Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

Photo of welcoming New Year 2015. Image source:

Today is the day that marks the end of 2014 and tonight, we all are going to sleep for one year. I mean, we will be sleeping in 2014 and waking up in 2015. As we bid farewell to 2014 and welcome the new year 2015 tonight, I get a sense that we are starting on a new journey through another 365 days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A haunted house, as they say

My brother-in-law and his wife who live in a government quarter just across the road from my house have a lot of stories to share about some mysterious things happening in their house at night which, science cannot explain. Since they shifted to the house about three years ago, they have noticed a number of so-called paranormal activities going on in their house especially at night. They say that they can often hear somebody walking around the rooms or somebody flushing water in the toilet and coming out, or some mysterious sounds in and around the house. Almost all of their guests have the same complaints and they now believe that something is not right in the house.

Monday, December 22, 2014

As funny as this: the outcome of poor communication!

Photo of 5-year-old birthday candle burning. Image source:

9th December 2014 was the 5th birth anniversary of my youngest son Rigden Subba. As usual, we decided to treat our children with cake and sweets, and of course, some simple gifts, just to make them enjoy the day among themselves. Actually I had wanted to make it a grand celebration and invite close relatives and friends, but my wife rejected my proposal on the ground that there was nobody at home to help her with cooking and making other logistic arrangements. So, we only invited her brother and his wife for a simple dinner at my place. To mark the day, I had asked my wife to order a birthday cake that morning.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A big lesson for parents whose children go to school

Photo of my two school-going children

18th December is the annual Judgment Day for students throughout Bhutan. It’s a big day for both students and their parents because this is the day which all of us have been anxiously waiting for. It’s the day on which our children who go to school harvest the outcome of their year-long hard-work and struggle and it’s the day for parents to find out whether what they have invested in their children’s education for one year has borne any fruit. After all, it’s the day which decides the next move of our children. But if you are not cautious enough, a small typing error on the results sheet of your child, which the school authorities attribute to the computer, can mar the academic performances of your child.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A sad reality of urban life

Photo of my son Thukten Subba and daughter Anju Rai

The shops around Thai Temple area are just within a walking distance from where I live and my children often go there on their own to buy things. But last year, my eldest son Thukten Subba was made to realize that going to even to the nearest shop alone and that too with money in hand is not always safe in Thimphu.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

On the other side of my smile

Photo of me receiving blessing from Lama Namkhai Nyingpo in Perth, Australia in 2013

Having overcome several obstacles and tragedies over the past 34 years of my life, I consider myself an optimistic person. My life has never been a bed of roses but still my failures and misfortunes hardly discouraged me to keep going. I know I have a good sense of humour and I love to laugh with people around me. Social interactions and laughter always help me forget the pain of my past and present. Even when I am stressed, I can afford to smile and laugh. That’s why my old school friends still tell me that I seem to be happy forever. But once in a while, a very strange wave of sadness runs through my nerves without any warning. I am still trying to figure out what is it all about and where it’s coming from.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Memories from New Delhi, India

Group photo of Bhutanese delegates

I was fortunate to be part of the team selected by Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) to take part in the international cultural exchange programme for persons with disabilities in New Delhi, India from 14th to 16th November, 2014. As usual, the event ‘Sambhav 2014’ was organized by Association of Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (ALPANA) and it has been an annual event since 2006. I have learned that Sambhav which means “Possible” has been initiated to provide artists with disabilities a platform to showcase their artistic talents and promote the exchange of rich cultures among persons with disabilities from different parts of the world. Personally for me, it was an enriching experience to be part of the event amongst highly talented artists with disabilities from about 15 countries.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan

Photo of HM King Jigme Singye Wangchuck

Reposing in the cool shadow of His sacred wings,
This tiny Holy Land has a lot to say
How was she blest in every corner with magical strings
To play for the world a great melody of glory today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Had I made my first flight on an auspicious day?

Druk Air, the Royal Bhutan Airlines. Image source: Google.

Within the past eight years of my service in the government, I have actually got the opportunity to officially fly abroad only once. It was in September 2009 when I and one of my colleagues were nominated for a 10-day training on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health at ASEAN Institute for Health Development in Thailand. I am still grateful to my immediate boss for kindly giving me that opportunity to attend the ex-country training for the first time after 2.5 years of my service. I was very excited to travel in air for the first time in my life. The flight journey from Bakdokra to Kolkata and then to Bangkok was a thrilling experience and although it was scary at the beginning, I gradually enjoyed my entire journey. Fortunately or unfortunately, all Druk Air tickets were booked and that gave me the opportunity to travel via India, which meant longer flying hours for me. So, I had a wonderful experience and I had a lot of fun with my friend. That was one of the most memorable moments of my life. Today as I sit here and reflect on those moments, I feel that I had made that special journey on a very auspicious day because although I have not got the opportunity to fly on official passport since then, I have flown once every year privately so far.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Commemorating three years of my vegetarian life

Myself at Dechenphug Lhakhang in Thimphu on 11th Sept., 2014

While today marks the anniversary of the Coronation Day of our beloved king the 5th Druk Gyalpo and Clean Bhutan Day, it’s also a day for me to celebrate my three years of vegetarian life. I don’t really care about the religious merits I might have accumulated over the past three years for quitting meat and thereby saving some animals, but I really feel good that I have managed my health pretty well even without meat. So on this special day, I would like to share some personal experiences of being a vegetarian in a society in which the majority of people are non-vegetarians.

A Glimpse of Drukyul

National flag of Bhutan. Image source: google.

On the lap of great Himalayas lies
Heavenly Drukyul with a magical charm in her eyes,
And on her shimmering face I can clearly see
A rich history interwoven with immense glee.
Let me now back into her past dive
And find out what has kept her so far alive!
O with great pride here she says
How could she survive throughout those crucial days: ---

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Celebrating Diwali with cousin sisters for the first time

Photo of me and my wife receiving Tika from elder cousin sister

Today was a special day for me. I got the opportunity to receive Tika (a symbol of blessing) from my own cousin sisters for the first time in my life. Although we grew up together, we had never celebrated such festivals as Diwali or Dashain together because they were brought up in an orthodox Christian family. On my side, I have no biological siblings and hence, I had never got a chance to receive Tika from my own family-members since as long as I can remember. Only a few days back, I came to know that my cousin sister (my paternal uncle’s eldest daughter) who is married to a Buddhist celebrates Hindu festivals and I immediately decided to go to her place to receive Tika on this special occasion. It is still secret to her parents though.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A song for my late mother

You gave me love
You gave me affection,
Bearing all hardships day and night,
You opened my door to the outside world.
Mom, you are my true Angel!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Celebrating Dashain with kids and relatives

Photo of Thukten, Rigden and Anju with Tika

As the Hindu communities across the world celebrated Dashain today, it has been a great pleasure for me and my wife to join the celebration with our kids in our own small way. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Ram killed Ravana on this very day and established peace in the region. Since then, this day has been celebrated as the day of victory of the good over evil, and we all observe the occasion by receiving blessings from elders and feast together with families and relatives. This year’s Dashain has been a special festival for us because we had missed the opportunity to be with our kids on this day over the past two years when we were abroad. So, it has been a big occasion for us today because due to God’s grace, we have been able to celebrate the day with our kids once again.

Friday, October 3, 2014

On the other end of life's journey

Photo of Thimphu crematorium. Image source: BBS.

Three days back, on 30th September 2014, I had gone to Thimphu cremation ground with my colleagues to attend the funeral rites of one of our senior colleague’s mother-in-law. As I entered the ground, I could sense the weight of gloom and sadness hanging in the atmosphere with families, relatives and friends mourning the departure of their loved ones. There were four bodies lined up to be cremated on that particular day. I offered prayers for all four departed souls. Among the four bodies, the 4th one in the row touched me the most. We were told that she was a 9-year-old girl who was sick only for three days. What a tragic moment for her family! I wondered how such a cheerful soul could vanish at such a tender age. I am sure she must have had a lot of beautiful dreams and aspirations before her. It was a huge loss for her family, community and the nation as a whole.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Old is gold: a reminder of my past memories

Photo of my tape-player. Photo curtesy: my wife

On 7th September 2014, I was very glad to have my old Sony tape-player come back to life after having been out of service for six years. Thanks to my friend who fixed it. It went dead in 2009 and since then I had been just waiting for somebody who could fix it for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

While You Live, Live with joy

If born to die in the world are we,
Why, then like a free eagle let us all be! –
Soaring above the hills and dales so high,
Let us the pinnacle of life reach without a sigh.
As every living soul fromn this world has to vanish after all,
Let us imbibe this life to the lees before we fall;
Let our hearts and livers with gusto bleed,
And bubble with pleasures without any sweep of greed.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Celebrating my birthday in the virtual world!

Photo of birthday candles burning. Image source: Google

First of all, I am grateful to Facebook for reminding my friends of my birthday today. I am so glad to receive birthday wishes from a number of friends on my Facebook wall. I had hardly felt so cared and loved by people around me. Unfortunately, I am not able to respond to all the well-wishers individually. So, I decided to write this post to thank all those who have remembered me on this special day of mine.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A letter to my father on his 9th death anniversary

Photo of my late father

Dear father,

I have no idea what you are doing or where you are reborn. Nine long years have passed by since you left this world but I still often find myself missing you badly here on Earth. 11th September 2005 was the saddest day of my life. I had never thought that you would leave me so soon. You know we had a lot of dreams at hand yet to be materialized. The kind of world we had imagined to live in after I get a job was not too far from us, but what an untimely tragedy befell us. After having gone through several hardships together in life, it’s very sad that I had to let you go even before I was able to pay you back for everything you did for me as a father, protector and teacher.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Transience of human life, as Nature demonstrates!

Photo of flowers on the veranda of my house

A few days back, I and my wife were in the living room of our house chatting over a cup of tea when she spotted a sparrow hover around the flower plants on the veranda. She suddenly rushed out to drive off the bird but when the bird left, she saw a freshly plucked flower on the floor. She found the culprit. She had been wondering who was plucking the flowers from time to time. But there wasn’t anything we could do to prevent it in the future.

Friday, September 5, 2014

How do persons with visual impairment use computers and mobile phones

Photo of me working on a computer

I know many people still wonder how do persons with visual impairment access computers and mobile phones because one has to see what appears on the screen. A couple of years ago, I was chatting with one of my friends on WindowLife Messenger and suddenly she asked me, “who is typing for you?” She did not believe me when I told her that I was typing myself. I know she was quite hesitant to chat with me because she thought there was somebody else beside me to read her messages to me and type my responses to her on my behalf. Well, it’s normal for anybody who has not been with a visually impaired person for sometime to wonder how computers can be accessed without sight. But for my colleagues in the office and some close friends, it’s no longer a mystery.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My old wound pricked again!

May God bless me

On the evening of 28th August 2014, I and my wife decided to host a simple dinner for my uncle who was in Thimphu on a short visit. He is my late father’s youngest brother and he lives in Samtse. All his three daughters are in Thimphu and he was staying with them. So, we invited them all for an informal get-together. But what was expected to be a joyous family gathering ended up as a moment of humiliation and harassment for us.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't call it 'Suicide'

Photo of school children in morning assembly. Image source: Google.

“If I have failed, my parents have warned me not to return home tonight, or I will be killed!” a 5th grade student in Thimphu had told her friends as they were walking to their school on the morning of 18th December to get their final academic results. Her friends tried to console her but it seemed she was already injured by the words of her parents that had hit her ears like lethal bullets. As they stood on the school ground waiting for their names to be called out, she looked more nervous and worried.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Herbicides are designed to kill weeds, not humans!

Photo of a farmer ploughing the field. Image source: google

From the traditional practice of manual farming, life has become much easier for the farmers of today with the advent of modern technology and sophisticated tools. The Royal Government of Bhutan, through the Ministry of Agriculture has been providing various support services to farmers across communities in an attempt to make the country self-sufficient. Among so many services provided by the Government, the supply of herbicides to help farmers protect their crops from weeds somehow seems to be missing the intended target especially in Samtse Dzongkhag.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My first True Love

Love Sign. Image source: Google

It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon, blest with the warmth of the shimmering sun and light gusts of cool breeze. The world was brimming with life especially for students since it was the only day of the week that freed us from routine academic tasks and gave us opportunities to do whatever we liked: play games, go for walk and chat with friends. The boys’ hostel where I lived stood facing the nearby maize-fields, as though watching the distant trees and bushes dancing to the rustle of the wind that blew over them. I was chatting with friends on the veranda of the hostel, while some junior students were playing on the front lawn. It was here where a girl who was on a Sunday walk from her school popped in, unknown to either of us that she was to become my first True Love later.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The bravest woman

Photo of my wife with our youngest son Rigden

In a society which does not yet fully accept persons with disability among its so-called respectable members, she has walked an extra mile to show to the world around her that disability is certainly not the ultimate end of hope. She has shocked her parents, siblings, relatives and friends by consciously choosing to walk a path, not so frequently taken by people in the world, despite the knowledge that she would have to overcome some of the unforeseen challenges on the way.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Animals also have emotions. Do you agree?

Photo of sobbing buffalo. Image source: Google.

A few days back, I came across a post on a Facebook page that described how a buffalo in a slaughterhouse in Hongkong knelt down and cried, begging for his life when the workers tried to drag him through the slaughterhouse door. The workers tried hard to push and pull the poor creature, but it would not move an inch.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What we can do with the wastes we produce every day!

Photo of baskets woven with plastic wastes, a creativity of my mother-in-law

It was in 1999 when I actually realized the real impact of wastes on our physical environment and economy. Until then, I simply picked up litters from the school campus only because it was what we were required to do during the social works hour and I had not been convinced why it had to be actually done other than making the physical surroundings clean.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rest in Peace, the Unknown Soul!

Photo of Wangchu River, Thimphu. Image source: Wikipedia.

I feel there is nothing more sad than to find somebody dead and nobody knows who he is. On Wednesday evening, 9th July 2014, I was watching BBS Television and I was waiting for the 9 o’clock news. Suddenly an announcement came on: “A body of an adult man has been fished out of Wangchu River at Olakha by police on 5th July 2014. The man wearing blue jeans and a black shirt has a prosthetic leg. The body is kept in the mortuary of JDW National Referral Hospital and the relatives are requested to collect the body as soon as possible.” The announcement instantly sent a wave of sadness through my body and made me wonder about this unknown soul.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Optimism and determination, the magical ropes that can pull a person to success

Photo of me working on a computer

I strongly believe that opportunities do not come to those who wait for them and I feel it is this principle that has guided me forward till date. I seized most of the opportunities that came my way and gathered courage to swim across the ocean of life all alone deriving new energy and strength from the hurdles I often tumbled upon.

Friday, July 4, 2014

How mindful eating can reduce your chance of complaining about food

Photo of a person eating mindfully. Photo source: google

How often do you complain about the food you are served? To be honest, I have met only a handful of people till date who take whatever they are served without any complaint, no matter how bad it tastes. Until a couple of years ago, I too used to complain a lot about my food but after practicing some basic food contemplation strategies, I have learned the secrets of why some people never complain about their food. It’s not that they don’t want to complain, but they have learned to appreciate the food they are served. Today, I am going to share these basic food contemplation tips with you and believe me, you will definitely enjoy your food better.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Farewell lunch

Group photo of me, Mani Kumar and Pema Tshomo at the Youth Center entrance

I feel our life is like a train, picking up and dropping off passengers at every station as we move on. We will never know whether we will meet the same passengers again. Every time we have a farewell gathering, it means that we will be missing somebody aboard. Yesterday, Friday, 27th June 2014 was such a day. We had to formally bid goodbye to one of our colleagues who had been with us for the past two years and five months.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The day I saw the world last

Photo of me standing

The vivid memories of snow-covered trees and bushes of Dolomtha, a remote community in Tashila under Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag still linger in my brain afresh. It was a beautiful place to live in, blest with all the beauty of nature around it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

8th birth anniversary of my eldest son

Photo of Thukten Subba

Today is a special day for me and my wife. On this very day eight years ago, our eldest son Thukten Subba came into our family. It was on Friday, 16th June 2006 when he was born through Caesarian birth at JDW National Referral Hospital in Thimphu. It was a moment of joy and excitement for both of us. We were extremely happy to welcome him to a new home, to a new world.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How does a blind walk

Photo of me using a white cane

I have been blind for over 24 years now and in the span of these many years, I have met several people who wondered how I walk especially when they saw me walking alone. It’s a general misconception that many sighted people believe we navigate our way by counting our footsteps. A few people have even asked me how many footsteps are there between my office and home. My flat response to such a question would be, “Do you also count your footsteps to navigate within your house at night when there is no light?”

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Through the eyes of my counselling practicum supervisor in Australia

Photo of me and my wife during my graduation day

As part of my Masters programme at Curtin University, Western Australia, I had to do six months of practical internship in 2013 to practice counselling. I was placed at a community counseling service centre called Minnawarra House, Armadale in Western Australia where I had a very experienced clinical supervisor to monitor and supervise my sessions. Today, I would like to share with you the report she had sent to my university after I completed my internship.

What I have learned from my kids

Photo of my eldest son Thukten Subba and his sister Anju Rai

It has been now almost eight years since I first became a father and I have fully enjoyed being with my kids as any other parent would do. However, I have realized the benefits of observing kids while being with them. There are a lot of important lessons we can learn from them. We always believe that our responsibility as parents is to teach our kids values and good behaviours but I feel there are many things we can learn from them too.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to be true to yourself

Photo of me reading a braille magazine

Last week while reading a 1999 issue of Reader’s Digest, I came across an article that renewed my energy to strive for a more meaningful life. The article titled, “How to be true to yourself” contributed by Denis Waitley shows simple steps to leading a life of principle and purpose. The author talks about what he calls The Integrity Triad, the three key principles that can really contribute to the quality of life.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Family gathering

Photo of people having lunch

We humanbeings are called social animals because we are the only creatures with the ability to socialize with each other. I often joke with friends that if we fail to socialize with others, then we lose the “social” part and we become only “animals”. It is part of our culture to get together with friends and relatives from time to time to take a short break from busy schedule and relax over a simple meal. But today, life has become so busy for everybody that we hardly get a chance to see our friends and relatives even in months. So, I feel that such an occasional gathering among friends and relatives is an important part of our social and cultural life. A social gathering is not only about eating. It is more than that. It helps us strengthen our bonding and deepen our relationships. It is the time when we exchange our concerns, and understand each other’s situations. More importantly, such gatherings can contribute to passing the values and a sense of belonging down the generations.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A unique freshness in the air

Flowers on my veranda

I know I hated rain so much as a child, especially when I had to run after cows in the forests with a rudimentary plastic raincoat over the head and back. They would often take advantage of the weather and sneak into neighbours’ crop fields. I cursed both rain and the animals I was herding equally.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Teachers' Day 2014

Photo of flowers

Looking back on the path of knowledge that I have walked so far, I can never forget those smiling faces who nurtured me at every step and provided me with a new outlook of life. People say that teachers are born, not made and I truly hold on it because throughout my academic life since 1990 till today, I have got opportunities to learn from some of the most learned, committed, loving and caring teachers who have constantly guided me. There is no doubt that who I am today is the actual product of the commitment and hardwork of my beloved teachers. So, on this special occasion of Teachers’ Day, I would like to formally thank all my teachers who have taught me right from the beginning of my school life. With all my heart, I salute you all for your unwavering enthusiasm and dedication. Wish you a very very happy Teachers’ day!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A moment to remember

Photo of me standing in the office room

I would like to present an amateur video that takes me almost eighteen months back from now, back to Perth, Western Australia. It was in November 2012 when we recorded this piece. Having to live in a foreign land, away from home and family would have been a real challenge , had it not been for the wonderful Bhutanese friends whom I was fortunate to meet in Perth. We all had a wonderful life together and helped each other feel at home. This is one of those good moments we had together in Perth. I am the singer and the guitarist, Mr. Govind Subedi is the drummer on the IPhone and Mr. MB Tamang is the cameraman and co-singer. I know this is one of the memories that will be cherished forever. It was a really great fun meeting and having good moments as this with fellow-countrymen in a foreign land. Here goes our video:

Thank you for watching. I hope you liked it.