Friday, August 26, 2016

King never sleeps
























Bangkok – August 2016

In Thailand there is a beautiful tradition whereby a king is supposed to stay awake at night. He does not sleep because he has to protect his people who retire from a hard day’s work. The tradition started from the kings of Ayutthaya who were at war with Burmese kingdoms. The people then could sleep peacefully because they knew that their King was awake and would protect them in case some enemies attacked in the middle of the night.

As the capital shifted from Ayutthaya to Thonburi to Krung Thep (aka Bangkok) this tradition, it seems, is still alive. King Bhumibol, it is being said, works a lot at night going through reports, maps and charts at night. In fact some years back I was in a taxi to the airport when our traffic stopped at a crossing. It was 3 in the morning and the royal motorcade was passing by. I asked the taxi driver and in a rudimentary English he said, “King never sleeps”. “Why?” I asked him with child-like inquisitiveness. He couldn’t explain further because of his limited English. A friend of mine later enlightened me on this tradition.

A facebook picture of our own King looking towards a menacing river at night reminded me of this tradition. Thai people believe that our King embodies the spirit of a king who never sleeps. And who protects his people all the time.

Yes, it’s true but we rarely attribute our good sleep to good governance. We have never thought that if we could go to sleep peacefully it is because we know we are safe; we know that our King will protect us and will be there for us. After all it is one of those things that we Bhutanese take for granted. Good king, good leadership, clean air, clear water, what else don't we take for granted?

“You know what? We should be grateful that our King worries for us - and that you guys don’t have to worry at all,” I used to tell students at Sherubtse College at the morning assemblies during my short stint there.

An Indian media tycoon once told me, “Now I know why you Bhutanese are happy. Because your King does all the work for you.” I was walking him to his car from an audience with His Majesty – at Taj Hotel in Delhi. The year was 2012. 

I still think what the Thais tell me is the best. “You people should be lucky that you can sleep peacefully thanks to your King.”

Hopefully our people will say a little prayer before retiring to a peaceful sleep from now on.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Of Dreams and Role Models - Finale


Disappointments are …
…a part of the package for those who dare to dream. They come, at times, without any warning – as a bolt from the blues. Other times as betrayals, rejections and human wickedness.

Sometimes when your journey comes to a dead end, you need to go back to
where everything began. You realise you have come a long way.
For the young, who are trying to get their first break they come in form of long waiting game thanks to general apathy and indifference. In an age where everything runs at cyber speed, it can more frustrating when things don’t move or move the way you want or at the speed you expect.

My life may look rosy – full of adventures, wonderful dreams and achievements. From walking barefoot in Trashigang to dining with heads of State in the Imperial Palace of Japan, yes, I have come a long way. But I had my fair share of disappointments and setbacks at several stages of my life. I have also found myself in the darkest pitch where I felt very small, scared and lonely. 

But when I look back I find those disappointments were not as bad as I thought back then. They actually opened my eyes and made me discover my true friends, how much my siblings and my family loved me and were ready to stand by me and how many relatives I had - who were all wishing me to spring back to life - filled with new promises and prominence. Disappointments also made me wiser. They taught me to cherish every person I meet, and every moment and every opportunity that come along.

By the same token, the so-called success often procured me many enemies, envies and jealousies. People would create stories on me. Those who were ahead of me saw me as threats. Random people who have not even known me but couldn’t succeed themselves because of their own shortcomings targeted me for being little more successful than them.

So what I learnt in the end is that there is absolutely a very fine line of distinction between achievements and disappointments – between success and failure. They are non-dualistic in nature. So do not think achievements are absolutely wonderful and disappointments are necessarily bad. Deal with them very carefully – and as they come. And yes, if you find yourself in a hole, there is only one way out - and that is to climb up. So cry as much as you want. Then, take a deep breath, wipe your tears, jump out of the hole and start running again. And don't look back. 
Success is when someone builds a bridge for you to visit them.
On my way to Lamga village in Central Bhutan.

Now there is one thing …
… that stands between you and your dreams; between you and your “success” and between you and your talent. That is called ego. And we Bhutanese seem to have more than any other nationality that I have come across. I have been to 39 countries so far.

Thanks to our ego, we have territorialism in the bureaucracy; gang fights among our teens, unemployment among our youth and tensions among colleagues at work place. Because of ego, many civil servants are neither civil let alone servants. People who have just landed their first job don’t need mentors or seniors advising them. Those who don't even have jobs don't want to do certain tasks. Some of our elected officials and bureaucrats become wise and enlightened overnight once they adorn the kabney and patang. Actors and directors who make it couple of films forget who gave them their first break. Many people are even ashamed to say something like, "If it were not for him or her I would have never made it." 
If we Bhutanese can do away with just 10% of our ego, 90% of the problems in this country will be solved.
In all these years of being in the media, interviewing many successful people I have never met one Bhutanese who has acknowledged another Bhutanese publicly or privately. Yes, we, even senior officials, say that our King is our role model. For some even a mentor and for all a drinchhen ghi phama. But one is supposed follow one’s role model and emulate him. Instead people chase Prados, grab lands and foreign trips or try for Australia. Recently, while our Role Model was in the South braving the rain, flood, leeches and security threats to be among those affected by the massive rainfall, we were lining up to hoard fuel and food in the capital, Thimphu. Wasn’t it a shame that the PM had to tweet to the people not to panic and not to hoard?

In closing …
… there will surely be more dreams to come in our lives and many more role models as guiding companions. Stretch your mind, dream big, keep on dreaming, and never give up. 
For, once you stop dreaming, you stop learning; and once you stop learning, your stop living.
You may not turn out to be a Kung Fu master, land on the Moon, win the Olympic Gold, play like Pele, or even look like Clint Eastwood (although now I feel I much look better than him).  
But, in the journey we call “life”, getting there is less important than gaining valuable experience along the way.  
There is no such thing as “achieving nothing” unless, of course, you have no dreams at all.

There is a poem that couldn’t have summarized my thoughts any better.  It is called “Ithaka” by a Greek poet, C. P. Cavafy. I dedicate this to all the readers and wish you successful dreams and surmountable disappointments.

As you set out for Ithaka
hope that your journey is a long one,
full of adventures, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon
— don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare sensation touches
your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon —
you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope that your journey is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;

May you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn, and learn again from those who know.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so that you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor,
Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become,
so full of experience,
you will have understood by then
what these Ithakas mean.

Of dreams and role models - part II

Pele was on my lips, and ... 
… on the lips of every kid who touched football during my student days. It was not until much later, when I went to Italy, that I saw him in action - in an exhibition match in Milan. But, as a child, I developed my own image of Pele. In spite of my pathetic footballing talents, I would spend hours playing football, dreaming to be a great footballer. I still play the game.

I continued playing at university, and actually made it to the class team (my class had 300 students). I also became a registered fan of Bologna FC and many Sundays I have been to the Dall'Ara Stadium in Bologna. I met stars like Roberto Baggio and Beppe Signori, because I was allowed to watch their closed-door practice sessions. I once had a chat with legendary Bologna coach, Gigi Maifredi, who was credited for taking Bologna from C Division to B to A. I asked him how he always managed to put together a winning team out of an unknown group of players. “Start with the basics – the fundamentals,” he said. He would often remark, “One guy will have the ball at any given time.  I am not interested in him. Let's work on the other ten.” 
The fundamentals, stupid!  What a great lesson that was! 
When we look around us today we see that we lack the fundamentals. The fundamentals of our economy are there. The fundamentals of our education system are wrong. The fundamentals of the job market are simply not right. So we suffer as an economy. Our education system will send the country down the drain. And the growing unemployment will bring about the biggest threat that our country will have ever faced.  

Football also taught me something very important. There is only ball and so when you get your chance, you should play it well. The ball can come at you from every direction, sometimes when you least expect it, or when you are in an impossibly awkward position. But you have got to take them as opportunities, run with them, and do your best.  

Challenges and opportunities in my life have indeed come from every direction, in different shapes and sizes and forms. I learned to take them more as opportunities not to be missed. There was one, in particular, that I decided to grab and run. 

One challenge came in the mid-nineties. When I was in my final year in college, my dissertation was titled, "Project Television Bhutan". I even sent a copy to then Permanent Mission of Bhutan in Geneva. After I returned from Italy, I started talking about introducing TV into the country. Everyone told me to be careful because His Majesty the Fourth King did not want it. As soon as that person told me I was like, “Yes! There is an opportunity here. If everyone is so scared to even talk about it, no one would take this up and I would be the one to make history.” 

I took the ball and ran with it. Three years of persistence and perseverance later, BBS TV was inaugurated. On June 2, 1999, His Majesty the Fourth King announced it in the Silver Jubilee Address to the Nation, as my my team and I were still trying to put the signal through at Sangaygang. For leading the project team and launching a TV station in a world-record time of four months, I was conferred the Asia-Pacific Broadcast Engineering Award in Manila in November 2000.


So, keep on dreaming and...
… remember to follow your heart.  After failing to become a Kung Fu master, astronaut, Olympic medalist, and a world-class footballer, I must say I achieved at least one dream – to become a filmmaker. That’s thanks to my last childhood hero – Clint Eastwood.

For anyone who has seen movies like Fistful of Dollars, o The Good Bad and the Ugly, you know what I am talking about. I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up to be like him – tall, handsome, independent, fearless, and silently strong! Man, I wish I could also gun down the whole village at a go – like him.

Watching Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee also made me a film addict. I bunked classes and evening studies to watch movies. As punishment I cleaned many toilets in school and watered all those plants that have now become trees in Kharbandi campus.

Films, and art in general, developed my imaginative power. And, I used my imagination to write, direct and shoot many documentaries. But, my small Boddhicita Being drove me to use the imagination for a greater good. 
For me, the power of imagination has been the power to identify myself with people whose life and experiences were drastically different from mine. That power to put myself in their shoes humbled me and made me more human. 
In 2007, I was on a photographic assignment for Tarayana Foundation in Athang Rukha in lower Wangdue where I came across a village in a terrible condition. I was particularly stuck by a visit to an old woman living in a shack.  Her house had crumbled.  Her only son fell off a cliff to his death. Her daughter-in-law met with an accident and sustained brain injury. The two grand daughters left for another village every day as farm labourers, so that they can get something to eat. When I visited their shack, the old woman was worried she had nothing to offer me, but to put her to ease I asked for some hot water. As I sat in that hut, in front of her, sipping from an old aluminium cup, a world of different reality dawned on me and I just couldn’t imagine being in her shoes. For once, my power of imagination failed me. So, I decided to imagine a better life for her and her fellow villagers, and help them help themselves to make it real.

I returned to the village 11 times in two years – taking food, medicines, irrigation pipes, cloths, and everything else I could beg off my rich friends and organisations in Thimphu. Athang Rukha and its 18 households have ever since sprung back to life with vigour. I had no magic wand and their success is totally their own doing. I simply empowered them to think for themselves, work as a team, have confidence as humans and, above all, to “imagine” a better future for themselves and their children. And work hard towards it. That, after all, is what a nation building is all about. 

For this real sense of achievement, I have my childhood hero, Clint Eastwood, to thank for. I have sent him an invite to visit Athang Rukha. He still owes me a reply.


(To be continued)


Friday, August 5, 2016

Of dreams and role models - Part I

What were your childhood dreams? Can you remember them? Did you even have one? I am sure you all did till our so-called "education" crushed them forever. Do you have a role model? A real one?

They say life is a journey. A dream basically gives us an ambition as the journey’s goal, and a role model as its companion. With dreaming – crazier the better – life will be a fun learning journey. Without dreaming, it will be a picnic nowhere, alone, with nothing to eat.

What were my childhood dreams? Here is my first set: Bruce Lee, the Kung Fu Master, Neil Armstrong – the first guy of the moon, Carl Lewis - the Olympics gold medalist, and the one and the only Pele. I wanted to be just like them. A Kung Fu master who flies to the moon, wins Olympics medals, and plays professional football big time! 

Well, what is great about my dreams is that I have achieved none of them. Then, was it worth dreaming? Was it worth having those dreams? You bet. Let me elaborate.

To be a Kung Fu master …
… was one of my first first dreams, and Bruce Lee was my first idol. I grew up at a time when there was a craze about Kung Fu and Karate. I was no exception to that craze. I frequently slipped out of the boarding school, without permission, to watch Kung Fu movies. I was always caught and always reprimanded. The craze went on through my university days in Italy. I enrolled in a martial art club – under an Italian master who spent some time in Shaolin. I earned a blue belt – the third grade. I was good. But, after three years, I was injured in a tournament. I slipped, crushed on the floor, and hurt my shoulder, during a warm-up session preceding a fight. That put an unceremonious end to my martial art career, and an end to my Kung Fu master ambition.

Was it worth then? In every sense, yes! I learned that the experience one gains working towards a goal is as valuable as achieving the goal itself.

My life as a Kung Fu student was memorable – my muscular body and well-defined abs never failed to impress others. But, I got something more precious than the ability to attract or impress other people. Kung Fu is about discipline, and taught me humility. It is about finding and respecting your guru – your mentor, for one’s life. Above all, the most precious lesson came in the form of rock-solid sense of self-confidence
I didn’t make it to be a Kung Fu master. But, I learned to value discipline, humility, respect, and the power of confidence in myself.

That man could land on the Moon …
… fascinated me as a child. It was in the late Seventies and I was in Don Bosco Technical School back then. Every Tuesday, the day my class was allowed access to the library, I would hit the same big book with photographs of the Moon landing, and glance over the same pictures over and over again. Neil Armstrong became my childhood hero for being the first human to set foot on the Moon. I dreamed of becoming a pilot, and an astronaut, and flying to the Moon one day.

After finishing my school I went to Druk Air that had just opened for business with two Doniers 228 aircrafts. But I was not selected in the interview. That put an abrupt end to my dream of being a pilot. But I still have a dream to fly. Very recently a friend of mine gifted me a trip to the flight simulator in Bangkok. I made two safe landings and take off from Bangkok Airport and one out of Kathmandu – on a Boeing 737. The flight instructor told me that I was good. Some day I intend to fly a real aeroplane. That has been one of the things in my bucket list.

Coming to my failed childhood dream, I learnt a few things on the way, which became my trademark. Although I never met Neil Armstrong, he taught me three important lessons: That everything was possible; that if you stretch your mind to get somewhere, you will get there some day; and that if you dare to venture into the unknown, chances are that you will be the first to get there. 

So many years and some gray hairs later, I was one of the first Bhutanese to study in Italy and speak Italian fluently, was perhaps the first Bhutanese to meet the Pope, to build the first FM radio network in Bhutan in 1998, lead the project team to bring the television for the first time into the country in 1999, the first Bhutanese to receive a major international documentary award in 2003 and the first director of the Royal Office for Media for His Majesty the King.

I did not get to the Moon, but for sure I feel that I got somewhere halfway. 

The dream of an Olympic medal … 
… gave me the biggest upset and perhaps the greatest lesson of my life. I was in my second year in Deothang Polytechnic studying electrical engineering when American sprinter, Carl Lewis, won 4 gold medals in the 1984 Summer Olympics. It was also the year Bhutan participated in the Olympics for the very first time. Being in the border town of Deothang we could catch Doordarshan that was beaming black & white signal of the Olympics. I watch with awe as Carl Lewis became the fastest man by winning the 100m race. He also won 200m, 4*100m relay, and the long jump. 

Carl Lewis became my hero, and I decided to emulate him. I knew I could run as fast.
I worked hard for a year and when the 1985 Annual Sports Day came (by then I was in the final year), I became a surprise favourite to win the 100m. On the first two days, I not only won the 400m and 200m, but also clocked 13 seconds, barefoot, during the 100m semi-finals making me a sure winner. My biggest threat was from someone called Sagar Dhital, a school champ in his St. Augustine Kalimpong days. We often practiced together. Sometimes I won, but most of the time he did.

The Judgment Day came, we were on the starting block, the race fired off and, as expected, I was leading the pack by few inches (see photographic evidence). But, when I was about to hit the finish line, I turned my head to check on Sagar. At that instant, another guy called Karma Tenzin (who works as an engineer in Roads Department) dashed from my left and hit the ribbon first. I lost, by a millisecond. 

I was devastated. If I had just concentrated on my race instead of turning to check on Sagar, I would have been the best sportsman of 1985, and equaled Carl Lewis’s feat – at least in Deothang. That upset was also the greatest lesson of my life, which I carry to this day:  

Believe in yourself.  Mind your own race. Never compare yourself to those behind you, but go after someone better than you!  And if you lose, don’t look for excuses.

(To be continued..)


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Greatest Friends of Kanglung

Whether or not it is a "Friendship Week" this week, here is a video of the two greatest friends of Kanglung that I filmed in 2013. I think BBS did a piece after I alerted them. But anyway.

Every time I was driving back to my village, Pam, I noticed this bull and the pig were always together. So one morning I stopped by and flipped out my camera to film them. The bull wanted to go out grazing but the pig wanted to sleep. So the bull kept asking the pig to get up. I found that scene very moving and cute.

Other times I have seen the pig accompanying the bull on grazing spree. Most of the time, of course, the bull would be doing his round and the pig dozing off under a shed - but always together. Once, I saw the bull running around and crying out desperately for his friend. The pig was nowhere near. Days later I found them together again.

I have learnt that the owner wanted to slaughter the pig (this is customary). But Yonphola Rimpoche, Jigme Tenzin, told the owner not to do that because they were reincarnations of some special beings - and that the bull might die out of depression if his friend is gone.

So I was wondering what kind of moelam these two friends must have had from their past lives to be born as different species and yet could continue their friendship in this life.


Happy friendship to all.
  video





#MiddlepathJournalism

Monday, August 1, 2016

And Gawa sang for us

video

Last Friday, my friend, Lhaki Dolma and I were in Dechenchholing School in Thimphu to talk about power of imagination, discovery and creativity to a class.
When we finished our talks we joked with the class as to what they could do for us in return. "We can sing you a song," a boy shouted from the back and immediately buried his face on the table as the class roared in laughter. 
"Ok. Who is singing this song?" asked Lhaki. The kids pointed to a shy boy, Gawa Phuntsho. Gawa's face turned red. "Come on! If you can sing, why not? Show us your talent," I encouraged him. Gawa got up from his seat, walked to a corner to pick up his old guitar and sang us this song.

It was so beautiful that I remarked if it was a cover (I have not been up-to-date with rigsars lately) but he clarified, "No sir, it is mine". I was so moved by the song and amazed at his talent that I immediately asked for his number.

"Now," I told the class, "When I come back from my next my next foreign trip - either in October or latest by December, I will get Gawa a new guitar." The whole class clapped and went, "Yayyyyyyy".

We always complain about this generation being too complacent and not proactive. But I think it is also our responsibility to encourage young talents in every possible manner. My hopes and prayers is that Gawa will one day become a famous singer. I wanted be one. But maybe I was born in the wrong period or a wrong country. I failed. So I like someone who is fulfilling my dream.
I also pray that he grow up to be humble. I have highlighted, promoted and also financed talents before but the moment they become little popular it gets into their head. They forget who first gave them that shot in the arm. Then things die. Talent is gone.

Do you remember the rock band from the Netherlands? I had the fortune of directing them for my documentary, Blof in Bhutan, for a Dutch TV. They are the biggest rock band there and in Belgium commanding the charts for a decade now. Those guys were so humble and in the 2 weeks of shooting they didn't give one single problem. No tantrums. No displays of egos. Nothing whatsoever. When I went to the Netherlands for the Premiere, I just realised how big they were.  


The four boys from Blof were some of the finest people I made 
in this music industry. Extremely talented and equally humble





(NB - Sorry, the song has been trimmed)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Getting to Bangkok and Beyond

If you want to stand out in life, you need to be proactive.
Blogging is the easiest was for you to get noticed. It is free.
Few days back I saw a facebook post by my brother, Karma Wangchuk (he works as a DEO) of teachers risking their lives to come for a workshop in Zhemgang "while others in Thimphu are fed up of going to Bangkok"

Ever since I have been thinking as to how one could make it to Bangkok and beyond for courses and conferences. For, such opportunities are important. You make new friends, get to visit places, enhance your knowledge and open the mind to new possibilities and ideas.
So let me share my own experience.
I have never been on a government-sponsored foreign trip in my entire career spanning 20 years in BBS. Not that I didn’t have the chance. I was head of projects and HRD and many of my colleagues even did their masters from project funds.
However, I travelled a lot. And still do. As an engineer I was invited to many places around the globe to share my experience on how I introduced the FM radio technology in Bhutan (through a technical innovation that I had made to overcome the mountains). And later, when we launched the first TV station in Bhutan, how we effectively used a cheaper DV technology, which was until then shunned by most broadcasters. After being a chief engineer I also followed my dream to be a filmmaker and got transferred within BBS to be a "simple" producer from 2002. Everyone thought I was crazy. I persisted and in less than two years I won the Japan Prize for educational programs. Then more invitations and more awards rolled in - including as vice-Chair of an international working group. I was voted to the position at the General Assembly in Almaty (Kazakhstan) after sticking my neck out and fighting for more say for small broadcasters and members. 


There is no greater religion than sharing knowledge. I wish our 
education was more about real learning and less about books
After my term as the Director of Royal Office for Media, I went to Sherubtse College where I taught for 3 semesters. Again, who cares about status? Instead, that short stint opened me to the beautiful world of teaching and academia - and gave me a third career. Above all, it restored my faith in our youth after that terrible tragedy. 
Now, my ideas and works on middle-path journalism, cross-cultural communications and human expressions have foreign universities and conferences inviting me as Visiting Scholar, some asking me to deliver guest lectures and write papers and others even to help develop curriculums and courses.  

So if I can do all these, why can’t you? I am not even a trained teacher or filmmaker. I learnt all these on my own. 
What I am saying is that that you need to be proactive, innovate, work smart (not hard) and never stop learning. Doing the same thing day-in-day-out will get you nowhere. And most importantly (and this is the vital thing), share your stories and experiences. In 100 years of modern education in Bhutan there has not been a single memoir by a school teacher. Why is that? Who said your story will not sell? My anecdotes on how I ended up in Athang Rukha that I shared in TEDx Thimphu was picked up in the Netherlands. When I retold the story there the 2000+ audience gave me a standing ovation. Some were in tears.

After sharing my Athang Rukha story at TEDx 
ThimphuI was invited to the Netherands
Video is here
Browse the Net for opportunities. Expand your network. But learn to appreciate others if you want to be appreciated. Why is it so difficult for the Bhutanese people to acknowledge other Bhutanese people who do well - and learn from them?  

Foreign trips, however, should not be your goal. It should be a bonus. The greater reward should be sense of self-fulfilment through service to others and to humanity. Charity, as a cliche goes, begins at home. I dedicate a lot of my time to give pro-bono talks in colleges, institutes and schools in the country. Today I went to Dechenchholing School to talk to a class on the power of imagination and creativity. Next week I am looking forward to another session in Paro. Middle path journalism was first presented in a meet with my fellow bloggers and later at the big CBS International Conference on GNH 2015 in Paro. The idea grew from there.

However, a word of caution. Do not do anything, and just anything, with expectations or with ulterior motives. You do it out of passion, as life's greater purpose - and with conviction and consistency. Be genuine - like Tashi Namgay of Kidney Foundation and Tsewang Tenzin of Chithuen Phenday - or be passionate like our Thrash Guy, Karma Yonten of Greener Ways. People will start believing in you and will invite you. Follow these trendsetters. 
My blogpost on contentment as the core principle of
GNH took me to the other side of the planet - Florida, US
Share your opinions like Passang PaSsu Tshering, post pictures, make documentaries like lopen Karchung Dorji or share simply what you have discovered, your achievements and ideas like Dumcho Wangdi. You never know where you will reach. Just put them out. A story is a story. A picture is a picture. A paper is a paper. The audience will be the judge. At the very least, you will be noticed in the Ivory Towers of Thimphu. There will be negative comments though. Pressure for you to stop if you get popular or controversial. You will be laughed at. You only need to be persistent and to believe in yourself. 

In the 90s, people derided my proposal to bring TV to Bhutan. I was even threatened. When I became a producer, some of my own colleagues back-stabbed me from all angles. Now middle-path journalism theory is being ridiculed. So what do you do? Give up? Well, that's exactly what your opponents and cynics want you to do. So you shift your gear, work harder, go faster, refine your ideas better.  
I am not saying that Bangkok is guaranteed if you do all or any of the above. I am suggesting that you may be able make it there and beyond - on your own. It is in your hands. 

Don't wait for others and don't let people play with your life, opportunities and your destiny. We all have one to fulfil. Don't get to your death bed one day and regret things you haven't done what you wanted.


After being a "dasho" for few years, I withdrew to Sherubtse for 3 semesters as an adjunct faculty - to share my experience
No senior government officials had ever done that before me. Sadly none after me either, till date. 
My proposal to intergrate aspects of middle-path philosophy in the modern mass media caught the attention of 
universities in the Asian region. Now it is part of Mindful Communications project in Chulalongkorn University.

Talking about power of imagination to children of Dechenchholing School