed to Samtse to attend my late father’s funeral. My paternal uncle who oversaw the cremation had waited for my arrival to bury my father’s body.
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Social responsibility and ownership: a food for thought for all

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a group of young people in a youth forum which was organized to promote services and facilities provided at the Youth Center. One of the main objectives of the forum was to attract more youth to the Center and to instill in them a sense of ownership of the services and facilities provided at the Center. I told them that the Royal Government of Bhutan has spent a huge amount of money in developing the entire infrastructures and facilities with a firm belief that they would benefit young people of Bhutan. So, I told them that all the facilities and services we provide at the Youth Center belong to them and that they must fully own them with a sense of responsibility.
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A Vended Poor Lass

Beauty has her way to the city misled
Where to lave in her own tears is she made;
And although equally placed among mankind is she,
So unfairly is she denied the rights of humanity.
Every human soul indeed knows pretty well
That never was she born as a plaything for public sale,
And yet I know not why is she still dragged into such a place
Where like a caged beast is she entrapped in disgrace.
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A rough ride on the road to Russia

Latest FIFA Second Round Result. Courtesy: AFC.

After losing to Hongkong by 7 goals during the first game of the FIFA Second Round World Cup Qualifying match on 11th June 2015, it seems our journey to Russia for the 2018 World Cup would not be as easy as I had imagined. When our country qualified for the Second Round after beating Sri Lanka in the First Round with 3-1 total goals in March 2015, we had regained confidence in our national team and believed that they would not surrender easily. When they finally left for Hongkong on 1st June 2015, the entire Bhutanese people were behind them, showering them with wishes and prayers. But unfortunately, luck did not favor us this time despite the team’s best efforts and hard-work. Although we lost to Hongkong 0-7, I feel we cannot afford to deny the efforts put by our young Dragon Boys. I should say they played very well despite being comparatively far behind the Hongkong National Team in terms of exposure and professional experiences.
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Bumthang fire disaster: an unsolved mystery

Photo of fire outbreak in Bumthang. Image courtesy: Tandin Pem's blog

In the early hours of 26th October 2010, a devastating fire ravaged through Chamkhar town in Bumthang raising 66 shops to the ground and leaving about 267 people homeless for months. The fire which was believed to have started from a mobile phone shop belonging to Kuenzang Tshomo lasted for three hours before local residents, school children and travellers brought it under control. The fire started at around 1:45 in the morning when everybody was fast asleep. Two people perished in the fire and one was injured. A helper of a shop and a traveller who was on his way from Trashigang to Thimphu were among the dead. While the police could not establish the actual cause of the fire, many attributed it to possible short-circuits or negligence. But a handful of victims doubted if it was intentional although they did not have any clue who could be behind the act.
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The cost of negligence in the health-care sector in Bhutan

I know that there are many good doctors and health workers in Bhutan with excellent service records. I deeply respect and honor them for their whole-hearted dedication to the service of Bhutanese people. These people are highly professional in their approach to working with patients and take their responsibilities seriously and professionally. I have met many of them in my life. I would like to say that these individuals do not only make diagnosis and prescribe drugs, but they also seek to provide corrective emotional support which is an equally important component of a healing process for the patients. You may not believe me but simply talking to them makes you feel better because their words and tone carry a magical spell. But unfortunately, not everybody in the health-care sector has these qualities. Just as the good must be followed by evil, there are people in our hospitals and health facilities who do not seem fit well to be in a helping profession, because firstly, they don’t have the heart to own the problems of their patients and secondly, they don’t have the right attitude to deal with their clients. They seem to be doing their job just for the sake of earning a living. As a health-care provider, I feel all health professionals must be able to take ownership of their patients’ concerns and provide appropriate support in a professional manner. The following incidents would explain why I decided to write this article.
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A historic moment for Bhutan!

Photo of Bhutan receiving the certificate of recognition for Guinness World Record. Image source: Facebook.

With early sunlight flourishing over the hills and valleys and birds in the surrounding forests singing to the rhythm of cool breeze blowing over the trees and bushes, today is definitely a special day for Bhutan. Coinciding with the anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty the 4th King and Social Forestry Day, Bhutan has created another new page in history. With blessings from God on this auspicious occasion of Saga Dawai Duezang (Parinirvana of Lord Buddha), 100 Bhutanese volunteers have planted 49,672 tree-saplings in one hour and set a new Guinness World Record for Bhutan.
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