I launched this blog after I came to realize I was slipping into becoming one of ‘those youths of Bhutan’ characterized by our complaining, entitled, indifferent, dispassionate, unappreciating and resigned nature.

This realization, which had been unconsciously growing, came to me after a conversation with my non-religious tsa-wai-lama (root teacher) who brought up the topic of our 111th national day on December 17, 2018, and the opportunity that it offers for each one of us to reflect what our nation means to us? What ways of being and doing do we allow as acceptable by being passive? How does one show concern towards one’s country? How does love look like on a societal level? 

Photo: The Druk Wangyel Tshechu at Dochula, a festival performed by the soldiers of Royal Bhutan Army.

It is the avalanche of questions that grew from each other, that transported me straight back to the fresh set of eyes that I had after I had returned home from my 7-years study abroad in the United States. I remember with vivid recollection, the sense of hope and opportunities that I had for change. Buildings had grown in stories; Cars had multiplied and swarmed the roads; Infrastructures had improved; People wore better clothes; But it was almost immediately apparent that,

the inner lives of people had become poorer and expendable. 

To combat against this decline into the poverty of inner lives, I, under the guidance and mentorship of my uncle, Dorji Wangchuk built a café from the ground up which took about eight months, lovingly named Café Luna after one of my uncle’s Tibetan Mastiff. 

Photo: Sawing wooden planks to built the walls of Café Luna during its early days
Photo: My brief job as a barista at Café Luna after we were done with the construction

As the café was being built, I finally decided to get serious with music in whatever time I could spare because I truly believe, where words will fail, music and poetry will bridge that gap. Under the musical alias, Bardo, I started performing solo acoustic gigs at Mojo Park and Namgay Heritage, eventually securing a contract with Druk Hotel. I am also working towards developing a full album titled ‘Limbo’. Meanwhile I have managed to write, produce, mix and release two tracks, out of which my cousin (who is also a rising artist) helped produce a music video for one of the tracks. 

Photo:  Album art for Limbo, a genre-cutting contemporary experimental album

Recently, I’ve joined Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD), which will serve as a more direct platform to apply my undergraduate training in Political Science. Professionally, I was drawn to BCMD for their work they do in civic education, active citizenship and public discourse; Personally, I will be able to do my part in deepening our democracy which remains at an infantile stage. 

May this blog become a platform of openness and honesty in a journey through this tumultuous times; May it transform chaos into meaning, indifference into passion; a heart of stone into one whose heart is on fire!