Monday, July 25, 2016

Remembering Sher Khan on July 29

Disclaimer: Apart from the basics of its food habits and the tiger corridors around the world, I know very little about this amazing animal. I am neither a Tiger expert nor a wildlife biologist but this is just my opinion on one of the most beautiful animals that roam the jungles of our earth.
The 2016 movie
Back then when I was a kid and when we didn’t have a television set at home, I used to run to my neighbor’s house and watch the animated Jungle Book on the only channel Doordarshan. The language obviously was in Hindi. That was then. Even before reading the book, I knew some of the book’s character Mowgli, Bagheera, Akila, Baloo, Sher Khan, forgot the Serpent and Alpha female’s name. I don’t remember any other books that he wrote and I didn’t even read any besides the Jungle Book. I love the Book to this day. I secretly stole this book from not a very good reader friend some years ago and now I don’t have it in my collection. I have no idea where did I misplace it. 

The Book
The animated Jungle Book as a kid and reading the actual Book in my 9th grade made me connect to the story. The animation made sense and it was truly a revelation of exciting adventure that Mowgli undertakes.

The antagonist in the Book or the movie, Sher Khan (The Tiger) is killed in the end. Bagheera asks Mowgli to fight like a man not as a wolf because Mowgli was raised by the wolves. Let me not narrate what happens in the Jungle Book. Watching and listening to the fierce dialogues of Sher Khan in the movie made me update this post.

Fast forward to 2016, sleep wouldn’t come easily and it’s 2:32 AM. It is also pitch dark, let’s exactly say it’s the morning of July 25, 2016 and it’s Monday. So, good morning folks! I can hear the rain outside and I have just done watching The Jungle Book (2016). I decided to write on Sher Khan and the story which left an imprint in my mind as a kid. The plot of the movie and the book is almost the same.

The mighty Sher Khan in the movie
The Book being very close to me and thinking about the Jungle book takes me down memory lane when I was not even attending school. The tiger coincidentally happens to be my favorite animal. Of all the animals I love tigers. They were on top of the food chain in the animal world. Now they are endangered. Very few roam the wild today. This has impacted the food chain drastically. Sadly, man has become the modern day Sher Khans driving tigers to extinction.

Bhutan is home to Tigers and let us give them space so that no news makes headlines on BBS about human-wildlife conflict involving Tigers. Contrary to Kipling’s portrayal of Sher Khan, Tigers usually avoid humans and for food they hunt alone. You may have heard of the man-eating tigers of the Sundarbans and Siberia. These are cases of desperation on Tiger habitats. Had humans not encroached the tiger habitat, cases such as these wouldn’t have happened. 

Tiger filmed by Gordon Buchanan somewhere in Trongsa for the BBC
I would like to join the world community and pray for the survival of all tigers in the world today. I recommend the movie Jungle book for everyone. It is a must-watch for kids and adults alike. Another movie I like to recommend is, 'Two Brothers'. Tiger conservation needs people’s help in the countries where Tigers roam. Bhutan is one such country and let us be proud of this fact that we shelter tigers and our ecosystem is a thriving one for the Tigers. 

The time now is 3:22 AM and perhaps I should be trying to get some sleep because I have school at 8:20 AM. 

Did you know July 29 is Global Tiger Day? 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Religious crime

The Facebook update of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rimpoche put me into thinking yesterday and further bolstering my thoughts on what I read, the news last night made me conclude greed can be so malicious. The lure of money can turn a decent human being into a psycho-path.  I am sure many of you might have heard and read it. The news left me no choice but to pen it down. We have gone into the extremes to find a subject of our humor and livelihood.

Google images
Firstly it was a well known comedian of ours who mocked and made fun of the religious titles of our monastic community and  now we have a travel agent who deceived his/her clients for millions of Ngultrums just to make them listen to Rimpoche’s teachings. Rimpoche as I have listened to in the past provides every teaching for free. Let this kind of deception not be a gold rush for the people in the future. I have heard of the term ‘Responsible Tourism’ and I am sure every travel agent is aware of this. I would like to add a word on this ‘Responsibly Responsible Tourism’.

The comedian was made to beg for his blasphemy in the national television and for the agent, I am wondering whether or not the governing body of the tourism industry is doing anything about this.  As I find it, our religion is becoming a subject for people to do all sorts of things and you may wonder at the mockery people make about the well off religious clergy.

Religion is one of the foundations that constitute our country and people from outside pay heavy amounts just to see our centres of religion and nature. Our Vajrayana tradition allows us to be ‘naturalists’ and that’s why we take pride in our flora and fauna.

Such acts that too from our very own people is very intimidating. Was there no other means to earn a living? For those who committed this…the land of the peaceful dragon and of the Drukpas doesn’t need a religious law because our religion proposes peaceful and harmonious living. I am not sure if a religious law should be in place for a country like ours. Had our country been an Islamic republic of blah blah blah or whatever… these crimes  will be punishable by death.

Until the next news breaks on religion from within or outside the country, I can only seek solace in the words of the Dalai Lama.

"Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace".