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Chinese Tea and The Girl Who Played Bamboo Flute

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It is a Sunday afternoon. A lazy Sunday afternoon, in fact. I am reading a book by Haruki Murakami. 'South of the Sun West of The Border', is its title. He is a Japanese writer whose central theme of writing is  magical realism. Characters in his books are quite often confused like me. Or am I confused like the characters in his books. I am not sue.  As I read, I am also listening to Mozart Symphony number 40. A small cup decorated with Chinese characters sits on my table. There is a flask of hot water too. In a yellow plastic, I can see a strange root. I have never tasted it before. I recently got it from an acquaintance in China. I carefully take out two small pieces of roots from the yellow plastic, put in my cup and pour some hot water. The color of water changes to sky blue. As I lift the cup with both of my hands, and bring the cup nearer to my mouth, I can see a strange thing in my cup. There in the cup, I see the girl who was playing flute, again!
Am I alive? Am I dea…

Beet Root Juice On a Full Moon Night

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On a full moon night in early autumn, I sit on a hill overlooking a strange yet breathtakingly beautiful town. There are lights of different shades and hues decorating the town. A cool autumn air is blowing gently. I am the only live soul inhabiting this place at this point of time. It is almost 1 am in the morning. The full moon hangs low in the western sky like a freshly churned out ball of butter. There are fewer starts tonight.
I hear a faint soft sound of somebody playing a bamboo flute. At first, the sound is merely recognizable. As I listen with rasp attention, the melody from the flute intensifies. It pierces the darkness and travels through the swishing trees at midnight. A feeling of ecstasy runs through my veins. For a moment, a feel goosebumps all over my body. Is an angel playing the flute at this point of night? Are the demons celebrating a feast? I ask myself. But I am not afraid or things like that. I just feel I am in a different plane of existence. Normally, I would…

The Carpenter and his Karma

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Story of a Carpenter and his Karma.

In Himalayan Buddhist regions, people believe that there are many world forms. These worlds forms/universe are ruled by a specific Buddha at a specific time. The current Buddha is Buddha Shakya Muni. The future Buddha is believed to be Buddha Maitreya. This back ground is necessary to appreciate the following story.
This story was told to me by my father when he visited me for a few days from village in Far East of Bhutan, Trashigang.
Part I  In an earlier universe, during the time of Buddha Woe-sung, there lived a king who was a patron of Buddhism. When the Buddha Woe-sung died, the king collected many precious relics like fragments of bones and hairs etc. form the blessed remnants of the Buddha. The king kept the relics by the side of his bed, on a beautiful altar for many years, making offerings of scented water and aromatic herbs. 
One fine day, the king thought it was selfish of him to store the Buddha’s relics in his bed room and worship all alon…

When Pens & Laziness Go To War

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It's been over nine months that I did not write a blog piece. Logging into to blogger and writing these lines gives me a feeling of deja' vu. It feels like taking rebirth in the blogger's world. When we try to write after a gap of months, you notice that words don't flow easily from the creative parts of your heart. It is a sort of victory day today for me. Victory over procrastinating that I will write tomorrow. 
In early spring of 2017, I was sitting outside a holiday resort in Paro, with my laptop open, my eyes scanning the picturesque Paro valley and surrounding mountains. It was the perfect place to write a poetic piece. The morning was afresh with thin mist of clouds hanging loosely in the opposite mountains, fresh pale green apple leaves growing on weather beaten, dry apple trees. First rays of the morning sun was kissing the otherwise dry paddy fields of Paro. Two huge old dogs from a nearby animal rescue shelter sat lazily near my table. Fresh vapors rising f…

Good Health: Supreme Blessing & Best Gift

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Supreme Blessing & Best Gift
A life without a touch of illness would contradict the basic law of nature.  However, a life with minimal illness is what we all desire. To this effect, I believe a life without illness is the purest and supreme form of blessing. It is also, I think, the best gift a human being can ever get in his/her life. But do we really value our normal days:  when we don’t even have a mild headache, when our body feels ‘normal’, without any feeling of sickness?
A normal day without sickness is a miracle in its full display: a silent miracle, a precious miracle which all of us fail to notice. Imagine you wake up one cold morning in December, when the brownish mountains are covered with snow, when the air is freezing cold; you pull the window curtains apart and make a move to get up and brew a steamy cup of coffee for yourself. You suddenly realize you no longer can move your legs. How will you feel? What will be your first reactions before you adjust with your new f…

Reflections on the 109th National day

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I just completed Dr.Karma Phuntsho’s History of Bhutan last Sunday.  It is an auspicious moment by my reckoning, for we are left with just five days before we celebrate the 109th National day of Bhutan. Reading the book provided me a broader perspective of our nation building. It gave me a deeper understanding of our origins, the hard works and sacrifices of our forefathers, the countless internal conflicts, the numerous negotiations and mediation by Je Khenpos between rival factions and so on.
Nation building is a tiring process, especially if you view it from a scholarly point of view, by reading a well researched book on our history. It has taken centuries before we arrived at a point where our journey started with perpetual peace and happiness. Thanks to our wise elders, they made Sir Ugyen Wangchuck the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan on 17th December 1907 in Punakha. This historic day would set the wheel of peace and harmony running in the Southern Land of Medicinal Herbs.

A prayer in late Spring

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It is a gloomy morning in late Spring in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. As I walked to my office, it was raining gently. I had to avoid vehicles from splashing muddy water on my gho by walking very carefully. Life is back in full force. Beautiful flowers are turning into tiny, delicate fruits. The brownish hue of hills and mountains surrounding Thimphu valley is getting back to its glorious green. Lots of tourists from India and China can be seen taking pictures around the memorial Chorten.
As this month is a holy one for followers of Tibetan Buddhism, a lenthy Monlam is being organized at the memorial Chorten. The stupa built in late 90's is clad in colorful ceremonial scarfs. Surrounding it, elaborate offerings of flowers, scented water, sweet cakes and aromatic herbs are made. Melody of Buddhist musical instruments enhance the beauty of on a gloomy morning. 
Many people have come here, on their way to office, like me, to make a prayer before they start their day. Old men and w…