Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Lessons I have learned from my late father

Photo of my late father

Every year, the month of September transports me back in time and reconnects me with the memories of my late father. September 11 has become one of the darkest days of my life. It was on this day in 2005 when I had to part with my beloved father, the only person I could call my own family. Since then, I have been living in a story that does not have a protagonist. Without him to stand beside me, I had to move on with life alone, often swimming through the turbulence and rough waves on my own. 14 long years have gone by since that fateful day, but I can still feel the vacuum that has been created by his absence in my family. If he were still alive, he would have been 85 today and I am sure he would have been still strong enough to play with his grandchildren and entertain them with bedtime stories and jokes. It is very sad that my children have to live without the memories of their paternal grandparents throughout their life.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Global warming is now becoming a reality

Photo of Wangdue-Tsirang Highway submerged in water in August 2019. Image source: Kuensel

Although Bhutan has more than 70 percent of its land under forest coverage, it is clearly visible how we have been facing the brunt of global warming over the years. The atmosphere is heating up right in front of us. September is supposed to be a comparatively cooler month in Thimphu, but I am still using a fan at times. Until some decades ago, Thimphu used to be one of the coldest places in Bhutan around this time of the year. We used to receive heavy snowfalls by October and November but today, we don’t see such snowfalls even during the peak winter season.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Key highlights from the Hon'ble Prime Minister's keynote address during the celebration of International Youth Day 2019

Photo of Hon'ble Prime Minister delivering his keynote address in DYS auditorium on International Youth Day 2019. Image courtesy: PMO's Facebook page

During the observation of International Youth Day on 12th August 2019, the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Lotay Tshering made his vision for education loud and clear. Since the theme for the event was “Transforming Education”, the main focus of the day was on how to make our current education system more relevant to the emerging needs of the 21st century. He called on all the relevant agencies to come together and work towards making education more appropriate and relevant for young people so that they would have the knowledge and skills necessary for survival in the globalized world. His keynote address basically revolved around the following issues:

Monday, August 19, 2019

From knees to the wheelchair: a story of pain and struggle

Photo of Rinchen Dorji, a physically challenged student of Khasadrapchu MSS

Life is a choice. How we live it depends on our ability to accept who we are and find peace within ourselves. When we have a disability, it does not mean that we don’t deserve to live. We all have disabilities. The only difference is that some are visible and some are not. As we all know, life does not treat everybody alike. It often throws lemons at you and if you can’t make lemonade out of them, it is said that you will have to go through the sour taste of time forever. A positive mind, charged with optimism and determination, is what takes a person to lift himself up from the pain and find a new purpose in life. It is this positive energy that has transformed the life of Rinchen Dorji, a physically challenged student of Khasadrapchu Middle Secondary School in Thimphu.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

G4B, the smart and intelligent goggles for the blind

In a world where technology is transforming lives everyday, there is another good news for the blind. A young engineering student from Arunachal Pradesh in India has invented goggles that can protect visually impaired people from bumping into taller obstacles on the way. Fitted with sensors, the G4B or Goggles for the Blind is designed to detect obstacles that are higher from the ground within the distance of 2 meters and alert the user through vibrations if he or she gets closer. It is said that the G4B has three sensors: one each on the left, right and at the Center, designed to vibrate as per the position and direction of the obstacle. More interestingly, it is said that the intensity of vibration is determined by the distance between the person and the obstacles ahead of him or her. The closer one gets to the obstacles, the stronger the vibration becomes. It uses echo-location, similar to the navigation mechanism used by bats. If this technology comes to the market, I think it can make life much easier for the visually impaired population as a whole.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

If we have the heart to help, the power of love never dies

A man was driving along a rural highway one late evening when he spotted an old lady stranded with her car on the side of the road. Wondering if she was in trouble, he stopped his car. As he walked out of his car and approached her, he could sense a mixed feeling of relief and nervousness on her face. She felt relieved because at least she had somebody to seek help from but she was also nervous and afraid that the man might harm her. But as he got closer, he called out “Hello, I am Brian and I am here to help you.” The old lady instantly glowed with a broad smile and thanked him for his kindness. She told him that she had a flat tire and that she had no idea how to change it. The man got under her car, removed the flat tire and replaced it with the spare one. The grease and dusts made his hands dirty and he even injured his finger while tightening the wheel-nuts. After fixing the tire, the lady thanked him and asked him “How much do I owe you for the work?” The man smiled and said “You don’t owe me anything. If you really wish to pay me, just help somebody else in your life just as I have helped you today” said the man as he drove away.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

What's happening to the extra time that modern technologies give us everyday?

In the past when we did not have any technology to ease our life, we had to do everything manually. We had to be always busy because we had to be everywhere physically to get our jobs done. Even to visit the nearest town and to get back home, we had to walk for days and weeks on foot or horses. During those days, it made sense when people said they were busy all the time. Nevertheless, they still had time for social and family events in the community.