Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Ants are the creatures that are pretty annoying when they march on and rummage into our personal space. Never had a creature irritated me as the ants did.  No matter how hard we try, they always find a way and a place to be in everything we have.

They follow scent or pheromone trails created by other ants from the colony to gather food efficiently. Hence they form a never ending queue in moving forth and back. Some would have their heads collided with the other, bringing them to a momentary halt.

They would have conquered the noodle packets that we have stored in the refrigerator before I could relish a bit of it. They won’t fail to occupy a cozy place in the folds of my blanket. Neither would they leave a bit of my flesh unattended as they stroll over it, giving me a midnight surprise.

At times, these creatures really do check our patience and resistance. They would attempt their tricky play with us at odd times and places where we can’t set our action as directed by our reflexes. They would let us fling a swift shift to the bathrooms but for an effortless search.

Despite the notorious action, a careful examination and observation has let me to a realization. They dwell in a complex yet a cooperative society. Gregarious creatures having the cutest world of their own are they. Never could one spot them strolling singly except for a few unfortunate ones who have lost their path somehow.

They are such a determined set of insects working in utmost harmony. Neither do they find time to quarrel nor to sleep. They would set a target, proceed with the fastest velocity until they reach their destiny.

“Hey buddy! Come along this way. Grasp his leg firmly and the rest of you climb over his body. Be careful that none of you slip away over his wings. Together we can do it and soon we will have the greatest feast ever. So hurry guys”, comes the quick instructions from the one of them. But the others’ action would have already preceded his instruction.

No sooner would they tread their way back home with the heaviest loads ever. Believe me, ants can carry loads 50 times their body weight and it is not surprising to see some of them carrying the legs, some antenna, some head and the various body parts of the giant mantis.

One of them would happily remark, “See guys, it doesn't matter how gigantic an organism is, for their gigantism is in par with foolishness. Had it not been for the coordinated and harmonious hard toil of every individual of us, and the summation of witty ideas of all of us, we would have been clamped to pieces by these very stout legs resting on our shoulders right now. Don’t you think so?”

“I bet. It’s excessively heavy though. I’m pretty sure that you guys have well noticed the beads of perspiration tickling down my forehead”, comes the response.

All would nod in due submission and contentment.

The complex and cooperative societies that the ants dwell in enables them to survive and thrive in conditions that would challenge the individual. It’s so to say that they can outwit, outlast, and outplay humans.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Women and Safety

In this present era, we live in a world where natural catastrophes aren't alone the cause to bring an end to someone’s existence. Neither does one have to have a dreadful enemy to have one torn into pieces. Indeed, the society is transforming into a mystery implacable one.

It is being woven into a subtle and complex web by the tool called violence with women as an object to be used and abused. When the cries and agonies of women were turned a deaf ear to, how are they ever going to feel secure? It was said by Gandhi, “India will get real freedom when a women can walk alone on a street.”

The Delhi gang rape of a 23 years old girl after having brutally beaten with iron rods along with her male companion in a passenger bus leaves many a women awestruck. The merciless act of plunging the iron rod inside her was nothing but an absolute act of thoughtless animals.

Yet there’s another heart throbbing incident of a 21 year old girl, who lost her mother at the age of 2, said to have and grown up with her relatives until she was forced into marriage at the age of 16. In an attempt to run away from her melancholic life, she was brutally stripped off her nose and ears by her husband and the in-laws.
No more blood please...
Not so long ago, a man had himself introduced to my villagers as Dzongkhag administrative officer. He married a girl and settled there. A few months did he stay only to be vanished out of sight. Away was he with the money the girl’s family entrusted him for their agricultural loan to be cleared. The villagers respected him for the post he had none.

 The tragic tale of a friend of mine, who was once my classmate, a roommate, still triggers my tear glands. I vividly recollect those lips that quivered in letting her agony drip out slowly.  I had a hard time in absorbing the brutal pervert facts.

She was sexually abused, to be appropriate, raped by her so called father at the age of 11. His attempts were incessant thereafter. God knows whether he is the real father or a beast that consumed her alive. His act could not be blamed for his ignorance or any mental disorder for he was a well educated, working man.

Neither her mother’s senses could detect the flesh being burnt nor was she in a position to extinguish it herself until the blazing flame engulfed her.

Once in a night journey in bus from Hyderabad to my college, a shrill chill ran through my spine when a man in front of me lowered his seat and brought his dirty, rugged fingers over my knees. I folded myself into so small a size and lowered my legs to avoid him. Within a lapse of few minutes, the terrific fingers crawled from in between the seats and made several attempts until dawn.

The society always talks about women being taught the right manners, the proper intellectual and moral values. In the same way, men should be taught as to how to treat women.

 They should be made to inculcate a slight sense of empathy. They aren't empowered with the right to toy with the innocence and fragility of women’s heart.

The rapists or the wrong doers or the criminals confess to the heinous crime and demand they be hanged or some are condemned to life imprisonment. With that, is everything going to be over?

If that’s the case, I don’t have even a tinge of skeptic feeling that our society will continue to dwell on its ineffective path.  It’s time for us to come out of our pupating cocoons, the time to stop the blame game.  It’s a wake up call for profound social and legislative reforms, the need for appropriate parental and school education.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tale to tell...

Everything in existence,
Form a speck of dust in the stellar
To the gigantic mother earth,
Has a tale to tell,
If we care to observe.

So does the science of horticulture
The mother of all culture,
Encompassing a dust of soil
To the diverse species of plants,
Has a narration beyond imagination.

The science of entomology,
Dealing with insect physiology and morphology
From the team-work of queue of ants
To the hovering of exquisite butterflies,
Has a purpose to be met.

From the vigorously growing plants
To the sickly appearing ones,
Has a pledge to be made
And a favor to be granted,
If the phytopathologist care to listen.

From the ushering of the radiant rays
To its immediate seizure in the western horizon,
The priceless gifts of the medicinal and aromatic plants
Do bind our everyday existence with fragrances,
If we care to open our olfactory senses.

Everything that swirls or descends from the firmament,
From the thunderous growl with the cyclonic catastrophe
To the frosty calm morning that greets us,
Has a warning to be foretold,
If the meteorologist care to be vigilant.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Love Unrequited

The world that you ushered me in,
Is impeccably amazing,
Yet I could not show you.

The love that you shower upon me
Is literally dimensionless
Yet I could feel it.

The light that you illuminate on my mundane life,
Is visibly unflinching,
Yet I could not reflect it.

The lens with which you showed me the world,
Is feasibly clear,
Yet I could not magnify for you.

The legs that would swagger for miles,
Is physically feeble,
Yet I could not provide a settee for it.

The hands that worked for decades,
Is structurally emaciated,
Yet I could not provide a lap for it to rest upon.

The life that you endure with the pain inflicted,
Is morally unthinkable,
Yet I could not relieve you of it.

The merits of endurance that you have accumulated,
Is numerically countless,
Yet the rewards were of absolute contradiction.

The seldom uttered words of yours,
Is nothing but soothing,
Yet responses were snarls of rage.

Nevertheless, my beloved mother, you are audacious enough
To stroll on the path of thorns,
And patient enough to wait for my arrival,
Who would eradicate the agony of your unrequited love.