Thursday, 28 February 2013

Letter of Reminiscence

The following is the letter I wrote in Nov, 2011. Mr. Yang T Dorji, the then principal of Nangkor Higher Secondary School had chat over facebook with me. It was his idea to inspire students of Nangkor with the letter from its alumni. I wasn't sure how far i inspired them, but it was rejoicing having got the chance. 

Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, technology & Sciences
Uttar Pradesh.
Date: 1/11/2011

My dear principal, teaching staff, supporting staff and colleagues,

It gives me an immense pleasure to join you all in wishing our fifth Druk Gyalpo and Her Royal Highness Azhi Jetsun Pema in your UNESCO newsletter. Kindly give me chance to wish them. I join you in wishing them a successful life and prosperous life. May Bhutan be all the time a peaceful nation with happy citizens under their generous guidance! May she be the heaven on the earth with intact environment and rich biodiversity! May all people in Bhutan find happiness under their farsighted visions.
The memories of Nangkor are so fresh to me and will be fresh for me in times to come. Thanks to all of the faculty members, principal, non-teaching staff and students for making me realize the need of leadership quality, peer working and co-operation in team work. With countable falls, me as president of Student Governing Body (SGB), we made everything end successfully with the year 2010. I remember who I before was and who am I now. I take pride in what am I in terms of attitude, working ethics, socialization, integrity and aptitudes now. What I am now is what I learnt in Nangkor. This is tribute to all my teachers and friends who were beside me in all weathers. Today, I am here in my college with same confident as other students. I stretch my neck with confidence. If some of you see me here, you will notice trace of Nangkor in my confident eyes.
How about your studies my friends? I am sorry I couldn’t wish my colleagues of X and XII in your trial, moreover, I was engaged in my mid semester examination. Hope this is not proving you all as the lamest excuse after all; exams are the important part of our life as learner. Anyways let us forget that. Let me assume by now you all are studying hard, right? I am happy if you all started working hard but remember I will be happier if you all learn systematically. Remember all students study hard for board exams but few make it through. No magic is involved in it. It’s the system one adopts for learning that make them excel in studies. Our principal used to say us last year and hope he does same this year. He used say us how it is not good to read too much for too long and how effective it is to concentrate fully for thirty minutes. Hope you are following his advice and it the peak of pyramid if you consider studying method is pyramid. Refer past questions paper and identify the areas vital for examination which we often find it as the least important part. That’s true I found as I passed through the stage you all should pass this year. Helen Keller writes in her autobiography: “Yesterday has gone forever! Tomorrow will never arrive, but today is yesterday’s tomorrow within your reach. What are you doing with it?” She questions us. Sometimes such words from great people are reminding us in many areas. Do what you can do today itself. Procastination is one of the main reasons making people poor performer. We all have same brain; let us make use of it. I may be sounding like blowing my trumpet; it’s not of my concern if my words bring little changes in one among hundreds of you.
Friends don’t be tensed for your board examination as it is not the Battle of Chanlingmaithang but do take it seriously for it will be deciding who you will be in future. Please do take my words as not advice but I would appreciate all my friends if you take it as reminder. Remember sometimes you will learn a lot from reminder. Is a falling apple an advice for Sir Isaac Newton on gravitation? It was reminder for him that objects fall all the time towards earth. That reminded him of earth’s gravitational pull. Take many things as reminder and try to learn something for life is full of learning. Learning ends when your ventricles stop pumping blood.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all my teachers, supporting staff and all my dear friends for being somebody important part in my life. It is tribute to all my teachers for all I am. I had wonderful experience working with you all and these memories will always adorned my memory cells till it functions. Happy teaching career for my teachers, best of luck in your coming exams for my friends and let us jointly pray for long live to their Majesties. Thank you, principal for offering me the opportunity.

                                                                                                                 With love,
                                                                                                                 Chezang Dendup
                                                                                         BSc. Agriculture


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Golden Oldie

As a young, I loved sleeping near my grandpa, Khando Tshewang. His endless stories were the most enjoyable and at reminiscence of his tale, it is still rejoicing. I would spend long hours listening to his story and vicariously, enjoying with the joy of characters and paining with the sufferings of characters. His stories were more of emotional that immortalized those stories passing orally through many generations. My Maymay’s (my paternal grandpa) was an adroit narrator. He had different versions of narration as per the listener. I used to get the story characterized by the profusion of detail owing to my intermittent enquiry. Those were the times I loved my Maymay as a narrator.
Maymay Khando

Later, when I attained reasonable age, with my Maymay still healthy, there was a lot of story about my Maymay. I not only enquired his age mates but also Maymay himself. His years of darkness were rather important to be recorded not as his grandchild but as succeeding generation too.
My grandpa was faithful and loyal man. His loyalty and faithfulness were often used by our village heads abusively. In his time, village heads so-called Garpa, were the lions in villages.  They had power of king as they were the only educated (in Dzongkha) folks. Their authority over people was huge that my Maymay endured for long years of his life. When I make critical analysis now, I feel my Maymay so loyal who served his leaders with utmost dedication.
My grandpa was known for his strength. It is said that he was the strongest man in his community. H e was a man who could easily carry 80kg of rice from Assam till our village (a day long walk). Tightly tied in the jute sack, rope over his shoulder and propping belt on his head, my Maymay used to see only the dust–ridden path to our village. Every male in his village envied his strength not his intelligence.  Some wise village men including my grandpa’s own brother never carried huge loads like my Maymay. They were involved in business. They carried light paper money back home. But my Maymay was strong who liked carrying huge loads just for few pennies cheaper in Assam.
Later, one of the village heads knew the strength of Maymay. He started using abusively. Labour tax in those time was as popular as PIT as of now. No household would escape labour tax unless you raise a pig for government (Garpas).
One day, one of the Garpas went to Dewathang for meeting and instructed my Maymay to come with his pig till Dewathang, two days later. The pigs raised in name of government were exchanged with rice by Garpas for his family. Assam was near Dewathang and they could easily get huge amount of rice with the fat pig raised by innocent villagers. Everyone in village knew their megalomaniac heads, yet none could complain. It was only the waste of time going to the court with complains. The court was at Zhongar (Mongar at present).
As ordered, my Maymay had to carry 60 kg live pig to Dewathang. With the help of his village men, they packed live pig in huge bamboo-woven basket. Poor creature started moving violently. With indisputable strength, my Maymay tied tightly to his back. With few wishes from his mates, he started his tedious journey. It was a journey which would take him one and half day. Solitary traveler in the elephant infested jungle was not fun. Moreover, the unfortunate pig kept moving; yanking for life. The village head would fetch huge amount of rice taking unpaid pains of my Maymay.
On the way, the pig moved convulsively, often threatening my Maymay’s life. The seldom trodden road was huge obstacle for my grandpa. When he reached Lazor Braag (The rocky steep slopes at Lazor), with the pig’s jerk, my Maymay was about to fall off the cliff. He became so furious that he cursed his head man. The anger he threw towards the innocent pig rather amplified the movements.
Finally, taking his large family in account, he slaughtered the pig. It gave him comfortable load. He carried the carcass so easily that 60 kilograms was nothing to the Hercules of my village. When the village leader heard the incident, he became so furious that my Maymay had to plead like a beggar. Later, when the village head came back from Dewathang, my Maymay was sued against disobedience. There is story that my grandpa had to give away a cow as the compensation for his misconduct.
The barren area as you can see in my grandpa’s head; it was the result of the load he carried. I am not sure what made him in that form, but he says it was the load. I go with his words.
When I hear such stories, I feel my generation as the lucky one. We now have the right to speech and we are never treated in that form. Knowing history heightens my sense of belongingness to my community.
I pray for my Maymay’s long life. He is 84 now and for your surprise; he collects firewood at present too. That’s his passion to carry loads!