Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Eight Year Old Bespectacled Guy and Gross National Happiness

This is a repost, a little revamp done though. 

I have this cute little brother-my first cousin who wears glasses at the early age of eight and is in elementary school. He used to come home after school with his class work half done every time. We wondered at this stupidity of his and he was showered with bullets of scolds every time from his mom-my aunt. We never understood this predicament of his until he complained of sore eyes. He was taken to the ophthalmologist and later found that he needed glasses much to our amazement!

He looks so cute with his glasses on. He looks not through it but literarily from above it. This is the fourth pair of glasses in a year and a half’s time. Tired of getting him a new pair of glasses every time he breaks it, the kind ophthalmologist gave him a huge pair of glasses this time, absolutely for free. This one has lasted for quite a while now and my aunt is happy. Friends at school call him Amitabh Bachhan for his large glasses. My friend calls him Donald Duck and lately I see him the replica of Donald Duck: D. 

The last time I saw him was on a stool sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed though with his glasses on and was in a meditation posture as if in deep contemplation. It was stark indigestible. I asked him what he was doing. He answered that he is meditating as taught in school.

What does this eight year old know about meditation? Probably he was taught at school, part of the Royal Government of Bhutan’s policy of inculcating GNH in Bhutan. While I become a GNH graduate, this brother of mine sure is a GNH child.:P. I feel more like being back to Hitler's Germany (I haven’t been there, but I feel like that). Nazism was inculcated in school’s text books and compulsorily made as the state religion.
GNH in Bhutan has also become more or less of that sort.

GNH is the sexiest concept now, its sustainability a big question though. Starting from my assignments, presentations, research works and now this article, my life is revolved around this infamous concept. I did the most daring thing (like blood donation) which I never thought I would do one day in the name of GNH. Every where I turn it is this concept that brags me constantly

Image via Google

Every day, media reports the rampant rise of thefts, suicides, rape, burglaries, frauds, bans after bans...and the recent one, you would be jailed in Bhutan if caught smoking without a license. Interestingly, a caricature in a local newspaper showed that if you befriend an alcoholic you remain as who you are, but if you befriend a smoker than you become a criminal’s friend because smoking in Bhutan is a crime!  And of all the people, a monk was caught in possession of tobacco, hilarious!! and everyone knows what happened to that poor monk. sigh!

The mere mention of this concept makes me nauseous yet I have no alternative. It is the grace for my meals. Will my cousin become a GNH child? How well are we armed with GNH before we preach this so called concept and make it a reality? Is it a bait to attract donors since Bhutan is largely a donor-dependent country?  Or is it a Utopian concept?

Note : The thoughts expressed here are of the writers's solely and is not intented to harm anyone.


  1. nice one.....keep coming rekha..:)

  2. Thank you Sogyel for the motivation, I need it!! :)

  3. yea Donald duck lol... keep writing dear....

  4. with this thing called GNH, I sincerely feel that we risk becoming an (un)mastered priest. I feel we are preaching to others what we cannot practice ourselves.

    Nevertheless,My Thanks and respect to our beloved HM the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Because I feel this is something we as a Bhutanese people have in common irrespective of whether one is poor, rich, have, have nots, upper class, lower class, middle class, drinker, smoker, criminal, lama, gelong, doctors, engineers, sweepers, vendors, bankers, police, army, etc etc........

    Rehhha Bhaini, yours is a very thoughtful writeup.keep it up. As you can see in my writeup, I also make a point to somehow relate my writeup to GNH. My GNH concept is all about my respect and reverence to my King, Thanking him every single day for having kept us safe and at peace.

    cheers for you and keep posting.....

  5. I agree totally with you Mr. Thinley when you say how GNH keep us bonded be it the haves or the have nots, rich or the poor.And i do have my deep respect and reverence for my beloved HM, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo for his wise thoughts on propounding GNH.

    This piece of mine is a shedding of light on the Flip side of GNH and how we as a responsible individual sould understand the revolution of GNH...

    Thank you again for the comment, i appreciate that!!


  6. A democracy where 2600 voices in "Amend tobacco" group yelling for change never goes heard. A democracy where Representative of a constituency speaks what he think is best!!
    While we have crossed mountains to preach GNH to others forgetting that there are sad faces back home,

    "What happened to ur son? He is behind bar, did he steal? murder? raped? what?? He was caught carrying a cigaret.. what???"

    Are we trying to make a world record for being a tobacco free nation? Perhaps we'll surely get one for sending someone behind bar for carrying one.
    GNH started all well, clean n pure wen our beloved king started but who are this people that twisted it to their taste?
    If we don't practice... lets not preach! As simple as that. No rocket Science Involved.


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