Saturday, April 30, 2016

Celebrating the end of my two years of blogging journey

As the month of April draws to a close, it’s time for me to look back and celebrate the end of my two years of blogging journey. I started my blog in April 2014 for which I still owe my friend Riku Dhan Subba special gratitude since it was he who always encouraged and motivated me to start blogging as he thought the world deserved to hear my stories and experiences. So finally I gave it a try in April 2014 and looking back from where I am now, I can clearly feel I have become more visible than I was two years ago. It’s amazing to know that many people have come to know me just through my blog and it makes me humble when people say they read my blog regularly and that they draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from my writing. Today, blogging has become an important part of my life because I can’t afford to leave my blog unattended no matter how busy I am with other assignments. I think what started as a passion has now become a kind of social responsibility for me now because I can feel the pressure if I don’t update my blog for a week or so. I feel that only through active blogging, we can engage the readers and followers of our blog meaningfully and that’s what I have been trying to do over the years.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life as seen through the lens of death

Every time I step into a hospital or a cremation ground, the atmosphere turns dark and future goes blank. When I think of those patients in the hospitals fighting for their life and those who have already reached their final resting place in the cremation grounds, so many questions swirl up in my mind about the actual meaning of human existence. One moment we find ourselves smiling and laughing amidst the circle of happy family-members and friends, and the next moment, we are gone. It’s really sad to realize that after all, nothing is certain in this world. As great masters say, the only certain thing in life is uncertainty, and over the years, I have come to realize that this is very true. The ultimate truth is that no matter how powerful or rich we are during our lifetime, we all must pass through the same door at the end. Death spares nobody. This painful universal truth reminds us that this human life is the most precious gift we have ever got and that we must make best use of it. Life is in fact too precious to be wasted on worldly affairs. Life is too short to hate anybody and create unnecessary problems. Reflecting on death makes me more conscious of my own death and often makes me feel anxious as I still feel empty at hand.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

International Mother Earth Day 2016

Earth Day 2016 Poster. Image courtesy: Google

As a citizen of one of the greenest nations on the planet, I am very happy to learn that the leaders of more than 170 countries are meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change coinciding with the 46th International Mother Earth Day. This is a clear indication that the voice of the Paris Climate Summit held in December 2015 was loud enough to prompt many world leaders to action. As the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is being signed, many countries observed the International Mother Earth Day today on the UN theme: “Trees for Earth”. Since 1970, 22nd April has been designated as Earth Day to channel human energy towards environmental issues and highlight the importance of saving the planet Earth by planting trees. The world commits today to plant 7.8 billion trees within the next five years. This means that by the time we observe the 50th International Mother Earth Day, our planet will be much greener than it is today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dealing with Earthquake in a new environment: a traumatic yet funnyexperience

Earthquake comes without a warning and when it comes, it shakes the entire shit out of you especially with the knowledge deeply imbedded into our brain by science that Bhutan is within the active seismic zone. Even the slightest trembling of the Earth a few days back sent many of us into panic and forced us out of our houses. The tremors recently felt in Bhutan was nothing compared to what we experienced in 2011. The earthquake that shook Bhutan on 18th September 2011 was the strongest shock I have ever experienced in my life so far, but the memory of how I instinctively reacted to it still makes me giggle sometimes.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How to take screenshots from your mobile devices

As you all might know, a screenshot is an image of the display on a computer or a mobile phone screen. It is a great way to show what is difficult to be explained in words or via emails/text messages. By taking screenshots, we can easily capture the entire information displayed on the screen and share it with others whenever necessary, and the good news is that we don’t even need a camera to do it. Screenshots are used for various purposes. People use them for advertisement, sharing documents in picture format or to save any online materials which cannot be easily copied or downloaded. But most importantly, they are used for trouble-shooting purposes. Whenever your computer program/website or your mobile phone device crashes, it would be difficult for you to explain everything in details to the technical staff online. So the best way to convince your friend or customer service staff about your issue is to take a screenshot of the error message or anything that appears on the display and send it to them. This would greatly help the concerned technicians analyze and diagnose the technical problem you are facing. Therefore, taking screenshots is a great way to communicate with people what your devices display without having to verbally explain it to them. But how do you take screenshots? If you have no idea how to do it, please stay with me. Today, I will show you how to take screenshots from your mobile devices. Just follow the steps given under each heading below.

Friday, April 15, 2016

As funny as this: a hunt for a mysterious treasure

I think it was late 1989 or early 1990. My father was attached with a land survey team based at Gepjana village in Paro as a cook. I had already lost my sight by then and I was due to leave for school in a few months’ time. A temporary base for the survey team was set up a few kilometers above Bondey town and we were living in tents.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

If you love yourself, you will never kill yourself

One thing we should always remember is that life is not a bed of roses for everybody. We all have our own share of problems and challenges to deal with. Even His Majesty the King does not live in absolute peace. He too has his own share of problems because as citizens, we bother him constantly. In fact he worries about us and our country every day. So nobody in this world is immune to pain and suffering. But when we see thorns popping out on our way, trying to end the journey then and there is never a good option. If we look around, there are many alternative routes we can take even if we can’t afford to wear shoes and walk over the thorns. If you love yourself, you will never desert your body when it gets stuck in miseries.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A monk hesitates to call himself a monk

A group of monks performing rituals. Photo courtesy: Google.

It was January 2009. I was travelling alone in a bus from Thimphu to Phuntsholing on my way to Rangjung in Trashigang to participate in a writers’ workshop organized by Curriculum and Professional Support Division (CAPSD) of the Ministry of Education. I had a friend waiting for me at Phuntsholing in the evening. So I had nothing much to worry about. In the morning, my wife dropped me at the bus station, got me to my seat and left. Soon somebody came in and sat next to me without talking even a single word. So I wasn’t sure whether that person was a girl or a guy. I wanted to strike a conversation with this person hoping that I might be able to get some help on the way especially while going for lunch, but he/she wouldn’t talk. The bus slowly pulled out of the station and started to move.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Have you ever wondered why number 5 on numeric keypads have a raised dot or bar on it?

You might have noticed that almost all devices with numeric keypads such as telephones, mobile handsets and remote controllers have a raised dot or a raised bar on number 5, but have you ever wondered why? It certainly has more meaning than just being part of the layout of the keypad/keyboard. In this article I will try to explain the purpose of this striking feature to the best of my knowledge.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A three-legged chick: a mystery that could perhaps be explained byscience

During one of my winter vacations in my uncle’s house in Samtse, everybody was taken aback when a hen hatched a 3-legged chick. With its three legs, it looked completely different from its siblings but its mother did not neglect it as we had expected. It enjoyed equal care and love from its mother as it grew up with other normal chicks. When I examined the chick, I found that it was able to use only its two legs to walk but the third leg was just an obstacle attached from just below its tail. It did not have any purpose there. It was just hanging down like a shovel and was in fact affecting its normal movement because whenever it tried to walk, it would get stuck on the way and hindered its free movement. I felt so sorry for the poor chick.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Celebrating the end of a tedious week

The past two weeks had been very tedious for me and my colleagues in the office as we were involved in three major programs that had to be implemented one after another. We had never carried out programs in such a quick succession before and the preparatory tasks and other arrangements completely drained us out. First we had the capacity building training for out-of-school youth from 15-19 March in collaboration with the Institute of Management Studies in four Youth Centers: Trashigang, Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Thimphu Youth Centers during which I was fully responsible for coordinating with the regional Youth Centers to arrange the training. Then we had to coordinate the conduct of a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop for another batch of out-of-school youth and Youth Center Managers in Thimphu from 24-28 March 2016. I think there is nothing more challenging than bringing youth from other Dzongkhags especially keeping in mind the current financial rules that allow us to pay the DSA of only Nu.150 per day to each youth. Nevertheless, the TOT workshop ended successfully as planned and then we had a 2-day youth interaction program in Thimphu with Parliamentarians which started yesterday and successfully ended today.