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RAKSHA BANDHAN – A celebration and jubilation of Love between brothers and sisters

God is the Father of us all and so we are brothers and sisters. On the sacred occasion of Raksha Bandhan, I regard all females of all ages and lands as our sisters and all males as our brothers. Even our students and spouses today soar to the status of brothers and sisters. Down the years of my experience, I have always observed men and women as symbols of love, protection and service for each other, transcending our narrow domestic walls such as caste, creed, colour, and, geographical boundaries etc., barring a handful of isolated cases.

 I firmly believe our sisters are endowed with such divine powers that by the spell of their love, good will and prayers, men gain super heights in life and perform great feats.  On the other hand, as a gesture of reciprocity, we, their brothers pledge to protect the dignity and honour of our sisters - so indispensable for our balanced and harmonious life. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the love and relationship of brothers and sisters and an occasion to renew and reaffirm our trust and good will to each other.

Our history and legends are full of records and stories, which testify that by mutual love and respect to each other, men and women can perform miracles. That’s why the adage stands: There is a woman behind the success of every man. Evidences of mythical occurrences of Raksha Bandhan had been found in the Mahabharata. Draupadi tied a strip of her silk sari on Krishna’s hand so as to protect him from bleeding out of battlefield wounds. Krishna thereby declared Draupadi as his sister and promised to be her protector. That was the start of this festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’.

 According to some texts, Yama the God of Death, and his sister Yamuna, observed the Rakhi Bandhan ritual. Yamuna had tied a rakhi on Lord Yama’s wrist and blessed him with immortality. Yama was so moved by the love he received that he declared that if any sister tied a rakhi on her brother’s wrist, he would gain immortality and she would be protected by him. It is believed that the Rakhi possesses some mystical powers that bring about fortunes when it is tied with faith and devotion.
‘Raksha Bandhan’, literally ‘a knot of protection’ is a rich practice triggers a surge of emotion in me to celebrate the auspicious occasion. This humble write-up is my tribute to the wonderful day, 7 August, 2017.

 The celebration is embellished and enlivened with colourful sacred threads on the wrists of brothers and sisters, besides music, exchange of hugs, presenting gifts to each other, sharing sweets and delicacies and other gestures of love and good will to each other.  Sisters tie colourful sacred threads on the brothers’ wrists with prayer and good will for their brothers’ safe, healthy and prosperous life. And, brothers follow suit by pledging the protection, safety, honour and dignity of the sisters. On this great day, I submit my prayer and good will for the health, happiness, prosperity and dignified lives of our sisters in all lands, and pledge to extend my humble hands in their needs and services. On this auspicious occasion, I remember hosts of sisters, whose selfless and compassionate love and good will ennobled me and made a difference in my life. The sweet memories of the divine sisters’ love are today more nourishing and more uplifting than ever before.

Among hundreds, here I mention a few names whose love, support and services nourished my existence and their loving memories still provides me strength and inspiration: Marry Campbell, California, a stranger in whose kindness and gentility I felt sublimated. Miss Jean Mc Neil, Leicester, England, every morning for two years reenergized me with her sisterly love and affection. I still cherish the memory of the love-laden dinner she had offered at her house at Tsebar, Bhutan. Ms. Tessa Goldsmith, England, is no more, but her love still resides in me feeding my soul. I remember Jechhen Langzom, a student of Class Six, who had carried a bundle of mustard green taking several hours’ of arduous walk from Dungmin to Tsebar to express her love and devotion to her teacher. The memory of the splendid meal that was cooked and served by Cheten Zangmo, on my final departure from Tsebar Primary School to Nangkor still exhilarates me. It was one of the finest meals I have ever had, for it was an expression of profound love and devotion of a student to a teacher. Besides,  Madam Yanki Dem, Principal, Nangkor Higher Secondary School in 1999, invited all the teachers of the school to her house on an occasion, to serve dinner with her compassionate hands in profound love and good will. The memory of the dinner still re-energizes me. I cannot forget Madam Karma Choki (1997), who so generously prepared delicious snacks for all the staff of the school for several months and served us as a gesture of her good will and support to the school family in our needs.

 I only wish and pray that we become worthy brothers of such noble sisters. The Rakhi celebration reminds me of my dear sister Tshering Pem, CHPC, who at her own initiative along with her husband Ugyen Needup carried me in their own vehicle to the best surgeon in Thimphu, Dr. Lotay, during my sickness in 2011.To me such sisters’ love is the direct touch of God. I remember how engineer Madam Karma Palden and Principal Madam Deki Choden extended their kind hands and rehabilitated me and my family in 2008 at Chukha, when we were devastated at the loss our house and a truck of luggage. Instances such as these are plenty when n I received loving support and services of our sisters. The stories may make a voluminous book. The long list of such sisters includes Madam Kencho Lham, Madam Rita Chhetri, Madam Deki Peldon, Madam Dawa Pem, Madam Karma Wangmo, Madam Nima Yangzom, Madam Dawa Choden, Champa Keshi, Sumitra Barman, Purnima Paul, Karma Yangden, Sabina Nepal, Dechen Choki, and many more. I wish I could write to all of them on this auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan. I am so much grateful to them. I remember the unfathomable love of our dear students, whose faces today shine before my eyes.

May the spirit of the celebration of Raksha Bandhan strengthen the bond of our love and kinship between brothers and sisters, beyond man-made narrow domestic walls!

Santosh Chowdhury
Royal Govt. Of Bhutan




(A Highly Inspiring and Motivating Life Story of Cheten Zangmo, Tsebar, Pemagatshel)

The wondrous life story of Mrs Cheten Zangmo might be an inspiration to many, as it is to me. The great lesson I have learned from her life is we can change anybody’s life through our sincere prayers, wishes and earnest desire coupled with the person’s cooperation. I had desperately wanted to see the little girl, Cheten Zangmo, in a noble position in her life and it did happen. This is the wonder of the mystery of mind.  Her entire life story could be filmed into a good movie. The story is thought-provoking and insight-giving.


My dear students, brothers and sisters and friends of Bhutan, As I along with forty nine of our Indian brothers and sisters have been granted privilege by the Ministry of Education, Royal Government of Bhutan, to be a guest at the Golden Jubilee celebration of the historical Indo-Bhutan Friendship in Thimphu on the auspicious occasion of Bhutanese Teachers’ Day, Wednesday 2 May2018, I would like to request you all who are in and around Thimphu to give me an opportunity to meet you by your presence at the august occasion. I will feel renewed and rewarded in your loving presence and sacred touch. My family and I will reach Thimphu on April 30 and stay till May 2. The Ministry of Education has made arrangement for our accommodation but we do not know where. However, our where about can be traced through phone call to this No. 17447760 ( Dechen Wangmo, ex-student of Nangkor HSS) or at the HOTEL RIVERSIDE RECEPTION COUNTER. Let us be together at the glorious celebration of the great frien…


Dear Cheten Zangmo & Tshewang Tashi, I can’t thank you enough for your love and kindness in offering us the wonderful opportunity to meet you yesterday, Saturday 4 January 2017, on your way back to S/Jongkhar. Your sense of gratefulness signals your further rise in life. Lord Anukul Chandra said: If you want to be great, learn how to be grateful. Cicero said: Gratitude is not only the greatest of all the virtues but also the mother of all the rest.


“O LORD, as I am too humble to express my gratitude to you for your incredible mercy, I prostrate before you in all humility and surrender myself to your feet. I am overwhelmed by your might and mercy.  You performed miracle through me and my Bhutanese student Thubten Dorji (Chanda), Pemagatshel, Eastern Bhutan. I never dreamt that you would utilize my crippled life in such a great need. I feel blessed and elevated to have been able to render my humble service to the devastated Bhutanese monk, a holy man, at Alipurduar Hospital on Wednesday and Thursday, 29 & 30 June 2016.”  


O Lord, what a blissful sight! Yonten Thinley smiles! The accident victim of 29th June 2016 at Madarihat, is bounced back to his healthy and holy life. What a wonderful gift you have bestowed upon the holy man! Myriads of prostrations before you, Father. I could learn you are always there to extend your healing touch when your children fall helpless. What can be a greater joy for me to see the monk radiating rays of his smile at me from the seat of his brother’s car, who was just a month ago lying in Alipurduar Hospital in a critical condition smeared with blood and crippled with multiple injuries.