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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Passu-The Metamorphosis

Before Passang Tshering became Passu the Pen Lord, and before he became a teacher and before he attracted millions of readers, he was a naughty boy. Believe me he was more than the average Denise the Menace; an outrageous wild energy ever ready to do anything, especially beat you up. He was neither a gang leader nor the school boss but within our own age group he was someone you didn’t want to mess with unless you had the protection of a bigger boy.

My most vivid memory of his past is when he fought a girl when we were in class seven. After the fight he looked like a man who wrestled a wild cat. One of my friends fought him twice and both the times Passu gave him a good beating, the final fight sealing their deal as Passu being the tougher one with my friend’s nose bleeding. How I wished my friend would win, make him cry like a little girl.

Passu was then Pasa Tsheri, the notorious. His cheeks were rosy on his fair face and it had naughty written all over it. To sum up he looked like a typical bjobi alo. We were actually mates but he failed in class seven and became one year junior to me, and the day when I left Gawpay Junior High School for Drugyal HSS there was one less bully in my life.

Our next meeting was many years later. We had become men. But my memory of us as boys was still very potent, so I shunned away from him, too afraid that he would pull me back to those bitter experiences. Our first meeting was just a casual ‘Hi’ and my reserved smile. It was not until I met him again for the Bhutan WIRED project that I got to know the new him, I took my time. My mind was clouded with past prejudice but the clouds of doubt and reservation cleared though it took time. I like to think the process as his metamorphosis , like man’s evolution from raw instinct to the refined.

Passu not Pasa Tsheri!
So, I marvel at this change. What could have turned this tough, rough, naughty little rascal into a gentle man? I know I am not the only one who is amazed, many of our old mates join me when we talk admiringly and enviously about the man he has now become. Had someone mentioned the possibility of his refinement for the future, it would have been the wildest or the craziest person in the world for anybody who knew him then. He was too bad to become good.

Now we sit and talk about the past. He would admit to all my accusations with bashful smiles and nodding of his head, which was once stubborn, and a deadly tool in his fights. He stimulates my curiosity. And the very reason I am a blogger today is because of him, because it was he who encouraged me and introduced me to blogging. As a language teacher blogging has given me the ground to learn writing. I thank him for this awakening.
He says that when he dies he will pass his password to his daughter and tell her to continue his legacy. But till then, I wish from him loads of thought provoking, heart drenching, and rich posts.

All the best! I am glad that I know Passu and not Passa Tsheri.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Courtesy Google Image
The traffic is wild, it is synonymous to chaos. It amazes me thinking about how the automobiles manage to go about without crashing into each other. I hear the city like a big monster, groaning and roaring with unrelenting hunger. It calls more lives with promises of livelihood but hardly do most know that this city is no different from a jungle and survival is a daunting challenge, yet many are drawn to its lights like the moths from the dark.

Billboards hang huge as testimonies to the capitalist world that India today is very much symbolic of. One particular commercial caught my attention, a huge billboard about a paint brand, the commercial proudly displayed a house beautifully painted and protected from all elements of weather. The irony however was that the house below the billboard and most buildings around were dull and weather-beaten.

Some people don’t hesitate to urinate in front of a shopping mall while many shoppers go in and out. I saw this and shared a joke with my uncle.
Courtesy Google Image
Once the American President visited India and the first morning he went for jogging. He saw many dark bums attending their morning nature call and back with the Indian PM he mentioned what he encountered. The Indian PM felt deeply insulted. Later in the year the Indian PM visited America and the very first morning he asked the President to accompany him on his morning jogging. He hoped to at least catch one American bum. As they jogged in the cool morning sea breeze the PM saw one. He could hardly hold his joy but held it checked till they neared the person attending his morning nature call. When they were close the PM bust out with all his excitement pointing at the squatting person near them only to find out that the person was the Indian Ambassador.
I think about this joke and cannot help but feel how true the words sound when I see people urinating.

I miss home because we also have similar scenes.