Monday, September 26, 2016


Standing behind this window shutter, I lean and rest my arms on it and watch outside, I get lost into my thoughts. Several times, while stealing glimpses of people outside. I lean back and sit on the chair and don't stare too much. I face this monitor, if she were a girl, she would have loved me dearly for always paying her too much attention, and I believe I haven't sat on mother's lap more than I did on this chair. I have been trying myself to refrain from over thinking, henceforth I look outside at times and get back on this chair and monitor. But at times, it is bound to happen, and there I am, lost in my thoughts. Perhaps, 'Thoughts and Works' brewed up with the very foundation of these sorts of thoughts, way back in college. 

I have stood here for many times, and have seen many things on the other side of the shutter. It's like one of those screens, and people come up with interesting roles on the other side, except that these are their real lives. I have enjoyed the view from here the most when the prayer wheels weren't rotated, when the bell didn't ring and the streets were empty and not a soul was seen around. This however happens sometime between mid night till 4 am in the morning. When the street lamps reflect on wet bitumen paved roads, while dogs don't dare much to bark for they are too tired, while people have gotten drunk enough and have left for their homes, these streets belong to me. I click my tongue then, and listen to it's echo, nobody knows I am here, nobody notices it's me who made that sound, nobody sees me here, and nobody lets me know that they hear, and I very much enjoy this loneliness and solitude of serene individuality. At least, the sounds that I make, come back to me, they don't betray me in these timid mixture of darkness and light. 

Once, there was power cut and I stood here, as the lights had faded away and I got accustomed to darkness, I enjoyed the view above, the last time I was this curious about them was when I was in eight grade, 2002. I barely can recall the last time I saw so many stars. With sky painted so dark and stars bright, I wondered then, how dumb I had grown as an adult, how ignorant I am now and failed to even remember few of the stars and constellations above me. It then got me thinking, I surely was a weird kid while I grew up, who read astronomy then? Perhaps, the charm of puberty striking you late? 

It is interesting to watch people and be a wallflower at times, they never disappoint to entertain you - sad, funny and exciting at times. Many things that I saw in past many days were lovers lurking in the dark, kissing as if nobody saw them, lovers holding hands and walking these streets as they didn't care about rest of the world - lost into themselves and maybe forever seemed possible. Couples going home drunk leaning on each other. Couples fighting violently as if their existence were threatened. Boys getting drunk and complaining they nearly got laid if their friends had cooperated on the dance floor. Kids challenging policemen at times, and at times kids fighting each other. At times, policemen chasing culprits for whatsoever reasons that agitated them. Kids cussing out loud too much, at times dogs fighting each other over territorial dispute, or maybe for food or maybe for a new female dog in the town? Girls getting too drunk and a herd of boys taking them home. Policemen patrolling around in groups, while they discussed their lives. A lover too drunk crying out loud with his phone, begging the person on the other end to stay. A group of women being teased. A girl being wooed while a man drove his car, like that was the only asset she would fall for? Vagabonds at times appearing out of nowhere, like mere gypsies and sleeping on streets, with cartoon boxes as their mattresses and their rugged clothes as blankets. And there always are a bunch of people who discuss business or future enterprises they will form. I don't know these strangers, I have never seen them before, yet I had a glimpses of their lives, I know they didn't see me seeing them. It's just a junction of our lives, they never knew I stood there, and I would never know them. And I wonder, like DiCaprio said in Blood Diamond:

  • Sometimes I wonder: Will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago.

While kids play football and children on those slides, at times it gets noisy. When schools end and they are on vacation, it gets noisy till 11 pm, and I really wonder, why aren't parents coming to take them home? 

This particular prayer wheel gets rotated as early as 4 am in the morning. I wonder how many people come here and turn it every day. I also wonder, how is it close to divinity and not a sin while one disturbs someone's sleep? But then again, I contemplate that the bell's ringing at certain interval of time keeps someone's mind focused, or prepares one to be focused. I see old people turn this prayer wheels the most, with rosaries in their hands, and I wonder, what's there in their heads? Are they prepared to die? Are they counting their last hours or days? And why are they now turning the prayer wheels? Did they sin too much in their lives while they were juveniles, that they have to ask or beg for forgiveness now? Perhaps they were too bothered to be home, old and aging off. Perhaps, this is the very place where they find solace in their numbered days, away from all the scoldings and nagging from their in-laws. 

Young people, people of my age impatiently walking around, might be the young muscles or lack of time, they are faster than the older ones. While the older ones have limited time, they are slower. While adults care for their kids, the kids are engulfed in their own bliss of cheerfulness, while they play on those slides, am sure they feel happiness. No worries about what's next, no laws they are aware of, their fathers are their superheros, the true age of blissfulness. Will they be expecting gifts from Santa Claus? And will they be dishearten to know that Santa only delivers when you are a Christian? Or will they be disheartened to know that not only Santa doesn't exist but is from different religion from theirs? Will they hate other religions and never try to understand like many other adults do? Will they be jingoists in the name of patriotism? Will they think being other things in their lives than super-models or footballers or singers or engineers or doctors? Will any of them achieve something someday, touch fame like no Bhutanese ever did before? Will their parents even stay together for too long? But I see hope in them, for little infants and kids, they mingle as of now, forgetting about the rest of the world, not politicizing, not vouching for ideas, race, creed or religion. They are just out there to play. 

I get lost in those thoughts and I choose to go for an early morning stroll. I have never rotated those prayer wheels. Not because I am not a Buddhist, I am, but perhaps, I have my own doubts about divinity.  

With not many people and vehicles around in the mornings, precincts in and around Bajo is very beautiful to loiter. When the wind doesn't bother you like a grumpy mother in law, and dust doesn't come into existence like a vengeful ex-lover, Bajo is that sleeping beauty you just want to look at for eternity. If you choose the route towards old vegetable market, the trees, leaves, branches and bamboos, along the sides of road towards RNR centre, embraces you with lush aroma of mud and you feel closer to nature. While you reach on top of old vegetable market, you will see Rinchengang on the other side, and when you look around, most often, you will see formation of mists on Punatshangchhu River, like a bride covered by white veil. Nature, perhaps is a better painter than anyone of us could be. If you take a stroll towards Khuruthang side, you will see the majestic view of Punatshangchhu and hear her silence, as if trying to reach out to you and tell her tales, her journey from the ridges and valleys of Gasa. Perhaps, nature is a better story teller than anyone of us could ever be. And all these are momentary, for after 8:30, this silent town comes to life, kids start to make noises, vehicles come up with their ignited engines and hoarding sounds, the sun shines better and just like a happy love affair turned into bad marriage, everything starts - the windy Bajo comes to life. The Sun and Bajo town, surely has a weird combination, it's usually windy then. Perhaps, the cold temperature of Punatshangchhu is too mesmerized with utmost hotness of this town. The buildings with same architectural details and different paintings, Bajo town does look like some box of chocolates with different wrapped papers. (This is what happens when politicians meddle and think they know technical people's jobs?) 

I however stand behind the window shutter after my stroll, look outside and see those prayer flags, and it gets me thinking again. At times, even prayer flags are still in Bajo. And with that, I wonder, maybe all of us aren't different at all, and none of us could be defined. One moment we are happy and in another sad. We are nice and rude, jolly and moody, grumpy and appreciative, hopeful and hopeless, ambitious and lazy, broke or salary credited, angry or joyful, etc., "I am this and this", seems so pale and plain then. Everybody's got no character and everybody's got character, everybody's right and everybody's wrong. For, actually nobody knows who they are, and what they are truly capable of. For none of us are the same, and that makes all of us the same. We are just like ripples on a still water, waiting to be instilled by factors that matter to us, showcasing our potential of each opposite extreme ends to the factors that matter to us. I stand here and ask myself, what am I? Engineer? Wanna be Writer? Wanna be Artist? Wanna be Poet? Wanna be Blogger? Wanna be etc., and I get my answer for a while, for a moment, I am but all of it, and all. 

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