Every time I behold His Majesty shake hands with people from all walks of life on the national television and hold the hands of old people, who shed tears of happiness not being able to contain the joy on meeting their king, a large lump forms in my throat. It happens every time I am shown that scene. And I find that I am unable to control my tears. This is when I know how His Majesty feels towards his subjects. This is also when I understand how much our old citizens love and revere their young king. And getting to shake my humble hands with that of his Majesty’s was truly a blessing in disguise. I will never forget my convocation.
Talking of convocation, unlike in the past this year it was to be held in Thimphu according to the announcement made by Royal University of Bhutan. There were resentment from all graduates, but there was nothing much we could actually do. We wanted the day to be as real as it can get and for that we wanted to go to the actual setting and make it seem as if we are really being awarded degrees from the colleges we have graduated from. Otherwise if it happens in Thimphu we realized we had to do some imaginary exercises. Obviously we didn’t graduate from the capital city.
And when it finally happened on July 15, 2011, our entire mood landscape changed. Now we were happy and we were thrilled. We were immensely delighted knowing that our His Majesty the King was going to grace the occasion. This was the best thing that can ever happen in a graduate’s life. It made us regret our earlier grumblings and on the eve of the convocation, we took back all our words and thanked RUB for their decision to have our convocation in Thimphu.
The fact that our His Majesty took time to attend our convocation ceremony really meant so much to us all. That speaks volume of the importance His Majesty places in his young citizens. That says so much about the love and care he has for his people. I am not sure if such extraordinary thing happens anywhere in the world.
And awarding degree certificates personally to more than 1,700 graduates wasn’t a joke. It was a feat in itself but our dynamic leader did it with so much patience and grace. This shows how His Majesty takes part in the joy of his people, whose joy then multiplies manifold. This is what our royal government always aspires for. This also clearly illustrates the level of emphasis our king places on our youth and their education by participating in their achievement. And this is the way the king inspires his young citizens.
The ceremony was not a matter of a few hours, but it lasted one exhausting day to award degrees to all the graduates. Most of us grumbled a few times having to sit down while waiting to be awarded the certificates, but our beloved monarch did it with grace and immense understanding. He did it standing on his feet all the way. And throughout the ceremony, from the start to finish, His Majesty retained the same smile on his face. But deep down we knew how much trouble he took to do that monotonous task of awarding the certificates. But the young king performed it with so much patience and did it whole-heartedly. We will never forget those moments he spent with us sharing various issues confronting the nation and personal matters with so much frankness.
On the same day His Majesty also ensured that every graduate attending the ceremony get to individually take pictures with the king. These pictures are memorable gifts from the royal throne to the graduates. We were extremely blessed.
My former classmate Choezin, who also attended the event, has this to say: “Taking time from his busy schedule and spending one whole day to individually award degrees to all the graduates was extraordinary. This, I am sure, was purely out of His Majesty’s love and care for us all. For me it was definitely more than awarding of degrees. It was a day well spent with my king and I will always cherish the moments.” I can’t help agreeing with him. It was truly a day worth remembering and it will always remain as an important chapter of my life.
The presence of the charming royal bride Ashi Jetsun added extra color to the colorful day. And we were delighted to see our future Queen of Bhutan in person as His Majesty humbly introduced his royal fiancé to us. She looked impressive, just as we have seen her on our national television. And one could not help agreeing that our king has found his perfect match.
This was how our His Majesty described Ashi Jetsun when he first introduced her to the whole nation on May 20, 2011: “While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities, together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience, will make her a great servant to the nation.” One look on her face speaks to us of her humility and kind heart and she is a true embodiment of compassionate Goddess Tara.
And now that the people’s king intends to wed it is an occasion to take part in the happy and historic celebration. Our joy knows no bound like that of the great bard William Wordsworth who upon sighting a rainbow sings thus;
My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
Like the great poet, rainbow fascinates me. They are not sighted all the time for they are the results of many causes and conditions. And that’s why I see nothing but perfection in rainbows – all these majestically formed color patterns. The fact that they appear less frequently tells us of their preciousness. For Bhutanese our king is the colorful rainbow, who is always in their hearts and minds even when he isn’t physically present with them. And that’s why our hearts leap with extreme ecstasy as we celebrate the royal wedding.
On the special occasion of the royal wedding I can’t help singing my unbounded happiness and joy. My voice maybe hoarse, but that does not stop me singing my heart out. As the nation comes together to celebrate the royal wedding, I would like to join Bhutanese citizens in congratulating our king and the queen on their most precious moments. And on this day we would like to rededicate ourselves in the service of the country and the people. It is time to refill love in our hearts. I can neither paint nor carve anything special to gift to our Majesties on their wedding. But through this small piece of writing, I offer my humble prayers for our king and the queen, and wish them a long life filled with boundless love, understanding, growth, wisdom, peace, prosperity and happiness.
And finally I would like to make the following wishes on the joyous occasion of the historic Royal Wedding;
May our Dragon King guide us
Both in difficulties and bliss
May our people live in perfect harmony
And our days filled with fruitful labors
May we become self-reliant and content
Let our way of life hold onto our rich tradition
Even as we embrace modernity full on
May there be friendship amongst neighbors
And let there be enough love
To sustain the married couples
And nourish the young minds
May our young minds attain rapid growth
To take this nation forward!
And may this nation forever shine
Like the rays of the morning sun!