Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Distracted from Distraction by Distraction (T S Eliot)

These days many tell and ask me about the recent free immigration granted to the Bhutanese by the US President Donald Trump. I too came across this news on Facebook and forgetting others, even my wife at home asks me about this. I told her it’s fake. I don’t know about the general population but most of whom I know spend more time on Facebook and other social media sites. I am also no exception to these lots of people who are into internet for almost everything, if you know what I mean.

My other teacher friend who is a Dzongkha teacher also asked me this morning, “President ghi immigration thar bala dang, Bhutanese baka mangi moh(The president has granted free immigration to the Bhutanese. Is it?) A woman with scary cuts on her neck was posted some weeks ago mentioning of the incident in Punakha. Later, it was a hoax. I am sure many had a long ensuing conversation of the incident. These sorts of fake news will only create malaise in the society.

I think it’s high time people know what’s real and fake on the internet. I am of the opinion that social media sites like Facebook has a powerful influence and impact over its users and people tend to think whatever posted is for real. I am also of the opinion, children be taught media literacy in schools. It’s OK for the children but what about the general population. Something should be done to educate people on what to believe and what not to believe. News of everything comes on the social media even before BBS makes an official broadcast.

I think media consumers in Bhutan need some education at a personal level otherwise going by the numbers who believe and think it’s for real is staggering. If something isn’t done now, I think T. S Eliot will be more than happy when he said, “Distracted from Distraction by Distraction”. I would like to end my update today with a food for thought and see if it's for real. I know you will!

"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do" -BF Skinner

Good day folks!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Going awfully wrong!

Sir, Nga phow nawmey” (Sir, my tummy aches) said a tearful girl. I bumped into this girl on my way to the morning assembly. I told her to be in the class and rest. When I was back, she still wept over her pain. “Give me your mom’s number” and I made the call informing of her condition and to my horror, mom tells me, “Moh homework ma chab ni dhe ghe shob chabmey” (She’s lying because she didn’t do her homework). I asked her time and again and only after assuring that she will not be punished for any homework did she tell me the truth. Her homework is undone. I let her sit down with the other mates and instantly her pain was gone.

On one occasion teachers were asked to write an explanation because he/she had taken some senior students on an excursion and some naughty ones came home late at night. That was a Monday morning greeting. Parents, worried and frowning at the management questioned the school administration. Later upon investigation, it was found that some students did go for an excursion and some posed as teachers calling their friends parents. No teacher went for any excursion. Parents were deceived and teachers…scapegoat.

Very recently on the news, a child was caught using a cell phone and the teacher seized it. Later some out of school youth charged the teacher wanting the cell phone back. Again upon investigation, the out of school youth were friends of the mobile phone owner.

Just last year, some two or three broke into the school library and took away the computer monitor, CPU, keypad and everything that comes along including the extension cord. Imagine their plight of lifting all of these packed in sack. They did this in broad daylight during a Sunday.

Little children as young as 8 or 9 formed a group calling themselves a ‘gang’ robbed several houses and when questioned by the police, these innocents testified saying, “Ngachey lu boss yeh la.” (We have a boss).

Another one, this would be the last otherwise I can go on and on making it painfully didactic for you to read of children’s mischief. Some boys in one of the afternoons brought some cigarettes and they hid just above the school in some bushes, you know why. In doing so, they lit up the bushes nearby and we found ourselves disturbed by the fire fighters sirens in our school compound.

Somewhere, something is going awfully wrong. For all the incidences that I just mentioned, you can draw your own conclusions and weigh it measure for measure because for some pressure and pleasure mean the same. I mean the children these days keeping in mind I am also a father of two.

Good day folks!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Smacking Sense in People!

I write my frustrations and thrash it for readers like you to read but trust me when I write my troubles down, I am relieved and writing significantly reduces my troubles.

Here’s another episode of my experiences that I undergo on a daily basis. I live in place where greed has taken precedence over humanity. People can go to extremes to get their will done. For instance, if one is superior in whatever fields, colleagues don’t matter or for that matter, opinions. If a crowd of thirty unanimously agrees to one thing, these flabby superiors will take the opposite stand defending their opinions, ultimately their ego. One need not be a philosopher to infer that it is their ego speaking with shallow pride. And of course they aren’t right. The remedy to avoid embarrassment is, ignore them and just make excuses not to be in their company. This works and avoids trouble after all one need not depend on the other for anything, for anything!

When people use others stuff its fine with them but when their stuff is being used it’s as if the crime branch people come knocking at your door. Only time tells of the people they really are, and until you know such people you are just a passerby. If they need help, they will leave no stone un-turned to make you help them. Such politicking can people be and I am sure you must be having these ones around you. Be careful, they aren’t the ones whom you think they are. 

The lure of power drives a decent human being to become a psychopath in seconds. Once power overrules judgment, that’s when you make enemies and even if you have friends they befriend you for the power you possess not for the human being in you. Also, take for instance in offices far and wide, one need to have someone known working in that office, otherwise your little work will take days because the person in charge of doing your work’s ego will be hurt if the work is instantly done. Just to make you realize how powerful he/she is, you will be given stupidly obvious excuses which even a three year old would comprehend.

Google Images
Morality is one principle which everyone propounds verbally with anecdotes and incidences and when need comes to them; corruption is the only refuge they seek. A very good friend of mine Rinchen remarked in one of the morning assemblies, “Not everyone who smiles are your friends.” How I wish the people I mentioned were all six year old spoiled brats so that I could spank some sense into them and make them human again.

As I mentioned in my opening lines, I am now reduced significantly in my embarrassment and the next time I meet these people, I will just greet them smilingly thinking of Rinchen’s lines.

“Not everyone who smiles are your friends.”

Good Day Folks!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Being a Student Again!

This is in continuation to my blog post of 11th May 2016 titled Dreaming before Thirty. I wrote about my three dreams that I wanted fulfilled before turning thirty and this update mentions of almost fulfilling my third dream-getting a Master’s Degree. In my previous update too, I have mentioned about how I wished my dream realized.

It was during the fall last year that I received a call from a friend of mine asking me to apply for the yearly TICA[i] scholarships. She knew I was eligible and had the prerequisite of qualifying for the scholarship. I was not really into qualifying but I had good degree marks. Getting ourselves a photocopy of all the documents, we submitted to our parent ministry and after a week of submitting the documents, she again called, of me getting shortlisted.

Excitement kicked in at the news and from then on, discussed so much on how to answer in an interview, sought help in the internet and so on. Finally on the big D- Day of my interview, I was the fourth candidate to be interviewed by a panel of five think tanks from various ministries and agencies. After answering pretty smartly to all their questions, I was acknowledged by the chair and wished me luck for the results. I smilingly thanked the panel and slipped out of the room.

Source: RCSC
School resumed for this year’s academic session and I went about my schooling duties. After 2 days of resuming, the news crashed in and half-hardheartedly browsed for my interview result only to be elated and excited for the very first time in my 10 years of professional life. You can only imagine how happy I am now and how I long to be a student again and immerse myself in the world of academics.

Guys! Wish me luck…

[i] Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Punishing the innocent…

“Lopen, Zhu Zhu” stopping my car was a lady traffic police.
Stopping I said,
“Gachi ina”.
“Mobile use bayday loh.”
“Gaghi lab deh” was my prompt reply. “Nga ghi thong yi”.

This incident took me by surprise a couple of weeks ago. I had my cell phone charged for almost four hours on my way back from Trongsa. Listening to some of my favorite songs I had forgotten about my phone and out of nowhere a lady appears accusing me of using mobile phone. As I was settling my differences with the lady, the other officer had already asked for my documents and handed me a pink receipt stating a violation. What the heck?  You can only imagine my temper and frustration there for doing nothing.

I had to wait in a long snaking line, the next day to get back what was deliberately taken from me and after paying a thousand Ngultrums of course.   Well I drive a small Alto. What about those cars whose audio system can be synchronized with a cell phone. People casually talk and drive. I have seen plenty. And for the men/women (traffic police) in blue, how are they monitoring such practices. And those using a Bluetooth headset, do they actually take notice of what that thing is.

On being uniformed blue with white stripes allover, these people think that are the king of the roads and talk to people with overpowering tones. Instead they look like clowns to me personally. Dear members of the traffic police, use some human decency to talk to drivers and people on the roads. I am sure you are being paid every month with rations included for your services. And your service is not to accuse people as if you bought them their cars.
Google Images

I travel every day to work and I see roads dotted with these blue people and every day I also see people talking merrily while driving and they don’t seem to notice. Are these people there to deliberately fine people or are they there to make our roads safer by fining the violators? Just a thought hoping that this update of mine would prick some sense into the much respected traffic people, with all due respect to those who are doing their services work fine. No pun intended!

Lastly but not the least, one person’s act should cloud my judgment on others but this has been the norm of everyday life since the beginning of time.
Happy Driving folks!