Thursday, 5 February 2015


pic. courtesy: Google 
I was thinking what to write for today’s blog. A good friend was online who suggested that I write something about women in village. And yes, this post is about how some women never cease to smile and find ways to be happy even in the face of hardship. This is truly amazing.

Last night, a group of women accompanied by a distant relative came knocking at my place. They were returning back from a house where annual religious puja called Lhasoel (annual household supplication to their protecting deities) had taken place during the day. They came singing like happy kids do and it was a sign they are in high spirit.  

This kind of annual pujas are never short of food and drinks. It is a time when people from the villages come together and socialize. A member from each household makes it a point to attend the ceremony taking along their little contributions. Neighbour, relatives and those in special terms make it a point to go a step further and render help in organizing the puja. It is a special tradition that still exists in the villages. In the past, people sing and dance at the end of the day, to wish the family well for another year, but this has declined over the years.

So this must be what was missing yesterday because these women walked in singing and dancing.  One of them who resembled the comic character Aunty Acid (giving her take on dieting and body shape) entered singing and dancing the popular Hindi song “muqaabla.” She has a massive girth, and it was fun watching her do her best to shake her hips. “Wow, you do have talent like Prabhu Deva,” I said.

 No sooner had the first finish her singing and dancing, another woman stood up and began a Rigsar song, “chhoe Thongtse.”  She virtually croaked but was determined to complete a stanza or so. I complimented her by saying; “You should be competing in Druk Superstar.  But for today, you seem to be having cold and sore vocal cord to be deserving of any points. But, you certainly deserve a glass of ara for your effort.”

And the third one declared she must now sing a Boedra and began singing, “lopen Phapa.”  This was much better because she did not dance. It was a sign they were emboldened by the liquid-courage. Normally, they don’t even have that kind of courage. From my place these women said they are heading to another house where the same puja was held during the day.

It is not the first time; these women are found to be in good spirit. They always live happily despite their economic plight. These modest women always find time to be together often and share what little they have. Among those in the group, one is a widow and another a farmer now, after graduating as a daily wage national workforce labourer. And the third one is a home maker to a truck driver with many children. The last one is a teetotaler homemaker to a quarry-man husband. Despite her status, she finds time to be with her friends accompanying them and bearing the jarring conduct of her friends.

These women love socializing and despite hardships they never complain. They work in their gardens and weave when they don’t have anything to do in the garden. People in the village admit envying their life. Here is a group who are economically down but that had never been able to bring down the barometer of their spirit.

A local leader in a public meeting had reportedly made a remark on this. In which context was the reference made is not known but to me this is what GNH is. I always admire this kind of spirit in the face of increasing heartlessness around us. To me they represent an oasis of natural happiness in the middle of egocentric and self-centred desert.

Gyembo Namgyal
February 5, 2015 11.30 PM

This was meant for February 5, but I could not post it due to internet problem. 


  1. Hope this is being preserved and passed on as tradition!!! Nice post Sir! :)

    1. Thank you Rima. I want to see these kind of traditional values preserved at all times. These are what makes us special and different from others.