Friday, February 25, 2011

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter; Writing mightier than the Fist

Writing, it’s a magic. When I started writing...I discovered that I was doing more than just telling a story. See, writing is a weapon...and it’s more powerful than a fist can ever be. Every time I sit down to write, I could rise above the walls of this prison. I could look out over the walls all across the state of New Jersey. And I could see Nelson Mandela in his cell writing his book….”-Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter.
I have been collecting movies from most of my friends here in college. THEY KNOW THAT I LIKE MOVIES WITH SLOW PACE AND DEEP MESSAGES. There are few of them who have the same tastes like I do. So here is this movie-Hurricane. With an excellent performance from Denzil Washington, the movie injected some sense to me of struggle and of course that let the world be so uncanny scattered with cons and murderers, there are still some group of individuals who protects the line of humanity with equality and justice. No every white man is a racist and no every nigger is murderer. Well, this could be another story to write, but I don’t intend to ride you guys along with it. It’s a solved nuisance everywhere (and even if it’s not, its best left for the ones to figure out for what is left in naming people through colors). What caught my line of interest in the movie apart from an excellent story involving a nigger, a boxing champion, convicted of murder of white people in the bar, was Hurricane using his time in prison to write a book about his story. The truth can be fabricated and debated, but it cannot be concealed forever. Hurricane’s book inspires a nigger who relates his own life to that of former.
The inspiration leads to so many things in author’s life.

He loses his hope to be able to embrace the freedom in his life after being sentenced to life prison. After successive turn down of his appeals, he gets knocked out of the ring. There are no other rounds left for him to stand and fight for his innocence. The former boxing champion is now in the bigger ring fighting to get out of the ring filled with so many boxers. However, what turns out at the end, comes to a real shocker. His writing stays to live up to what he explained to the nigger that writing can be mightier than the fist can ever be when latter and his friends (white people) fight for his release. The subsequent event follows with Carter ‘Hurricane’ being able to break beyond the walls of prison. He gets reborn through the freedom his book has inspired. The truth someone has concealed and fabricated to put him behind the bars gets unearthed eventually, and Carter is out again in the world where normal people live after living in prison for almost 20 years. And what inspired me was that the movie was based on a novel called The Sixteenth Round. Ruben ‘Hurricane’ Carter wrote it after being imprisoned for the murder he didn’t commit. It is his true story of how a color of man can actually be a curse in a society where racial discrepancies dictate one’s social life. And of course, his writing.
As most of the time, I said, there’s someone who wrote that one can never know when and where one’s writing can inspire someone somewhere, this movie is all about it. YOU NEVER KNOW, your passion can result in producing inspirations for people out there.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Audience with the King

There can never be words suffice enough to praise the king. With his gentle nature and of course loving gesture, old feel the warmth of their son, children feel the love of their elder, youth feel the inspiration of an accomplished parent, and government feel the firm sovereign of golden throne. Needless to say about his accomplishment in serving the people from the golden seat, one can only feel blessed for having being ruled by such a gracious human being. There are countless times when His Majesty showered the love for us-his people. I take this opportunity to wish him a very happy Birthday His Majesty. There can never be any moment extraordinary for every Bhutanese than this wonderful one.
I had this chance to meet the king personally in Tashi Chhodzong during 2009. Thanks to my friend, Dendup for initiating our audience with the Gracious one with a hope of offering the Thridhar. We missed the coronation (Once in life time event) because of our study in India. For almost three hours, we had the most wonderful time of our life with the King and of course His gentle humors.
Here are some of the fond moments of that day with His Majesty:
After having the seat in front of the HM, He asks (especially mentioning BOYS) whether we knew HRH Ashi Yangzom Wangchuk who was seating beside the King. He continues, “isn’t she beautiful?” The princess blushed while we felt very light and cheered up.
My friend and I, through some random luck, got ourselves seated right beside HM. But somehow there were more girls without seats. And HM turns towards us and says, “Be a gentleman!” And the next thing was I and my friend joining the other guys on floor behind the row of girls. Didn’t feel embarrassed but kind of felt proud to have received orders directly from the king himself. How many are lucky to have been at the end of King’s word. J
He began the audience with him being happy and proud to have received our letter of requesting to meet Him. There could be lots of work concerning national issues, far graver than granting audience to us, BUT HM GRANTED US NOT JUST AUDIENCE BUT A MOMENT OF OUR LIFE.
There was this story about Fourth King asking HM when he was a kid, about what He wants to do when he growing up. “I want to become your fisherman” was what HM replied. Things were getting lighter and warmer.
For almost more than two hours, we had wonderful conversations on small things in life. From His schooling days in Yangchenphug to college days in Oxford University and of course with how one at such young age should take pleasure in life to the fullest were few things He shared with us.
In those long, yet wonderful hours, one of the funny things I laugh still remembering is HM asking who is interested in doing music. My friend raised his hand out of the mass. When asked which instruments he knows, he knew none. He was simply interested in music. Even the HM had the laughter.
Before concluding our audience, HM advised us on national concerns which of course He made clear on us not be so concerned about other than our own studies and loyalties towards parents. We stood up to offer our Thridhar. His Majesty signed on the Kupar and gave us each personally. I can never be lucky enough to receive any of such gift from King, I felt more than lucky.
Today, I still have the Hundred Ngultrum note (from ten of those some of which I gave my parents and family members) received from the king.
To end this post, and of course to write this post, there can never be any day special and blessed than today. Long Live The King.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And there's more to life
The twirl of fate has clipped the wings of heart and the pulses of dream stopped beating ahead. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it wasn’t like me hiding in the mouse hole as if I could run away from the thorns of ache. There was no escape. The stone has to meet the end of the mason’s chisel if it has to get furnished for better craftsmanship and outshining quality. But it wasn’t like me being crude and raw. I was perfectly a normal young man in love. And you know, how dangerous a love is, in fact more than the woman with whom one is in love with. But sometime, to get ourselves into possibly a destined place or identity, one has to of course one has to go through any ordeal of adversity or blessing euphoric moments. I had one, possibly.
The fact that I lost something so agonizing in life made me drown into the ocean of my own emotional anguish.  Believe me, nothing made sense to me of losing someone so loved. Of course I was too young then to apprehend that more we hold onto someone, we distance ourselves more from moving ahead to embrace the anticipating happiness of life stored ahead for ourselves. It was a dead end and I felt I was at the shorter end of the rope. Someone can unreasonably be so naive and emotional, I can visualize myself how.
Time strolled by, but ghost still remained at the back of my haunted mind. It remained stagnant with discolored memories and aching love. It never looked like I could feel some new changes in life- at least forget the ghost and move on. HELL WITH LOVE, I used to cheer up myself.
Some of friends were deeply worried with my situation. Many of them tried talking some sense in me of not giving full commitment to some random girl.
Random girl? Dude, She was ______!”
Like all ends are a new beginning, I was a part of the revolution within myself. As usual, I was having a lunch with a long stretched chin beaten with undisclosed (as if no one knows) unhappiness. Fiddling gently with spoon, I stood as if there was no life within me. Friends nearby me could have had the silent and boring company of a lifeless person.
“There are so many things in life exciting than woman. They are not the dead end,” placing his hand on my shoulder, he continued, “and of course there are so many women in the world far beautiful than your ex-girl.”
Most of my friends and of course some of them still do that I am more into philosophical cosmos than in practical reality. The ephemeral world of action and pain was always translated into some random words of philosophy. You know what I mean, pain as sweetest gift of life, for man can be taught more of life than by anything else.
He continued with a giggle “Come on Dude. There is more to life!” You know why he giggled even though he was serious about it.
And that particular line caught my philosophical world loomed in the embryo of my celestial nonsense. I began thinking too hard about it. There are more joys in life than just random girl. There are other exciting things in life than naïve love (embarrassed at my own silliness so far). There are many mornings with promising sunrise. I could start something exciting to set the object in life. I could hang out with friends and enjoy doing naughty things. I could cherish the happiness and joys because of being someone’s loving brother, someone’s good son, someone’s hardworking student, and someone’s once-good-boyfriend or (________). And there is more to life. And now you guys know how I started his blog.
Anyway, Life has to go on as if it never ends no matter what. And I have left that part of my life buried in the dead past. I ain’t interested in cradling it further along with my life. Many things have changed today. And of course, I had chance to meet some beautiful women as well.  Life can never be finished…………

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Taj Mahal trip

We had over fourteen days of holidays in between our semester during October to November in 2009. Our first one week we whiled away in free-boozing-spree during night and being free-sleeping-beasts during day time. Humans get tired on excessive labor, but all play and no work, made us not only dull but also tired. There seems to be nothing better or anything enough to justify our holiday. Nothing tuned so well into our interest. So our friend, Yeshi, came up with the most brilliant idea. And we decided to visit Taj Mahal- symbol of eternal love.
And our journey began at in the morning.  I am quite sure many of us might have even thought to go back into the velvet of cozy sleep when few of our friends came on banging hard on our door. 6. A.M was next to curse after having been sleeping till midday or so for many days. The cab we hired was not so big enough to accommodate eight of us. Yet, we adjusted ourselves very well. Sitting at the back seat, I dozed off to complete my sleep, and woke up in front of hotel. It was the spot to break our fast which could have began from some late night. And the funniest thing ever happened that day was waiting inside the hotel. We all walked away outside from the hotel one-by-one without the breakfast. Did anyone tell clearly to the driver to take us into a very clean and cheap Dhaba, or do we need to remind him again to not to take us in front of the 3-star hotel? We couldn’t dare to pay Rs. 80 for two boiled eggs, and one cup of coffee. People were way above exaggeration, nothing like us being humble with our might and pocket.
Next time when I woke up after having paratha, in a roadside Dhaba, which was stupidly exorbitant, I woke up amidst busy Agra town. It was a hot day. There were bullocks and carts everywhere with cars honking for the way. The people were busy and seem to care least about vehicles. There were flocks of people from all walks of life entering the huge Agra fort. We did it like them, not because we wanted but because TAJ MAHAL WAS CLOSED. It was FRIDAY. The whole point of going to Agra was to see Taj Mahal, and we ended up taking photographs of Taj Mahal from Agra Fort (I still laugh whenever I go through the photo album in my computer which reads its folder as “Failed trip to Taj Mahal”). And that was also because Agra fort wasn’t too far from getting a glimpse of Taj Mahal, so ended up taking out the photographs of Taj Mahal from the Agra. Most of us ended up studying some architectural details of the fort as if our holidays were over. It started to appear like some college trip. Apart from exciting Islamic architecture (which of course is plenty in Delhi), we couldn’t feel anything as sacred and as special as we would have had had we been in Taj Mahal. Of course, thanks to our driver, some of our friends bought the models of Taj Mahal made from white stones which apparently looked like a diamond. Allah didn’t spare us on that also; later on we found out that in Delhi, we get such models on much cheaper rate.
After, having a lunch (this time in a better and cheaper Dhaba) we headed to Fatehpur Sikri. It was like getting roasted alive in the small cab. The outside temperature was getting hotter, and the cab was filled with our body smells from the sweats. Driver insisted of not having A.C in the cab. We spent some two hours in Fatehpur sikri- 30 minutes in fort and the rest in a road jam. While most of us decided to get out of the cab and wait outside on the outskirts of the gate, one of our friends stayed inside the cab.
“He’s got the A.C in the car,”
We couldn’t believe; man was getting roasted alive with us and yet his greed and stinginess prevented him from using it until most of us left the cab and waited outside. That was outrageous. It was again MONEY, he could have asked for it, or was it in the package when we booked the cab; the guy was the cheapest driver we ever drove with.
Well, we paid the price for our dullness. But it was quite an adventure.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Troubling traveller; a lesson from a drunkard

Have you ever travelled with a drunkard-that too, on a prepaid taxi? Most of you sure did,at least once, yeah? But this drunkard surely made me think a bit, in fact, something my sober mind has never realized in all these years.
I was returning back from Lungtenphu after visiting my auntie. As usual, I walked all the way through the busy Thimphu street on Saturday evening towards my favorite spot near Bhutan Telecom office- it was better that I get a taxi from there than to get from the taxi parking because I never have to hire the taxi or pay more than my individual fare regardless of taxi being full or half empty. Nothing otherwise, that was to save my own pocket money.
The taxi pulled in front of me. The man with the rags in hand and with bunch in other, like someone shifting the place occupied the back seat with a small boy beside him. With an unkempt hair, and scruffy dressings, one can surely be not so wrong to conclude him being drown in the bottles of alcohol. Beside his little kid with a dirty cream from chocolate in his mouth smudged allover his hands, I made myself at the back seat rather uncomfortably. Usually I’m the one who breaks the silence-nothing less than barging into other’s business- and end up conversing, but this man was totally in bad consciousness, so I impeded myself from having a conversation. Moreover, the distance was not so long; Jhungshina from Thimphu is just two kms or even less.
We started conversing though I didn’t really give so much a warm response to his questions. I didn’t really mean to be mean. But what triggered our point of conversation was when he asked me where I’m actually from, and to which I said I’m from Zhemgang. I could have been little weird while we conversed in Dzongkha that the drunkard suddenly started acting like my father scolding me of how bad I am in speaking Dzongkha and yet I don’t converse with him in the language we are supposedly comfortable with. Now, how I am supposed to know we have common language-khengkha- just by sitting next to eachother unless we know about us being both khengpa. I was getting little edgy with the barbaric intrusion. And what does he have to do with my speaking of Dzongkha?
“My father was a foolish man!” wiping off the chocolate smudges from his son’s dirty face, he continues “He lived his whole life here and never taught us our own cultures and languages.”
After a pause, when I do not react to his cry-of-a-foul words, he asked me “What does your father do?”
The driver has his attention towards us for sometime now. I could see him raising his eyes towards the image in the mirror that was placed over his head inside the car.
He didn’t really seem to understand that we are in capital of Bhutan. He hated the place because of his father’s selfish reasons. Why would he care then about the place? My Father is not foolish, I thought.
I have to bear the brunt of having shared a taxi with a drunkard till he got out at Hejo. He pulled straws from everywhere- about today’s youth losing one’s identity, about one squeezing into city not just leaving one’s village but also one’s  culture and of course about his son which could be another story if I write about it.
“Please visit sometimes. I stay below the chorten with my father,” gathering his son and his luggage, he continued after having some arguments over the price with a driver “He's built his own house.”
He might have been a shameful son who brags lot dirtier about his own father living on the breads earned by his father even after becoming himself a father, though rest of the journey was spent in telling taxi driver not to carry drunkards, but today when I think of it, he did make some sense to me about one being lost his own identity in an attempt to live by others’. But that’s how it functions at home; I wonder whether my young brothers who have been brought up in Wangduephodrang would ever know little about the cultures and languages of our village. And in long run, these originalities may even be rooted out completely.
The cultures extinct are in cultures blend and cultures evolution (just being positive about it).                                                                                                         

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Losar memories

At 6 A.M in the morning, I received a call from my mom which I missed because I was busy slumbering peacefully in bed. She might have wanted to wish me-Happy losar. And I don’t remember when’s the last time I ever sat around with my parents and siblings to share a meal on losar wishing all the happiness and joys. I miss those moments or else I won’t be writing about it here.
There are so many fond memories of this particular day. The world when I grew up to a young boy from an innocent kid was so much around the adults who indulged themselves to all sorts of entertaining activities during such occasions of losar. The traditional archery between the two villages or groups was most common, though. It always ended with so many merrymakings. It was the most promising event for the betterment of social web in the community. And as kids in the community, we were not so far behind our fathers. There was nothing that we left out to mark the day. From the thugpa in the morning to a dinner in the evening after a tea was so much a fun to end with Bhutanese dances (I wonder to what tunes, we faked the steps, but then it was nothing less than a losar  Our mothers and sisters were so much a busy spectators. They had to come with our lunch in the archery spot. It didn’t really matter whether they have reached the lunches for our fathers or not, but we made sure our mothers get us all dishes.
The month long preparation always began with nagging mother of some money to purchase a pair of arrows. Then there is preparation of play field. Perhaps we are the only few in world who do not require well built stadiums and fields for our play. Bhutanese can do in any sort of contour. Archery play fields are perhaps the best examples to support this argument. Before the day of tournament, blame for our adults and our myths, were we suppose to hide the eggs underneath the earth so that our opponents have a bad day playing against us? We won because we hid eggs, I don’t really know how to contemplate, but it surely gives me a smile today when I think of those naïve things we did. Next day wouldn’t have been different either; I am sure, other kids (our opponents) were smart enough as well (no less superstitious than us) about eggs.
And today as I sit here faraway from home where people are anonymous to something known as losar, but Bhutanese live on such ethics and cultures, and yet these things make us no less than wonder human beings- our lives construed by such events and celebrations which are contained in such small things which make our lives bigger and happy. We will have our losar on Friday night here in hostel amongst few Bhutanese here.
 Happy losar to everyone J

Losar: New Year in lunar calendar.