Skip to main content

Drumnyen (སྒྲ་སྙན) Drill

Drumnyen is a seven-stringed traditional Bhutanese musical instrument. And although it is used less frequently today Drumnyens were very popular when we were young. We would watch with rapt attention filled with envy as our older friends strummed the instrument and sang along. Those days still linger in my memory. 

Recently, I was gifted a small Drumnyen by an acquaintance and I started learning to play the instrument. But as I was trying to fine tune the strings, one of the strings gave way to my strong stupidity. And without the shortest string on my Drumnyen, it was unable to produce some critical notes. The search for string took more time than getting the Drumnyen to my house. 

I literally scanned the whole Thimphu City to look out for a string replacement. From one shop to another, I hopped with my wife following me patiently without complaining. I am thankful for her admiral patience. After sometime I was running out of my supposedly calculated patience. But I kept on getting directions to a shop that might sell the strings only to be redirected to another and another and another. 

Ap Dawpel's Dramnyen: bhutanmusic.blogspot.com
The strings that are used by Drumnyen are the same strings that are used as the fishing-lines. And at every shop I had to ask if they have fishing-line. Everywhere people thought I was bound for some kind of fishing excursion. At a grocery store (that's where I was directed from another shop), a lady shopkeeper thought I was trying to make fun of her and casually responded, without even looking at me, "རོག་ན་ཆོས་འབད་ས་ལུ་་་་ཉ་གཟུང་ནི་གི་བློ་སླབ་དེ།," (roughly something like "where we practice Buddha Dharma, you are talking of fishing). Only when I said I needed the string for my Drumnyen, she looked up at me and politely said she does not deal with the strings. Then I thought I need to change my tactics and instead decided to ask for guitar strings only to realize that I needed fishing-lines and not the actual guitar strings. 

It was an embarrassing shopping moment in Thimphu! 

And I found the string when I was about to give up - at an unexpected shop! But now I know where to get them without all these hassles and embarrassment!

P.S: I have no serious issues to post today and I am posting this one for the sheer laughter's sake. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Alive and kicking

This feels like ages since I last posted anything here. That shows how inactive I have become on my blog. It is such a pain to let it go empty, day after day. And I am sure that all bloggers share the same sentiments.

I have attempted to blog about something for a long time now, only to find myself failing to do so. Maybe that is my laziness. But sometimes, there is nothing new or interesting to blog about. Topics are crucial. As far as my idea of blogging goes, a post cannot be a mere record of personal events - everyday affairs - although there can be blogs about such topics and interests. For example, the one I am writing now - has nothing about anything in particular,  besides citing some personal excuses.

Bhutan is going through yet another interesting era in that we have just had our third parliamentary elections and the new government is in place. I take this opportunity to welcome the new government and a new set of cabinet members, the speaker of the National Assembly and th…

When they are ready

The Ministry of Education discovered 890 'underage' children admitted in schools across the country in 2019. Thus, the ministry in May 2019 issued a notification revoking the admission for these children. Majority were in urban centres. 
Desperate, parents and the affected schools requested the government to intervene. They also requested the government to consider lowering the enrolment age to five years. Currently, in Bhutan a child can legally go to school only when s(he) is six years old. 
And that policy was strictly followed a few years ago to the extent that some schools refused to admit children even if they were short of a few weeks. So, parents, mostly in urban areas, resorted to faking their children's ages. Many parents were guilty of adding years onto their children's actual ages. However, most parents, we are told, managed to correct their 'mistakes' later. Faking a child's age was rampant both in government and private schools. But the story wa…

Our throw-it-away culture

Like all grandparents, my late grandma would call food 'tsampa rimpoche' and any fuss made about it would invite everyone's sneer and scoldings. Food is always treated with respect and is never wasted. "If you waste food in any manner," she would admonish us. "One day food will discard you and you will go hungry." 
What remained from the previous meal would be turned either into porridge or sometimes leftover rice would be dried in the sun. The dried rice would then be fried into puffed rice and consumed with cups of suja. When there was so much food left, especially during big events, leftover rice or kharang would be mixed with a small amount of yeast and brewed into ara.  
The only thing that I can vividly recollect from my primary school days is how we would be hungry most of the time. Food we were served was hardly enough to tickle our throats. We would be sent home only once a week on Saturdays and that was our opportunity to replenish our popcorn s…