The emergency hotline numbers you must know in Bhutan

The sudden electrical short-circuits nearly turned a beautiful Sunday afternoon into a tragic memory yesterday in my neighborhood. I was busy working on an article for my blog when I heard my wife and my daughter rushing out to the veranda. I followed them enquiring what was going on and I was shocked when they told me that there was a fire outbreak in the building on the other side of the road. Apparently there was a short-circuit at the MCB-box and the spark had begun spreading fire across the circuit board and down into the heaps of old books, carton-boxes and wooden planks which were kept right under the circuit. Within seconds, a huge crowd of people had gathered to douse out the fire which had not yet got out of control. When I just heard people talking about splashing water at the fire, I suggested that it would not be advisable if the power-line had not been cut off. But I think people down on the road did not hear me because I was on my veranda. Soon somebody splashed the water and it caused even greater sparks and the flames began to gain momentum. The entire area began to be engulfed in thick smoke and we all started panicking. I asked if anybody had called BPC or Fire Department, but nobody was sure if anybody did it. So, I got back to my bed-room and dialed 110 to call the Fire Department. I informed the Fire Police and the fire-truck immediately came to the scene as promised.

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Yeti, the mysterious creature of the Himalayas

Photo of imaginary Himalayan Yeti. Image source: google

A couple of months ago, there was an article on BBC website about how the legendary stories of Yetis in the Himalayas could have developed originally as a strategy for keeping children within the community, away from the reach of dangerous wild animals. It suggests that those legendary stories could have helped elders to instill fear in children so that they always stayed close to their home where they were safe. This hypothetical conclusion has been reached after no scientific evidence of the existence of the mysterious Himalayan creature could be established despite decades of vigorous research and expeditions launched by mountaineers to find one. The article further presents the recent scientific finding which suggests that the hair samples supposedly from Yeti collected from Bhutan and India matched with that of Brown Bears which were believed to have once lived in the Himalayas. It also highlights that brown bears can stand on two-legs at times and leave unusually large footprints which many people have claimed to have seen. So, is the mysterious Yeti the real brown bear as scientists are suggesting today?

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Basic traffic rules which Bhutanese motorists should be aware of

My wife is currently undergoing a 3-month driving training at Gangjung Driving Institute and she has recorded some of her theory classes since the Institute does not share the handouts to ensure 100% attendance of participants. Just a while ago, I was listening to one of her recordings and I found some interesting information which I am going to share here on my blog. I am sure it’s going to be of great benefit to all those drivers who have not undergone professional driving training.

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The dangerous roar of Talking Tom

Photo of Talking Tom. Image courtesy: Google

The advent of smart phones has made our life easy and interesting in many ways. We have so many sophisticated features and applications that can enable us to do almost everything just by swapping and tapping on the screen of our phone with fingers. For instance, we can create and edit photos/videos, record music, access social sites and accomplish many other important tasks apart from making calls and sending/receiving text messages. In short, our mobile phone today has almost become like a small compact computer which can help us carry out many tasks efficiently. But as there is a limit to everything, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that we must be able to use those facilities more responsibly.

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Mobile version of social networking sites

I am sure you all would have been accessing various websites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube from your mobile phones but have you noticed that the mobile versions of these websites can also be accessed from the computer? Since the mobile versions of dynamic websites are easy to access and can load fast, most of the visually impaired people around the world use the mobile versions of websites especially the social networking sites. One good reason why the visually impaired are more accustomed to using the mobile version of websites is because they contain less features and are more accessible for the users to navigate around. It makes the sites more accessible with JAWS, a screen-reading software used by blind users in the world. So, if you don’t have a smart phone and if you have slow internet connection, the following mobile versions of the social networking sites are recommended:

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Another doomsday?

After the world did not end on 21st December 2012, the doomsday theorists have now blown out another rumor on the internet that the world will end in September 2015. The story has started with claims made by a self-claimed prophet named Rodriguez that a huge asteroid is heading towards Earth and will hit somewhere near Puerto Rico destroying most of the American continents. He has foreseen that the scale of destruction would be so large that it might even wipe out the entire human race. He has claimed that there will be large earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes as a result of the collision of this asteroid with Earth which is going to happen on any day from 15-28 September 2015. He claims that he has even urged the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to issue a warning to the world so that people living in the vulnerable regions can be relocated to safety. Many blogs and websites have recently been flooded with this unscientific prediction and hence, NASA has been forced to respond.

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My beautiful daughter has grown up now

Photo of my daughter Anju Rai in her beautiful costume

My daughter Anju Rai is just 12-years-old but she is mature enough to share most of the responsibilities in the family. Whenever she does not have to study, she helps her mother in the kitchen and other domestic chores. She is very interested in cooking and she can in fact prepare more delicious meals than my wife. Initially, I was hesitant to let her use electric appliances and cooking gas but my wife was of the view that unless she was given the opportunity, she would never learn. I fully agreed with my wife and we gradually let her work in the kitchen and soon she came out as a more independent person. Today whenever my wife is not around, I don’t have to worry about anything because I always have my daughter to rely on.

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Another caution for pedestrians

My wife told me that just this morning, one of her training-mates at Gangjung Driving Institute was hit by a speeding Bolero taxicab while crossing the road after being dropped off near his house by Gangjung bus. The bus had not yet left when the speeding taxi hit him and flung him across the drains. When the remaining passengers of the bus heard a loud thud, they all turned around and were shocked to see the tragedy. He had got down the bus just a few seconds ago. When people rushed to the scene, he was already unconscious and bleeding from the head. They could not do anything but to put him in the same taxi and send him to hospital. Nobody still knows what will happen to him. People say he was in a critical condition. May God be on his side for now!

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Observation of the 3rd foundation anniversary of Bhutan Kidney Foundation

Photo of BKF members at the Memorial Chorten. Image courtesy: Karma Jam's Facebook post

It was a great pleasure for me and my wife to be part of the celebration of 3rd Foundation Day of Bhutan Kidney Foundation (BKF) at the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu yesterday afternoon. It was so kind of Mr. Tashi Namgay, the Founder and the Executive Director of BKF to have invited me to the event as a gesture of appreciation for whatever little support I could render during the initial developmental stages of the Foundation. Although I could not make significant contributions to BKF other than helping in preparing documents for the registration of the Foundation, I am really honored to be part of the event. When I received the invitation over the phone on Friday, I was told that it was a special request for me and this really made me feel that I should not miss it. Initially, I didn’t know that it was the Foundation Day celebration because the girl who had called me just told me that it was to offer butter-lamps for the wellbeing of people living with kidney-related diseases as well as for the salvation of those patients who have died of kidney failures. So, I and my wife went to Chorten at around 2:45 pm with a few kilograms of vegetable-shortening (dalda) and a few bunches of incense-sticks to offer our prayers.

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The ultimate journey of life

Doing simple meditation early in the morning with a soothing melody at the background has been a very rewarding and enriching experience for me. With my eyes closed, I can easily see the universe both within and around me as I gradually drift into the subconscious level of mind rolling with the melodious music at the background. The cold air entering my nostrils as I inhale and the hot air leaving my body as I exhale and the subsequent feeling of my body becoming lighter as I breathe in and heavier as I breathe out, all help me increase my self-awareness and gives a clearer insight into what is life after all. This is a simple mindfulness exercise but truly it takes me farther into what looks like the ultimate journey of our life.

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Message for the youth of Bhutan on International Youth Day 2015

The observance of International Youth Day 2015 today on the theme “Youth Civic Engagement” gives us a special opportunity to reflect on and recognize the potential of our youth as valuable human and social capital resources. Bhutan is a small country with just over 700,000 population. Yet, the Royal Government of Bhutan has understood one thing throughout the history of the country, the dynamic strengths of our youth. Young people make up a significant portion of Bhutanese population. The latest statistics according to the report on Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents and Youth (NSB, 2015) indicates that about 56 percent of Bhutanese people are below the age of 25. Because of this, the Royal Government has been placing so much importance on the wellbeing of our youth and has been investing a huge amount of resources on promoting youth development programs and services in the country.

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The living devil

Many many years ago, there in a remote village lived a boy named Dorji. After having lost his father and all other siblings as a child, his mother was the only source of inspiration for him. Since only two of them were in the house, the weight of the entire domestic chores fell equally upon their shoulders. So everyday, Dorji usually spent his time either helping his mother in the fields or in herding the yaks they had owned. The days passed on smoothly and peacefully for them and God never forgot to bless them. Whatever kind of famine struck the village, they did not go hungry on any day.

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I thought I was smarter than my aunt

There was a time when my aunt was the most powerful person in the family. She was very strong and authoritative. Even her husband, my uncle, did not have much say in the way she managed the domestic affairs. It was she who oversaw the overall management of the family and nobody ever had the guts to challenge any of her ideas or actions. She often got into disputes with neighbors and I think she had many silent enemies in the village. When she was around, I used to freeze with fear because the moment she saw me, she would always yell at me for one reason or the other. Because of this, my winter vacations were never a fun apart from getting to meet my father who was living with them. She would always assign me with various tasks, all requiring physical labor. I worked in the fields harvesting millets, gathering firewood from the surrounding bushes, fetched water from the spring which was about five minutes walk from our house and often did the dishes at home. I actually loved the jobs I was assigned although I never got acknowledged for my hard-work, but what I hated the most was the way she discriminated me and my disabled father from the rest of the family. She always kept an eye on how much we ate and what we did in her absence.

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Fighting an unwinnable war against ferocious monsters

As far as I know, we have been fighting this war for decades now. We have arrested so many of them and caged them for life at various locations where many of them died of hunger and diseases. We have also sterilized them with the hope of wiping out their generations and we have even poisoned many of them to death. Yet this war is never coming to an end. What makes the matter even worse is that now the government seems to be giving up and retreating from the battlefields.

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Happy Friendship Day 2015

Happy friendship card. Courtesy: Google.

People say friends are like flowers and I truly believe it. I have met so many special individuals in my life who have made my life much easier and comfortable. When I was crying with pain, I always had somebody to sit beside me to stop my tears, and when I was happy, I always had somebody to smile with me. I didn’t really get the opportunity to grow up with my parents and siblings as my mother died when I was four and all my siblings died before I went to school. But those tragedies did not empty my world. I was glad that wherever I went, I always had a circle of good friends who never made me feel lonely.

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