Saturday, July 30, 2016


I have met with all sorts of people, oh hell yeah, I can totally say that. And each day, I have had something new to learn from them. 

I was never an instrument guy. So, most of the times I would land up being the 'Monitor System Guy', something I can coin now. There's no term for that guy, that job is even worse than being curtain guy. How did I become Monitor System Guy or MSG? Well, long story cut short, my father happens to be a passionate musician and as he claims, he had plenty of girl friends during his college days. I hope that's true, because, there's some magic in musicians which girls have always envied. I would however never know being charismatic in that field. I was raised around his tape recorders, amplifiers, loudspeakers, audio cassettes, microphones, wires, guitar, borrowed electronic piano keyboards, etc.. I won't learn how to play any of the instruments and while I tried guitar, he flaunted his dialogue on my face: Tero guitar sikney din goyo (Your days to learn guitar have passed). But I was good with controlling amplifiers, connecting them to speakers and well, increasing or decreasing volume. I got noticed in school by this bunch of boys who called themselves as 'Griffins'. And our vocalist then was Kinley Wangchuk (Psycho), who today sings too much of Crazy Rap by Afroman at Mojo Park, Space 34 or Viva City. That guy never ages. Anyway, Griffins took me to play Daw-shu-ray! Sort of carol popular amongst ethnically Nepali people. 

Being studious, I didn't like to go out, but then Praneei would say, didn't you watch Munna Bhai MBBS? What if you are Jimmy Shergill and you die without going to a bar? Without even having a girlfriend? That was class IX! However, they had convinced me to hang out with them, and they were already into smoking. I was this nerdy kid who would fix their speakers and amplifier. I was given royal treatment. Sagar was drummer then and he still is. Misty Terrace I presume. 

They had all the instruments, except for Damphu ( tambourine ). Tamangs are particular about Damphus. They had one Taxi hired, three scooters and one Maruti car which they had lent from their cousin. We went to most of the houses and my job was simple, I had first few minutes to fix them and sit next to Amplifier.

Most songs were popular Nepali songs during those days and few songs were good. Like Dheerai Dheerai by 1974 AD, Gorkhali by Mantra, Sayad by Raju Lama, Ekantama by Mantra, etc.. 

I remember few of the lyrics which they sang, Ghaara ma cheli Ro diyo ma lai samjey ra, maiti ko jeevan beet ney bho pardeshai go yeh ra... Which meant, my sister at home might be crying remembering me, her life will be spent in foreign land ( usually women leave their ancestral homes and get married ).

When I remember, those days, I smile for no reason. Praneei was right, I didn't want to be Jimmy Shergill.

Few years from then, Griffins would play on weddings around Thimphu. I would join them for two weddings at Begana and Motithang. Those were good memories, and am still not guilty over those drunkards whose pitch were modified while they snatched our microphones: they either had too much of echo or nothing. I would never let them steal our thunder :p. I was asked by my friends to do so.

These days, however, when Diwali comes, I usually have sound sleep. Reason being, broke during festival times :p.  The last time, I would decorate my house with lights, was the time when I was in hostel. Few candles here and there, I just hope, the Hindu Gods were not mad because Candles are meant for Jesus? And I seriously hope they didn't mind, because it was a Buddhist guy lighting Candles on Diwali for Hindu gods, along with my Muslim Friend Imam, who was busy smoking cigarettes.

And last but not the least, Diwali is a fun festival. It brings out the best coexistence theme in Bhutan. For today, Diwali is more of a festival whereby Ngalongs and Sharchops think that it is their rights to have Selrotis from their Lhotshampa friends and Lhotshamaps think that it is their responsibility to distribute Selrotis on Diwali.

In terms like this, I really appreciate how far Bhutan has come. We have embraced our coexistence by far, and we might look different and speak different languages, but by far, we have coexisted. Little puns and jokes, here and there, it's a beautiful country to be. We all have friends. 


  1. Seems you had good times during those days. Do continue to work with music

  2. Interesting story, Dawa. Had so much of fun reading it. But you didn't mention how or from where you learned your jokes.