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Showing posts from 2012

It is not sexy anymore

A Change in the Game

Today is the first Sunday of the month and we observe it as the pedestrian day after it was revised. Now the day is observed only once a month as opposed to what it was planned initially back in June 2012. Once a month is more practical I would like to think.  It was more of public outcry that resulted into this change in the game-plan.  
Initially, when it was first proposed or we were made to hear about the initiative, I was seriously happy. And that was because my idea of the day was different from what the policymakers had in their minds. I thought that when it is a pedestrian day - it means no movement of vehicles at all. At all. But they allowed taxis to ply back and forth. City buses were alright to move proudly through the restricted zone. And it made it appear so foolish an idea. I didn't get this idea clear - how do taxis and buses emit less pollution? In fact they were burning more fuels and making more noises as they had to more rounds - unusually more rounds. If peopl…

Our reasons to smile

Finally. Yes, finally we all can smile. Riyang - the Melodies of the Mountains - how nice the name sounds! That is the name of a publishing house (Riyang Books),  which was launched the on Friday November 30, 2012 by Her Royal Highness Azhi Kesang Chhoden Wangchuck at Nehru-Wangchuck Center in Thimphu. And now we finally have a professional publishing house in the country. No doubt we have some licensed  publishers today in the country, but for us they are more of printers. 

Now that we have a professional in the field,  hopefully we will have our works published and marketed abroad. And the person behind the venture is none other than our foremost writer - the most loved and read - Azhi Kunzang Choden! She has made us read and realize the importance of our folktales. She made us read stories that made us cry. She is in my opinion truly the first Bhutanese writer! Now she is coming to our rescue in publication. I would like to congratulate Azhi for the successful launch of Riyang Boo…

Hitting the bull and getting to the point

I like being short. And many will agree that my sentences are usually short. Maybe that's also to do with my physical stature. When things are short, they come clearer and distinct to me. Normally, I am not so much fan of long, long sentences, but sometimes I am sure they are unavoidable. And we have no choice but to read them anyways. Maybe that's to do with my limited vocabulary too. 
Maybe that's to do with my inability to handle complex sentences. But for me simplicity is the key. When you write something, it is to let your readers understand what you want to say. It is never to confuse your readers. The simpler it is, the better the chances of getting your messages across (my assumption at least). Of course fancy sentences and complex ones at that, are irresistible, but again we think of our readers. 
This morning, I was looking up for some information on publishing in Bhutan. And that took to BICMA's door. That's how I stumbled on BICMA ACT (you should read …

This is what makes us happy

Early Childhood Development efforts bear fruits

This Crazy Affair

It all began with rumors doing the round that the government was going to raise 100% tax on import of vehicles and then there was this Rupee Crunch. And then everyone wanted to sell cars and to be on safer side everyone wanted to buy used cars. And that condition bred more and more used car dealers in towns.
The prices of the old cars skyrocketed to that extent that some owners thought their used cars were made out of gold and hence precious. We live in an interesting era, where the market price of a five-year-old car is priced more than its actual cost price.
I admit cars are no more luxury in Bhutan, especially if you live far off from your offices located mostly in the towns. Those families owning more than five or six cars in the family will know if cars are still luxury at all. And then we have those selfish people (I call them selfish because they already have more than one car at home)  talk about the traffic congestion and air pollution. They are worried about the effect of h…

A goodbye there is a hello here

"READ Bhutan?" my friends ask. "Oh isn't it the new paper or a magazine?" 
(Sorry I am not a narcissist, not at all and I have never been one, but this post is about myself). Almost all my friends ask the same question when I tell them that I am working for READ Bhutan and I always end up expanding the acronym - READ - Rural Education and Development. READ Bhutan is an NGO that builds community library and resource centers. READ model is simple - it goes out to the community and explains the importance of books and specifically information - which are essential tools to empower communities. 
And if a community feels it is ready then READ sets up library and resource center in partnership with the community. Here READ mandates that at least a community contributes 10-15% of the cost of setting up the center - not because READ can't bear the cost. This is done with a sole aim of inducing and inculcating in community a sense of ownership and responsibility. O…

The right thing to do

This is about a man who forfeited his chance to study in bargain for his father’s deteriorating health. When I learnt that he had relinquished the opportunity to upgrade his qualification I was totally shocked. I thought he was crazy. Who would ever let go such opportunity? After all he won the chance to do so through a competitive selection process.
And when I came to know the reason behind his decision my respect for my friend Dechen Choezin increased manifold. “Studies opportunities will come in future, but I only have a father and if I don’t take care of him when he is sick, I would regret rest of my days,” he tells me. “And for the sake of my father I am willing to give up my plan.”
I am really moved. How many sons and daughters make such sacrifices? We were told many Bhutanese don't mind leaving behind their dying parents at home as they proceed to upgrade their qualifications and make big money. A little diversion here, but I have also heard of a mother leaving her child…