Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Nightingale

Oh my Nightingale!
You perched on the string of my heart,
With a sudden jerk, without notice,
Without permit, without warning.
The shove with which you alighted,
Set my heart into ensuing pulsation,
A sensory vibration of bliss.
I have had  myself attuned,
To the appeasing tone of bliss,
Unconditionally & whole-heartedly.

Oh my Nightingale!
You intoned your sweet melody,
The sweetness sank deep,
Into each fissure my heart  have beholden,
To each vein my heart  bifurcated into,
The echoing resonance,
The eternal accomplice of my auditory canal,
Had me spellbound,
My limbs responded with promptness,
Caroling in line with the tunic melody.

Oh my Nightingale!
You swept across your gentle moves,
I  scanned the rotary movement of your eyes,
The nonchalant swinging of your tail,
The flapping of your flamboyant wings,
The tender tapping of your claws,
The shrill clattering of your beak,
Witnessing the rhythmic movements of yours,
Has been the epitome of my joy,
Upon which I glue my unflinching gaze.

Oh my Nightingale!
Never have I been flooded with emotions,
Drained of my inner zest,
Drenched with secretion from my tear glands,
Rooted with no jovial movements of life,
Frozen with no vitality within,
As you did flop to a far-flung place;
Yet the tinge of hope,
Nurtured by your instant homecoming,
Is the only radiance over the path of my existence.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

CBBs Second Conference-A Poetic Flashback

I was knocked into my conscious realm of existence,
As I lay awake in my cozy blanket,
The warmth embedded within inviting me for a longer stay,
While the darkness outside still caught hold of nature from stirring,
The first thing that thumped my enthusiastic brain,
Was my feeling of being propelled into the exhilarated state of being,
Upon embracing the fact that,
My name was queued in the list of CBBs 2nd conference.

The thrill in me jerked me out for a morning’s walk,
The chilly puff of air rendered my ears & nose to numbness,
But the warmth of the impetus from within steered my move,
Up until I sighted the Mr. Sun peeping from a hillock.
Conveying me a tacit note on the ticking time I will have to be conscious about.
Down did I gallop in attune with the tender radiance descending.

I unleashed the orange fabric taking into enclosure the religious folio,
And mumbled the scripts in veneration to the White Tara,
For misfortunes & obstacles to be dispelled from the path I & all tread,
For her unflinching guidance & accomplice on my voyage to the right path,
And I sauntered off on the road of my destiny for the day.

My fervent wait for the arrival of a cab came to a halt,
When a beautiful lady, fitting perfectly into the seat of her exquisite car,
Momentarily halted with an alluring eye of invitation.
An astounding coincidence; we were headed to the same destiny.
Her gentle tone knit with an aura of honesty,
Has set me at ease & soon we were conversing like an old friend.

All that warbled off our lips were about books, books & books!
The only diversity in the lane was Monu’s upcoming novel,
Topics ranging from the tale of authors,
To the adversity & adventure the characters had to reel through,
Became the hit episodes in the movie of our conversation.

The conference hall of Paro college of education,
Was plugged in with seventy beady pairs of enthusiastic eyes,
Who listened with a note of empathy & undying zest,
While the tone of our speakers echoed in resonance,
In presenting to quench the thirst of skepticism & ignorance of all.

Our team hovered out like swarms of bees after the session,
And nested themselves upon the sequential steps,
In posing the most  charismatic smile their face can ever stretch into,
While the camera made its attempt to imprison every face into its RAM,
To unlock only upon user command.

In duos, trios & every set of combination were we fitted,
In cars of varied sizes to hues on our ride along,
To the remnants of the historic Drugyel Dzong.
Apart from our conversation augmented with varied flavors & additives,
My toe tapped & head swung in attuning to the rhythmic beats of the music.

Then came the role of our moderator, Passu sir,
Dressed immaculately in a jet black gho,
With his tone woven with an aura of humour,
Would unfold the tales to his earnest listeners.
Drenching us literally with the tale of the 16th century.

Despite many swinging in through the entrance,
The CBB team colonized the courtyard,
While our shrill laughter jumbled with a few muffled giggles,
Crowd-pulled many a gaze in awe admiration,
No wonder ma'am Karma's laughter still echoes,
And radiates a ray of blissfulness that we together embraced,
Many eyes displayed a tacit aching to be one sitting in our orbital group.

Sooner, our moment of blissful discussion,
Was enveloped by the inevitable dusk,
Yet, determined were we to outwit the natural phenomenon,
We had the courtyard lit  to an iridescent hue,
With the flashlight of our cell phones,
Laid over the parched golden grassy ground,
In front of the individual owner.

The translucent plastic cups were assigned an absolutely new role,
They were no longer brimmed with drinks,
Inverted did they lay over the dazzling light source,
They did fabulous in augmenting the brightness,
And sent some rays galloping to sparkle at our eyes.
I bet that was the most impressive moment for many,
As it was to my definition of the grandeur rating of the moment.

The CBB team- Photo session after the conference

CBB members before departure to Paro

At the courtyard of the remnants of Drugyel Dzong

The CBB members with the dawn of their own creation...

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Dynamic Fourth-A day for Retrospection & Gratuity

The Dynamic Fourth; My Idol in Reverence...
To the Great Fourth,
The zenith of whose greatness is immeasurable.
To the Mighty leader,
Whose might & capability is incalculable.
To the Farsighted & Visionary leader,
Whose visionary insight is beyond a fortune teller.
To the Great King of all times,
Whose developmental philosophy is pillared on Happiness.
To the Compassionate & Benevolent leader,
The depth of which is a boundless ocean.
To the Great Buddha in existence,
Whose radiance of love is an expanse of a seamless sky.
To the Brave & Courageous Leader,
Whose selfless bravado outwits the armed military might from outside.
To the Flawless Idol in reverence,
Whose elegance & youthfulness flushes in for eternity;

The family of MoAF in inclusive unison,
Offers to the noble Fourth,
A droplet act-of-gratuity,
To the ocean of your greatness.
May this drop amid millions,
Be a part of your everyday
Voyage towards perfection.

The 20,000 lush asparagus plantlets;
5000 bushy Sweet Charlie strawberry plants;
Stationed at the Horticultural Development Site,
At the Nyinzerkha Royal project bound by serenity ;
The sloppy terrain groomed into strands of terraces,
To accommodate various fruit plants;
Is  a gift offered to the Great King.

Planting of the strawberry plants at Nyinzerkha Royal Project.

The rooting of the Asparagus plantlets,
And tree seedlings of various species & heights,
At the hilly terrain of Samarzingkha,
Are in commemoration of the 60th Birth anniversary of our King.

The planting of the exquisite ornamental plants,
Stretching over a length of 6.2km,
Adorning the Babesa Expressway,
With a total plant count of 30,000 ,
Is also an evident gesture of our gratuity.
Planting of Ornamental plants along the Babesa Expressway.

The plantation of near fifty thousand trees,
In the vicinity of the Buddha Dordenma Statue,
Which led to the inscription of the Kingdom's name,
In the Guinness Book of World Record,
Delineates & marks the 60th birth anniversary of our Great King.

The 27km multi-purpose trail encircling the Thimphu city,
Scrapped, drilled, dug & leveled from its initial
Rugged, tree-crammed, root-knit terrain,
Is a gift offered to the great King
To pursue his bicycling enthusiasm.
The Preparation of the Biking Trail
 Fruits from the RNR centre,
Crammed into crates & boxes
At the National Post Harvest Centre,
Are meant for public distribution,
On the grand occasion of the 60th birth anniversary.

The things inscribed upon,
May sound so trivial a thing to be counted on,
It, however, is a simple manifestation,
Of the spontaneous explosion
Of our gratitude to the inimitable King.

The striking yellow & orange Marigolds;
An admixture hues of Chrysathemum embellishing the dividers;
An alternate array of the 2 types of Marigold,
With their peripheral enclosure of lush-leaved Asters,
 Whose yet to unfurl blooms adorning the circular Round-abouts,
Symbolizes our enlivened call for the magnificent celebration.
Striking Marigolds embellishing the Dividers
The exquisiteness of the roundabouts in display

The snow-white stupa
Footed at the gate of the Lingkana Palace,
Represents the purity of our loyalty to the Tsa-wa-sum,
The sanctity of relics be augmented,
Through our minuscule gesture of reverence,
Of embroidering the stupa,
 With fine cladding of flowers,
The fountain of wild blush ivies,
 Swapped with its lush green clones,
Descending swiftly atop the tapering stupa,
Be a symbol of boundless love
That the Great shower upon us.

The white Stupa in its floral claddings
The strands of Yellow & Orange Marigolds beneath,
Interspersed by the sallow & scarlet red Begonias,
Symbolize the dual colour of our national flag,
And the policy makers,
Who works to uphold the nation's interest.

The stout Azaleas at the very base,
Titivated with red to pink blooms,
And the dull olive-foliaged Asters,
Of the defensive peripheral hedge,
Be a representative of the armed forces,
Shielding the vulnerable inhabitants
From internal conflict & external forces.

The inter-spatial floral adornments
Of creamy whitish Petunias,
And fluffy succulent Begonias
In their faint crimson & cherry pink shades,
Represent the citizens
In prosperous sphere of existence,
With their unfaltering service
To the nation in manifestation.
A myriad of hues in adoring the Chhorten

The array of varied hues
Of Chrysanthemum in circular disc,
From a tint of white in the heightened centre,
To the receding tinge of pink, orange, faint to rich yellow,
And the final enclosure of whites,
Is a simple representation
Of the countries overseas,
In a close-knit linkage.
The array of chrysanthemum in its circular disc fashion.

The semi-circular arrangement of Azaleas, Chrysanthemums & Begonias.
The alternation of Yellow & Orange Marigolds.
All these harmonious co-existence within,
And outstanding diplomatic linkages outside,
Where the Great knitted out a myriad of diplomatic links, 
Upon which our nation saunters among other giant
Independent steps despite the miniature it is;
And I salute the brevity and wit with which you handled the miniature.

The impossible have had been possible,
With a relic as sacrosanct as the Dynamic Fourth,
For which we, the citizens, bow at your feet,
With the deepest sense of gratitude,
And a simple manifestation of our gratuity,
In wishing the dynamic leader,
A long life interlaced with happiness, good health & prosperity.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Change-From a Cattle Herder to a Responsible Citizen

This picture of me reminds of my times in the capital city in the late nineties. The re-discovery of it in one of my old boxes has led me to unfurl a tale of my childhood that remains ensnared in it. I started herding cattle even before I was enrolled in school back at my village. Maybe I was too good at it that I got to continue the task  even in the capital city. Afterwards, me & my mother would start our journey towards the West every winter vacation. She would carry her Thrithag (a set of wooden structures for weaving clothes) while I just have had to worry about herding cattle. 

The clothes cladding me as featured in the image might have been the only set that I would have owned. I remember walking barefoot at times along the paddy buns. The then our proprietor or I would rather call them as Provider; the provider of daily meals & a set or two at the most of clothing just happened to be the sister of my maternal aunt's husband. He was too cunning to have us accommodated in his house. I could recall a moment when he sent me away right from his door step saying that there were paddy straws in between my toes. He was a dread enemy of dirt & dust, and he would do anything to repel filth from his dwelling. My mother sent me with a message to my aunt only for my feet to be hurt & my sentiments to be brutally murdered.

My sensory stimuli responded well in encrypting the everyday routine in my brain. I needed no instruction for my work. Right after breakfast, I take a day out with my(entrusted to me) herd of cattle. I don't exactly remember the actual count of the cattle heads I herded. Neither do I recall of any names I used for each of them. All that I remember is the journey along with the herd, across a series of paddy fields & up into the forest, and then back right after sun set.

One day, on my return journey, I spotted the nephew of the owner standing at the door step of the ground floor with a not very pleasing look. I hesitated for a moment. He smiled all of a sudden which put me at ease and I walked up till the door. He grabbed my hand & tugged me inside the ground floor, which was then used as cattle shed. Though I was very little to understand everything, my instincts told me that his acts were nothing but of sexual harassment. I tried pleading him to release me but to no avail. I had to fight against it for I was too young for it or my conscience negated this. I fought with all my might but soon I was drained of my stamina. 

Only the fierce biting of his fingers gripping my hand outwitted his strength. He then released my hand with  a yell of pain. In an instant of seconds, I ran out, out of his cruel grip & out of the dungeon house. After running to a considerably secure distance, I turned back to check whether he was following me.  He was ruefully watching me from a distance. His expression reflected a fretful feeling of having lost the flesh from his clutch before he could savor it.

He was too steadfast on his sexual craving that he pulled out a bunch of notes from his pocket. Driven by his lascivious inner urge, he displayed the notes on his palm & signaled me to advance towards him for grabbing it. As much as he was persistent on to tasting a flesh of mine, I was firm in my attempt not to even let him grab my shadow from then on. With a last disdainful look of denial, I fled from the monster, never to turn or look back. He was driven by lust for I wasn't. I was too small to even recall the details of the incidence aftermath.

Our owner had my cracked soles a bit of relieve when she bought me a pair of blue gumboot. My excitement reached its zenith when she hooded me with a hook jacket of the same hue as my gumboot. For the set of blues that she gifted me with, I reared her herd of cattle with utmost care & with all my heart. As long as the adornments stood in my sight or clad me, it always reminded me of the debt I owe her. The only way in which I could pay for the debt was by being a good cattle herder, if not outstanding. 

My mother still recollects the owner saying, " This kid is going to do great in her life by looking at the way in which she herds the cattle". However, at the end of the winter vacation, I was agonized by the fact that I might be rid of the blue set, the gumboot & the hook. I happened to ask my mother with a note of dismay masking my face, " Ama, are they going to retain this gumboot and hook with them when we start to leave this place?". As the voice of my mother lingered in the air with a positive response, I tossed myself into the frigid winter air out of sheer excitement. I was rammed with contentment to be carrying a new set of what I was wearing while returning home.

Every time I swing my way through the Babesa Expressway, the memories of my bygone days as a cattle herder would flash into my memory instantaneously. The present building-crammed and roads branching to every building were the very space that I as a very small girl used as a grazing ground. I could at times fantasize as to how many foot prints of mine had been there, buried under the exotic buildings. The lands that once grew tons of paddy now harbors series of buildings.

I now no longer have to meddle my life with cattle, but I do have strong reverence for the hardships in my earlier life that kind of did the task of paving or refining the path of life that I am treading upon now. It only taught me to be stronger & loom in front of challenges instead of walking away. It also taught me the value of dignity of work as I am ready & I can plunge my hand into any kind of work.

The old granny version of my childhood portrait at Babesa