Saturday, June 21, 2014

Being a tourist in your own city // the weekend market

My daily commute to work takes me through the Centenary Farmer’s Market aka the weekend market. The market is open from Thursday till Sunday night. Vendors from throughout the region start arriving from Thursday and Friday morning. So if you want to get fresh produce you should head to the market on a Thursday evening. 
Even for two, I do the vegetable shopping from here. 

In my sixth year of residency in Thimphu, I have never bothered to look beyond the market towards the other side of the Wang chhu. 
Across the cantilever footbridge, known as the Kundeyling Baazam, on the west bank of Wang chhu is the collection of stalls and handicraft market. I was told it was part of the weekend market when I once visited it on a weekday. I was mildly disappointed to see no stalls in sight. 

The amusing fact in Bhutan is that we do not have proper etiquette on notice and direction. The shops may open and shut down anytime. 
For this matter, there’s no information on the name and opening hours of this market. So we call this market as the trinket market for our convenience though it houses clothing stalls at the right. 

It was a pleasant surprise to find a host of handicraft products like wooden bowls, mala beads, printing blocks, amulets, yak tails, prayer wheels and trinkets. There are some gems if you look further and up close. 

What fascinated me most was the trinkets; all looking tribal, vintage and priceless. I lamented for not visiting this market sooner when I needed the accessories. How come it skipped my attention when it was right under my nose?
And the interesting thing is we can bargain too. The prices are reasonable as well. Ahhhh-mazing!

I excitedly told my brother about the market and he was like: 

“Oh yeah, I’ve been there.” Completely taken aback, with eyes rolling I asked him, “Really? When? And why?” 

Him: “I was there to buy khuru.” 
So khurus are sold there too. I’m sure many of you especially men must have been there to buy khurus or even clothing. And for those of you like me, you can still go to buy accessories and other handicraft products. 

P.S: This market is one of the top tourist destinations in Thimphu in case you’re wondering. 

Have you been to this market? 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Leaving the soul ajar

 2014 is flying past the window. 

It’s already June which means we are halfway through the year. Another 6 months lie ahead for the goals and wishes to be completed. Hmnn…I think it’s that time of the year to revisit your goals. Are you doing it? 

My goal this year is to read and read more. I’m halfway through this challenge.

Other than that, work is going great. I’m pulling through. 

The days unroll like slow summer storms, warm, damp and heavy. Life has taken that slow mode where everything seems as if it has been left on its own to survive.

Being Type A personality means I like to keep things rigidly planned and organized. I like to have a sense of direction in life. And it irks me that I’m letting things to take control now. But I have also realized that sometimes things should be left as it is. 

My dreams and aspirations in life; I have left it on its own for now. And I’m happy with it. What is yours is yours and I’m rejoicing in the ways things are. 

Of late, I’m reminded that ‘Life is one time’ and I do not want to waste it on wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. More aptly the seven deadly sins. 

I don’t want to hurt anyone. Even if somebody tries to hurt me, I want to forgive them easily. Because once done then it’s done. There’s a no re-set button to life. 

Does that mean that I’m gaining spirituality? 

Because these are the times, I feel alive, relevant and happy. 
This means that I’m a work in progress. That after a while I will learn the subtle difference between that messy pause of dream and wake. 

The irrevocable balance of life and loss. That I would be able to take off that backpack of mistakes, failures, dead-end roads and regrets off my shoulder. 
That I would be able to leave my soul ajar and let the new story unfold and if possible sing an old bollyhood song. 

Just to brighten up the mood after this serious talk, I'd like to leave you with these 60 rare photos that will destroy everything you knew about the past.
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