October 15, 2011

Bhutan's own 'Royal Wedding'

The world's youngest reigning monarch, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck married Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck on the 13th of October, 2011.
Who doesn't know about it, right? *widesmile*

I know millions of pictures of The Royal Wedding are doing rounds over the Internet, but being a Bhutanese who loves her King & the new Queen to the core, I couldn't help get a bunch of these pictures from various places and put it up here.

13th to the 15th of October was declared a national holiday in Bhutan so that people from all districts, from all walks of life could come together and be a part of the celebrations.
The National TV had a live telecast of the entire celebrations and also had a Live Webstreaming on their website to ensure that Bhutanese outside the country also get to be a part of the celebs.

I bunked clinicals (the first time since clinicals started in May, 2011!) and watched the live telecast with other Bhutanese friends in the University.

The celebrations were done in line with the culture & traditions of the country. The bride looked gorgeous in her yellow tego, red wonju and an intricately woven kira. What caught my eye was her shoes; heels but custom made with Bhutanese embroidery over it.
Our King looked handsome and "kingly" as ever.
The Fourth King's smile (*which makes my heart melt*) added much more joy to the celebrations.

It was an emotional moment when His Majesty crowned his wife and delicately held her face and smiled. That moment will be etched in history forever! So will the moment when the newly weds walked out to the courtyard of the Punakha Dzong hand in hand :)

Then began the celebrations with the thousands of people who had gathered around the Dzong. His Majesty & the Queen walked around amidst the people accepting their heartiest congratulations & good wishes.

The next day, on their way back to Thimphu which is a 71km journey, the King & the Queen walked, yes walked, most of the way talking to the people who had lined up along the road to greet & wish them.
It was past dusk when they reached the capital, and inspite of that, they went around, talked to as many people as possible. It's not without a reason that our King is called "The People's King".

On the third day of celebrations today, people gathered at the National Stadium where His Majesty gave a speech with Her Majesty the Queen by his side.
His Majesty kissed his bride, thrice - their bond was sealed with a kiss, much to the happiness of the people gathered at the stadium :)

Then followed a cultural program to keep the guests entertained while His Majesty the King & the Queen went up to the stadium to interact with the people.

I could not be a part of it, being away from home, but still, my heart swells with pride!
I'm proud to be a Bhutanese, to be under the reign of such a wonderful, down to earth King who loves his subjects and treats them like his own children.

Here's extending my heartfelt congratulations & Tashi Delek to the newly wed.

October 9, 2011

Where the mind is without FOCUS -Not by R.Tagore

Today is no ordinary Sunday,
Its the Sunday which makes my exams just 5 weeks away,
Its the Sunday before a Monday where I have a two hour discussion session on pneumonia,
Its the Sunday where my mind is restless, restless like its never been before,
Its the first Sunday I decided to stay home and study.

Sundays, I think are never meant for homework and studying,
Sundays are not days when you plan something & implement your plan,
Instead Sundays are days when you do things totally unplanned & enjoy it,
Sundays are meant to be happy, stress free days!

Sigh, if only this Sunday was one of those stress free days,
If only my mind could stop swaying & focus on these books lying in front of me,
If only...

If only I had a way out.
I don't.
So please dear mind of mine, get focussed, don't wander around & help me study.
Sincerely, me.

September 11, 2011

9/11 - ten years later.

It’s been ten years since that horrible day, September 11, 2001. Of course you remember where you were, and you have probably written about it, but have you thought how things have changed in the last ten years? How have you changed since that day in September ten years ago?
The 9/11 Blog Carnival has no rules, just that your post have something to do with 9/11. You can write about your experiences, your reactions, how it changed the way you live your life, what you were doing that day…anything.

I remember watching the horrors of 9/11 unfurl on television as a 9 year old, ten years back. Initially, it made no sense to me. Planes are supposed to fly in skies, not ram into buildings so what was happening?

It took me some time to understand what had really happened. I 
realized the significance of our flags being at half mast, I realized the significance of schools closing shut for the day & the significance of TV reporters bursting into tears as they reported the attacks. 
Still, I was too young to understand it all. As I grew up and with every passing anniversary of 9/11, I learnt more and more. The more I learnt, the more terrified I was because it opened my eyes to one of the harsh realities of this world. Every 9/11 anniversary brought with it more stories of the people affected and the lives lost. All I could do was pray for the souls lost.
I cannot help but fear for my and everybody else's lives. I think everybody has this fear somewhere within them but we are all too busy enjoying life that we do not really let this part in us come out. However, on days like this, when all of us think about such tragedies together, we cannot keep that fear hidden behind us  anymore. 
In a few weeks time, I'll probably forget about it, like many of you. But is it worth something to be forgotten? 
The mastermind behind the terror attacks then is died and down in the sea somewhere. His body is rotting and he's gone but there are many like him around; waiting to pounce & kill.
We should be scared, day in and out, but again that's not how one lives. That's not why we're born. 
I don't know why people resort to terrorism, I don't know what they want - and I think I don't want to know because it'll be an unreasonable "need/desire" which will be hard to digest. It's just sad that in spite of being born on this lovely mother Earth with equal potential as anyone around us, people resort to such enmityI have enemies too, people who I hate and people I don't talk to. I get mad at them, but I've never wished for misfortune to befall them.

It leaves me wondering how can some people go about killing people in scores and scores? 
A few months back, I watched United 93, a movie based on the United Airlines Flight 93, which was one of the 4 planes hijacked on 9/11. It was supposed to crash into the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. but ended up crashing in PennsylvaniaI cried my heart out watching that movie. I was imagining myself being one of the passengers but I just couldn't put myself to imagine what the passengers on that flight really felt & went through. The way they made calls to their families and spoke to them for the one last time was heart wrenching.  
We cry on just watching such documentaries; imagine what went through the minds of the people who actually had to go through it all.

Just this morning, I was reading an article on how one man in the south tower of the World Trade Center,  saw his coworkers take the stairway to death but luckily survived!
It's a touching story, you can read it here.
How many such people might be out there, who narrowly escaped. How grateful they might be to God for keeping them safe. If only everyone could be as grateful everyday!

No matter how many years pass by, no matter how much we weep and cry, nothing can be undone.
Being in this part of the world, one can only imagine what may be going through the minds of the people there who lsot their dear ones in that part of the world.
We may not be able to do anything big but let us be united, atleast in thought, against terrorism. By terrorism, I am not referring to the entire Islamist community. It's wasn't them. It was just one despicable man with his troop of a few men. Let us be united against this group of people who deserve nothing but expulsion out of this universe. 
So many lives were lost, hearts were broken, lives were torn apart, oceans of tears were shed - that was 9/11.
It was a day that changed everyone's lives. What I learnt - live everyday like your last; anything can happen anywhere and at any time! 

Let us all observe a minute of silence remembering the lives lost on that terrible day. 
                                                      For God has not given us
                                                                       A spirit of cowardice,
                                                                    But of power and of love
                                                                    And of sobermindedness.

August 15, 2011

Two years old in Sri Lanka

14th of August, 2011 marked my two years of stay in Sri Lanka.
After the two years here, I can proudly call this place my second home! It's given me so much and I've learnt so much being here.

It was a gloomy Tuesday morning, 12th of August 2009, that I left from home in Thimphu and headed towards Paro with mum. It was so hard having to say goodbye to my dog, roxie. It was so sad seeing her run behind the car as fast as she could, as we drove down the road from our house. The hour long journey to Paro was the most sorrowful (not sure if there's a word like that) travel I've ever made. Getting goodbye and safe journey calls from friends&family, wiping off tears after each call-I remember all of it.

Seeing my friends cry as they bid farewell to their families for an entire year, I dreaded the moment when mum would head back home after a week in Sri Lanka.
True to it, her departure from Sri Lanka was a very teary one. Being the only daughter and the fact that I had never been away from her for more than a month made it all the more hard. Fighting tears back, we said our byes ...

Two years down the line, I'm asking myself, am I still the same person?
I'm still that very emotional, very sacred of the dark & very much in love with dogs kind of person that I was. Yet, in more than a few ways, I have changed- for the better I think.

I'm a lot independent now. I can go to the bank and do my own transactions; I never withdrew money from any bank back in Bhutan. I can go for shopping on my own, can take my own decisions on what I need to buy and what I don't. I can get up on my own in the morning aided by the alarm clock without mum having to come and wake me up with a cup of hot water. I infact go & get my cup of hot water myself after getting up. I can make phone calls to authorities at any level now; earlier even to call a distant relative, I needed mum's help with the introductory conversation. I've improved my social dealings too. I am no longer that introvert person that I was before. I can speak up for myself, I'm not sacred to voice out my opinions-I can fend for myself.

The last time my mum visited me in April, she was proud of the confident person I'd become. She was pleasantly surprised when I made the transportation arrangements pre-hand when we needed to go somewhere :) These may be very small things for some other people, but not for mum & I. Inspite of being a single mother, she brought me up with all that I asked for. She sacrificed her own needs and happiness to meet mine. She ensured that I lived in my fairy tale world.
Before she left  for work in May, she told me that now she need not worry about me as much as she did before, and I think that's a big thing I achieved.

This place has taught me lessons and values that I wouldn't have learnt otherwise. One very important but harsh reality that I've come to terms with is how cruel people can get sometimes. I was nestled in my fairy tale world back home & mum protected me from all evils. I had begun to think that everyone is as understanding, loving and caring as the people I knew back home. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. There are various sorts of people in this world & I've learnt my lessons the hard way. One shouldn't trust someone blindly just because he/she is sweet to you the first few days. I've learnt that there are people who will use you to get around others for the first few days & then ditch you once they've found their way around. More importantly, YOU are a coward if you start crying and wondering why that person was so mean to you.
I was this coward for the first few months here. I used to cry and wonder what was it that I did that a few people were so mean to me. With time, I realised that sometimes, life is about being a vigilant observer. You see people with various traits, you learn your lesson via experience & observation and reach that point to ultimately decide who you should be with.

I don't have a lot of friends but the ones I have are the most wonderful people I've met. They're people who'll always be there for me, both good times & bad. They're people who'll criticise me when need arises but won't hesitate to appreciate me & the things I do when I deserve it. They're people whom I can call in the middle of the night & they'll listen to me. They're people whom I don't need to write "showy" posts on facebook walls to maintain a "showy" friendship.
I think these are the people who've helped me reach where I am today in this place, far away from home.
Also responsible are the people who've used me reach their motives, ditched me, bitched about me & made me cry so many times. Had it not been for you people, I wouldn't be this strong person I am today. So, thank you!

These two years flew by in the blink of an eye. I've made such beautiful memories in these two years. There are tons of pictures which talk volumes & there have also been moments which I can only think of - they're too beautiful to be penned down.
Still a few years to go and I'm looking forward to every day :)

Life is beautiful, always.
It's solely on you whether you want to make yours beautiful.

To celebrate my two years in Sri Lanka, I bought a pair of beautiful heels. This is something new to me, because I don't wear such high heels.
And one of my friends had this to tell me :  ‎"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." — Marilyn Monroe

August 4, 2011

10 of my favourite pictures!

Sunrise as seen from Adam's Peak, a 7359 feet tall mountain, Sri Lanka.

                                                         Biera Lake, Colombo, Sri Lanka

                                                                    Atop Adam's Peak

                                             The closest I've been to the sky!

                                               A part of Colombo, as seen from Biera Lake.

                                              Atop the Peace Pagoda, Galle, Sri Lanka.

                                                                    Wesak, Sri Lanka

                                                                      An interesting tree!

                                                                   Peanut P

*I'm no professional photographer & the pictures are taken with a very ordinary camera, but the pictures mean a lot to me.
Please respect copyright.

July 30, 2011

An ode to my shoe

Dearest shoe,
When I decided to buy you,
It was not because I liked you or cuz you looked fancy.
It was only because I wanted a shoe
And all other shoes looked too boyish
And wouldn't look nice when I wore it with skirts to college.

My first day wearing you,
Everyone looked at you & I,
Cuz nobody wears running shoes with skirts to the hospital.
I was not ashamed & neither were you.

You were stronger than I,
You gave me the support I needed to stand for hours at stretch,
You tolerated my daily increasing weight,
You didn't mind when I got you dirty by kicking at piles on sand,
Or when I got you bruised by kicking pebbles,
You didn't mind when I kept you soaked in cold surf water for a whole day,
You didn't mind when I spun you in the washing machine.

If I have un-hurting legs today,
It's thanks to you!

I bought you by mere chance
But now, you're my favourite :)
With these medical appointments, I'm learning & growing,
And you're helping me grow.

You'll always remain my favourite
And will always occupy a special place in the shoe rack :)
I love you
And trust me, I know people who envy you ;)

*picture of the shoe coming up soon*

Then & Now

I and my friends were talking about how being in college has changed us, and it was amazing how much we've changed - for better or worse, I can't say but I'm seriously surprised at the various things I've done and the person I've grown into!

I was someone who was scared of blood! The slightest of bruise, I'd cry & call for mum. Now, I can draw blood from patients. I've even seen floods of blood when people with bleeding limbs come to see the doctor. Once, a patient was being transfused blood, and he'd accidently pulled out the line so he was in a mess - blood all over his hands and a blood pool on the floor. And by reflex, I went and closed the IV canula lid and assured him that everything was fine with the little bit of Sinhalese I know.
Later, as I was washing my hands, I realised I could face a huge pool of blood without feeling squeamish or scared! Achievement! :D

I was this girl who'd go to bed at 10pm and get up at 7am for school. In between, I'd do the necessary studying and squeeze in TV and fun time.
Now, I can NEVER fall asleep before 11pm. I get insomnia, very often. I pop in sleeping pills before exams and I'm forced to get up at 6am.
The first few months here, I drank gallons of coffee to stay awake. Every day, I dozed off in lectures!! And coffee became my friend - it didn't keep me awake, but then everyone said it does so I drunk as much as I could. The first thing I'd do after getting out of bed, with eye lids still droopy, was grab the Nescafe bottle and pour a spoonfull  into my white huge mug!
But with time, I've let go of coffee. Not willingly, though.  I end up getting up late and I need to keep aside the coffee, and rush to college with just a shower.

I watch more movies than I read books.
And I don't remember most of the times, the content of the movies I watch. I think I watch them only to avoid reading the huge books I'm actually supposed to :D
But, I love Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries & now House M.D.

I was someone who loved reading novels. Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, Paulo Coelho, Meg Cabot, Paulo Coelho, Cecilia Ahern - I loved them all.
Now, I don't even remember which was the novel I read last! I am only reading books on Anatomy, Physiology, Surgery & Medicine!

I've been a thin person. I never had a stomach flab.
Now, I have one! Sigh!
I always make plans of daily exercise, but it never happens - blame time!

But, being away from home, I've become a very independent person.
I never went out grocery shopping alone, I never went to the bank & when mum asked me to make some official calls, I'd always find some reason not to.
Now, I do it all. I've learnt to fend for myself. And I'm proud I'm doing it when I'm 19 :)

Being in college has taught me so many lessons, more than all I've learnt before being here. Lesson one was not to trust anyone but yourself. The next was to be confident and speak up, without shying. (Talking of which, I'm no more that shy, timid person I was before).
Most important, SMILE - it does wonders :)

I've always loved the way I was but I love this me a lot more!

July 21, 2011

The Proust Questionnaire - version 1

What is your idea of happiness?
- waking up to sun rays filtering into my room 
- afternoon naps

What is your greatest fear?
Fear of dying in a plane crash.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
No one, really. I haven't really done anything which I can equate with to somebody else's work.

Which living person do you most admire?
My mum - there's no other woman like her.
So strong willed, yet the most loving heart.
She raised me single handedly, gave me all I asked for & showered me with infinite love.
She's my source of inspiration, my best friend & my mentor.
Tell me one reason why I should find someone else to admire?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I don't know if there's a particular word/words to describe it, but I don't like the way I expect others to be nice to me just because I'm nice to them, or be helpful because I help them when I can.
I tell myself time and again that people are different and traits & types vary; yet I tend to think everyone thinks & feels like me.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of gratitude.
Being grategul is as important as knowing & remembering how to tie your shoe laces.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Clothes & food. I will never hesitate in buying something that catches my eye, has landed me in trouble many a times but old habits die hard *wink
But, I'd like to spend on traveling and exploring the world. I want to go see Europe & Maldives more than anything!

What is your favourite journey? 
Journey that takes me home, to people I love.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
*You can't be sincere 24/7.
I can't. 

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My calves and the flab on my tummy!

Which living person do you most despise?
Oh there's this one person who I wish dead!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

What is your greatest regret?
That I did not learn how to swim!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

When and where were you happiest?
Last summer, when I was home with my entire family + extended family.
That'll be the most memorable summer I had.

What is your present state of mind?
Restless. I want a good book to read! Or is it some cheese cake I want?

How would you like to die?
In sleep, wearing my favourite nightie.

What is your favourite motto?
Live life to the fullest & achieve all the goodies of life
Do what makes you happy!

July 13, 2011

Diagnosis gone wrong

"The germans dumped a young Soviet prisoner in my ward late one night. The ward was full, so I put him in my room as he was moribund and screaming and I did not want to wake the ward.

I examined him. He had obvious gross bilateral cavitation and a severe pleural rub. I thought the latter was the cause of the pain and the screaming. I had no morphine, just aspirin which had no effect. I felt desperate. I knew very little Russian then and there was no one in the ward who did.

I finally instinctively sat down on the bed and took him in my arms, and the screaming stopped almost at once. He died peacefully in my arms a few hours later. It was not the pleurisy that caused the screaming but loneliness.

It was a wonderful education about the care of dying. I was ashamed of my misdiagnosis and kept the story secret."

Abstract from One man's medicine: an autobiography of Professor Archie Cochrane. British Medical Journal.

July 2, 2011

Why I've been M.I.A

Of the 672 hours in the past 4 weeks, I', almost certain I spent more than 500 hours in the hospital. Out of those 500 hours, I spent at least 250 hours standing and about 15 hours watching kick ass surgeries being done.

And that is very reason why I've been away from blogging.

I'm doing my first Surgery Appointment. Exhausting-ly interesting would be the shortest way of describing the first 4 weeks of the appointment.
It is so much more fun than lectures & practicals in the laboratories. But, it demands so much more hard work, energy & time. Currently, I'm deprived of a social life! I come home only to eat & sleep; and being someone who loves to sleep, I'm sleep deprived, as well!

The day begins at 6am and within 45 minutes I have to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and stride to the hospital complex to be in the ward by 7.15am. Then, we speak to patients, get their "history" and examine them. We need to be in the wards until 12.00 so until then we read, chat & somehow, kill time.
It's a splendid opportunity to learn; I've learnt more than what I learnt in the first two years of lectures in these four weeks. But then again, it demands a lot.

Getting to watch surgeries being done is the BEST part of the appointment. I am still not sure if its a surgeon I want to become, but seeing these surgeons display their skills tempts me to be one :p
The 6-8 hours I've spent standing in the operating theatres are the only hours of standing I found worthwhile :)

Two more weeks until I wind up with this appointment; two more weeks to learn as much I can; two more weeks of being sleep deprived; two more weeks until I party!

On one of the days in the Operation Theatre. 

May 26, 2011

Wise to act like a donkey at times ;)

One day a farmer's donkey fell into a well. The donkey cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up. 

As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.

We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping, by never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up!

May 1, 2011

Teacher's Day

The 2nd of May is celebrated as the Teacher's Day in Bhutan, my native land. The day coincides with the birth anniversary of the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchcuk. He was the one who started modern schooling in Bhutan & opened Bhutan's door to the outside world by joining the UN.
What better day than this to celebrate our teachers, who are the core force behind modeling us into who we become in the long run.

Today, I'm reminded of the times back in school when we'd spent a lot of time & energy in organizing the Teacher's Day. It used to be one of the most important days in the school calendar.
2nd of May always was a National Day to commemorate our late Majesty's birthday. Yet, students would hoard schools just to celebrate Teacher's Day.

We'd begin by singing the national anthem and reading out speeches & poems dedicated to our teachers. We'd get huge cakes and have a huge celebration, followed by dances and songs performed by the students for the teachers. Our teachers, too would join in :)

It's my second year in College now. And I still have the same respect I had for my teachers back home. I actually miss a lot of them.
School was not just school for me. It was my second home. I spent more time in school with my teachers than I did at home with my family.
My teachers have a big hand in the person that I am today.
My teachers helped me realize my potential and help me exercise it. I am a good orator now, thanks to Ma'am Norzin & Ma'am Chuki of my Lower Secondary School who recommended my name for my House Debate Team. And since then, there was no turning back. I was a part of the School Debate & Quiz Team for quite some years and we brought in a lot of trophies and medals.

In High School, I drew my inspiration from two of my English teachers; Ma'am PC (as we fondly call her) & Ma'am Sangay Lhamo. These are two of the strongest ladies I've met so far. They are great teachers & they make students so at ease in the classroom & yet are able to maintain the standard decorum in the classroom, which is an asset not every other teacher possesses.

I was a very introvert girl, very shy & timid. What boosted my confidence, what made me strong & proud of myself is all thanks to my teachers. They knew exactly when I needed to be pushed, when I needed to be warned of being self confident, when I needed to be complimented - and today, it is thanks to all their efforts that I am a second year medical student, living an independent life miles away from home, yet strong and confident of what I'm doing.

I salute my teachers, for putting in so much of effort to ensure that all of their students become successful individuals in future!

My teachers have always given me something else to think about at home, besides homework :)