The practice of Tshe-thar (life release)—the pros and cons

The practice of Tshethar is prevalent in many Buddhist communities throughout the world, Bhutan included. While it is an act of compassion which I am in no wise condemning, at the same time individuals must open their eyes to the threat it poses to the animals themselves and the ecosystem at large if not done intelligently.

My first encounter with the practice was back in the year 2000. A group of monks and lamas had released hundreds of catfish in into the river. It might appear like a compassionate act, but in contrast, it could be crueller. Catfish are omnivorous, which means these shark-headed asholes feed on everything to the extent that they are considered a pest by many. They devour smaller fishes and anything that comes their way, including private parts of a naked swimmer (I am sure there is a recorded case somewhere). The catfish they had released in the river must have killed hundreds of thousands of other fishes in the river. It is like saving a Serial killer from a death sentence and releasing him into a peaceful community.

Scientifically speaking, releasing animals not native to the habitat causes a great deal of disharmony to the ecosystem. (There was a similar story in Perth, Australia where they released harmless Goldfish into the Vasse River. These midgets later grew up to be as big as four pounds; causing harm in the River by digging up vegetation, stirring up sediment and eating almost anything they see, including the eggs of native fish species.)

An entire Industry has been developed around this practice. In Bodhgaya, fishes are bought, released for Tshethar, caught again and sold to another unsuspecting pilgrim for the life-release.
In Bhutan too, there are similar stories about the Yak Tshe-thar where religious people set yaks that are about to be slaughtered free by paying a hefty amount as a ransom. The only problem is, there are rumours that they are caught again and marketed to another group of unsuspecting lamas for the same. (The truth of it is yet to be confirmed, though.)

When old cattle are released into the wild, they are exposed to possible wild animal attacks and other threats. The wild isn’t a safe for the domesticated animals anyway. They are not really doing them any favour if you look at it this waymost Bhutanese are against killing, in a worst-case scenario, they walk the animal to the edge of a cliff around the time of Losar and wait for them to fall to their death. So, all they are doing in the name of Tshe-thar is screening out old animals that are no longer useful to relieve themselves from the burden of feeding them under the pretence of saving them from a non-existent slaughter.

I am sure, this post is going to fuel public backlash, I am not condemning the practice, rather raising awareness so that people who do it do it intelligently. I wish forest officials be present to advise whenever tshe-thar is carried on.

let us save animals, let us also do it wisely. I condone, not condemn compassion. But being blind to the consequences in pursuit of it could be fatal.

Rural-urban migration or should it be urban-rural migration?

Amidst all these howlings we hear about rural-urban migration, one thing kicked me in the sugar-plum pretty hard: all the assholes complaining about rural-urban migration are rural-urban migrants themselves.

Are you telling our youth to go back to the farm? Even the monkeys don’t go back to the forest anymore, nor do they pluck wild fruits any longer. In their defence, they call it primitive. Instead, they line up beside the road and wait for the passengers to throw them food. And you want our young people to go back to the village and work on the farm? Did you learn anything from the monkeys on the way to Phuentsoling?

We conditioned them their whole lives to dream for white collar jobs and now after realizing that there are no more jobs, we tell them to go back to the farm? What’s there in the villages for them? They are not trained to work the farm. Nobody wants to work in the scorching sun just for a morsel anymore. We all hope to live a decent life, is that too much to expect?

Of course, I am not condemning farming but self-sustainable farming is no longer a good option; only commercial farming has the opportunity.

When we expect our young generation to go back to the village, we are really denying them equal opportunities. Every job opportunities are in the cities. Are we suggesting that the Jobs in the town should only belong to the city folks? Perhaps we should stop seeing them as pests and treat them as a fellow human who deserves equal opportunity. They are dreamers. And it is people such as them who have shaped civilization.

Their main concerns were that they are doing drug. Do you know what grows in the countryside? Weed. Telling youths to go live in the village to avoid drug abuse is like telling an alcoholic hobo to go live beside the RUM factory.

Of late I am advocating for urban-rural migration—old retired people should go back to their respective villages. New people coming to the urban area is not the problem, old retired people staying back is. This is how things by nature are supposed to go: we throw out old stuff and bring in new ones.

Does maternity leave matter if we leave?

Let us all agree, we as a society have given the least importance to our mothers. Expecting women to give life and in return leave her alone to battle for her life is a bit of an overkill. By supporting our mothers we are not just ensuring a better childcare, we are also securing a better, brighter and healthy next generation. Does it hurt giving birth? Of course, it hurts you imbecile, I have had shit that hurt.

Here is what happened when the Government proposed to increase maternity leave, it is as if when the issue of maternity leave was raised, someone from the opposition stood and asked, “wait, wait, whose mother are we talking about? Mine or everyone else’s?”
“The Radhi-Sagteng MP, Jigme Wangchuk, questioned the government on their pledge to extend maternity leave for working mothers…”
Because Radhi-Sagteng MP was born on a Lotus flower, fed by swans and raised by a deer. He grew up in the jungle, taught animal dharma while he traveled the forest on the back of a flying tiger.
Why is it hard for a man to understand this? Don’t we all have mothers? Don’t they have wives who give birth? Or sisters? A girlfriend? Common sense?
Because opposition’s job is to oppose? Even if someone passes a bill called “We should all eat food,” these guys will still come up with some screwed up bullshit about why we shouldn’t eat food. It’s like high school debate competition. We all know the shit we had to endure listening to the retards talk gibberish.

Sangay Khandu had a bit different opinion. “He said giving better job opportunities to women would be more effective than allowing extended maternity leave. He said the job securities of working mothers in private and the corporation should also be taken into account.” What better opportunities? His speech is euphemistic of a coach asking a footballer with a broken leg to come back for practice. “Look Chencho, I know you have a broken limb and probably smashed your right testicle beyond repair, but all I am saying is join back, and we will raise your salary.” What the hell coach? What the hell?
It’s almost like donating a kidney to a patient with piles. “Sure, Pema went in there for a colonoscopy to see if her rectum was doing fine, but thanks to generous MP, now she has three kidneys and unattended hemorrhoid.”
He was right about one thing, though; this will hamper the Job security of the mothers. Such regulations might put women’s livelihood at risk. Private agencies might not hire women at all.

Here is the state of it as of now:

Model Internal Service Rules of an Enterprise
–  “…shall be entitled to 3 months maternity leave on the production of a medical certificate…”
Yeah, because a bulging belly is apparently not enough. Although, they have a valid point here; most of the men in Bhutan have a big belly, they could as well, for instance, take advantage and apply for a maternity leave.
– “In an event of a miscarriage, a maximum leave of 4 weeks shall be granted on the production of a medical certificate from a recognized medical practitioner in Bhutan.” Four weeks? Just to be clear, you realize she just threw a baby out of her vagina right?

 Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations 2010
– Three months leave with basic pay
– Mother with babies up to 12 months will get lunch time from 12 noon to 2 pm

Here is our suggestion:

– Leave should start at least two weeks before the due date.
– Maternity leaves for six months.
– One year of flexi-time.
– Two-hour lunch breaks for up to two years.

Not just the job-goers, women in the rural areas should also be looked into. When it comes to alimony, villagers are complete assholes. It is beyond my empathy that society has so long looked down on women. Failing to support women even with such necessities on the Government’s part legitimizes domestic violence, encourages patriarchy and upholds the sexist society that we have always been. Don’t act like you respect your mother if you for a fact fail to realize that she almost died to give you life; and as a result, fail to support her morally in these matters.

We are capable of empathy; we are capable of perceiving pain that’s why we don’t have to chop off our fingers to learn that it would hurt. This shouldn’t just be civil service rules; rather this should be a bill that will be eventually passed on as an Act. We’re not just talking about servicewomen; we’re talking about mothers in general.

I would like to apologize to all you mothers out there for being an asshole. Dear Bhutanese, let us not be the assholes our ancestors were. What better way to honor the women who brought you into this world than this? Please share, Facebook, tweet and write until we ensure the government does something about it.

Thimphu hates taxi drivers, taxi drivers hate RSTA

Thimphu hates taxi drivers, taxi drivers hate RSTA, RSTA hates everybody, and everybody hates RSTA. It’s the circle of hate.

Okay, first the speed breakers that had us gnashing our teeth, and when we had just begun to make peace with the speed breakers, came then the Taxi stand. For God’s sake, why do we keep on experimenting with things when a simple common sense could have solved almost all the bad decisions? Need examples? How about the ugly green fences in between the Thimphu Babesa highway? I can’t believe it took at least few case of deaths and a visit from the Indian Prime Minister for someone to realize finally “shit! That was really stupid.”

Let us, for a moment assume that the speed breakers are for the good of the general public and that we will follow rules like a well-trained dingo. Even dogs require tremendous amounts of beatings to train them; we are human, the biologically superior idiots.

Thanks to RSTA, now basically, just to get a ride, we will have to walk half a mile to the nearest taxi stop and wait. Where’s the logic in that? Isn’t the sole and only purpose of a Taxi to pick us and drop us any places we want them to reach us? It’s like an entire department is filled with stupid people. Erm.. my doubt, how can an entire department be filled with stupid people? I mean how can you not see that? Frankly, it is quite astounding that of the hundreds of staff they have, nobody, not even a single guy had the balls to walked up to his boss and say, ‘Sir that is the most stupid idea I have ever heard in decades. Can we stop this gibberish?’

Why doesn’t the rule apply to the city bus? Just because it belongs to the government? How come a city bus can stuff in as many passengers like an Indian Local train and nobody bats an eye? Now you tell me RSTA, in what Universe is that not corruption?

Having said, how can you win a fight with RSTA? The universe works in perfect motion because they approve of it. Every time they speak, a poor child in Africa gets cured of AIDS. I give up.
There is no point to this article; it’s like teaching compassion to a bear. After a thousand try, realizing you have wasted all these time for nothing, you look at yourself, nod your head and mumble, “Man, what the heck was wrong with me?”

My opinions are only regarding the Taxi stand, and I wish that they would take it into considerations and come up with something that will benefit us all instead of being a bureaucratic asshole.
Please share this! A couple in Babesa ignored this article and immediately a huge goiter grew on their neck.

Why is this place a no parking area? Oh, I get it. The police owns that road.

Why is this place a no parking area? Oh, I get it. The police own that road.

 

Bhutan stretchable time

In Bhutan, it is okay to come to the office one hour late, but it is not okay to leave office one hour late. It is a fashion to arrive late, do things later and chew doma. What gets my goat the most are our mentality: it’s like the entire country is filled with happy go lucky hillbillies who apparently has no regards whatsoever for his own or other’s time. Maybe these things were going on for so long that we eventually stopped giving a rat’s ass. But I think procrastination is the biggest form of corruption that’s been going on in Bhutan.

Let me narrate you a real story that would perhaps summarize our mentality in a nutshell. Back in my primary school, on the National day, we were gathered for the march-past since 7 AM in the morning. Lam Neten, our chief guest, was supposed to arrive at 8 AM, but he doesn’t. We were made to stand in the scorching sun for almost two hours, and then finally he comes at 9:15 AM. And the first thing he said was “Cha Chachab lesum bey hey gaa?” Seriously Lama? I mean, you made us wait in the scorching sun for almost two hours, half of our girls blacked out, a dozen of them left for hospital with bleeding nose, my testicles somehow almost reached my throat, and the only thing that comes to my mind right now is to plunge my hand through your anus, grab out your intestines and then choke you to death with it. And you suppose we’re fine? Go on Lama.
And then, like all other assholes from Bhutan, Lama had all his time. He beat around the bush for one hour most of which copied lines from sheyting. Who in his right mind, under the heat of scorching the sun gives an hour long speech? Lam Neten apparently. Lama went on; the Scouts kept on picking the fainted students, one of the guys even got epileptic seizure as I stood there still, sweats dripping down my testicles, dehydrating me drop by drop. At the end of that one hour long teeth chattering, cuss muttering, curse whispering moment of frustration, Lama gave us one of the most remarkable advice of all time “ditsue Thola matang. Chhog taago nya butsha” Oh really? Out of seven billion people on Earth, Lama finds himself and only himself worthy to inspire us with his time management bullshit. Congratulations Lama, rather than an amiable wise sage we thought you were, you turned out to be an aging douchebag.

But everywhere is the same in Bhutan. Procrastination is our thing. It is like cancer which we can’t get rid of. It’s in our genes passed on by our forefathers. And we treasure it like a tradition, which, if lost would put our freedom at stake. Civil servants, teachers, students, Dashos mostly, MP’s, police…everyone.
Many times when we go to government offices, we get the answer “Come on Monday, Dasho dato busy dhu” just like that, without even thinking. And of Corse, when we go next Monday they will repeat the same line like a retarded parrot. Well, he isn’t made Dasho so he can sit on his chair, be served and get la-la-shu-shu. He was put there to do his job. Then do the thing.

Our officers should know that most of the people who comes aren’t from around Thimphu, and they probably have to stay at hotels or relatives’ house. Your one day of postponement will probably cost them a thousand bucks. I have seen people move around from office to office for months just to get simple things done.

If only we knew how to value time; if only our Government officials stopped procrastinating, if only they knew that everyone has their lives to lead, mouths to feed. We would have been far fruitful and self-reliant country.

 

Ban slaughter house, says hypocrites

Now about the recent announcement of Government planning to open slaughterhouses in Bhutan, we have thousands of comments and hate status’ flooding across Facebook protesting against the idea, because two things happened in Bhutan; internet and freedom of speech. It is seen okay to slaughter animals as long as it is being carried out someplace far, someplace NOT in Bhutan, because Bhutan is a Buddhist country; as much as we don’t support slaughtering animals as  it is seen as something profane, we don’t at all mind consuming, for meat is one vital source of protein, besides the treat to the taste buds. Double Standards!

What struck me the most was the hypocrisy adorned with the self-righteous mentality in those comments. Show them a picture of chicken biryani and they will say “yummy,” “delicious,” “give me the recipe dude” and all but show them a picture of a slaughter house and they will immediately launch into a diatribe about animal rights, sin and how the meat eaters will be cooked in hot boiling oil in Dorji Ngewa and then be born as a cow and be slaughtered. Ask a Hindu and they will say “but cow is goddess dude, how can you kill your goddess?” Yeah! Because it’s okay to slaughter goats as they are not cows. What a logic.

We talk about freedom of choice and all yet these bigots choose to abide by and shove down upon others’ throats, a particular streak of carefully chosen doctrines and dogmas woven into a set of Dos and Don’ts that the rest of us are suppose to follow like a blind sheep.

And some illiterate idiots will go on even exemplifying Nepal saying “You want Earthquake like Nepal?” Because geographical phenomenon like the plate tectonic movement is mostly initiated by the number of buffalos killed. That leads us to a ground-breaking discovery in the field of geology that the dinosaurs must have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of buffalos that initiated the great Indian tectonic movement which formed the Himalayas some 50 million years ago. I am sure every time these fanatics post stupidity like that; there is a Geography teacher somewhere banging his bemused little head against the wall.

And did you know that we consume more than 5000 cows every year and how do you justify that with your pseudo-religious dumb-wit? Have you seen the line outside the meat shop a day before a month-long meat ban? A month long supply of meat is stored, and then what? Who cares about the ban? What I know from my experience is that Bhutanese will start stealing each other’s goats and chickens but won’t become a vegetarian because of meat ban.

To further throw light on the subject we have called Lopen Phakpa Lama here at Bhutan Pundit studio.
Bhutan Pundit: So, Lopen Phakpa Lama, can you elaborate on the recent frenzy about the whole slaughter house thingy that has stormed the internet?
Phakpa Lama: Tok tok chem chem pai namjay…
Bhutan Pundit:  Whoa, whoa, whoa…hold your horses, sir. Mind your language.

Advantages of having a slaughter house
1. We spend an enormous amount of money in importing meat. Imagine the impact that will bring on our farmers economically.
2. Since we have a very robust regulatory systems like BAFRA, the quality of meat will obviously be well looked into.
3. The spread of diseases will be significantly controlled.
4. Huge economic boost.
5. The outflow of IC can be controlled in millions.
6. God knows the kinds of cancerous substances we’ve been consuming. I fear.
7. I doubt what chemicals they feed the animals or what preservatives they use.

Disadvantages of  having a slaughter house
1. Impending Earthquake.
2. Due to too much consumption of meat, entire population of Bhutan might die of diabetes.

Now, thanks to the thousands of bandwagoning idiots; because we’re now pressured to live up to the expectations of countless morons who dictate how the rest of us should live our lives based on some well-intentioned idiocy coined by some first century sage and to play our part in their contrived narrative to bring closure to the Idea of our choice and freedom.
Congratulations. You won.

Nepal Earthquake: Natural catastrophe, manmade casualties

The world watched in disbelief and grief as news channels, twitter feeds and Facebook flooded with the updates on rising number of deaths and the pictures of the city of Kathmandu, Nepal brought down to rubble by 7.9 Magnitude Earthquake. The Entire nation is in shock and trauma. My heart sank more as more and more deaths were announced.
What frustrates me the most is the that most of the buildings that collapsed were the ones that were either too old or poorly built. A study by Geohazard International found that two-thirds of the structures built in the area did not meet seismic code standards. Hence, the loss of life is likely going to be tied to weak building standards, poor seismic regulations and overly crowded populations. Statistically speaking, at least half of the deaths could have been avoided, had those things been considered considering how Earthquake prone the area was. Stronger buildings would not have collapsed or at least given enough time for the residents to run to safety. And this becomes clearer when we compare the buildings that collapsed and that did not.

Companies that sucked:

  1. Google Search had only those Western News companies on the top ranks who were just posting stolen images from twitter feeds of some Nepalese guy. Fresh and authentic news, right from the mouth of the Nepalese was hard and tricky to find.
  2. Facebook “safe” button was available only towards the evening, at least in Bhutan.
  3. And what was BBS doing? I don’t know, ask them.
  4. NDTV was busy looping few videos over and over again while flashing in as much ad as possible. Their death statics were all wrong. Someone could have at least referred to Twitter or called Nepal;
  5. BSNL charged local rates.

No amount of condolence will ever be enough to console the victims of Nepal Earthquake. May the Lord shower his grace abundantly. Always in our prayer.
And here I am sitting on a chair and commenting like a hypocrite. I wish I could be there, share their pain, lend a helping hand for the fallen and a shoulder to cry upon for the grieved.

 

 

Rest in Peace Bhutanese singers. Or go mow the lawn.

Bhutanese singers can go work in a bar or go to Australia to mow some white douche’s lawn. The truth is, like India, we don’t have Music Industry anymore. Nobody buys music, cough…cough except Truck drivers.

We’d been hearing Nidup Dorji, Rinchen Namgyel, Dechen Pem and their totally unrelated metaphors of Pang da Sawa and Chu daa Nyamo songs. And then, just when we thought everything was going fine, Film came in, and they all vanished into thin air, perhaps for a better source of food I presume, with rare possible citing near Sabji Bazaar area. And then it was dead. Heard no more. Like a bad, bad relationship, we didn’t like to talk about it.

Like it wasn’t worse enough, then came in the software that enabled even a fool with a wit of a chimpanzee to arrange the music. And the Film Industry, the only hope, handpicked few singers and rest were sent away like villagers would send an aging bull for Cheythar.

Every song we hear is a film song. A minute through the song and you start frantically looking for a chainsaw. The producers would often ask me how the song is. To which I would reply Funtaastic in the most terrible Indian accent. Which when translated into a normal vernacular for those of you who do not understand a thing called sarcasm, it reads: “It sucks cow dung. Now someone, please pass me the rum.”

If failure is the stepping stones to success, we might someday get to see the Great Wall of China built with those stones our music composers stepped on in their pathetic attempt to imitate Bollywood songs. Here is a list of copied songs:
1. Gatey Taru: Copied from Nepali song Chekeo Chekeo dewrali Dara
2. Nge Sem gi Gawei Samu: Jagjeet Singh’s honton sey choo lo tum
3. Saa Thimphu (Yaa lhayul yee lu bhu nga hep menna): Katty Perry’s Teenage Dreams.
4. Aap jaisa Koi meri Jindagi mey aye. They didn’t even bother to change the music.
5. Apar Jaggi Style: Gangnam style. Just downloaded the karaoke.
6. Yonphula: Aaj kaal teri meri pyaar ki charchey.
I’m too lazy; you name it in the comment. I’ll add them.

The rock genre never got a chance. They were usually taken for guys that lived on drugs, scribbled tattoos, carried pistols, drank too much and chased women on the street. No, they don’t, you need to be intellectually evolved to understand and appreciate Rock. Every time a Rock Band steps on the stage, the audience would chant depressing things like “we want Ugyen Pandey, we want Uguen Pandey…” Bhutanese are too much engrossed in the tunes of Ugyen Pandey and God help me, Minzung, and once upon a time-Namgay Jigs.

Everything is about love. No songs of wits and wisdom, no music of patriotism, no ballads of heroism. No, nothing. It’s just about when moron meets the lass. It’s just ngagi chelu gaa, Chegi ngalu gaa with ocassional twists like Ngagi chelu migaa. Hey listen poor man’s Jagjeet Singh there, Shut up.

Even though we won’t admit it for jingoistic reasons, our music pretty much went down a shit hole. It’s rather depressing. Man, I miss pang da sawa now.

Why did our musicians suck nuts when it came to financial success?
1. Nobody buys stereo cassettes. Seriously? Are you in the 90’s?
2. Nobody buys CDs. Well, even taxi drivers have MP3 player nowadays.
3. We do not have any digital platform where we could buy Bhutanese records.
4. Bhutanese are good at waving a huge middle finger to things like copyright, ethics, legality and supporting the artists.
5. Bhutanese banks failed a big time to come up with in-country online payment or POS transaction system.
6. The film industry brought an end to the Music Industry.
7. Bhutanese became aware of a thing called Bluetooth. See, I told you we’re no more in isolation.

This is how our once famed and otherwise promising Music Industry vanished into oblivion. And the singers went back to farming.

Rest in peace, Bhutanese music.

 

I don’t understand Bhutanese films

Do you want to watch a movie that is a poor imitation of Korean romance, South Indian action and Bollywood comedies of Jonny Lever days? Watch a Bhutanese film.

Plotline/synopsis of 80% of Bhutanese films:
OK the heroine’s dad is a wealthy-psychopath. The hero is a poor hut-dwelling peasant. And the aforementioned wealthy-psychopath-dad marries her off to someone… wait, isn’t that something we’ve been seeing for centuries? Give us a break, can we move on now?

Musicals
Seriously! Who starts following a girl with a song at a first glance like a horny goat? It’s creepy, dude. Do you know who else does that in real life? A rapist.
I mean when do such things ever happen in real life? You don’t suddenly jump into the crowd and start thrusting your pelvis like a disco lunatic.
And the truth is we’re not even a musical society. We don’t have songs for everything. We’ve been singing Gang-hukpa-cha-cha for almost every occasions since God knows when.

Zigdra
The actor is a He-man. He can ride, he can drive, he can play guitar, he can dance, he can swim, he can fly Airplane, he can beat the shit out of ten solid men. Have you seen him fight? Man, screw the laws of Physics.
He is the alpha male of Bhutan. He is the Bhutanese sex symbol that all Bhutanese women will want to get laid with. Women will literally get pregnant just by watching him. Promise.

And that doesn’t come easily, looks is a primary criterion. He has to have the most gay-ass looking mullet. That thing is the definition of Bhutanese sex appeal. The youths copy it. The elders admire it. Women die for it. It’s so eighties, though.

 

Misty Terrace’s Song’s all about Highways

I was carefully analyzing Misty Terrace’s songs. I cracked the code! It’s all about Highways. Yonphula Highway, Babesa Highway, Kabesa to Babesa Highway.

Now one can fairly predict their next song could be about Phuentsholing Highway, perhaps with a touch mention of Dantak canteen and Tanalung checkpoint. Maybe mention about Chukha Dam and how the ducks have found home in it. Tsimakoti and their high-cost low-quality restaurants.
Second verse could as well talk about how the cows sleep on the road to avoid leeches and how drunk drivers could quickly turn them into beef, I leave it all to their creative taste.

To save them work I have made a list of Highways in Bhutan, which could be next super hit number:
1. Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar Highway.
2. Mongar to Lhuentshe highway.
3. Thimphu to Gelephu Highway, please ask Drona to Rap about Punatshangchu Project. Please.
4. Thimphu to Bumthang Highway, Pelela is a good starting verse for the intro.
5. Thimphu to Paro Highway.
6. Punakha to Gasa Highway could be a tricky one, give a try. It’s hard to force a rhyme with the bump, I know.
7. Gelephu to Trongsa Highway, please do not forget Tingtibi and depressing Zhemgang. 

Good chances are they might get funding from RSTA, PWD, Dungkar Transport and Sernya Transport.

All said, I am a huge fan of Misty Terrace, I urge them to keep the creativity flowing.