Monday, May 27, 2013

Freebies You Could Try

Source: afreesms website
In this day and age, it is almost always the case that you have access to the internet connection but not to other communication amenities. If you are stuck at the airports, restaurants or shopping malls abroad,  and needs to text message someone, you can do it at no cost. You can even send faxes to some of the countries. All you need is an access to internet and a device that supports web browsing.
To send sms to any mobile number across the world, you just have to punch in the number and type your message and send it. A free website offers this facility. It  instantly delivers the message to the recipient number without any ad messages bundled with your original text . However, like any free services, it has also got its pros and cons. Some of the plus points are ; no requirement for signups,  instant delivery of sms and ease of use. Some of the cons are; the text communication is one way and limits the number of sms. All in all, it is a free service which could be of help to you.

The other free service that you could avail online is the free online fax service. does all the fax messaging work for you. Upsides: It requires no registration. It gives delivery notification. Downsides: It permits sending faxes to only selected countries and you will need to hold an email account to verify the fax transfer. To ensure that you don't miss the message, this two services could be best used with other facilities like social networking sites and communication apps.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Who is going to rule this time?

Photo source: Kuensel
That was five years back when the nation first started with the mock elections and finally managed to elect our own government. Known as NA and NC in short, I guess even before the members of the houses knew their roles as parliamentarians, it was time to leave those hot seats. Media did its part. There was a wide print and broadcast media coverage over a prolonged time,  and it talked nothing but the election related stuffs. This bombardment of information had me to the brims. Two parties, no primary round and nearly an "oppositionless" parliament. That was an easy game to begin with.  Save for the two seats, it was nearly a political fiasco. Political analysts had attributed JYT factor as a predominant reason for that mudslide victory. I also think that way.

Five years have passed since then and here we are in 2013. The maokhola bridge is no where to be seen. But the parliamentary cycle must continue and the ferryman must still make his precarious trips. From two to five, the aspiring political parties have grown in numbers. With different ideologies, manifestos and slogans, it has toughened the competition. It is once again the talk of the town. With four parties making into the primary round, rigorous and a widespread campaign is on the spree. These four parties are trying their best to woo the voters through whatever means they could possibly use. Like in any democracy, Bhutan is no exception to the instances of what is termed as a political mudslinging and publicity gimmicking. But we do it "Drukpa style". Aspiring Bhutanese politicians do all these things under the hood with soothing words and gentle smiles :). Sometimes in the name of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Talking about self, I really wanted to atleast fulfill my obligation as a responsible citizen and exercise my voting rights. Unfortunately, I could not get through the postal ballot registration for some reasons unknown. And I am not sure if I can even prioritize this task over my ToR ( ensure that the generators are running at all times) and go in person to my constituency to cast a vote. I have not even looked at the party ideologies and manifestos in detail and knows nothing about Bhandari, Gurung, Pokwal and the Wangdis as yet. With the time running out, I have lots of homework to do before I embark on the journey to the southern foothills to exercise my rights. Who is going to rule this time? - It is in my hands, our hands.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Ben10, KinderJoys and my Kids

Time has changed. No! To put it right, things have changed over time. Recall back those childhood days and most of us will be taken into the flashbacks of a countryside. Myself, having been born and raised in the far-flung places of the easternmost part of the country, access to any of the fancy toys were not even thought of. Forget about the current day battery operated toys, handful of marbles would be my  prized possession. PET bottles,  rubber bands, wooden cars, bhaktang ball (a ball made out of torn socks), jerry can caps and the likes would make its way into my toy-box. Yet, I would be contended and play all day long with this locally improvised toys. And to sweeten our mouth, all that we could get was a glucose biscuit and orange sweets.

Talking of today's kids, they are way beyond one can ever fathom their wish list. They nag and pester until their wants and desires are fulfilled. It is one ordeal to compromise against their wishes. At one time, my elder son sat down right on the floor of one of the shops in Thimphu and cried out loud on the mere mention of not buying the toy he wished. All I could do was to surrender to his demand, feeling a little embarrassed infront of the confused crowd.

If you are a parent like me, Ben10 and Kinderjoy would not be greek words anymore. This anime and the chocolate egg has definitely cast a spell on my kids.
The Ben10 characters have rapidly diffused into every form of their lives. They live in the wonder-world. All they demand is jackets, shirts, caps, bags, slippers, shoes, socks, watches and so on with the Ben10 imprint on it. To make the matter worst, these cloths and footwears with the Ben10 characters are unusually priced higher than the ordinary ones. Everyone makes hay while the sun shines.
Kinderjoy is yet another attraction of my kids that sucks stream of cash over time. Priced at Nu. 30 a piece, all that you get is two small chocolate-balls and a worthless toy wrapped inside the shell. The fact that the toys are hidden inside the plastic shell makes it all the while curious for the kids to be wanting for more, with the hope of getting a better toy each time they get.

Despite all these disparity, I flaunt about my kids, in the fact that, they know much more than I have seen and known at their age. My four year son gleefully inserts the password on my iPad with his tiny little hands and the next few hours he gets deeply engaged in exploring the wonders of this gadget.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Glimpses from the Bumdra -Taktsang Trek

Twelve of us, mostly married couples, dared to move on with our plan to trek up to the sacred sites of Bumdra and Taktsang despite the incessant rain the night before. It was 3 AM in the morning of Saturday, 20th April 2013, when I rubbed my eyes and began to hit the road. We reached Sang Choekhor Buddhist College at around 9 AM - our take off point. Although the showers began to threaten us, our determinations became only stronger. After walking uphill for hours, we spent the night on the hillock of Bumdra. The next day, we headed back to Paro via Yoeselgang, Ugyentsemo and Taktsang. Sticking to an old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words", I am posting some of the pictures which were taken from my Nikon 3100 DSLR camera.

Snow took us by surprise. Who would expect it around this time of the year?

Two of my friends enjoying the touch of snow flakes.

Time for some "cheese" as we move on.

Me and my better half taking a break for some pose.

Our final destination (3800 masl). Who wouldn't love to stay in those tents?

Chortens below the Bumdra Monastery.

This is what the mother nature has to offer us - A visual treat.

Dads and Moms getting childish. Proving that we are still young at heart.

Taktsang Monastery as seen through my lens.

Despite all the hardships that we encountered, this trek was one of a kind which would bring back beautiful memories. This two-day trek has every little episodes within itself, which would be hard to put in words. You would only know if you experience it yourself.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Walking a Tightrope

At times I wonder about the very existence of duality in every aspect of our life. The more I contemplate on it, the more I can see beauty in it. White would not be white if there is no black. Good is of no good if there is no bad. Plain and Rough, Rich and Poor, Tall and Short, Sorrow and Happiness, name it, everything exists in opposition, so called antonym. Would not it be incomplete or incomparable if there isn't any object for comparison? How would you know that you are happy, if you have never experienced sorrow. In essence, one must experience a blend of everything in one's life to have lived one's life fully.

I have accepted this fact and the acceptance of this phenomenon puts my heart at ease. I have also accepted the fact that one cannot always be successful, and that, failure is also an integral part of life. Even in successful marriages, you cannot expect bed of roses. An altered saying goes on as "Marriages are made in heaven, so is thunder". So, we know what to expect. Like a man balancing on the rope for every little steps, I say in life, it is like Walking a Tightrope.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Desuups - The Peace Keepers

Desuung, a newly instituted civilian body and the Desuups, its members, were something which I knew nothing about. Let alone their roles, the name of this body did not even ring a bell to me. Trying hard to break down the word "Desuung" into two syllables and in giving my best shot of the translation, I finally assumed that it stands for "Peace Keeping". Likewise, the Desuups, as per my translation are "Peace Keepers". Whatever be it, as Shakespeare says "What is in a name?...", when the first batch of Desuups in orange uniform paraded out of Tencholing Military Training Center, Wangdue, everyone took it as just another group of militia. It was not until this day that I realized they play a bigger role in the society.
Moments after the formation of this new group of paramilitary troopers, if i may take it at par, they stood in the frontline in every forms of disaster. It was not until the recently concluded Chakrasamvara Empowerment, the Pel Dechog Khorlo Dompai Wangchen held at Punakha, that I appreciated their roles. When one sixth of the country's population flocked to attend this biggest event, it was obvious that controlling the crowd was beyond one's imagination. In the midst of all these worries, there came the Desuups to the rescue. They organized everything with perfection that everything went well just as planned. Not only did they bring decorum and disciple in the crowd but they also helped the old and the sick in the best manner they could do. The more I closely observed their actions, the more I wanted to be one of them. It is not far from now that I see myself dressed in this orange uniform rappelling down the cliff. I salute to thee - Our Desuups.

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