Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The person you’re trying to call is dead (EnCore)
My mobile phone died yesterday. I took it to the undertaker (the cell-phone-man). He performed an autopsy on it, said the phone had had an IC failure (that’s internal circuit). He did an M&M (that’s mouth-to-mouth) resuscitation. The bloody thing actually woke up! Like Lazarus he was back from the dead. I couldn’t believe it. The cell-man sat there, smug as any self-righteous GNH vicar. I gave the man 500 bucks and stroked my planet-proof Samsung B2100 (yes, that’s how they pitch the phone). A call comes in. I hear nothing. My ring tone, the Beatles’ “Come Together” is quiet. There’s nobody or nothing coming together. I’m shouting and going ballistic with a dozen ‘hellos’ and there’s nothing audible.
I hang the phone in disgust and contemptuously push ‘play’ on the music button, still no dice. So I go back to the cell-man, peeved at his expertise. He opens up the body, tears every cell apart and says, “The vocal tissue is dead.” Well, bury that junket six-feet under I’m thinking.
“Well, can’t you revive it?” I prod. “That will cost you another 500 bucks” he retorts.
I tell him to keep the dung. In my mind, I’d already cremated the bloody hoodwink. The phone wasn’t the only thing that died that day. A lot of other things were dying too. For starters, my faith in my fellow-Bhutanese drivers died.Why on earth can they not drive on the designated lane? What’s with the abrupt pullovers and indicators three seconds away from a turn? And why is it, against all the equity and justice I try and execute, that women just can’t park?
But this is not finger-wagging the above. If the so called-educated lot can’t spell ‘civic’ I’m not going to belittle the roadies. It is peanuts compared to the other significant deaths, mostly that of our politicians. But before I get to those venerables I've to tap the 'Traffic police' in here. My faith in the ability of our traffic-seers is dying too. The other day, the first of the year 2010, they ticketed me above 'Druk Pizza'. Said parking on the left-side was against the law. Well, throw me in the can and flog me a thousand times! How the hell was I supposed to get that intel? Where are the signboards implying that? I ask the motorcycling boys in blue. "It was in Kuensel" is the prompt answer I get. The two managed to ruin a perfect day for me. Every dog has its day, I consoled myself and parked the car in the designated inner area.
The belief I hold in the ability of our parliamentarians to do service for the greater good is sick and is dying. Even Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity, is going broke. And the Shylocks and Kanya’s of this world (our neighborhood, to be specific) look content and kind in comparison to the toys our MPs want to play with.
It began with sitting fees (is that an anomaly or an oxymoron?). Either way they get paid. I guess that’s why they look the way they do, you see, that’s what sitting on your bum does to your face, makes you a melodramatic Bollywood villain. Then it was patangs (an accessory to the blue scarf). The item was ticked and we thought that was it. We’d all been under the impression they were necessary tools required to enable them to function more professionally. Boy! We got conned hook, line and sinker. This was just a starter, a prelude to the performance that still unfolds.
Cloak and dagger games give me nausea and inertia. But this lot was getting sluggish and obnoxious!
The orders were becoming bolder by the day. They wanted customized-signature-plates announcing the importance of the man inside the van (to what end we wonder other than vanity and the display of power and arrogance or perhaps the Hip-Hop-Crib life is what they secretly want). But that was Okayed too. Then it was yet again increasing their salary to better execute their J.O.B, as they succinctly put it.
This also gets Okayed! Next was the CDG- a virtual re-election guarantee of plenty. This was over the top and the poor man’s response was understandably harsh and apt- no one wants monopoly in this day and age (though that’s another affair).
But their list was listless. They wanted trips abroad, drivers, porters, gardeners, man-Fridays and allowances that went short of being paid for the hair, the gel, the foot-massage and the missus.
Here comes the bombshell- now they want another raise.
We are being fed the usual autopsy reports about attracting better people to do the J.O.B. Anyways; my question is this, “Just what are better people? Who are the better people and where are the better people?” If that pitch is pure than we might as well have an early election and decides who stays and who goes, rather than putting up with the current lot for another 12410 days.
One can only imagine the consequences had these proceedings gone unobserved by the media and the smallness of our community. Which reminds me, when they commanded the BBS coverage-shutdown the excuses were so poor the beggar downtown was feeling insulted.
Buddhists love to say everything is constantly dying. That’s just such a ringer! Queuing is dead. Civic sense is dead. Humility is dead. Benign landlords are dead. Public service is dead. Altruism is dead. The Good Samaritan is dead. Decency is dead. Politeness is dead. Respect is dead. Kindness is dead and serving to serve is definitely dead and the antonyms to these synonyms are alive and grunting (we get kicked and elbowing is just so passé).
Then on our National Day we see our King and his deeds. He’s walking with us, talking with us, comforting us, encouraging us, inspiring us and promising us His service in Body, Speech and Mind.
He is radiant, inspirational and He is alive. He is so alive and stirring that I feel dead. I’m so dead I’m revitalizing myself. One way to do that is contemplation, which basically lead me to note these peculiarities.
How difficult is it to make that simple connection between what our King expects from us and the things we actually do? I’m not sour. This litany is not about bitter grapes. Really, it’s quite simple. It’s been almost two years and we have had the patience to wait for our elected-representatives to sift the wheat from the chaff. When that gets dragged on and on, really, it’s hard to keep the faith. Everything that gets done seem to have its roots in individual endowment of the personal kind.
The office you hold is honorable. You are a representative of the people. You have the good fortune and the honor to actually affect change- change in the way your brethren live on a daily basis and down to future generations, including your own children. This is an opportunity to write that legacy. It’s the reason why people fondly remember, recall and emulate Milerapa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara and closer home, our Kings. None of them are hoarders or millionaires. None of them were/are rich. Their bounty is in their character and therein lays invaluable treasures which they share with equanimity.
Finally, I’d think our reps would have realized the honor and sanctity of their offices and strive to go beyond the call of duty. The blame game between your two houses certainly makes a mess of good housekeeping and home improvement. Everything begins inside the gut (the right instinct), heart (the right feeling) and the head (the right action).
If those motivations are of the selfish kind, we all suffer. Sudden deaths are a tragedy but pre-motivated murders, even more tragic.
We’ll all die one day but in the mean time, let’s try and live and live reasonably.