Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - 9:58 PM

How a rough ride fulfilled a sweet dream

LAST PAGE It was a thing of envy, this macho and dashing ride that boys, who were elder to us, would parade around with pride and contentment on their faces.

I was just an underage schoolboy, with a dream to own and ride a motorbike.  It fascinated me.  I wished to derive all the joys it could give and explore places on it.

But it was just a wish that seemed distant, not impossible though.

I [... Read More]

The lifestyle epidemic


A disease that can be averted or at least controlled by self- rather than health-care

COVER STORY Nawang Gyaltshen, 39, looks like any other man his age should look like.  He is not overweight, and he is yet to be 40, the age doctors recommend an adult to get their blood sugar tested for diabetes.

Nawang is a diabetic.  He was diagnosed when he was 35.  By then, he experienced symptoms like frequent urination, thirst [... Read More]

Drachu – A medicine off the mountains

IMG_0264Silajit also known as drachu in dzongkha

A resin-like substance extracted at great risk to life and limb of the sheer face of a cliff

MINERAL Several years back, while on pilgrimage in Dorjidhen (Bodh Gaya), Ap Tashi from Trashiyangtse came across a person selling a tar-like substance called silajit.

It was said to be a mineral rich substance with medicinal properties collected from a rock face in the mountains.

Among many ailments, sickness and diseases for which the substance was said to [... Read More]

A day in the life of an artist

For more than a decade, artist Pema Tshering has been following the same routine – home to work, and work to office.  But it is at work, that his imagination takes him to places as he weaves fantasies into his work.

The day starts late, around 8am, when Pema Tshering gets up and starts getting ready.  As soon as he reaches VAST, there is no time lost, as he heads off to the park located outside [... Read More]

Dealing with diabetes in the traditional way

DSC_6194Pharmacy counter at NITM

NITM Every month, the national institute of traditional medicine (NITM) in Thimphu gets about 10 diabetic patients, who come to seek traditional medication for treatment of their illness.

These patients, according to officials, are those, who have come after being diagnosed from the Thimphu referral hospital, or who are already availing traditional medication.

Dungtsho Ugyen Tenzin said the traditional medicine prescribed to the diabetic patients helped proper functioning of kidneys and pancreas. “Patients are also [... Read More]

iPhone 5 and 4G

TECH CORNER: ASK BOAZ Will my unlocked iPhone 5 support 4G in Bhutan?
-Dr. Bruce W. Bunting, Bhutan Foundation, USA

Dear Dr. Bruce,

Bhutan Telecom recently launched their 4G service in Thimphu. 4G, also known as LTE, promises speeds faster than 3G and fixed-line broadband. Different LTE networks around the world use different frequencies, also known as bands. The trick is that your phone must support the network’s frequency in order to be able to connect [... Read More]

The encounter with Long Rong

DK-Master-Revised-(dragged)-3Long Rong Demoness’ Pool

DRUKPA KUNLEY One might expect the Long Rong narrative to begin with a monumental battle. Not so.

Instead Drukpa Kunley commenced the operation with a large-scale love affair. Step one for DK was to stroll along the river (in modern Bhutan, the Puna Tsang Chu) leading to Punakha. At once, the demoness charged up to Kunley, leaping out of her pool in the river, and throwing up a huge cloud of spray.

It turns out [... Read More]

Fighting diabetes

LAST PAGE One day in March 2010, I woke up amid beeping sounds.  I was actually regaining consciousness from a head surgery.  I was told I had been unconscious for three days in the ICU room.

Dr Tashi Tenzin, neurosurgeon, has just performed an operation, as there was a blood clot in my brain.  Many still believe that it was a miracle that I recovered, but I believe it was Dr Tashi Tenzin’s expertise, [... Read More]

To Jomolhari and back


An autumnal trek to the base camp for a first ever such occasion to be held

COVER STORY The rustic nomadic life, amidst glacial lakes and the sting of fresh mountain air, can be overpowering and gives a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and inner peace.

But it can also make one long for a cosy bed, hot shower, and electricity powering up just about anything.

So after five days of walking uphill, camping out in the [... Read More]

Finger licking good philu

IMG_3590Philu tshoem

A delicacy of Soe that involves a long and elaborate preparation

FOODIf one’s headed to Soe, it’s not just snow-capped mountains, blue sheep and exotic flowers that await.  One can also expect a special culinary delight that goes by the name philu.

It’s a rare dairy product, which can be consumed fresh or in a dried form.  It’s cheese, but in a novel creamy and gooey form.

“We call it the king amongst our foodstuff,” Karma [... Read More]