Skip to main content

Ama, I am coming home

Yes, I want to go home. I see nothing to cling onto in town or that I can point my fingers at and count as mine. Except my wife and daughter. Of course there a few things that I could gather in the last few years of living here. They cannot however be counted. Here, everything is about money. And almost nothing else. Our GNH teaches us otherwise, but here everyone is in a mad rush to make more money - more the merrier. But again they are only being rational and wise.
Sometimes I regret that we have spent so many productive years going to school and learning many things that no longer find use and purpose in our lives. Don't you feel that? Our parents sent us to school in a hope that we would have comfortable lives once we get jobs for it was every parent's dream then. And see how wild that dream has become now? Things have moved at lightening speed. But why am I rambling so much here? Anyways - yes I am going home. That is where my heart is. That is where my land is. That is where food is. That is where most of my stories have their beginnings. So, what am I doing in this sophisticated jungle?  
And here in this concrete jungle we drive, fancy and some not so fancy, cars, which are technically owned by the banks. If we fail to pay them on time, they will gladly auction our automobiles to the public and get their money back. Here we live in apartments and continue to pay our landlords. The house rent is often more than thirty to forty percent of what one makes a month. Little that remains funds our families for the month. And at the end of each month we realize that it is just enough to sustain. Aren't we fed up with this hand-to-mouth business? If we keep this way even by the time when old age comes knocking on our doors, we would have nothing to count as our own. And what are we handing to our children to be passed down to the posterity? This cycle must be broken sooner or later. Before our farmland no more recognizes us or we lose our footmarks in the villages.  
That's why I am going home. There in the village, what I grow on my farm will sustain me and my family. Who cares for some physical hardships? After all mental disorder results in many suicides in towns. I have no burden of taxes in the village and the food I grow on my farm does not heed to the ever growing inflation in town. How about that?   
Of course the bigger question now will be educating our children. There are no good schools in rural villages; it is true. Private schools to be specific. But if the end result of schooling is to land up a job, then what is the use of education? What is useful is that one can read and write his or her name and do basic numeracy. If that's all we require, we can teach that to our children on the farms and mould them to good and grounded human beings. 
Ama - I am coming home. 

Photos © Penstar Collections


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…

The Story Thief

When we were growing up in a small village in the central Bhutan, we would gather around our grandparents every evening in a room that would be dimly lit with a kerosene lamp. Our grandparents or the elderly members of the family would then take turns to entertain us (siblings and cousins who lived under the same roof) with their stories. Such was the only form of entertainment we had had then.  
Our grandparents would start their stories, which they probably would have heard them from their grandparents. A young poor boy becomes a successful farmer by a turn of luck, a man fights a bear, a poor boy accidentally marries a rich man's beautiful daughter, a lame monkey helps a boy find great wealth, a rooster regrets his action after he mistakenly accuses his wife and young men go on business trips to buy cattle, among many others. We grew up listening to many such stories. Sometimes, the storyteller would narrate the same story again and again, and yet every time it sounded more magi…

A 'holiday' for meat vendors

This Bhutanese month (May 16 - June 13) is observed as Saga-Dawa, a holy month in the country. It is popularly or infamousely known as the time when the sale of meat items is banned in Bhutan. And it's also an opportunity for us to put a light brake on our mighty meaty appetites. Consequently, restaurants are encouraged to serve their customers rich vegetarian meals during the period. Similar ban is also observed every first month of the Bhutanese calendar.
But going by what's happening, the saga-dawa is a month long mandatory and government sanctioned holiday for the butchers and meat vendors. Being holy month does not really make a difference to the menus in the restaurants from rest of the  months in the year. 
Meat is available in all the restaurants and even small eateries ensure that their customers are served their favorite dishes. They're only being wise and practical because if they don't serve meat their customers would move to the restaurant next-door that ser…