Monday, January 16, 2017

KINGDOM

Written in tribute to His Majesty the 4th Dragon King of Bhutan as a part of 60th Birth Anniversary celebration; an initiative of Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Dhaka; Bangladesh.  

In the mystic Kingdom, of land blessed with the prayers of those long gone!
The last Shangrila- The land of Medicinal Cypress
Lays a tale that’ll resonate for eons from now,
The legend spans, in the life that is yet to be foretold,

Long before the coming, the prophecy revealed!
By the greatest saint of then, Terton Drukdra Dorji
In his prose he read “Oh! The jewel land!
From the mom bearing a central tooth as white as the priceless conch
Will bear a son that is as white, in his heart and out alike
Shall bring eternal peace and prosperity to the Kingdom

As said, the boy was born, unknown to what his fate may bring.
Remarkable birth signs: heavens poured, the rainbows shone
And in its equanimity- the birds chirped in natural uniformity
His younger days had shown; of being a gifted leader

His tutor recalls of what he asked about the magnets pull
And he gave an answer that its magic’s worth
That’s true for his life: It is the true magic
That I for one cannot fathom; neither does any.

At the bare age of 17, he took the golden throne
Across the world the news swoop of being the youngest king!
Sharp and Bright; with his silky hair and tribal side lock
The yellow scarf adorned the beauty of my King!  

Guarding the honor that in his voice ever resounding 
He walked the turf with his head held up high
The Kingdom laughed in the joy of this new beget
They knew he was a gift like no other.

In his remark, on that long gone 2nd June
Gave his concern of hopes for a peaceful nation
One Nation One People-the epitome of his leadership
Gross National Happiness his lasting Legacy

Far the Kingdom came in his reign; breaking the shackles of isolation!
Ferried into many international bodies;
And yet a founding member of SAARC
The plan of half a decade launched! Roads built;
Schools opened with ever more number, water in drought and free health!

Gave his subjects all he could! Taking the kingdom to its highest end!
For the world has seen no other king!
Who fights before his infantry to save them?
Putting our needs before his own
His patriotism, his loyalty and his love
For the Kingdom would never beget such a king again!
Thus, in his son’s words the prayers lay: “The Lion King is special-
 For the kingdom will not beget such a king, our father Jigme Singye Wangchuk,
Our source of inspiration, our true leader, our rays of hope
In this generation or the next”

And in this forlorn room as I pen on you;
Ohh My King, I cannot fathom your deeds.
No pen is ever so mightier; no words ever share your equanimity
No thoughts ever so vast; no rays to ever measure the psalm of your leadership!

And yet I give you in my recites lines a few
“Dear King, your deeds are immeasurable,
You have fulfilled the set prophecy; you are now in every Bhutanese’s heart;
May you live long with all your hopes fulfilled
Mat your actions resonates eons down the line of history
May Palden Drukpa ever shine so beautifully!
Just so peacefully that you have ever dreamt!

Palden Drukpa Lha Gyello!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dechen's Guilt

Dechen swayed her hair in sideways. Her eyes sparkled beneath the shiny golden fringes. The lone dimple marked over few curves of her face. The gentle breeze kissed her crimson lips as she sat on the bus that was moving. The chilly weather has reached its peak. She shudders with cold as a man who seats next to her gives her an occasional gaze.

At a time rendezvous, she was lost. She thought of the sun and how it sparkled so vast in its limitless power. The rays shone over her silky hair, she kept thinking what a world would be without it. She thought of the birds chirping and lit of the sun as the bus meandered through wavy roads in the woods. She kept thinking on the fission reaction of atoms and the dreadful temperature in the core of the sun. Her face, now woebegone as she overheard a young girl cry. What made her cry? The roars of tractor that came opposite way, two men driving it – one with muscular hinge of audacity shouting “Long live our beloved king”, the other with mere mimic, sucking up all the air he could as they drove off.

She was brought out of the reverie by a sudden shout of pain. The chilly Thimphu’s weather made her wear a muffler. The safety pin she locked in it untangled pricking the guy next to her making him shout in desperate pain.

“I am so sorry”, she mumbled. She couldn’t put herself in position to be normal. Her feeling exasperated with dizziness of unending bumps of the bus ride. She couldn’t say anything more. The guy looked up to her in wry smile. She couldn’t, but sway her head sideways hiding her predicament. She wasn’t sure if he cared much. But in deep inside; she was sorry. The monotonous journey went on as she pulled her muffler from her neck to put it in her bag. She plugged the earphones in her ear playing her all-time favorite list of music.

It never really occurred to her, in her previous travels that a guy sitting next to her; someone of his physique and specimen couldn’t talk on such a long journey. She was by far a very timid girl to start any conversation with.  Someone although admired by many is a girl who kept mostly to herself albeit some rare occasions. She didn’t bother to say hi for the past few hours. Notwithstanding the fact that the guy didn’t respond to her desperate sorry call.

Finally she blurted out. “Where you headed?” The guy looked away in a manner of despise and displeasure. He looked out of the glass dismissing her conversation. He was near choking. She scoffed and asked again, “Are you okay?” He didn’t say a word still looking as far away in the mountains as he could. She didn’t care to bother him then. She never thought she could come across someone so rude as to not give an answer to few simplistic questions of life. Maybe it was her fault asking him. She thought.

As the bus meandered through endless turns of roadways through the mountainous terrains, she could see the span of huge virgin forests. She saw endless mountains and rivers flowing as she passes valley by valley nearing her destination. She kept all for herself knowing her seat partner isn’t up for a conversation. She didn’t mind. She had worst experiences before.

Just as she was about to switch her plays to the Flyleaf, she felt the touch on her shoulder. She felt disgusted. She was shocked to know that someone who didn’t even care to reply for her sorry now touched her.  She couldn’t take it. She was infuriated and out of her rage she shouted on top on her voice, “How dare you touch me”. Everyone in the bus eyed at the guy. He was reluctantly smiling and handing her a handful of chewing gums. He didn’t realize the scene just as yet. Until when she shouted further saying she doesn’t want to eat the stupid chewing gums.

He was still smiling. But in a short stance he realized the trajectory. He folded his hands back and put his chewing gums in his pocket. He didn’t say a word. Neither did she. 

It wasn’t until dusk when they reached their destination that she was guilt struck. As they got out of the bus, an elderly woman came up to receive the guy. She hugged him tight and asked him if everything was okay. He nods twice as he did in the bus. And she overheard the lady say, “Your father would have been so proud if he was alive. You made your first journey despite your disability. I am proud of you even though you can’t hear or speak”. She cries telling him how worried she was.

Dechen was awestruck. She didn’t know what to do. As she garnered her sense of what she did in the bus, she rushed towards them only to see them ride off in a cab. Questions rushed in her mind. ‘Why was he traveling alone? Was he mute from the birth? What made him face this fate? Did I do something wrong?’ all unanswered. She was guilt ridden, and prayed on seeing him one more time.



Monday, January 11, 2016

Is ‘Biomimicry’ a new solution to the sustainable world?

The world as we know now has advanced in our intelligence manifold. The contemporary scientists see our earth as the only livable planet in our galaxy. Distant to that is our sustenance as the very last surviving planet in the galaxy. We do not have the backup plan. Yet our oblivion keeps on with accelerated speed, disregarding the Mother Nature. “Mother Earth has everything for our need; but no patience for our greed”, (Inconvenient truth) Al Gore ’06.

We have conquered the planet. The industrialization as we see today as brought on a lot of changes unsurpassed by any other arenas of development. We have conquered Mars, gone under marine depth and explored our galaxies. We now know the existence of Black holes and the very nature of how our cells work in molecular levels. The nanotechnology is being developed with the aim that human should survive with no threats. The world as we see today has made profound achievements

Yet, we are still sleeping to the reality that we are part of the larger ecosystem of the earth and that our creations can both injure or heal the landscapes that we call home. We have been so enthralled with the powers of human ingenuity that we have made things just because we can, and so as the human community grows towards a state of wisdom which would considers not just what we can make but why, certain questions flow in. Where are our regard to our precious environment and its sustenance? Where is our plight to our future generation? Where are our moral responsibilities? Where is our regard to the very precious mother earth we call home?

The age old need for innovation is the most basic impetus for the human drive to create new, but our innovations have come priced with our environmental sustainability. Our innovations express volumes about our own resonance, our culture, beliefs and what we value, individually and collectively. They have become norms of social status and taste, significance of wealth and symbols of reposition. This accumulation of meaning has come to obscure the simple fact that innovations exist to help humanity and aid human in various hard labor.

However does it really help us? Are we agreeing to have a temporary relief completely ignoring the plight of future generations?

True, our current economic system has lifted millions of people out of poverty and provides most people in the developed world with a standard of living that royalty could only dream of centuries ago. The problem however is “at its very success, the intensity at which it motivates and finances the exploitation of nature with multitudes of ways to built in and keep the economy growing; often sending us to the boundaries that require accentual realization.” (Building Sustainable and Desirable economy) ‘08; Robert Costanza et al. This has left many of us; the economists, the scientists, researchers and climate change activists at awe. Thus the affricative is not at the larger set of civilization growth, but our mainframe economic system that’s in loop. The question of building a sustainable world is difficult to fathom. At the hindsight; it is inevitable to look at our past.

Our ecosystems and the size of damage done in past decades to centuries is an immense one, relative to the original state these ecosystems were in before the industrial revolution. “Between 1950 to 2003, around 29% of fish species that are frequently caught today had collapsed, defined as their catch being 10% below the recorded maximum” (Worm et al. ‘06). This is no different from vast expanse of our developed societies seeking oils in the tunnels of poor east. These surges on non-renewable resources such as oil and minerals have come long way down the history.

The lack of proper management of the world’s non-renewable stocks and the economic system currently being followed, underlies what I think is part and parcel of general behavior of the human species. We are not capable to deal with these problems by consuming less, we are best at solving a problem by developing new technologies and practices to fix one part of the problem. It is very unlikely that this will continue to work, as you cannot engineer your way out of depletion in the long run.

So what is the exact solution to such problems? Build with nature instead of over and against it. Biomimicry is a promising sign for the future of the human race. The basic premise is that we can learn from and “mimic” structures, materials, and systems that we observe in nature to solve design human problems. Design technology which preoccupy natural facets that nature would accept. This as opposed to the general notion of suppressing our creativity rather makes it beautiful. We can begin by considering the relationship of the parts to the whole and the ways in which our technology can be a part of earth itself; to fit the new technology into a functioning larger system. It would be like developing a tissue cell and patch it to infected area so that the body accepts it as a part of its own system. Thus there may be legitimate positive answers in building a globally sustainable earth in our near future. 

In addition, there has been number of people claiming the general drama of all climate change and carbon emission to be hoax. And that if earth needs to be sustainable we have to be efficient; and the efficiency is best anchored by the technological mandates that quiet pretty much run on the non renewable energy sources. Top meteorologist, John Coleman wrote an open letter to the IPCC, intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “the ocean is not rising significantly; the polar ice is increasing and not melting away; polar bears are increasing in the number, that heat waves have actually diminished, not increased”; Remarkably he also summed up with “I have studied this topic for several years; it has become political and environmental agenda item; but the science at the background of all this is not valid.” 

With this conjecture; one can worry less; and our capitalist economy and be endearing the further roll. This whole idea makes us believe that whether we act on our consumerism or not, we have nothing to worry because earth itself is a cycle of recyclable pinball with stages of change but comes back to the state of purity. Thus the question of sustainability is out of our excerpt maintaining our requisite to natures fathom to live on. 

In light of the above, the solution to achieve a sustainable human ecosystem lies in developing solutions beyond more than technological change, but also into regulation of extraction to sustainable levels (which means consumption). The question is how to achieve such a sustainable human ecosystem, a system wherein all material and energy flows can endure, instead of being either exhausted or accumulated as waste. Can this be done at a global scale? Probably it cannot, at least not at the level of welfare that we enjoy today. But History taught us of one thing; that human ingenuity surpassed every facet of countless impossibilities. 

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