Monday, May 24
A Day in the Paddy Field...
My dear Apa and Ama,
Sorry,I couldnt come for helping you all in this most busiest time of the year,as i have some more urgent workshop days here in Seoul.But let you keep my pie and portion of work,so that when i come back,i would do my part in gathering water to the thirsty fields.
Its 5:00pm,as i took an evening walk after a day's lecture on information technology Systems.There in my room as i opened up my notebook and peeped through my yahoo email,its my sister's letter in my inbox.It read: Dear Tashi,Glad to know that you doing good there.We have just finished with our changla(paddy transplantation) a day before.
Well i still have missed this golden opportunity of connecting with nature.I dont know how people consider and take it,but for me,it has not been just a work since childhood,but an art that can heal time and remaining connected with nature.I remember recalling days with the power tractor,the farm ferrari.Its not so difficult in learning how to plough field.I heard tales of my brother plouging fields with oxen.Now how fortunate i m having been introduced to modern mechanisation,which not only ease effort but time and money.My apa had tough times of his years gathering shingles for house construction in olden days.Similarly ama was not bad,she is really a hardworking housewife.These features and qualities in them made them a perfect couple,understanding,yet quarrelsome at times."Like minds flock together everywhere" and its been true to my belief.
Life in a Bhutanese village is really interesting and peaceful.Earlier we do not have roads.The traditional way of crossing river through the wooden logs have been very popular.The busiest times of the year in farmer's life is transplantation season(changla)watering and weeding our weeds(damo and jitogni).The paddy has been oneof the most important crop,sustaining livelihood since ancient times,although mode of farming techniques had improved quite a lot after the introduction of modern machines on bhutanese soil.
Transplantation season is one of the most beautiful time of work.The work in our fields have been hectic.Usually during changla,around 20-30 people are involved only in transplantation,while 5-6 are for the langdo(mixing and pounding of mud with water)and one ofcourse with the tractor,crushing and preparation of muddy mixture.
Young group of ladies cajole throughout the day's work while transplanting the paddy in designed columns.Now with transplanting machines,a lot chunk of working is getting reduced.
The olden days parops hire and relatives come as far from Haa to help transplantation get done.In return the rice and other necessary stuffs were given as charges and payment.There were good mode of interaction through the long journeys,work,infact every place people go,the system of gross national happiness is strong although the right term has not been coined earlier.This dependency on each other made our Bhutanese stronger,happier,bonded,secure throughout times.
It is here that i realized,this important art and work,necessity in the life of our Bhutanese farmers do not get unnoticed,so that every people out there in the city can feel the presence of our roots and forefathers where we have been brought out,while understanding and imparting this living traditions to our generations as we pass down to the younger people.
There are still cases in the world where children see cows only through nursery songs and movies and portion of urban people do not have experience of countryside as rural sites turned into skyscrappers and high tech cities.There are more cases of growing crops in the town,using pesticides and fertilizers,chemicals enough to mature and ripe fruits before season.
We still have the live of living Bhutanese Village infront of our own eyes and sure it would go down the generations depicting the way Bhutanese lived throughout centuries.