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Monday, February 21, 2011

A Solo Celebration

Barely 6 hours from the grand celebration day, over thousand Bhutanese gathered around the clock tower square yesterday to witness their favorite movie stars and singers rehearse for what was to come the following day.

The audience did not care about the chilling air that cut through their wears and thermals, they were already in the celebration spree.

The tiny capital of the Himalayan kingdom was preparing to celebrate the 31st birthday of their beloved king. His Majesty, the fifth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Khesar Namgayl Wangchuck, popularly known as the people's king. The huge poster of the king glowed behind, performers drew the crowd to cheer them up and as they began sing a song for the King, one could easily held his head high and utter, " I am proud to be a part of this."

While the thought caught me, I was thinking of the many Bhutanese away from home. Many would be cherishing memories from their school as students when every school in the Thimphu valley wanted their students to perfect the march and the song.

Perfect timing! I can hear a kid sing, " Druk Tseden Kipi Gyel Khab Na..far at a distance!

This was the song we used to memorize towards the end of a year. We would look forward to show that we were the best ones and as soon as the march got over, scatter around the Changlimithang ground to witness the cultural program.

But then, it used to be for His Majesty, the fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Although we never got to see him on his birthday. We used to hear he is celebrating the day with students in the far east. And I used to wonder, if he would be cutting a big cake for them. Never mind, as children that used to be the most happening day for us. We would plan a small treat with friends, just walk around the town till night fall. We did not have worry about wearing the school dress and roaming neither worry about parents scolding why are late. They used to be out as well.

It was the time when all Thimphuians used to come out in the streets, simply to walk or gather around the same clock tower square and witness familiar cultural show. Another attraction were the fair that used to excite most of us. The giant wheel was the deadliest of all machines there. But brave me, I frequented it but now when I think, I wonder.

School got over, and so did the chance to march again. Although I wish, I could be part of the rally again, it has all come to a stop.

If I were still in school today, I would have dressed myself smart, and reached the Changlimithang ground early and would have marched in my finest feat. I would not have woken late and lying down on the bed listening to the celebration from home. I can hear the thud of the celebration cuddled up in my bed and wonder, " What did I miss today?"

Long Live Our King, " And thank you for the cake that you sent to office Pre-Losar."

You indeed are the " People's King". All I can do for now is pray that many hearts sing and slide the memories of it, like I did today.


  1. Long Live The king....the line where u imagined HM cutting the big cake in far east was awesome...it was beautiful..i used to think Why HM celebrates only in west...when i was a kid studying in east,,,:)

  2. Thank you Sogyel..I am curious where HM went then..:-)