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Showing posts from 2011

Cypress Surprise

It’s said that every cypress tree in Bhutan tells a tale. And indeed each one has a story. It just takes going around asking about the tree to unveil it. Besides being the national tree of Bhutan the cypress is associated with diverse myths and beliefs. Every grain of the cypress tree seen majestically towering over the dzongs, temples and stupas is imbued with intricate stories. Such stories are the greatest surprise surrounding the cypress. The two formidable trees at Baylangdra in Wangdue and at Kurjey in Bumthang are no exception to this. Their origin can be traced to the walking stick of the great Indian saint who visited Bhutan in 8th century. When such trees are planted, they’re done to serve as the ‘standing proof’ of the flourishing dharma. Often it is said that the trees will grow only if there is a prophecy that Buddhism will exist without waning. The trees cater to the locality as symbol of worship and blessings. The giant cypress tree growing near the Kurjey Lhakahng is

Shading the barren land

Natural 'thri' engraving in Lungtenphu landscape Mr. Sonam Phuntsho or he is popularly known as Ata Sonam – does it neither out of his professional obligations nor for any personal gain. It’s his typical instinct and the insatiable passion that drives him into the bare face of the mountain to get drenched by rain or scorched by sweltering sun. He is out there with a mission -to repay back what Mother earth gives him by planting trees and helping replenish those hundreds of acres of lands. This is something very unnatural by individual to the natural world. On any other normal day in office, he is no extraordinary human being, faithfully performing his assigned job in perfect cut. But deep inside, in his core of heart is that sense of engraved volunteerism of trying to bring deserted land into greener arena by planting of thousands of trees. Ata Sonam’s invoking of interest in environmental conservation commenced rather out of sheer inquisitiveness. Back then as a cow h

Agro-weaving – Blended Farming system unique to Lhuentse

Kushuthara - Every woman's  prized  possession Most of the people in Lhuentse Dzongkhag are predominantly of agriculturalist by nature. The Dzongkhag has the suitable climatic condition for practicing the farming of of all “Dru-na-gu”. However, encouraged by the fertile land with good irrigation facilities, most of the people are into wetland cultivations which make Lhuentse an envied Dzongkhag for producing rice. Lhuentse as one of the rice producing district in the Country contributes unprecedentedly towards realizing the food self-sufficiency of the Country. However, these agriculture farming  keeps them bogged down only in summer during the time when water for that matters rains are aplenty. Come winter, there is not much works around. Contrarily when farmers in other parts of the Country are relaxing, farmers in Lhuentse have always kept themselves productively engaged. They busy themselves in winter involving themselves full heartedly in off-farm activities which mainly

A cold welcome to my new workplace

Thimphu- carpeted in white sheet Contradictorily, I had a cold welcome to my new place of work. Everyone on a change of their workplace would expect a warm welcome where your new boss and colleagues receives you with a broad smile. This is important when you are introduced to the world you’ve not experienced before, where your new boss and the colleagues are all strangers for atleast now. With excitement brimming in my heart, I ventured to the capital city – Thimphu from my remote place in Lhuentse – my previous station. This is supposed to be a major change in my career since it is a complete change from running after trees to running after people. Journey itself was full of challenges when I had to cross many passes – the highest mountain point. Youngkola, Thrumshingla, Kikila, Yotongla, Pelela, Dochula and after sometime I even lost the count of these so-called “la” crossings. But I am glad I could make in one big piece. February the 17 th of 2011, I was all prepared to joi

Like finding grain in the stack of hay

Ever tried looking a single grain inside that giant heap of hay? I personally cannot imagine even thinking of the job. I would rather opt to dig a whole field than doing that. Finding rental apartments in Thimphu is no better. Climb to the strategic point of the capital city and scan the horizon, you’ll see that the city is the concrete jungle. The buildings of different makes and models remain crammed within the permitted space of the area. Going by such deceptive look of the town, any first timers would think there are enough space for people of whole Bhutan. Bhutan has a mere population of the little less than 700,000. But the reality in Thimphu is much harsher than it looks. A decent roof over head to shield from sun and rain is every human’s necessity. I would choose pitching a tent or putting up in a temporary makeshift if permitted by the nature’s law. But there is not much of choice offered around. Thimphu is gateway to bliss. Is it? With my coming to Thimphu on transfer

Living and Leaving Lhuentse: My short stint in place of seated pigeon

“Every Meeting must end in Departure” there is no denying of the statement. Just when I’m getting to know the people around and put myself in their shoes, here is another call from the destiny – that I must again venture into the destiny yet unknown. Perhaps this time around, it is in my favour. I won’t say I am after the greener pasture but it is too good an opportunity to deny for me. Moreover, the mandate is more into tune of my interest and potential. Nonetheless, bidding adieu is one tough job for everyone when the moment is flooded with emotions. But ‘I am turning my heels to the place’ is the truth an undeniable one. The first time I was transferred to Lhuentse, I was trounced by the strange feeling of being banished to exile. This is because the place to me merely denoted of remoteness, some odd five hundred kilometers east of the Capital city – Thimphu. It proved right when I confronted 2 days strenuous drive to reach the place. The road got narrower, the mountain higher an