Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Listening to Chetan Bhagat....

Through the majestic entrance of the only 5 star Hotel in our country, the mountain echoe festival attracted many writer, author, poet and the passionate amateurs inside the TAJ Tashi for the 3rd and final day. But the special thing about attending the 3rd day festival was, almost everyone was there especially to listen to the Indian wizard behind all the novels which has been successfully adapted into blockbuster bollywood movies and yes!, I was also there eagerly waiting for his turn to come up, Mr. Chetan Bhagat.

As I strolled slowly through the corridor down the stairs, there was an  epic display of wonderful photographs of Birds of Bhutan. Down I went, to my right, gigantic glass windows displayed an impeccably beautiful garden view with people sipping coffees and having their hi, hello talks. I was having trouble locating the hall. As I turned left, there were two dark, black giant doors, one in the middle of the corridor and another towards the end. It seemed locked and nobody seem to going in or coming out. Hesitantly, I pushed the end door with some force assuming it to be heavy but no effort was needed. The door spread open leading me finally to the hall. There were people all seated with chairs all occupied and their eyes fixed up straight to the stage where Mr. Yeshey Dorji was having conversation with Bahar Dutt. Then,  did I come to know the amazing art of bird’s photography displayed outside was the work of the man on the stage. AMAZING!

Luckily, a boy nearby left the seat and immediately I pounced upon it. It was a melodious feeling to be listening to the sound of birds chirping and singing,  being played through the projector with the pictures on the screen. The hall was cozy with AC on and the lanterns arranged beautifully on the wheel hanging on the ceiling was an exotic view.

couldn't help but to take picture of this shiny lanterns.....

Next, Her Royal Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk launched the Book “MARG: Arts Of Bhutan” followed by the conversation between Monisha Ahmed, Yeshey Dorji and Azha Karma.

It was then 1:40 p.m.  Chetan Bhagat was to be in, anytime. All were gathered inside with every little space occupied, even with some standing and craning their neck to see him enter. I got my seat right in the middle. We were all anxiously waiting for him to enter through the door. Few men in gho came in and walked right up to the stage. I didn’t give any notice to those man in gho but instead kept my eyes fixed to the door to see a man with a suit  to enter in when I finally turned my head and  gave a proper look to the two man on the stage. Damn! One of them was Chetan Bhagat dressed in gho. Most of us got surprised to see him that way. He seemed quite uncomfortable in the Bhutanese attire and his joke about the feeling of wearing a skirt with winds blowing in gave a pretty strong crack of laughter from the audience.

Tshewang Dendup had a good amount of questions for him and the audience were all waiting for their turn. Chetan shared his concerns for the atrocities surrounding the Indian population because of pollutions, corruptions and for the young youths battling against the race of modern era. He told us about what it is to be a Chetan in India and how the challenge of doing something which he feared like joining  as a judge in “Nach Baleyeh” dancing show has given him a new strength. It was a fun 30 minutes to listen to his talks with humorous crack of jokes  time to time.

and thats kamal struggling to get a snap!!hehe.

When the floor was opened for questions, the audience battled raising their hands to ask their share of why and what. My friend Kamal, sitting right next to me asked him how he came about with his first book hitting the market with tremendous success and with what magic formula. He said it was his perseverance to keep on trying and never giving up. Like him, there were small school children of age 8 -10 and he was proud to see young hands asking him many questions.

The session ended so quick. Kamal had a letter written for him and both of us ran after him as soon he left the hall. There were people gathered around him getting their books signed. We fought in and tried to take a picture as well. With a bit of struggle, I managed to get a quick photo with him. Hope the writer enjoyed speaking on  the mountainous land of thunder dragon though it was for a short duration of time. And I hope the experience he had attracts him back here once again, next time for a longer conversation.

yeah! poor sad...could manage only that much....:D

I stayed for sometime listening to “Dancing Earth”, conversations between the poets from two mountainous native places. Mr.Ngangom and Ms.Janice Patriat from north eastern state of India recited their poems with Dipika chetri from Bhutan giving in hers.

Attending the mountain echoe literary festival was an inspiring experience for me. To see great writers having talks about their book, poems proudly infront of the their readers gave me a kick of encouragement to also see myself one day speaking on the same platform. Moreover I was proud to see many Bhutanese writers weighing on and on with the writers from outside. Despite the fact that the book market in our country is very low, it was a pride feeling to know that our writers aren’t any less than any of the writer from India or any other country. I look forward to attending many such events and in each step, pour in more and more lessons or knowledge inside me.

Friday, 21 August 2015

I finally heard the mountain echoe........

Veiling off in through the large curtain, there came our Aditee from “Yeh Jawanee hai Deewani”, dressed casually in a simple pant and a white micky mouse T- shirt with a lose blonde hair dangling behind her head to talk about “GIRL and WOMEN” inside the hall  filled with echoes of the mountain. The dark  RUB hall saw the audience watching the actress perform her act of voicing on behalf of women with enraptured admiration. 
 “Fair by skin but brown in heart”, is how the Kalki Koechlin describes herself which I witnessed  in one of her interview. Parents are both French but whole of her transformation from a child to an adult had a strong Indian culture influence and she is more of a brown Indian than a fair French.
“Sometimes, it’s hard just to breathe”. Oh well! Her act was wonderful, so was herself in real. Indeed an actor. I almost thought she really was screaming at us, all men!  Well, 1st day of Mountain echo in RUB wrapped up with the actress sprinkling light on the already existing women issue of the century.

Patrick French and Nayanjot Lahiri had their conversation on the Art of biography backed up with a sky, cloudy background and warmed up with questions from the audience.

Writing and reading enthusiast from the plains of India and the mountains of Bhutan being brought under one roof by the platform “mountain echoes” had them their energy further boosted up along with young amateur like me  getting kicked up for more motivation.

School children fired innocent questions to the poets and the authors sitting on the couch in Tarayana centre. I was just in time to listen to Guru Tshering Ladakhi  and Abhay’s  first flight inside the poetic world. A magical world of literature has brought all young and old together and it was amazing to witness all inside the hall enjoying the joyous moment.

My zest of excitement has bubbled up to the peak to watch the magician behind the pages of “five point someone”, “one night at the call centre”, “ 3 mistakes of my life”, “revolution 2020”, “2 states” and his first non fiction book “what  the young india wants”, Mr. Chetan Bhagat speaking live right infront of my eyes. I cannot wait to hear what “ Being Chetan” is like. Well, I would soon update my experience of listening to the astounding famous writer of India . Don’t forget to VISIT here once again!!:D

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Prelims freaky Sunday

“You may start writing”, the examiner announced.

And the race for the entry into the civil service STAGE 1 kick started.  Whisper of papers flipping forward and backward was the only sound inside the tensed four walls of the room with graduates carefully shading the OMR sheet onto their respective choices, some well analyzed and some with mere luck.

Mine wasn’t any exception. Time was passing by as if being followed by a giant snake. My hands and fingers experienced an unexpected tremor of shake and I could hardly get the shading right without turning it into an apple or a mango at the beginning. I had the shading practiced at home several times because I pictured myself troubled while shading during the examination. Despite the practice, it did trouble me but I could gather myself back to normal gradually.

The two and half hour PE was an obscure moment which passed by like a dream, hardly being able to remember the questions nor the answers marked. With the type of questions given in the problem solving section and with the given amount of time, it is indeed a test of one’s aptitude ;to be able to solve as quickly as possible. Whether one has done it good or bad, one could hardly tell what would be the outcome. There is no such thing as half mark, nor marks for few of steps before the answer. It is solely and whole of “1 mark” if  the answer is right and “zero” if wrong and absolutely “zero” if not marked at all. People correcting would do a mistake, he may be bias, he may be compassionate, he may be rude but a machine carries non of that character. OMR will treat everyone TIT for TAT, right for right and wrong for wrong. And let me tell you, my heart is pounding like a balloon with water filled inside while I am writing this because, I am getting back the picture of the questions that I didn’t know, the moment I panicked and the blind shading that I did murmuring the god’s name because, the examiner would give no mercy of extra time.

After the sweat drenching two and half hour examination, the examinees flowed out of the classes like ants and formed groups to share one’s tragedy at the most and for some, it seemed a “ok” thing  and for few it was good. Then, almost all 3000 unemployed graduates including the in-service candidates were seen swirling around the main traffic of the Thimphu capital. I am sure, MOLHR could have completed half of their unemployment rate survey there itself without having to go door to door.

The 150 minutes inside the room is perhaps the most crucial moment of any Bhutanese graduate’s life. It is the visa for some to finally make their dreams of getting a government job true, thereby bringing proud smiles on the faces of their parents and loved ones and for some, would be just to hold on an independence status so that they would get a beautiful girl in the hand of marriage..(:D).

Almost two weeks for the results to be declared and for fourteen days, the BCSE 2015 candidates would have to give a forced sleep every night and be in dilemma till the miscible thoughts of water and milk is completely separated. I have my fingers completely crossed and HOPE is the only hope for me as for many others.