|(I have stolen this pic from PaSsu; not sure how he got it)|
What a memorable moment that was!
And the whole nation is still in the celebratory mood. People everywhere undergo what I call a Royal Wedding hangover for the sheer longing for an extended duration so that the celebration befits the people’s king and the Queen and the joy of the Bhutanese people.
But the fact that we were all part of this historic and auspicious national event is truly worth writing pages and pages about. I will always remember the day when the whole nation came together to celebrate the important event.
The Royal Wedding assumes an additional meaning to me. It was the occasion, which made my four-generation-family (my 87-year-old grandmother, my mother, me and my one-year old daughter) witness to this historic event. Of course the importance and sanctity of that auspicious occasion can never be overstated. It was truly one national event that unified and brought all Bhutanese far and wide together in the true spirit of brotherhood and evoked patriotic feelings in all citizens.
As we have seen, people swarmed Pungthang Dewachenpoi Phodrang vicinity in thousands. And it was not only for the want of the celebrations, but also for the love of their young King and the Queen. The following day Changlingmethang stadium was packed beyond its capacity that many people had to return home to watch the celebration only on BBS. All these are signs and symptoms of people’s love and affection to their King and the Queen.
Young people wanted to be the part of the history in the making and the old wanted to see the future unfolding. Young citizens wanted to see their king get married in a very traditional style and also get a few glimpses of their newly wedded King and the Queen as they walked hand in hand. The royal couple, an epitome of divine and genuine love, is a role model for many young lovers.
And it was truly overwhelming to see a huge crowd waiting along the Wangdue-Thimphu highway. Bhutanese people have proved their love for their king by patiently waiting for hours at stretch to greet the Royal Couple, who in turn has shown their love for their people by walking almost the entire stretch meeting the people. Elsewhere, as soon as the wedding is over, couples go on honeymoons, but the King of Bhutan chose to walk and meet his people a day after his royal wedding.
That’s why many outsiders consider Bhutan a unique country of unique people blessed by unique and visionary leaders. We are fortunate to be born under the leadership of our Dharma kings.
When the fourth Druk Gyalpo handed over his reigns of the government to the then Crown Prince, the whole nation went silent and we were unprepared for the news. But soon we were all praising the step, which our His Majesty took.
When the fourth Druk Gyalpo personally led the forces during the military flush out in the south, a renowned lama remarked, “There were stories from the past of the mythical King Gesar or the Buddhist King Ashoka, who fought battles, but in the modern time the Bhutanese King proved it.” That was a day in 2003; unforgettably etched in the minds and hearts of every Bhutanese. We can never thank His Majesty enough for having ensured us a secure future by going to the war risking even his own life. Thank you Your Majesty!
His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck is an exemplary leader in the twenty first century world. He has shown to the world his lack of greed for power by selflessly abdicating the Golden Throne to His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and thus gifted his son a rare souvenir – the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
Bhutan is the only nation that has seen a young king being crowned and that too in presence of his father. Talking of our His Majesty, a foreigner had this to say: “We get to hear about kings and princes in the fairytales and historical records, but now Bhutan proves it.”
My cousin Sherab, a monk, thinks “Our king(s) is (are) the emanation of Bodhisattvas (jangchub sempai trulpa) and are by no means ordinary beings. For Bhutanese our king is a symbol of our collective merits (chi thuen senam ley drupai).”
And he concludes, “Our Kings are not just the guardian, but also the advocates of true and genuine Bhutanese; without them we are lost. A glance on the world map would tell us how difficult it is locate Bhutan on the map of the world; it is a wonder that we still exist. And that makes our country special.” I can’t agree more with him.
Our kings are the embodiment of true compassion in whose hearts dwell the welfare and security of the Bhutanese people. Our king is the “kidu gi pham” (parent of kidu) to the needy and the guardian of the less fortunate and justice to the hapless.Long live our Kings
(This was my latest column intended for Bhutan Times, but they could not publish it. It is a pity but I am happy that I could share it with you, my readers. Thank you all for reading my nonsense and crude opinions in that paper. It has been a pleasant one-year's journey into column writing. And it feels weird knowing that I would be discontinuing it. But it was an experience I will cherish.)