Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wangduephodrang Dzong On Fire.

It was just like any other day, unless we saw black smoke. It was around 4:30 pm that the smoke came to our notice. This is what had happened. 

I just shifted my house today, new apartment. Bhutanese always see whether it is a good day or not, we are Buddhist people. But, I was in haste and didn't bother to look. But little did I know, what would happen next would be something that would go down history. I should have known, the last days of June is never good for me. Last year, at this time, I got my first site and a Labour Died on this very day. Today, it was a Dzong. 

My father was a monk, he was monk in Wangdue Phodrang Dzong for two years. So, when I got my job here in Wangdue, he said, he is happy to have me work here as he has many memories about Wangdue. Those days, they didn't have roads. 

We were in Bajo Town and we saw black smoke, people said, the Dzong was on fire. We called our vehicle and wanted to go fight the fire. Little did we know, we were just going to be audience. If spectators were what our faith had chosen and we had known, we won't have gone on the first place itself. 

We reached the Junction whereby we could move to the Dzong or to the Bridge. The police didn't let us go to the Dzong. So, we had no options but to go towards the Bridge. I got a call from kuensel reporter, who happens to be my elder sister, to take some snaps. It was 5 pm then. And just like that, after two to three hours, The whole of Dzong caught fire. When we reached down near the bridge, we could feel the heat. We saw many armies and militia people taking important stuff out from the windows. One nearly got killed as a big boulder from the roof fell. And after one hour of their struggle, they had to give up. The temperature inside the rooms had increased. All the armies came towards the bridge, and the bridge and the road, were sealed. No one was allowed to go near the Dzong, and those who came from the Dzong were searched at the bridge. It was to save guard relics. Usually happens, man and his greed. Dzongs have very expensive relics. Some kids were saying that they are happy that some of the statues were taken out of the Dzong safely while others argued that Dzongkha documents must be burnt. All in all, we had great loss today.
But what really was sad site to see, was pigeons. They never gave up to fly near the roofs. Be it the roof was burnt or was on the verge of burning, they didn't leave easily. Perhaps, their nests had something we shall never be able to give them back. Tomorrow is mourning day, I hope prayers give us some hope. This is the second disaster we faced in a week. The first one was flood. And now my site, is currently very dangerous to visit. Anyways, good night. 

1 comment :

  1. Dawa, the picture is new to me here.
    Is it idle form of ritual to stare when such incidents occur in Bhutan ? It is really sad to note that we don't really have any advanced equipment to ease off the fire quickly and stop the disaster immediately than watch it burn and later mourn the situation.

    Thanks for updating
    P,S Just so you know, believe in Zakar or if not in religion. I think it is really important in our walks of life.