Thursday, August 19, 2010

Regarding Sanga

Sanga works as the chief physiotherapist in Thimphu hospital. He is also indisputably the best in his business. His hands can do wonders. When you come out from his treatment session, you feel that your pains have disappeared. Sanga is warm-hearted and rarely turns down anyone seeking his advice or services. As he “sees” his patients, he also comforts them, encourages them and explains everything in detail.
There is one thing about Sanga, which makes him extraordinary – he is visually impaired. He also comes from a modest background and has obviously struggled to get where he is now. But having known him for years I forget he has that physical handicap. I take him like a normal person.
But Sanga is much more. Besides being a good professional, he also lives his life to the fullest. On one occasion I found him discussing an upcoming football match involving his hospital colleagues. Another time he was planning the next hike to the mountains with his friend and colleague, Dr. Chencho.
I first met Sanga some years back when I interviewed him on my TV show. He made me look deeper into myself and ponder. How come I don’t have any physical disabilities (touch wood!) and yet I am often grumbling about my life, my work, my colleagues and my career? If I were in his place, would I be even half as successful as him?
As age catches up, one feels the muscles and bones giving up easily and visits to Sanga get more frequent. But life, I guess, is a package. My visits are not only physiotherapy sessions but also a great occasion to talk about our common interest - hiking. As he ultrasounds my chronic backache, we share our trekking plans and adventures. The only difference – he treks for leisure while I trek for work. He has been to Singye Dzong. And so did I. But when I tell him my next trek was to Chumphu Nye, he tells me that's easy and that his was actually to Dragye Pangtso located some 14,000 feet – above Paro Taktsang. Shame on me, I tell myself.
People like Sanga are simply inspiring. Especially to those of us who waste our time badmouthing others and nagging about everything. And here is someone who is visually impaired and yet is doing his job well and enjoying his life. We often forget that we live in an imperfect world anyway. The only certainty in life is that life itself is very uncertain. 

So while you have all the limbs and senses, go out and have fun! See places that tourist pay $200 a day to visit. Make pilgrimages to holy sites blessed by every Buddhist master down the ages. May be the merit you accumulate would assure you a better reincarnation in your next life. Above all, walk to the remotest villages and take some smiles and laughter there while you are still fit and strong.

(photo courtesy


  1. a moving tribute..

  2. There used to be a wise old man who despite his illiteracy outsmarted all his uneducated contemporaries. People were actually awed by his memory and intellect and often asked him what he would have done if he were educated. And he would jokingly say "I would have sold the country". Of course, everyone was darn sure he would have created history.

    But there was one person; a middle aged wise ass who disagreed with the rest and said, that the old person was wise and experienced because of the way he struggled in an era when men had to learn it the hard way. What he said sounded quite right since the old man would not have learned as much if he had spent his childhood leisurely getting educated than struggling on the mountains, and learning to trade with the Tibetans.

    However, I do not mean to be so pessimistic when I say that perhaps Dr. Sangha's inadequacy must have prolly made him the fantastic person that he is now and in no way does that make you any lesser a person. You are just as wonderful and inspiring :))

  3. wow....inspiring piece.......thank u for sharing. many people need to learn from your fren Sanga...and i wish him so many happiness and continued wellbeing

  4. hi ata dorji,

    it's because of bloggers like you that i created :) so, i request you to submit your blog there...:)

    bless with your blog's presence :)

    thank you and tashi delek...and sorry for the off topic.

    if registration gave error, you can submit via the blog submit form.

  5. Amazing. more such stories plz....

    Is it on print?

  6. @Kinga. In a way yes. I am sure Sanga must have made an extra effort knowing his handicap and that must have the difference between success and failure. But what about all those "blind" people who cannot see anything positive on anyone these days. My condolence to all of them.

    @Sogyel. If you have any such simple extraordinary stories of ordinary people, you should share. Let's spread some positive energy in the air. There is too much of pessimism in the Bhutanese cyberspace. You agree?

    @BhutanBlogs. As mentioned to Bhutanese Writers group, please feel to cut and paste my blog entries or give links. I will try to contribute directly to BhutanBlogs whenever I can

  7. @BhutanBlogs. Could you please send me some information about yourself on my email?

  8. hope this may add some lessons in life.....