Monday, September 5, 2016

Speech at Motithang HSS



I delivered this speech on 03rd September, 2016 at Motithang HSS. I was invited by my former English teacher, Madam Sonam Choden Lungten, who taught me when I was in class IX and continued to be with me till I completed my class 12. She hugely contributed to my writing passion with incessant inspiration and editing my messy write-ups. I always rejoiced being with her as we always talked about writing. I still remember how she blushed when I complimented that she looked so beautiful in her white tego, blue wonju and pea-cock feathered ear-wear. Those are some of the memories out of many that I always treasure in my heart. 
 
Good morning to you all.
Respected Principal, teachers and my dear friends.
Thank you Madam SonamChoden for this wonderful opportunity and highly hyperbolic introduction.
As I am an aspiring writer, I thought you would better like my writing than my speech. Thus, I wrote my speech. I am very reluctant that I may not speak anything worth, and sorry for making you all stand.
I will briefly talk about three things.
1. About my books.
2. About pursuing your dream.
3. About parents and teachers,
About my books.
Thus far I published two books. I wrote my first book when I completed my class 12. I titled it The Joy of a Beautiful Dreams. To publish it, I approached every so called publishing houses in Thimphu. It’s a sad story that they rejected my manuscript even before reading it.
Is it a guide book? is what everybody asked me. No sooner did I say it isn’t than they rejected. We don’t publish anything besides guide books. But they couldn’t stop me. I kept looking for somebody to loan me, and finally one Health Assistant (Mr Kamal  Gurung) of my village agreed to loan me Nu 28, 000.
And I wrote my second book when I was in third year in my college. There, I happened to fall in love with a beautiful girl. I started writing it as a diary entries just to see smile on her face. That beautiful smile. And she never read anything besides what I wrote for her. As I kept writing, after a month or two, I realized that I can develop it into a novel. Then I started working on it. Novel writing is such a tedious and long process that she left me before I completed my novel. Knowing the fact that Bhutanese publishers won’t publish anything besides guide books, my editor, Mr Ngawang Phuntsho and Mr Passang Passu Tshering came up with a beautiful idea of crowd-publishing. Number of investors invested amount in different categories of 10,000. 7500. 5000. 3000. And 2500. And we returned their money in the form of books with 50% profit.
Then I went to bookstores, I won’t name it here.
I asked, would you like to sell my book, please?
Where is it? They asked.
I showed them my novel. It was in best shape it can be in. They were too reluctant that they wanted to keep only 10 copies. They told me that Bhutanese writers don’t sell at all. And asked for hefty 35% discount. I swallowed but I agreed. Then, I advertised my book in Facebook and they finished selling 10 copies on the same night. They called me and asked me to drop them another 20 copies. They finished it too. Then they asked me to give them whatever copies I had. I just had 100 copies. Then, it was my turn. I told them, I will give you books but I won’t give 35% discount. I demanded them to agree on 20% discount.
Thus, it helped Chronicle of a Love Foretold become instant best seller.
I heard that there are some of you who want to become a writer. Please keep nurturing your passion. Follow your dream. No matter what you choose to be professionally, you can always write. And to write you must always read. Read. And read. I will be a full-fledged physiotherapist by profession, if I make through this RCSC but my passion for writing will never die. I always say that Physiotherapy is my legal wife and writing my girlfriend. I am not faithful though.
Writing is an art which requires lot of patience, perseverance and strict discipline. Back in my college, when I was writing Chronicle of a Love Foretold, I wasn’t free. I didn’t compromise my academic performance just because I was writing. But I used to be working on my story, sitting in a corner, when my friends went out with their girlfriends. I used to be editing my work when they went out to play football. Sometimes, I even sacrificed my meals to complete a chapter or a paragraph. Writing isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible too. I never found writing tiresome. Every word I scribbled, every sentence I finished and every paragraph I completed was a celebration.


About pursuing your dreams
You all are very fortunate to be in Motithang Higher Secondary School with sophisticated facilities, resourceful and knowledgeable teachers under the leadership of your wise Principal. Make use of these facilities. Do everything you can to excel. I would particularly want my friends of class X and XII to understand my message here. You all are in very crucial stage of your life, and a mistake you make at this point would haunt you through rest of your life. I was so hopeful that I would qualify for MBBS and I studied so hard. But that mistake that I made at the last moment spoilt everything. While writing my exam, I couldn’t finish writing my favorite paper. That was Chemistry paper. I left 10 marks blank. I was so hurt that I didn’t study for Physics paper though I had 2 days to go. I wasted my time lamenting over the spilt milk. So, at last I scored 83 in Chemistry and Biology, with just 74 in Physics. That dragged down my rank and I didn’t make it to MBBS. That pain of not getting what you want. That regret. Is so painful, it’s differently painful and the most painful thing is you can’t turn back the clock and go there to correct it. Every night I went to my bed and cried, had I just utilized that two days properly I would have qualified for MBBS. Everytime I saw doctors, my heart melt and I cried. All we have is present moment. Make best use of it. Give your best and leave rest to God. So, don’t repeat the mistake that I made some six years ago. I wish you all the best in your exam.

About parents and teachers…
With Madam Sonam Choden Lungten
Our parents and teachers are two people who will completely rejoice in our success. You can see, my English teacher, Madam SonamChoden smiling there. No matter how much our best friend love us, if you score more than him/her, he/she will definitely get hurt or jealous that he/she couldn’t score or succeed as much as you did. Jokes aside. Don’t fight with your best friends because I said this.
You must respect your teachers no matter whether he/she teaches you or not. It was a sad story shared by social activist and former teacher of Royal Academy that students lied him saying they don’t know that particular teacher. Don’t let this happen in this school. It is so much easy to bring down the name of your school. If someone encounter any one of you smoking somewhere in town with your uniform, people will biasedly assume that every student of Motithang smoke. But it is so hard to build reputation of your school. If one of you top whole Bhutan in class X or XII, people will say it could be because teachers from Motithang set question paper. Or will say it is by chance, let’s wait and see if anyone from Motithang will top next year. Such is the satirical aspect of human mind.
Parents love us unconditionally. Your happiness means everything for them. They don’t expect anything in return. If you speak nicely with them, it means everything. I make sure I call my mom at least four times in a week, and you won’t know how much happiness it gives her. She will be full of smile, for whole day.
So, love your parents and respect your teachers.
Thank you!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Happy Birthday Your Majesty…

04 June. Twenty six years ago, an angel was born. Without being redundant, let me join the nation to wish Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Happy Birthday. May this year bless Your Majesty with happiness and health as always. May Triple Gem shower Their Majesties with the choicest blessing and Bhutan continue to bask in the sun of happiness and peace. Thank you Their Majesties for blessing us with The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.
Happy Birthday Your Majesty!
Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema 

*******
I flinched every time I visited my blog. The barren blog. I kept saying I will blog Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. And five months flew by but Tomorrow never came. So, this morning I woke up and said No More Tomorrow. So, here I am bringing out a random post.
Last five months wasn’t so sanguine. But some of the most beautiful things of my life happened, too. Heavy duty in hospital. Exhausted, physically and mentally. As if that wasn’t enough, scorching sun soared temperature to extreme 45°C. It sipped tremendous audacity out of me to walk from hospital to hostel. Hostel to hospital. Though it is barely 10 minutes walk. I drank gallons of water. Escaped mess food. Sun challenged to faint me. Pool of sweat drenched me. Often my kind friends rode me on their bikes. Now temperature plummeted to 35 something, and frequent drizzle eased my walk. And countable days to complete my internship re-energize my exhaustion. Every day I wake with a big smile because it is one day closer to completion. One day closer to Home.  
So, what was I doing in last five months?
Scorching sun and duty doesn’t suffice my Blogging Exile. Well, I wasn’t exactly on Writing Exile. I was writing. I was working on the first draft of my second novel. I was trying to straighten it up. Every day I was adding some words, some sentences, some paragraphs. I didn’t give up until I finished crappy sixty thousands words. A crappy draft, I would rather call it. Let it be crappy. At least I completed it. I won’t revisit my draft for next few months, and let me read what I actually wrote. That’s all I was doing.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Speech that I delivered during my book launch...

19 December, 2015
First of all, good afternoon to you all. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made to make for my book launch. Thank you, thank you very much.
Launching my book with His Excellency T S Powdyel and my mom
Thank you, Your Excellency, for consenting to be today’s Chief Guest despite it being last minute invitation. Sorry for being so informal. You are the epitome of inspiration. I fondly remember buying newspaper with the last penny just to read Your Excellency’s article. I couldn’t find more appropriate person than Your Excellency for today’s event.
With Ngawang Phuntsho sir
I owe enormous gratitude to Mr Ngawang Phuntsho, who believed in my story. From editing till publishing. I can never thank you enough for being that wonderful person. Knowing that I had no money to publish my work, he invented this innovative model –publishing and marketing together – which is first of its kind. And I am very proud to say that it succeeded beyond our doubt. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who invested to make this publication successful and above all, for believing in our model.
I wouldn’t have been able to bring this book in this shape and in this quality had you all not invested. Once, I was so hopeless and thought I would never publish this book. But money isn’t everything, I learnt it hard way. When I was about to publish it in kindle because I had no other alternatives to make my readers read it, there came my fairy angel, Ngawang sir and rescued me. Thank you very much Ngawang sir.
With Passu sir...
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr Passang Passu Tshering for making this event possible. Just yesterday morning, I was all set to return home without launching my book and felt so sorry for my mom. I called her all the way from Tsirang saying I would like to launch my book in her presence but honestly, I had no money to book any hall. I think Passu sir best understood my excitement, my impatience and my craziness. Thank you very much, sir. I always wanted my book launch to be the grand and ceremonoius one, and I can’t imagine it to be more grand than this.
I would like to thank my mom who came all the way from Tsirang. She is the most beautiful and bravest lady I have ever known. When I was in Primary school, there was no electricity in our village, she used to stay by my side, making big and bright fire in our hearth, so that I can read, so that I can write, so that I can study. Above all, so that I can learn. Biggest chunk of contribution comes from my mom for what I am today. Thank you, Ama. It doesn’t mean I love my Apa less. He couldn’t make to this event because he had to take care of household chores back home. I am blessed to have parents like my Apa and Ama.  I am saying these things about my parents, not to say that only my parents are the best. But to say that, every one of us have the best parents. I wonder why would anyone feel embarrassed when their parents come riding scootor to meet them. I am worried if anyone is ashamed of his/her parents, one would never succeed in one’s life. Last week, I was walking around and I saw an old woman dressed in tight jeans pant and brown boot till her knees. I noticed her utter discomfort while walking and her son was scolding her for embarassing him. Later I realized, it was her son who wanted her to look modernized, fashionable. I would urge, all of my young friends, when we still have our parents,  let them be dressed in the clothes they feel comfortable in, let them be that parents who taught us how to walk, how to speak and how to be more humane. Above all, let’s love our parents the way they love us. Therefore, this book is for my Apa and Ama.
With my mom
Thank you Ugyen Lhendup for  photos
While writing this book, I sacrificed so many things – when my friends went out with their girlfriends, I was sitting on my chair and typing. When my friends went to play football, I was sitting at a corner and typing my story. When my friends spent leisure hours, talking and making fun of eachother, I was sitting and typing. But it was never a lonely and tiresome journey. Because, every appopriate word I typed, every meaningful sentence I constructed and every paragraph I wrote gave immense joy. Every page I finished was a celebration.
In conclusion, if I am granted a wish, I would wish every next shop in Bhutan to be a book shop instead of a bar shop. I would wish every child reading books instead of playing video games. I would wish every child worshiping their parents. And I would wish everybody in this hall, read my book.

Thank you.

One and all. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My all-time different travel experiences...

I know it is pretty late but there are some things that never become obsolete. So, let me share some of my travel experiences.
Since I reached Bhutan, most of the time I have been travelling for free. I mean without paying fares. As soon as I reached Phuntsholing, my classmate’s dad came to pick us up and I reached Tsirang (my home town) for free. Next day, my cousin brother picked me up and I reached home without paying a penny. Perhaps, my big forehead gathered all luck, otherwise, it is almost impossible to get vehicle during festival time forget about free travel.
 It was on 24th October and I had to reach Thimphu by any means. Otherwise, I would have missed second Community of Bhutanese Blogger’s Conference in Paro. And to my dismay, bus tickets were sold out for that day and also booked for another three consecutive days. I looked up in the sky and sighed, I have to reach Thimphu today by any means.  I had with me my brother. Taxis were full. None of the private vehicle cared to give us lift. Two of us stopped each and every vehicle. But none of them stopped. I was determined, more than determined to walk 72 kilometres to Wangdue, so that I can get lift. I knew it would be impossible to walk that long but I also knew I would reach there if I walk all day and all night.
After walking for almost three kilometres, we got lift. We travelled in it for next few kilometres and it wasn’t going beyond that. We walked again. Meanwhile, we were stopping every passing vehicle. After walking for a while, we were given a lift by a Bolero. After few kilometres, we were out. Alas. It seemed luck wasn’t favouring us. But one thing kept me moving – I have to attend the second blogger’s meet. That was it.
To our utter surprise, we got lift in a green Alto Car. The gentle and kind man was travelling with his family to Thimphu. We were full of smiles. We breathed in long and silently hi-fived. That was yet another free travel.

Thimphu to Paro. I was with Tashi Gyem in Madam Rekha’s elegant car. Should I say it was a free ride again? Three of us were talking about books, endlessly. Books? Boring talk? May be for others but we three were all book-lovers and joy of talking about book is as exciting as talking about our new girlfriend or boyfriend if not more interesting. Despite meeting for the first time, we were talking with each other like we were old friends.
Paro town to Drukgyel Dzong. I was in Dasho Sangay Khandu’s exquisite Prado. So comfortable, so smooth, I was lost in fantasy – dozing, perhaps. To be little more honest, it was my first ride in Prado. And I was like wow this is Prado!

Do you believe I travelled for free in Taxi?
Yes, I ain’t kidding. I travelled in Taxi from Changzamtog till town for free. Actually I was to pay him Nu. 20/- but I offered him Nu. 500/- and he asked for change. I had no change. He asked for change from another passenger but he had no change either. Then, he returned my money and asked me to go. I was so happy that I forgot to note his number. If I happen to meet him next time, I will pay him for sure. His kindness was the testimony to the existence of humanity among generally greedy and cunning Taxi drivers.

In Thimphu, every zebra-cross has a police standing. And pedestrians have to cross the road from zebra-cross, otherwise, you would be fined Nu 500/-. Good thing is that vehicle let us cross road from zebra-cross like we are some honourable Dasho. You don’t have to wait even for a second unlike in the past where we had to wait until some kind driver let us cross the road.

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