Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

III. College Experience; thus the architect’s journey began

When I was asked, by the interview panel for the selection of scholarship courses, why I am not preferring Mathematics honor in third world, but rather the architecture course in India, little did I know that saying being architect means being an independent entrepreneur than depending on government job would mean that I had no idea about what architecture is all about. Thinking that preparing drawings and making money as architecture was my first sin. And that architecture is just about building was another mistake. I was learning bricks, pencil thicknesses, paper sizes, giving half cut to the paper, grinding the metal piece in workshop, carrying a chain in the rose garden beside the college, sketching the flower, and computer, before I even started drawing any building.
Photo courtesy; http://getawayisland.files.wordpress.com/
Many friends in the class had already learnt few things about engineering drawings, read about architecture and had coaching on architectural software. I was the dumbest in the class because all I did during the pre-scholarship period was being excited about going to India and do architecture.  All I had was a foreign face and big blank head. One day, a computer teacher asked why we chose architecture, and many gave answers from having a dream to build their own name to having sent by parents to having not qualified to IIT and therefore choosing Architecture. I on the other hand, bluffed them that our government needs architects as we have hardly 50 architects for the developing country and god be great, we in fact needed architects then, but now I cannot say about that anymore. With each passing day, I survived by copying what my friends did. Sometimes, even though my submission was the copied one, I used to score better grades, however, most of the times it made me think whether I chose the wrong profession or not. I was not learning anything than copying other’s work. I was wondering what the architecture is about? By the way about the mathematics which availed the opportunity for me to get enrolled for the architecture course formed a very small part of our course. And it was just a semester course which finished by just studying about differential equation.
Hostel life was of course more homely. With senior Bhutanese friends consoling us that they were also clueless in the beginning and that with time, we would settle well into the web and enjoy the course. Most of times, carrying a big parallel bar, and a roll of A1 Sheet, like everyone, I drove on ring road in auto-rickshaw to the college, come back to the hostel, visit a senior’s room for a friendly talk, have dinner, then go around asking my friends about the home work and spend half the night preparing the drawings by copying from my friends. By the way, it wasn't the building drawings, but rather a brick bonding drawings, arch patterns, basically all that was not about building which I dreamt(at least I thought so then). 

Monday, November 11, 2013

II. College Experience; Settling down in Delhi

Delhi can be a small dot in the great Indian map, but, population wise, it cannot be undone. With more than a crore population, I was like thrown into the pool to survive and thus thrive. School of Planning and Architecture, widely known as SPA, had a hostel campus and college buildings separated by more than 10 kilometers  It was Rs.50 away from hostel in New Friend’s Colony to the college in ITO (Income Tax Office) area in auto-rickshaw  While on a train from Howrah to Delhi, a guy with whom we shared a compartment told us that the college we are going is deemed like an IIT for architects. It was very motivating and felt blessed until I saw a single building attached with the oval auditorium, and that we were told building is the architecture block, and the hostel had a big single building complex as the student hostel. For such a reputed college, how can an infrastructure be poor?
College Building, SPA, at IP estate, New Delhi
We got admitted and we were sent in different sections. Architecture department, had so many courses from undergraduate to the masters, but UG-Architecture had the maximum number of students from the two sections per batch. I was placed in First Year Section ‘A’ while two of my friends were placed in the other section. Being in a class of so many Indian friends and a very few people who looked like our tribe, it was a very difficult experience initially. However, I made friends with them, and my understanding of Hindi served me well in getting closer to them. Some faculties would teach in Hindi, while most of the faculties taught in English  And a three hour long classes would end by 5.PM in the evening. As usual, we would board the Auto-rickshaw to get to the faraway home.
Hostel Block, Taimoor Nagar, New Friend's Colony, Delhi
Hostel was very tight for the students who were there before us. And having been late by a week, it was a difficult situation for us to get the hostel rooms. We ran here and there seeking help from seniors and it ran abruptly into nothing. Finally, we decided to stay in a guest room which cost us 200 per night. It was pretty disappointing for our college fee and hostel fee were paid together, and yet we ended up having to pay for the accommodation  After trying hard for two weeks, we decided to take up a room in Laxmi Nagar, 10 minutes drive from the college. Being away in an unknown city, and having not settled well, we stayed in a very small room, and that room was pretty expensive. It cost us Rs. 14000.
We kept on trying to report to the  DAHE back in Bhutan about our situation, but nothing happened.Finally after staying for 15 days, my friend, Jamyang succeeded in getting us a flat in the hostel complex. He approached Director, and that was our third try meeting director and requesting him to attend to our problem.

Being in Delhi itself is a big challenge but to be out there with no proper accommodation and least help, that is all together another bigger problem. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Autobook Entry

As I unfold my memories, I am fascinated with the idea of a thing which we used to do in schools, filling up the fancy books of friends with stuffs which we called our favorite. It's so exciting to think that even when we are limited with knowledge and wisdom, we still had things to love and idolise. Auto book writing, as it used to be called then, was one fancy book where we would find someone's everything if we were to stalk.
Recollecting, I compiled my auto book entry.
Today recollecting back these things, I wondered whether all these things were genuine or not. I used to write most of the time to go through the photographs of the girls and read their auto entry. I am sure, many of you sure must have once or more entered these things in auto books of your friends. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My football team; Bhutanese Architects team

Football has now become a one of the most written topics here in my blog. And admittedly, football has become just more than a part of a life. Even though, I console my friends that football is just a part a part which comes under some part of a life and that there’s nothing to get serious about it. But deep down I know that I am more into it like many out there. I am happy when Real Madrid wins, more importantly when Ronaldo scores the winning goal. I am also happy to see Barcelona lose a match and anything couldn’t be better than Madrid beating Barcelona.
Real Madrid Team
Letting the best of football be, we have our own team built with ourselves. It’s been almost a year, BIA 11 (Bhutanese Institute of Architects 11) have been most of the time at the losing end of the game. There are many matches where we lost heavily, but there are also few matches where we really made a statement of a winning team. It’s bitter sweet memories and after my family, football is what I love most. I am quite sure we would have contributed to the Changlimithang more than 50k so far. Afterall, even when we won, we paid around Nu.150 and when we lost, it doubled.
BIA 11
In the cold wintry winds of Thimphu, we have often found ourselves thinning the pocket almost every match. There was no improvement at all. Once we lost a match by more than a dozen goals and that one of the opponent back out of the game. We lost heavily and that the game was discontinued made us feel so low. However, revenge was served to them when we won the next match against them, and it was around 8 to 3 goals. Since then, we always took it serious and now we have established ourselves as a decent team.

By the way, we are open to challenge any team out there, so if you have your team, we can have at least some sort of friendly match.  For the record, we lost our latest match and we are in 4 match losing streak.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo sends a letter to Miami Attorney asking to drop charges against the pitch invader

I have always admired Cristiano Ronaldo ever since I learnt to love football. He's been inspirational and a idol for me. He may be the cockiest footballer, save Ballotelli, and an arrogant footballer, but for a fan like me who's been following his football for over six years now, he's showed his better side more often. 
Ronald hugging his superstar idol Ronaldo
During his match against Chelsea, 2013 in Sun Life stadium, USA, a young man invaded the pitch and hugged Ronaldo which eventually led to the criminal charges levied against the intruder. However, the new twist to the incident is that Ronaldo writes a letter to the attorney requesting to drop the charges against the intruder. Read the following letter; 
My name is Cristiano Ronaldo and I play for Real Madrid. I was playing in Sun Life Stadium when a fan entered the field. His name is Ronald Gjoka, a young college student. We hugged, and we spoke for a while, until security arrived to escort him off the field. He was not aggressive or violent in ANY way. What's more, he did not put up any resistance when the security guards and police arrived.
As I understand it, he has admitted his mistake and understands the importance of security. He is a young man of twenty who grew up without a father and was raised by a single mother. He attends Palm Beach State Community College, Florida, with an international student grant.
I am concerned because I understand he may face problems with immigration and with his college if the criminal charges against him are not dropped. He was immediately taken to the Stadium's security area and then spent a day and a half in jail. It seems he appeared before a judge on Monday accompanied by his attorney who asked for the charges to be dropped, but you chose to ignore his appeal.
I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and laws. However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces. I would hate to see him face criminal charges for his mistake. By all accounts he has a bright future ahead of him and I'd hate to see this future ruined by an error of judgement. Thank you. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me directly at any time.
Sincerely, Cristiano Ronaldo".
Courtesy: Marca.com

And eventually, the guy was dropped of one of the charges on Ronaldo's request.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fifa World Cup in Bhutan

Football, the global religion, like any other country, has taken our country completely to another level of global excitement and celebration. Today, we have every kids wearing jersey of famous footballers, idolizing the football gods, and enjoying the every bit of game not just in television but also in a playing ground. The artificial turf, which is the only above standard football ground for us at the moment is always occupied with the football matches from morning 8 AM to 12AM midnight. And the heavy fee which ranges from Nu.2500-Nu. 5000 per match doesn’t deter people to come all the way from Trongsa to come and play a one and half hour match. It just shows how much Bhutanese are into the football.
Even with such craze, Bhutan participating in the FIFA world cup remains the most dreaded dream of ours. Bhutan’s only international tournament is SAFF championship, where Bhutan remains an undisputed underdog of the tournament. The tournament of course helps our players give the exposure, however, whether Bhutan have the capacity to host the tournament or not, we have not been able to get the nods from the governing body to organize it in our country.
FIFA world cup trophy which will be landing here in Bhutan. Photo courtesy; www.kuenselonline.com
TheFifa world cup trophy, as a part of its world tour would be brought to Bhutan in December. Fifa with more members than the UNO, kind of deserves a big applaud for promoting the event and in a way, bringing the globe together for the common cause of leisure and oneness. For Bhutanese aspiring footballers, this prestigious trophy landing in our soil would surely serve to instill the new enthusiasm. And it would surely inspire our Football Federation to promote and help the football education receive enough attention and instigation.  Of course, BFF is already up with another artificial turf at Changjiji which translates into more facility, more football, more enjoyment and more financial outcome. 
The other final trophy

Well, for the record, we are past that 2002 event where FIFA organised the football match called ''the other final", when Bhutan took on Montserrat, then the two lowest ranking countries in FIFA ranking, coinciding with the FIFA world cup final 2002. Today we are 207th out of 209 countries. However, Montserrat has moved on to 193rd. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Painting of Bhutanese building

Thimphu has seen so much changes in recent years. And much changes predominately at a glance is brought about the number of buildings our city has come up with to accommodate much growing people. The architecture has always been an indication of the change for most part of our civilization. From a cave to a glass building, the architecture has played the part of bearing the change.
The change in building design in most of the places in the world have been either politically inspired or economic showdown. However, our buildings have always been cultural symbol than just a bearer of change. The small landlocked country with a need to project a strong sense of uniqueness and identity, it was always mandatory for a building to project a sense of cultural significance. Anyways, letting the building architecture mantra be, my observation is more focused on the building painting that our new buildings proudly wear. It is needless to say that the painting of a building at a glance would project the aforementioned changes.
Our building painting like our building style has always been inspired by the religious significance and belief. Lately, with the various shades easily available in the market, our building seems have to really gone too much into the in-depth religious belief that the aesthetic sense is lost somehow down the way. People paint the building with pink, dark red, deep blue, green, brown, yellow, you name any color, our buildings have one. The coloring, as it do not deserve to be called painting, of the building has gone from crazy to lunatic. When one's kham is red, one goes all out to paint the house red, and own red car. There are some buildings with a good facade design, but the coloring has killed it. And sadly, our concerned authorities do not care to intervene also.
Forget about the private buildings, some of the school buildings lately have such a bad blue color in their front facade. Who is smoking what, God knows? As one of the my senior colleagues points out, the painting of the building in such a awful fancy style is a visual pollution. It harms the environment, and yet no one cares to talk about it than just casually pointing their address as near the red building in Changzamtog, or green building near this or that.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Once beaten, never shy to get beaten twice

It goes deep down in our roots that Bhutanese are reluctant to learn from the mistakes we make. Once beaten, we are never shy to get beaten twice.
The Tala hydropower project colony which was built then to support the Tala Hydropower Project Construction remained empty after the completion of the project, let alone the ghost town, Gedu, which was built with the promising prospect of serving the project, enduring very few wayfarers after the project was completed. Had it not been for the Business school, God knows how the infrastructure would have been left empty. The amount of money spent on building the colony might have been very less compared to the cost incurred in building the hydro power, but it still projects the unnecessary spending.
New PHPA colony under construction

The kuensel issue, 28th September, 2013, has a story on the Bajothang town and that what will happen to the town when most of its tenants will shift to the new colony which is being constructed for the project people. Let’s not talk about how these projects have inflated the market, and also about how much the hydropower project is important for nation and its economy. The article here is solely on what will happen to the house owners who have a big invisible car parked in front of their house of whose value is decreasing daily? How will they repay the loans when, supposedly, their rich tenants move to their own colony which will have everything, right from the shopping center to the sporting facilities? Will the town on its own sustain like the small Gangthangka survived through the time? Of course Gangthangkha house owners then did not have any car parked in front of their building? Right now, I can only think of the house owners shifting their shops, if they own any, to the coming up new colony and take a rent in their shopping center that too if the project allow and repay the loan.
Bajothang town.  Courtesy: Passudiary.com
The thing about Bajothang town moving towards the dangerous end should have been avoided. We already had an experience with Gedu, yet our officials missed on such a heavy concern. How can it be possible that the DPR preparation did not involve any Bhutanese experts? That’s a total bullshit, and if it’s true, the grave has been dug, it’s waiting for the end. Who do we held accountable for loses the town will be subjected to? And for the projects which would need serious and consistent infrastructure only during its construction need to build a colony on the extra expenses? And what will happen to these colonies when the project is completed? Will we have another college to rescue? And yes, talking about the college, the Education City comes to the picture. The supposedly international city, will it be able to attract the foreigners to come and study in Bhutan? And if it fails to sell its product to the projected masses, will it target the local students at much cheaper rate? And if it does, how will the private colleges get affected? Our country and population is too small for so many big things.

Perhaps none of the above situations will happen, supposing that my not-so-researched article is utterly wrong? But then, how do we know also about the governments after thoughts on the project sustainability as the information is very much private and not made public. Some Dorji and his friends know, but then they don’t care to educate the lesser minds like us.  We are already in such a delicate situation that the future seems to be burdened more with the unthinkable situations. Government encouraged people to build the town but never told about the guest who will build its own house. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Jobs, youth and cost of lifestyle

These days the job providers always claim that there are enough jobs for our unemployed youth and yet, our youth prefer to stay unemployed. It triggered me to kind of defend these youths who are left unemployed and kind of think why there are so many jobs that are rejected by the youth even though most of them are succumbing to the harsh realities of unemployment.
I got myself employed for a job in a consultancy till I decided what to do; whether to appear common civil service exam or start my career in private entrepreneurship. My boss who is an architect tells me on that particular day of my employment that these days the house rents have doubled, food expenditure has also doubled, fuel prices have also doubled, but on the other hand, architects fees have gone half. It struck me right up.
There was a point, in fact a strong one. The rise in the expenditure and the raise in salaries, never go equally. In Thimphu alone, one does not get a house for less than 8000 nu/month. For a simple person who is working in a company that manufactures furniture cannot afford a house of Nu.8000 with his meager salary of Nu.6000. The quality of life to be good and healthy would mean to have a proper space to cover one’s head, proper clothes, proper food and good facilities. Let alone about getting his kids into a proper school, or helping his aged parents with some money at the end of the month or during the annual puja, simple living standard is also beyond his ability. We live in a situation where job qualities do not match the living expenditure. House rents are like touching sky, and even then we have shortages of houses which would mean that the escalation in the rents would be unarguable in near future.
Let’s talk about government jobs. Firstly, whenever we have youth unemployment increasing so much, everyone stares at Labor Ministry, now perhaps more than that we might stare at our government as they promised 100 % employment. Every year thousands of graduates flock to Thimphu in search of jobs. Looking at the number of jobs created by government and private sectors, the job intake would mean that we are way short of the jobs which these graduates would take up proudly and enthusiastically. There are also situations, where students are sent outside to study some courses by RCSE and DAHE only to come back and find that there are no jobs suited for the course which s/he was sent to. Either the course is so hi-tech that government does not find the need of employing a person who has mastered in such a big course or the government has not been able to find the place where the studied education could be placed into use. Where do we blame?
Picture Courtesy- Bhutan Observer.bt
And there are youths who are trained in vocational training institutes, and yet we have foreigners working even in the construction of simple structures. At a glance, we might blame our youth for the pride that one cannot digest, but no one looks at the job quality like better salary, respectful environment. Today, even the most skilled carpenters have lost their jobs, it can be attributed to the change in the construction style, but still, for the required work, and our contractors prefer to get Mr. Kumar from Cooch Behar as he is less costly.
We live in an age where costs of needs are exceedingly higher than what we earn. And it seems like we really don’t have answer for these various implications which are the adverse affects of the development of the city. Today, government has stopped providing loans, and banks would dry up, more problems would follow. The ever tiring farming job which is not lucrative as working in a road side would be forced upon. We live in a ever changing age, and the ripple effect of the change is so strong to bear.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bhutanese Bloggers e-conference

First of all thank you, Rekha Monger for actually giving one fun topic to write something in my blog after such a long time. I know I am guilty of not updating my blog for such a long time. And there are always some of you who have served as an inspiration to blog, who I like to thank once again.

 1. Why did you start blogging in the first place? And what’s the story behind your blog title?
 Well,  I have always liked writing and penning down my thoughts. What started as a mere interest ended myself initiating the literary programs in school, and for that matter, during my school days in Yebilaptsa Middle Secondary School, with the help of my literary club incharge, I was actively involved in publishing a weekly magazine. The money that we earned through it, we donated to the hospital. During my college days, to kill the boredom and a loneliness, I started taking refuge in the world concealed between the lines, and soon I discover that I can actually own an online diary where I can write my own story and let people read it.
My friend during a casual dinner, consoles me that there's always more to life, which would thus become title of my blog. He was right, life in fact has more than just loneliness, sadness, etc.
courtesy: http://sheposts.com/images/old/speaking%20at%20blogging%20conferences.jpg

2. How long have you been blogging? Where are you based?
:It's been almost four years, and a wonderful experience of knowing many avid bloggers on the way. I am based in Thimphu, though i was in Delhi for three years of blogging age.
3. How do you schedule your blog post? Daily or weekly? Or as and when inspiration strikes you?
: Initially, i was determined to write weekly on mostly topics which concerned the everyday life, then i realised, forcing myself to write just because i want to update weekly, it's not good for my blog. I mostly end up coming with a simple topics and that it didnot really involve my full zest. It was like a forced love which is a false love.
These days, i have stopped though to write as often as i do, but with this rekindling and wake up call, i would try to write as and when something strikes and inspires me.
4. Does your family and friends know about your blog?
My friends and family know about my blog, and sadly, apart from my friends, my families have proved not-so-interested in reading or writing one. But my friends, some of them read my blog.

 I leave my friends to tag themselves. Happy Blogging and Happy reading

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kings Cup- Outdoing its Expectation

Last May, kings cup final was played between, Real Madrid and its city rival, Atletico Madrid. And to my utter disappointment, real Madrid lost. However, I always liked to believe that luck denied Real Madrid. It isn’t normal that Ronaldo, Ozil and Di Maria all hitting the wood work. It was a last match of Mourinho before he left the club for Chelsea. And now its been almost two and half months, and we have a different King’s Cup, a tournament born in our own turf.
Yedzin celebration after a win against 3 Star. Picture Courtesy; goalnepal.com
Kings Cup, as hyped as it is, it has lived up to the expectation, even to a point that it brought people together, or rather gave a respite after a much hyped election. The national healing was necessary, and thus, football proved it more than just a game. When we see many people cheering for Bhutanese teams, and for that matter, even when our people jumped off their seats when United Sikkim equalized in the dying minutes of the semifinal match, it reminded me the Invictus, a movie on Nelson Mandela. The rugby game apparently unites the country. (Forgive me for the comparison if our small tournament do not merit such praise, but for the frog in the well thinks well is the world, and I am happily letting the thought pass)
Today, we have a final match. Yedzin has come long way from being the national league champions to beating Nepal’s3 Stars which was considered to be one of the best teams of Nepal to playing in the final match. It will be a good match between Manang Fc and Yedzin FC, at least, we will be cheering for the Bhutanese team. I remember myself sitting with my small group of friends in Delhi amongst many Indian football fans, watching Bhutan play India in SAFF. It was such a belittling moment as the Bhutanese team was outperformed by the Indian players and we couldn’t even cheer. Already our number was too small, that we had to endure the Bhutanese players hardly getting the ball. However, today it’s a different scenario, we have the crowd, we have the team performing well, and above all, its our own turf, the variables looks good to come out with the good equation.

Yedzin FC team. Picture Courtesy- Goalnepal.com
Good luck Yedzin, and let’s hope today’s tournament is the beginning of so many football festivals in times to come. It is so much an economic boost, while it is an entertainment loved by everyone. We can expect our league to improve with every team vying for the place in the Kings Cup tournament.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Best movies of 2012

Here are my best movies of 2012

i read the book long time back when i was in second year (2008). My design faculty recommended the book and coincidentally i was on a ship sailing around Laskshadweep islands. And recently was watching this movie, Life of Pi. But i still don't get which one's the true story of Pi, the one with Richard Parker or the other. 

 Vidya Balan once said that she is the only "khan" amongst the actresses and no wonder that she's damn right about what she said. Kahaani literally leaves one dumbstruck when at the end we are caught up in an unexpected twist to the whole journey of a pregnant woman  looking for her lost husband. 

With Japan's invasion of China, the mercenary ( played by Christian Bale ) finds himself with a big and dangerous situation of saving the girls from the church from the Japanese soldiers. And a bunch of prostitutes interestingly add a flavor to the movie. Its a Chinese movie by the way.

 This one's a hardcore action from Quentin Tarantino with Jamie Fox, Chritoph Waltz and Leonardo in a lead role. The movie uncharacteristically is a action movie running over a soft romantic story of Jamie Fox and his lost wife. This movie also proves why one should watch hollywood movies by director unlike bollywood which goes by a lead actor.

Here's the best that i still can't get over with. Was in Delhi collecting my probation certificate that movie happened to be released in theater. The excitement and the environment that it created was so awesome that i also felt like clapping when the movie ended together with other moviegoers. The trilogy of batman ended in such a epic manner. Even such a simple fiction, Christopher Nolan directed in a such a awesome manner. Of course he's other movies like Inception, Prestige, Memento, were all good but this one's the greatest of all. 

So this is it, my favorite movies of 2012.  What are yours?

Friday, January 11, 2013