Sikkim Diary

What difference would it make for a layperson who is a villager whose daily routine would involve milking the cow, working in the garden, feeding the goats and oxen and for the family the meals of the day? But No! As heard the 111th National Day was to be celebrated in Samtse Dzongkhag this year (2018) with His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen and the member of royal family joining in the celebration, the Celebration was broadcasted to all the citizens through one and the only Television channel, Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) and the Radio to the entire nation and to the citizens abroad having access to the media facilities.  The National Day marks the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as First Druk Gyalpo of Modern Bhutan.

The Samtse Dzongkhag, which shares the border with India is known to have history dated back to the early 1860s of the duar war and various victories. Despite all, the citizens of the Samtse Dzongkhag had its hand (which also included citizens from all across the nation) in building the national highway from Phuntsholing to Thimphu and that was when machines operated less and strength of people and unity showed its best impact. Samtse Dzongkhag now has 15 gewogs and an approx of 1309.1 square kilometres of area.

Coming back to the celebration, the citizens were already involved in the preparation of the ground for the celebration from a few months before. The town was fully decorated with traditional colours while the Clean Bhutan with its member from Samtse College of Education(SCE) had put its best effort in keeping the area clean and green. With its last day of preparation on 16th the beauty of the area that can show its best was achieved already by the effort put by the citizens while the television producer (BBS) was getting all the things set for the live broadcast.

Citizens from other Dzongkhags might not believe, as already said Samtse has 15 gewogs and the message about the His Majesty coming in was already know by all. All gewogs are far from the main ground prepared for the celebration. The guest house and the hotels were all full of guests from the capital city. It was 1 am in the morning that you can hear cars going in line from far away gewogs for celebration. At around 3 am in the morning the ground was already full with the number of citizens it can accommodate. The ground was said to have given an estimation of 10,000+ peoples yet the ground was so full that the road surrounding the ground had not a space left to walk around. People from all the corners of the Dzongkhag started their ride as early as 12 am in midnight. The people came mainly aspiring to see His Majesty the King, The Gyeltsuen, and the HRH The Gyelsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

However with the celebration starting at 9 am in the morning, the program had almost all of the higher officials from the capital, the celebrities and of course the diverse group of people from all corners of the Samtse Dzongkhag. As usual, the program started with the prayers (marchang, and Guard of Honour), National Flag Hosting and National Anthem. His Majesty granted the Royal Address to the Nation which was reached to all corners of the country and citizens through television and radio. Other programmes included lottery and prizes, dances, and the story of the four harmonious animal/friends (མཐུན་པ་སྤུན་བཞི) and the strong-men contest (Ngay gay) followed by Tashi Labay(ending ceremony/dance).

The crowd was given the meals right from when the program started from morning tea to lunch in the afternoon. The presence of the Royal Family and His Holiness the Je Khenpo was a blessing to the citizens on this great celebration. All the citizens gathered returned to their home after the successful completion of the celebration after the final Tashi Lebay joined by diverse individuals and officials marking the 111th National Day.

***** 1 ****

Rain it’s so insane here
All that we gain
Falling shower now in vain
Where does the rain drain
I can’t figure the chain

How tonight the smokers and drivers here!
All they train, how voices can make one
I mean the one, to fall being a dark palace.
The rain, the pilot of hearts and toxic,
It’s the same, can never be trusted.

Thus says my karma, laugh enough and more
Over the same moment’s and thousands more
Now what I bore, me for myself
The rain, the drain, and young-not-young night
It’s all same, they can never be trusted.

As I see him writing, as I see me writing
and the people around talking
What keeps us going
The same rain and drain and the pilots of heart
It’s the same lolling again, can never be trusted

Now as I feel some flees fighting a fight
Should I undress myself to tube lights
Well the rain that’s draining
And I am still laughing
They can never be trusted

***** 2 ****The Gangtok Groove 
How narrow to music ? 
Until coffee and cocktails ? 
Until my shallow eyes to sing ?

How far with Groove inside, when 
Sip to sing, when lip to string ? 
The Gangtok Groove
All about mock-tails for heart dancers

I am finally free, the base and music speak ?
The Gangtok Groove, for us and travellers ?
For how long to hit the Base ?, This,
The Gangtok Groove, music for heat beaters


Thanks for reading 🙂   

This is Karan, an educator and a learner based in the Himalayas.