DAILY JOURNAL

29th May Friday 2020

Today I got up early and did my ablution. We had Tsampa for breakfast. We turned our laptop and got a glimpse of His Holiness the Dalai Lama busy doing preliminary prayer for the online Chenredze empowerment. The actual teaching started at 8:45 am. It was the second time His Holiness did online teaching during this long lockdown. And it came as a blessing for thousands of his followers especially Tibetans all over the world. He talked about the importance of developing a compassionate heart in this fast world. He also told us about his four missions. We paid obeisance to him and listened obediently throughout the session which lasted for more than an hour. I really felt good to see him fit and fine. We are nothing without him and I used to tell this to my children so that they would forever feel grateful to him. Today was the initiation of the empowerment. He would give the main empowerment tomorrow.

After teaching, I spent most of my time reading the scriptures. Gen Minchung la group had finished reading and he came to return the manuscript. In the meantime, I finished my share and it gave me lots of achievement. Gen Sonam Gyalpo la came and I was able to submit the donations I had collected for Saka Dawa and Gompa renovation. Our block in the meantime received another manuscript from our school Gompa. I opened the manuscript and kept reading. I also let my family members join me like before. The more I read, there would be less portion for my colleagues who would be busy with their small children or their personal manuscripts which they had already started reading. Gradually some of my colleagues came one by one to take their share without any problem. I really felt great to see this cooperation and unity. I am sure with this kind of understanding, nothing is impossible in this world. We all need such kind of cooperation and willingness no matter what the task we have before us. Within a few minutes, the thick volume of the manuscript went down. Together we can and we will! Tomorrow I would have to go to gompa to return the two volumes of manuscripts read by our block. Today was a great day for me and I would sleep peacefully thinking about compassion and love for all.

28th May Thursday 2020

Today I went to McLeod Ganj to withdraw some money sent by one of my family friends. When I got the money, I bought 5 packet dalda for the butter lamp offering. Towards the afternoon, suddenly the weather got worse and there was a downpour. Thank God we were all locked inside our home. The light was erratic but there was the full water supply. My share of the manuscript was about to complete and also I had finished collecting donations from my block. I was planning to submit both tomorrow.

27th May Wednesday 2020

Today is Lhakar. Our group was to climb the small hill above TCV boy’s hostel to distribute some essential stuff for the hermits there. As planned, I got up at 6 am and unlawfully went to Mcleod to buy one score of sweet bhaglep. Faster I left, faster I returned. There were people taking their morning walks along the TCV and Mcleod stretch. There were people from all ages; some of whom had their pet dogs with. I enjoyed the cool and innocent breeze. And yes, before going, I already had a quick Chamdhu which was laid on my table by my wife Sonchoe.

Then Sonchoe, Bhuti, Paldon, and myself went to Gen Tencho’s family and together climbed the long steps to our main meeting zone, Gen Nordon’s room where all the stuff were kept. By the time, we reached there, all the other members were waiting for us. It was 7 am, the perfect time for the great climb. They distributed the packages (each more than 2 kilograms). Each of the members (11 adults) got 3 packages in our rug sacks; almost 10 kgs. Finally, we left taking home no 10 route in a straight line. Since, we were carrying huge bags on our back and mouth fully covered with a mask, it was not surprising to see the packs of dogs barking but none bit us. We had a Bluetooth speaker from which came the songs that all of us could relate to without any generation gap. It was not at all an easy task to climb that small hill overburdened with 10 kg stuff on our back. Nevertheless, climbing in small strides and the occasional rest didn’t make us feel that troublesome. Soon we reached at the main gompa. We were welcomed by the hermit leader. Then we unloaded all our stuff and we felt relieved to be able to get rid of our 10 kgs! LOL!

Then we went to visit the two stupas there. And that was pretty easy coz we all had our heavy stuff taken off by then. We even took some snaps. We also met some people; some going up and some coming down. We greeted each other. Many of us who had been to Rewalsar said that the place resembled Rewalsar. While coming down, we stopped somewhere and prayed. After our prayer, which was done by Gen Dorji la, we had our breakfast, which was already packed with us. Tenchoe and her daughter left earlier for some important work. Gradually, we started descending and passed through the boy’s hostel. I had a glimpse of my hostel and a sudden flashback of my school life appeared. I also showed my room to my daughters on the way.

At Dal lake square, the group separated. We bid each other goodbyes and thanked one another. Our neighbor Amala was shifting her room. So, without going back to my room, I stayed down there and helped them carry and load the stuff. Everything was done in almost one hour. Then I got into my room at last. I freshened up myself and took a good rest. I felt glad that half of my day went so successfully.

26th May Tuesday 2020

I got up fully relaxed and energized since I went to bed early last night. After my breakfast, I went to my block members door to door to collect donations for Saka Dawa Tsog. Gen Lhazom la served me hot butter tea and that was refreshing. It was not easy to go door to door to ask for donation especially in the morning hour but I had to because of the dateline. I was left with the other staff quarter where there were few of my colleagues. I left them for some other day.

I read some pages from the scriptures. There was a reminder from the Gompa to speed up the scripture reading and I passed the request in our block whatsapp. We had been already told that water supply would stop but for two days the supply was as good as before. We had also thought of cleaning our water tanks during that time. There were rumours that HP would extend its lockdown till 30th June. Now how reliable that news was, I had no idea. Hope the lockdown would get over and business people would go on their regular businesses.

25th May Monday 2020

Today is Monday. Early in the morning I went to attend the funeral pyre of one of my friends, whose uncle had passed away. There were two funeral pyres going on. After that, Sonchoe, Paldon and myself walked all the way from home to Gangkyi to see off bro Kunga, who was leaving to Delhi. At the entrance of Gangkyi CTA, we were screened by two of the Security staff. They noted our temperature and details. We had a small tour of Kunga’s room. We had a cup of tea and got enough good rest down there. Then we see off him and his friend Tashi Thakchoe la was there too. We came back fully exhausted.

In the afternoon, I went with Gen Tenchoe la to pack Tsampa and tea hampers to be distributed among hermits in few days. Formerly, I was not in their list but later I joined this drive (inited by three households) to distribute daily essentials to hermits. I thought to myself: why not join in this noble deed! In gen Nordon’s house, we assembled and noted more items in the gift hamper over a hot cup of tea, which was served by the host family. They had finally decided to do the remaining shopping tomorrow.

I also read holy scriptures whenever time permitted. Some of my floor members came to get more scriptures. Everything was going well. I missed my grocery shopping at school kitchen. Luckily Bhuti and Yangdon had done the necessary shopping in our absence. In the meantime, Kunga had safely reached home and he had also posted one photo of himself with Amala and Acha. He had also shared a post on his Facebook, explaining in details what happened throughout his journey for those who also had a travel plan from Dharamsala in the coming days. I went to sleep earlier than usual because I was fully exhausted.

24th May Sunday 2020

Today is the second day of Saka Dawa. My first day went so well. As I had been told by my Welfare Chairperson yesterday, I got up early, had Chamdu, and went straight to the school temple. I went through the school basketball ground. It was all quiet and had a deserted look. Actually by this time there used to be lots of sounds from happy children pre lockdown days. It gave me a sad feeling. Nevertheless, I went to the temple in long strides. There were some of our members taking rounds. I didn’t fail to join them.

When everybody assembled, we were told to take around 38 manuscripts to the hermits. We left the temple,; each holding one holy script on the shoulder and moved in line led by our Philosopher teacher and Director while strictly maintaining proper social distancing. It was my first time (after 30 years) climbing the small hill above our boy’s hostel. I saw my L block, where I had spent a year during class XI. So many memories of my school days popped up in my mind. The place was so peaceful, despite the hot scorching sun above us, the cool innocent breeze wiped out all our sweats and the typical smell and the sound of the forest accompanied us throughout our walk up to the hermits’ place. There were around 38 hermits staying around TCV hill. From the leader, we came to know that few of them were sick and few had vision problems. Nevertheless, accompanied by this genla, we went door to door and gave the holy script and tea hamper. I got to see all the hermits place and it was an ideal place for ascetic life and meditation because of the quietness and peacefulness. I also got to know the estate of TCV organization.

By the time we reached the temple after distributing the holy scripts, it was around 12 already. We were welcomed with tea by the welfare and cultural committee members. After that, I came back with Gen Tenchoe carrying our share of holy scriptures to be distributed among our block members. Gen Tenchoe la helped me distribute these holy scriptures to the four floors. I took a good rest at home.

23rd May Saturday 2020 (SAKA DAWA)

Today is Saka Dawa, the holy month of Buddhist when everything; both positive and negative deeds doubles. Buddhists all over the world observe this month very auspicious because it is the month when 3 important events of Lord Buddha’s life occurred i.e. his birth, his Buddhahood, and finally his death. After breakfast, we had our usual prayer. I prayed and solemnly offered my pledge to be better than yesterday.

The sun was shining brightly which reminded us of our hot summer’s day. So, Sonchoe and Bhuti built a makeshift sunshade just outside our home. It turned out so welcoming that my three daughters remained there till we called them for lunch. They all kept themselves busy with their own online classes while nursing their own cup of hot water. While they were outside, I opened up my holy scripture (Gay Tongpa) as promised earlier and started reading it. I read it continuously for an hour and reached only page number 50 of the holy manuscript. I took a break and did some stretching because of this long lotus position. After that, I tried for the second round; another 50 pages. The whole manuscript was a series of dialogues between Buddha and his disciples. Wow! Learning was taking place through dialogue and questioning in Buddha’s time. It never used to be boring. Buddha also believed like many great philosophers who proposed this system of teaching. Although, I could not understand much what I was reading, yet I enjoyed each and every moment imagining myself in the midst of their conversation. And on top of this, I was at least uttering all the holy and precious words from my mouth on this auspicious day! What more can I ask!

After completing my two rounds of 50 pages each, I started preparing lunch which was the famous rice and dal. It turned out yummy. We all gladly had that along with salad and chips. Chips blended well with rice and dal and that’s what we did! I went for the third round. Unfortunately, my stomach was full and I could not proceed beyond 25 pages and hence I stopped it for today. The first day of this holy month went satisfactorily and as per I had planned.

22nd May Friday 2020

Today is Friday. I got up late in spite of the good summer sun which would appear early in the morning. We had a late breakfast because we had prepared Rajma and Tingmo, which was considered a heavy meal. Whenever we had such late breakfast, it used to be a heavy meal and we treated it was a brunch. In fact during this lockdown, there was total chaos in our regular mealtime. And I am sure this is true for most of the households.

Tomorrow is the first day of our holy month, Saka Dawa. I had already planned to read the holy script. I also decided to cultivate as many positive deeds as I could and drive away some of my negativity. If not for this lockdown, there would be mass scripture reading in our school. I am sure everybody would be reading the holy scriptures in their respective houses. These days, every day I used to interact with at least a few of my students and it feels good. I am just waiting to start this Saka Dawa with positivity.

21st May Thursday 2020

Today is Thursday. We are left with just two days for our holy Saka Dawa, an auspicious Buddhist month when we quit eating meat and cultivate as many Nobel deeds as we can. Just a few days back, I had thought of having Mutton curry before the month of Saka Dawa began. So, I bought a kilo of mutton from the nearby shop and fulfilled my long wish. Throughout this long lockdown, we just had chicken meal twice and rest we had a vegetarian dish and I felt great! Not just myself but my entire family members. So, today Banta hai Mutton Curry!

After our daily routine, I checked the youtube video recipe for Mutton curry. I decided to serve my family a finger-licking mutton curry and so I started my long process. My wife and daughters were busy in their own work in the bedroom. I marinated the chopped mutton and kept aside a handsome portion for the hungry dogs around. In the meantime, I followed each and every step shown in the video. The whole process took a little more than an hour! And finally, it was right there on our table. The aroma of the mutton curry filled my entire room and everybody was eagerly waiting for this. To my satisfaction, everybody enjoyed it. The dish which took me more than an hour was gone in a few minutes. We ate to the last scoop, not even sparing the last drop from the pressure cooker. Just felt great and this would be our last Non-veg dish pre-Saka Dawa. Not only us, but even the dogs also got their mutton and rice cooked especially for them alongside.

In the afternoon, I prepared one video lesson on “Types of Clauses”. The video turned out well and I felt satisfied after editing the video. This time Yangdon helped me. She had to remain before the camera for more than half an hour and silently absorbing my tantrum. My Paldon got so used to my tantrum and impatience that she used to turn a dear ear to all the things I used to say during the recording. I must thank them.

20th May Wednesday 2020

Today is Lhakar. We had Tsampa for breakfast. After that, Gen Ngodup and I worked on video editing. It took almost an hour. In the meantime, I sent my previous video to Sherig. Sonchoe and Bhuti washed the big floor mattress in our bathroom. We had veg momo for lunch and it was yum. I had been busy interacting with my students in WhatsApp and I felt great interacting with them. Students were submitting their writing assignment I had given in google classroom. I went through each and every student’s work. I took a hot shower in the afternoon. I prepared my lesson for tomorrow.

19th May Tuesday 2020

Today is the second day of Lockdown 4.0. It seemed there was a bit leniency around because I could hear more sounds coming from the road below. Despite that, Sonchoe stayed home and didn’t go to the clinic. In the afternoon, I recorded one video lesson on Clauses and in the evening I edited it.

18th May Monday 2020

Today is Monday and is the first day of Lockdown 4.0. Sonchoe didn’t go to the clinic on my advice. I told her to quit going till 31st May when the actual lockdown would open officially. Since last night, there were different rules and regulations regarding Lockdown 4.0 and states had been told to decide their own red, orange, and green zones. Here in Dharamsala, the essential shops remained open till 2 pm. One of the shop keepers said that all shops would be opened from tomorrow till 5 pm. Today I didn’t go to buy anything from our school kitchen. We had enough food and then we could buy from the shops next to our block. One good news was that His Holiness would give online teaching for two days i.e. 30th and 31st May.

I had received some assignments from my students. I really felt good to see all of them doing their best and keeping in touch with their subjects in their own capacity. I didn’t teach anything in Whatsapp group I had created. I just share and advise them occasionally. I really wonder how the exit phase would be from 31st May!

The weather was somewhat cloudy! I could hear sounds from vehicles playing up and down.

17th May Sunday 2020

Today is Sunday and there was no such joy and happiness that we used to have every Sunday pre quarantine days. It seemed there was only one day in the whole week and that is Sunday. Oh yes, Monday: and that is because we would get our grocery shopping done from our school kitchen. Except for this, all other days were the same for the time being, whether it was Sunday or Monday, all we used to do was to stay indoor. This morning, I watched His Holiness’ live teaching and it was such a blessing and soothing balm for all those who were a bit worried about this pandemic. He told us to be calm but take every precaution and worrying would not solve the problem we are facing at the moment.

The sun was not that hot, despite that, it was right there in the sky. We had channa and tingmo for breakfast. These days, mealtime was coming very fast, it looked. We are lucky to be enjoying our meals on time. Sadly or unfortunately, there were still people especially the migrants facing problems heading back to their villages. Somehow, it seemed they were determined to return to their home villages despite the government’s request to stay wherever they were! They too had their own stories and it was difficult to judge who was right or who was wrong. I could truly feel how difficult it was for those on the helms to run the country. I only wish for a smooth transition everywhere.

In the meantime, the number of YouTubers had increased drastically during this lockdown period. I watched many of the young Tibetan vloggers. Some of them had very good viewership and good content too. They had also encouraged many young ones to start their own vlogs, which would be an ideal platform to learn by doing.

Today is the last day of Lockdown 3.0. As announced earlier by the PM about Lockdown 4.0, in the evening the government extended the lockdown by 2 more weeks. So, the Lockdown 4.0 would begin from tomorrow but with a little new twist. The central government had given the onus to the respective state governments. One thing was sure, all the schools, colleges and universities would remain closed until further notice.

16th May Saturday 2020

Today was a sunny day. Sonam and Bhuti went to the clinic. There were few colleagues washing their mattresses outside. We had already done the washing. In the morning, there was His Holiness live cast which I watched. I felt great seeing him fit and healthy and felt great to hear his teaching after a long time. Millions have watched him online. Although it was less than an hour it came as a blessing for many. He would continue tomorrow same time. Towards the afternoon, I helped genla till Forsyth ganj and back. There were quite a number of people and vehicles on the road. I recorded one video lesson and sent it.

15th May Friday 2020

Today is Friday. Everything went as usual. In the morning while we were doing our daily prayer, my brother called and gave us chicken. We made the chicken for lunch and it was quite a heavy lunch especially when we didn’t have much strenuous work. As usual, I went to receive Sonchoe who had left clinic around 1:30 pm.

14th May 2020

Sonam went to the clinic on foot because there were people going up and down in the morning. So, I stayed back with the children. Nimdol had given us her homemade bread when I was in my bed. We had her bread and it was soft and yum. After our daily routine, I recorded one lesson from the Moments textbook and sent it to sherig for uploading. At around 1 pm, I went to receive Sonam as usual. I had a busy day interacting with my students regarding my google classroom and WhatsApp group.

The weather was not good. It was cold and wet. Gen Sonam Gyalpo la came to give me the enzyme sent to me by Gen TP la. It was to be used to wash fruits and vegetables.

13th May 2020

I got up and dropped Sonchoe till Mcleod. The weather was not good. Guru came and had brought one fresh TCV bread which we all completed during tea time. We also got Sontsok of Gen Dhargyal la’s mom. The day went as usual.

12th May Tuesday 2020

Today is the 49th day since the passing of Gen Dhargyal la’s mother. Around 10:30 a.m., I went to elderly people’s homes with Gyats. When we reached there, there were already a few people preparing the sontsok. As soon as we reached there, the volunteers served us hot tea and snacks. Gradually, one by one, others poured in. Everybody lent their hand and within one ho, everything was ready. They said that they would distribute the sontsog the next day. We had lunch arranged by Gen la. Suddenly, there was downpour but many of us braved the rain and kept sitting outside. The downpour grew stronger that finally made us take refuge in all the corners. The rain finally ceased and we all started returning to our respective rooms.

I could not go and fetch Sonchoe. She came by herself. Back home I was asked by our Covid-19 committee to send one representative to cut wood. I could not arrange one because of some miscommunication. Nevertheless, everything had gone well.

11th May Monday 2020

Today is Monday and it was a grocery shopping day for the staff members. After having my breakfast, I went up and got the token number 64. Although, the number was high yet the line used to go very fast. So, I waited there, killing my time joining the never-ending discussions being carried out in small clusters everywhere. I didn’t know how time went by because my turn came. I went towards the counter and narrated all my items, which they put accordingly in my shopping bag. Within a few minutes, everything I wanted, was in my bag! Wow! I also ran short of 100 bucks, which luckily NC gave. She used to be very generous for a long time back and even today she was the same generous woman!

Gen Phuntsok la, Head Office gave us online training on how to start a google classroom. There were 6 or 7 of us on google meet. Principal madam was also in attendance. The session took little more than an hour. Genla gave us a very good demonstration and by the time the tutorial was over, all of us had started creating our own google classes! Mr. Ngawang sangpo la, our Headmaster sent us the emails of all our students. So, I created my own class and sent an invitation to all my students. Although it was a bit confusing I caught up very fast just like other teachers. It would definitely help us a lot in the long run.

10th May Sunday 2020

Today is Sunday. It was raining right from the morning. So, Sonchoe didn’t go to her clinic and it was the right decision. It was the same even if it was Sunday. The weather got better but turned worse towards the evening. We remain in our home as usual.

9th May Saturday 2020

Today Sonam had to go to her clinic because she was told to go by her boss Sonam. We got up early and had early breakfast. Sonam and Bhuti left together while we three continued our daily chores. Today, I recorded one prose lesson ” A Beautiful Mind” which is about the famous scientist, Mr. Albert Einstein. After that, I sent the video to sherig and I hope they will accept this video. I made lunch and by the time I had finished, Sonam and Bhuti got home. So, we had our lunch together. It seemed that nature is giving us a sneak peek into the monsoon season because, for the last few days, we had been receiving a few drops of rain. It looks like, we are going to have a very early monsoon this year! There was no problem with passing time because I got lots of things to do and I am OK with whatever I do.

It was circulated in our whatsapp group that Gen Phuntsok would teach us how to start a google classroom and they were collecting names of teachers who are interested. I gave my name because I always wanted to learn new things because who knows, I may have to go through this someday in the future! Now that this pandemic had closed all the educational institutions and teachers were forced to go online, this google classroom would be the future teaching method for many of the schools. I felt glad about submitting my name for the crash course irrespective of whether or not I would ever have to use it here in my school.

8th May Friday 2020

Today, I was able to record my online video using OBS suggested by the Department of Education. I felt great after successfully sending my video to Sherig. Seriously, I tried different software and techniques to make my video good. In this process, my room had become a mini studio with mic, cables, green screen, laptop, mobile strewn everywhere. Nevertheless, I had learned so many things when it comes to video recording, which is a plus point.

Sonam washed the two mats we use on our bed. The weather looked good but towards the evening, it showed its true colour as it started drizzling. Luckily, come rain or shower, we would be within the four walls of our cozy home. I am sure many of the people now knew each and every corner of their rooms, the minute thing that we missed in our quest for daily struggle.

7th May Thursday 2020

I had been busy recording my lessons and interacting with the staff at Sherig. They didn’t approve my video as the print was not very clear. They requested me to use other software. Frankly speaking, there isn’t any video software I haven’t tried in this project. Nevertheless, I didn’t give up; I am forever ready to try new things and this helped me move forward; and made me come out triumphantly in the end. A good student should be always like this; dedicated and perseverance. I uploaded my video lesson on “Past Tense” on my YouTube channel. I am very satisfied with the quality of the video this time. The videos I had sent to sherig, cannot be uploaded on YouTube because it is sherig’s property.

6th May Wednesday 2020

Today with the help of Gen. Tayang la, who passed me contact numbers of class IX students, I created my class IX, English group. I was hesitant at first because I am a new teacher and didn’t know my students properly but somehow I created the group with the hope of sharing all videos I come across. I also got a good response from the students, many of whom I didn’t know at all. As soon as I have created that group, I shared all the important links, apps, videos, and information and that was not a bad beginning at least.

5th May Tuesday 2020

Today is Tuesday. I did everything as usual. Today I spent quite some time finishing my second video for sherig. Late afternoon, I was able to send the video but again I had to re-edit my video. I did that too and felt glad. It was a productive day after all. I also updated my personal blog here. Tomorrow is Wednesday and Lhakar. We had been advised to do an incense burning ceremony and I could not do outside. I am thinking of accompanying our neighbor Amala for this incense burning ceremony. The has been a relaxation in the lockdown because the cooling time postponed from 12 to 1 pm now. I am sure, gradually states will open up their lockdown in phases. Today, I also learned so many new things like video-editing and screen recording, etc. Every day is new learning for me these days.

4th May Monday 2020

Today is Monday and there was grocery sale for the staff members from 9 a.m. Not only that, Ven. Lama Lobsang la distributed tsampa to all the staff members of TCV school free of cost. He had done this free distribution around Dharamsala earlier. Each of us got 2 kgs of Tsampa. Thank you so much. This came like a timely rain for the dry plants because most of us had exhausted our Tsampa stock.

The whole day, I was fiddling with my laptop and trying various screen recorder apps. I learned so many new things! Wow!

3rd May Sunday 2020

Today is Sunday and yet there was no difference at all! These days, as I had said earlier, every day is Sunday. I did the recording of my lesson. In fact, it was very difficult to do online teaching. We had been doing teaching with live students all these years and suddenly, teaching before the camera with no one student was quite strange. Nevertheless, every day, I have been improving.

2nd May Saturday 2020

Today is Saturday and some of us had been asked by the Department of Education to send our online teaching videos on 3rd May. As directed, I had been busy preparing my lessons and video. Gen Tenzin Ngodup la also came and we started shooting our lessons. We didn’t know how time passed because it was a very tedious and time-consuming thing recording and re-recording. In the end, I was able to come up with one video thankfully! I really started appreciating those teachers who had been uploading one video every day. I could feel how much effort they might have put in this process.

1st May Friday 2020

Today is World Labour Day, which used to be a holiday for the labours around the world but now all the labours were on holiday way before their labour day!

30th April Thursday 2020

Today is the last day of April month. I can’t believe we had been home all April! Nobody had ever thought that this tiny virus could shake this great world like this!

29th April Wednesday (14th Day of Lockdown-02)

Today is Lhakar. Early morning Sonchoe had offered incense. Bhuti and Sonchoe left for a morning walk on the pretense of doing grocery shopping because it was already 8 o’clock when the relieving time for morning walk ceased. When they returned, we had our breakfast which was Amdo Baglep and omelette.

The weather was not good. It seemed we would directly enter monsoon season after our long winter season. Nobody was out on our courtyard, unlike other days which was great for our eyes. Today I heard the news of Bollywood actor Irfan Khan’s unprecedented death at Ambani hospital, Mumbai. There were a tribute and special coverage on the deceased celebrity on all the national television channels and even BBC channel. It was sure; he was a great actor whose story was one of the rags to riches stories.

 28th April Tuesday (13th Day of Lockdown-2)

Today, Sonam and Bhuti went for early morning walk towards Naddi as the Kangra SP had allowed jockers to walk. When they came back, we had Tsampa. Since two days back, I have been trying to do Yangdon’s online RC extension but the server was not working. Since, Yangdon’s last date falls tomorrow, I went to Mcleod on my scooty. I was lucky enough to be escorted by the lady in the Welfare office. She just did everything within a few minutes.

After that I went to TMAI, Mcleod to buy herbal tea and lotion asked by Sonchoe. Unfortunately, the TMAI shop was closed. So, I came back home. Today I heard the news of the untimely demise of my friend’s brother, who was a teacher. I was shocked. At once, I sent a condolence message to her and her bereft family. Death is really uncertain.

27th April Monday 2020 (12th Day of Lock-2)

I got up early because today we would be having grocery sales for the staff members. After having my breakfast and a quick prayer, I went to the school kitchen where the sale was held. It was drizzling and my colleagues had braved the drizzle to buy their weekly groceries. I got my token no 48. When I got my token, the person who had 20 number was at the counter buying his.

I spent my time chatting with one Amala and her friend. we talked about parenting. Our topic went from daily household chores to CBSE exam. Soon, my turn came. I bought whatever I saw in front without letting the next person wait much.

I washed my face and hand when I got home. Today, I uploaded one video lesson on Tenses. I used both Tibetan and English, unlike the previous videos where I used only English.

26th April Sunday 2020 (12th Day of Lockdown-02)

Today is Sunday and there was no feeling of ecstasy because every day is Sunday during these lockdowns. I didn’t upload any videos today but I worked on preparing my next lesson on Tenses. So, I spent most of the time making a presentation using ppt. Nevertheless, I was able to carry all the daily routine without any problem.

25th April Saturday 2020 (11th Day of Lockdown-02)

Today is Saturday. I didn’t upload any videos. My day went as usual. I was able to carry all the daily routine without any problem.

 

24th April Friday 2020 (10th Day of Lockdown-2)

Today is Friday and I went to empty my kitchen waste. There are some cows waiting for me. This kitchen waste came as a blessing for these hungry cows. On the way through this narrow lane with trees on either side, monkeys were teasing me with their queer sounds, which used to be normal behavior of these mischievous monkeys. Had they come across a minor, these monkeys would have snatched the bucket and given few hard slaps on the minor’s face, whose marks would remain for a few months. That is the reason why we, inmates of this resident prefer sending grown-up members to do the weekly trash unloading.

Before the day ended, I was able to upload one more video lesson. My lesson was on ” Text Structure”. Unlike the previous time when I sought the help of my daughter, these days I do all the shooting and editing myself and this makes whole lots of difference, I mean in terms of satisfaction and self-achievement. Gen Jampa Ngawang la from Suja helped me download “Handbrake”, free software to reduce the size of videos. With his help, I was able to reduce 2.45 GB video to 25.4 MB video, which made it very easy for me to upload on Youtube. As of now, I have 5 videos on my channel and I hope these videos are helping my students.

In the evening, I joined Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche in his daily prayer for this pandemic. Like yesterday, I could not arrange the text. Nevertheless, I felt blessed and holy just over the fact that Rinpoche is sitting right before me, of course in my tablet!

23rd April Thursday 2020 (9th Day of Lock-2)

Today was like any other day. I got up and was able to carry on my daily routine successfully. The day broke up nicely with my surroundings scenery looking crystal clear. I went to Dal Lake to empty my dustbin. I enjoyed the walk up to the dumping site. There were people buying their daily food items. I saw policemen doing his duty at Dal Lake and my genuine greeting came spontaneously. He also responded amicably.

Back home, I checked my three videos. I have got good views and encouraging remarks from everyone who had watched. In the afternoon I worked on my 4th video and that is Literary Devices though I was able to upload it only in the night. There are many teachers joining in this online teaching revolution and I felt great.

In the evening, I joined Gyalwa Karmapa in his prayer. I could not attend seriously because we didn’t have the prayer text. Nevertheless, I listened to his talk.

22nd April Wednesday 2020 (8th Day of Lock-2)

Happy Lhakar! I got up early today because we have a meeting at 10 am. I had Tsampa and it was yummy. After breakfast, I went to offer my friend and my condolence envelope. Genla offered me a cup of sweet tea, which I could not deny. Over a cup of tea, we talked about our well-being. I also assured my service in the coming days. As soon as I finished my cup of tea, I went straight to the staff mess, where the meeting would take place.

When I reached the staff mess, I was way too early for the meeting. So, instead of spending my time in vain, I walked up toward the school temple. I walked as fast as I could with no other reason than to give some exercise for my body. Anyways, I felt great circumambulating. I was the only one. Within a few minutes, more people especially the elders joined me. It was really a zone of peace over there and it was very quiet around.

Later on, one of my friend who was also up for the meeting came. We have not met for a very long time. So, we exchanged our greetings. And then we didn’t know how time passed until the loud siren from the cantonment reminded us about our meeting. We had a very wonderful discussion about the careers of youngsters today. So, we went straight to the venue.

The meeting lasted for an hour. We concluded our meeting with a cup of tea, which was lovingly extended by our school kitchen. We formed covid-19 committee and created a WhatsApp group.

Today I uploaded one video on Youtube. It was my third video and it was on Reading Strategy. I got lots of appreciation and encouragement for my previous two videos on writing skills. I really felt great receiving such positive comments. I made up my mind to continue.

In the evening, as usual, I joined Gyalwa Karmapa in his prayer for covid-19 pandemic. Today is the 4th day and we recited prayers of Guru Padma Sambhawa. I really felt blessed.

21st April 2020 Tuesday ( 7th Day of Lock-2)

Today the weather was good in the morning but towards the afternoon, it got worse. We kept ourselves warm by wearing warm clothes. We really need to take care of ourselves during this lockdown as it will be difficult to go to the hospital. Anyway, we are fortunate to be hale and hearty by the grace of almighty.

After receiving positive feedback and encouraging words for my video uploaded yesterday, I have decided to make another video on the Process of Writing. So, the entire morning I have worked on it. In the afternoon, I recorded my lesson and thereafter I uploaded it on YouTube.  Day by day, more teachers are taking classes online, which is a great relief for our children. I also felt glad to be one of the teachers in this venture. I am also planning to do more videos if it really helps others.

In the evening, I joined Gyalwa Karmapa in his prayer. Today we recited the prayers of Tara. Karmapa even recited the Tara prayer in three different styles; first in Chinese style, next in laymen’s style, and finally in Monastic style. The monastic style was much faster than the two. I felt totally blessed in his presence.

20th April 2020 Monday (6th Day of Lockdown-2)

Everything went as usual. After breakfast, I went to our school kitchen to buy a tray of eggs. Today is Monday and there is a sale of vegetables and fruits for staff members. As usual, there was a long line. Fortunately, there isn’t anything I need to buy this time.

I bought two loaves of bread and came back home. Mr. Ngawang gave me a text to read and explain to him. The text was on Lord Macaulay’s Minute on Education. There were so many things I learned from the text. I explained the main gist orally in Tibetan. I felt glad I could do something for him.

After a long time, we did a video call with my younger sister Lhakpa, who is in Florida. We chat for half an hour. I felt good to see my sister and her family hale and hearty. Prior to this, we have called Acha and Amala, who is in Delhi. They both are doing great, which came as a great relief for me and my family.

Today I thought of making a video on writing skills. There were various thoughts going in my mind whether I should make a video or not; whether the video would be helpful or not; things like that. Finally, after mustering lots of courage, I started recording a video on writer’s craft as I find this topic very important. I am proud to say that I was able to upload the video. I got good responses which motivated me to make more videos in future.

In the evening at 7:30 pm, I joined Gyalwa Karmapa in his online prayer to quell covid-19 pandemic. This is the third consecutive day, I and Sonam have been praying with him. In fact there were more than 20 thousand people participating in this online prayer. I felt great!

19th April 2020  Sunday (5th Day of Lock-2)

Today is Sunday and I didn’t even know that! Well during this lockdown, every day looks like Sunday since we don’t go for our work except for household chores. People are very creative and smart; there are videos showing people having forgotten their job because of too much staying locked in! That’s height but in fact too much-staying home causes our mind to forget our regular 9 to 5 pm duty.

Today we got up late but I didn’t miss my daily yoga. We had channa and Tingmo for brunch. After that as usual, we had our family prayer and meditation, which have become an integral part of our life and there is no problem at all. After that, we got into our own business.

One of my colleagues came and sought my help in fixing the network problem. After sorting here and there for more than 45 minutes, we could not fix that problem. With a heavy heart, I had to let her go back home. She was trying to upload her teaching on YouTube.

Before she came, I was working on gathering all the links to the online-classes of our Tibetan teachers. Some of the videos were on Facebook and some on YouTube. Finally, I was able to gather almost 15 online-classes. I put all these links on one page so that it will be easier for children and parents to find the relevant class. I have thought of giving my contribution in this small way. And towards the end of the day, I was able to share it through my blog on Facebook. I really felt great!

It is true that there are so many things we can do but we are not doing, why? It is because we always either think “I can’t” or “This is of no use” and both of these are just assumptions. In recent times, people are show casting their new habits and creativity on social media and many of us are motivated and pushed us to do something new every day. So, let us stop this procrastination and do something novel and create a new project. And remember there is no “I can’t” this time.

We have 2nd prayer session by Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche at 7:30 pm. Unfortunately, there was a delay due to some problems. Finally, he came online at 8 pm and we were able to pray with him for an hour. The prayer was Sangchoe Monlam.

18th April 2020  Saturday (4th Day of Lock-2)

Today the weather looked gloomy. It had rained last night and I was not even aware of it until Sonchoe and kids told me that it rained last night. Anyways, I got up as usual and the weather no matter what didn’t stop me from getting up at my usual time. Recently, I had developed a habit of doing yoga especially Kapalbati and Anolum Milom even lying in my cozy bed. India TV does a live broadcast of Baba Ramdev. As usual, I get my daily cup of hot green tea while still lying in my bed, which is a typical blessing of having grown-ups at home. Once all these rituals are done, I did my ablutions and took a few gulps of fresh air outside my veranda.

Around 10 a.m. I went to our school kitchen to get cooking gas refilled. Nikku, who used to help deliver gas, gave me his word to deliver it tomorrow. There were few staff members buying fresh school bread. I spent a couple of minutes interacting with them and participated in their timely chit chat. Finally, I came back with two loaves of bread. There were dogs looking hungry like the ones our block has, and suddenly NC came with a basin full of food for the dogs. It was quite a tough job to control those packs, especially during feeding time. NC has been feeding those dogs and in this daily practice, she had become adept. It’s really good to see her feeding these hungry dogs. I do my part in my block too.

In the evening at 7:30 p.m. His eminence Gyalwa Karmapa appeared live as circulated in social network groups. We joined him in his special prayer to drive this covid-19 pandemic. Today he recited the Heart Sutra a few numbers of times. I really felt blessed and honored to be praying with him, although he is miles away. He would be doing the same online prayer for the next 6 days. I have decided to join him in this noble initiative.

17th April 2020 Friday  ( 3rd Day of Lock-2)

After more than 3 weeks, I went to Mcleod Ganj on my scooty to get a supporting letter from the welfare office for my daughter’s RC renewal. I left home at 8:15 a.m. when we could go out to do our necessary things. The road was empty except for few people going and coming with their faces covered with a mask. There was unusual quietness since the usual vehicular sounds and movements were lost a long time back.

While going, I was wondering how Mcleod would be. I parked my scooty in the woods and went walking. There were people with their faces covered and standing in the queue to buy their necessary items. There were policemen deployed in good number and some of them had spent the whole night patrolling the town. All the shops except the chemist and ration shops were completely closed. There were grocery sellers on the road and they had a good stock of fruits and vegetables; with people buying following proper social distancing, which is commendable.

Seeing the rich variety of fruits and vegetables, I bought some although my purpose was to get the supporting letter fast and go home even faster. With both hands occupied, I went to the welfare office and the lady was just opening the office. I helped her open the office gate because on one hand she was holding a file and on the other hand, she was holding two packets of milk for their office consumption. After sometimes, she gave me the supporting letter. The staffs there were very helpful and gave me proper directions in online RC registration. I came across two of my colleagues who had also come to get the supporting letter for online RC registration.

After that, I went to Mentsekhang, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the welfare office. My wife wanted me to buy herbal tea. I thought I could easily buy the tea but what I saw shocked me. There were long lines; people were standing in the circles meant for keeping social distancing. I stood in my line and waited patiently like others. After 45 minutes, I was called in. Unfortunately there was no herbal tea but I bought thang. I met the same colleague at Mentsekhang too.

As soon as I got my work done, I returned home. I met my neighbour on the way with a big bag on their shoulder. I helped them carry their bag and dropped at their home. I kept all the things I have brought from Mcleod on the floor away from other stuff. I went to my bathroom and washed my hands thoroughly. My wife and kids were waiting for me to join them in our daily prayer. So, I joined them in the prayer, after having a cup of herbal tea. After the prayer, I did few minutes’ meditation and thank God and almighty for all the blessings we have been receiving right now. There were so many people having a very difficult time.

Today, the weather is not good. It even drizzled in the afternoon.

16th April 2020  Thursday  ( 2nd Day of Lock-2)

I got up at 7:30 and had a Chamdur hastily. I went with gen Ngodup la towards home 20 ground. We were a bit early coz it was later decided to gather at 9. Anyways, we went there. There were other teachers already waiting for the police pick-up. We waited and waited but there was no sign of police pick-up. It seemed that the pick-up was engaged in some other work before our turn and understandably they had to reach everyone. Finally, at 10:30, the pick-up came and Dharamsala Tibetan welfare officer came. So, we put the wood and went to the graveyard. There were others who were waiting for the wood.

After unloading the wood, the pick-up went back to Handicraft block to get the body. In not more than 45 minutes, the pick-up came with the body. And in the meantime, the wood was nicely arranged. Mr. Topgyal la was the man behind all these preparations and he had been helping in this ritual for all these years. I really appreciate him for his dedication and sincerity. So, in no time, The pyre started and I offered a scarf and said a prayer.

It was around 12: 30 when we started coming back to our respective homes. Some staff were waiting for us with the incense and nectar on the road. We did our traditional cleansing and came walking into the woods. It was calm and peaceful everywhere.  When I reached home, it was 1:30. I took a bath and they served me sweet tea which gave me great relief and energy. I really felt great being able to extend my hand in this difficult time like others. The world still has lots of good people.

15th April 2020 Wednesday (1st Day of Loc-2)

Today is Lhakar and we all had Tsampa for breakfast. Everything went so well with our prayer and reading. After lunch I received a call from Gen Tengodup la about demise of Gen Tendhar la’s mother and told me to collect timber. I really felt sorry for this loss especially in this lockdown. Without wasting time, I accompanied him. There were other teachers too. We took the necessary tools and went to home 20 ground. We cut down trees already fallen. There were so many staff and students too who helped. One of Amalas served us tea and snacks too and it was a great relief. Before leaving home, we have gathered three pick-up full. We started cutting the wood at 3:10 pm and it was around 8 in the evening when we reached home. We all felt glad we did something good gathering wood for the funeral although we were all very tired.

Back home, I had a cup of tea. For dinner we didn’t have anything except for the garlic bread, which I prepared. While eating that, we had a small family meeting. There had been minor scuffle among my girls and I really had no idea what was going on. I gave them advice to be friendly. I also advise them to practice patience during this lockdown when all family members lived together. I am sure such incidents occur in almost all the households especially when all children gather during long vacation. Everything went well.

We were asked to come at 8 in the morning to load the wood in the police pick-up and take it to the graveyard. During this lockdown, police would arrange all the transportations themselves. I slept early so that I could get much earlier tomorrow.

14th April 2020 Tuesday   (last day of 21 Day Lockdown)

There is a feeling of both happiness and fear; happiness over the fact that the lockdown is ending today and the fear is over the extension of the lockdown.  All the TV channels are showing the count down for PM’s 4th national address at 10 a.m. 10 a.m. came and PM appeared fresh with his mouth partly covered with his sash.

To cut short, he announced the extension of the lockdown till 3rd May! This means the lockdown is extended by another 19 days. And it didn’t come as a big surprise for me coz this is the only step to contain the virus and prevent the community spread. The moment PM concluded his address; I put off the TV and started our daily morning programs, which was postponed owing to this PM address. I am sure there must have lots of debates and discussions on various TV channels about PM’s decision. For me, there is no problem getting lockdown but I feel sorry for those migrant workers and daily wagers. Thank God, the state governments and various groups and individuals are coming forward to help them. We are just well-wishers only.

Ok. Now we have 19 more days for the lockdown to end, we must make our own schedule so that we can utilize these days in a more productive way. Most of us are inspired and encouraged by all the videos shared by people from different walks of life. If we are not able to produce any positive outcomes after this lockdown, it will be a great loss. So, let us make the best use of this lockdown and come out triumphantly defeating at least some of the bad habits if not the virus itself.

I finished reading “The Monk who sold His Ferrari” for the second time. It is true and I have felt it myself that each time you read the same book, you get more meaning. During this second reading, I realize that I have failed to take much important wisdom from this book. It says: Stop majoring in minor things. Learn to laugh at yourself; don’t be too serious with life. Don’t race against others, race against yourself. Write your goals in your book and visit it every day. I hope to apply these wisdoms  in my own day to day life and not just keep it for reading’s sake.

13th April 2020  Monday  (20th Day of Lockdown)

Today, my elder brother came home while on his way to grocery shopping. He has brought many books he had already read for my daughters. He had a cup of tea, and like a good citizen, he left before 11 a.m. when the break time would finish.

After he left, we did all our morning routine as usual. I went grocery shopping at our school kitchen. There were many staff members standing in queue. The director was giving token number and I got my token number 71. It was a long wait since when I got the token, the person holding token number 48 was at the counter. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind the wait when I felt myself so fortunate to be able to buy grocery without any fear from the police. It was 1:30 p.m. when I finally got my line.

Tomorrow is the last day of our lockdown. And PM will be addressing the nation tomorrow at 10 a.m. All eyes on PM. Nobody knows what he is going to say tomorrow.

12th April 2020  Sunday  (19th Day of Lockdown)

Since yesterday, there has been rumour spreading about imminent extension of lockdown for at least two weeks. It was also believed that PM would address the nation once again about the new measures but as of now, he didn’t appear. People also say that this lockdown will be opened in phase-wise. So, people are coming up with two assumptions.

My day went as usual. These days I have been very consistent in my daily routine. If there is one good thing this virus has brought in my life, then it is none other than this new regime in my life. I feel great and hope to carry on post lockdown.

I am very happy to say that I have finished reading the book, “The story of my life” which is an autobiography of Helen Keller. This is the second time I am reading this book. She had struggled a lot in her life despite differently abled. I also developed deep respect for her teacher, who had shown her love and patience.

There is no problem at all in passing my time. I have my own schedule in which I have my personal time, learning, physical exercise and screen time. It has been more than 2 weeks since we didn’t eat meat. Our daily diet includes pulses, vegetables, fruits, rice and wheat. I am also getting timely sleep. So, if you chalk out your own schedule, there is no problem at all in obeying this lockdown. I really wonder why few people are having problem staying at home with their own loved ones. This is not the time to give extra burden for those people on the frontline. This lockdown is for our own safety. Why can’t people still understand this simple fact! OMG!

11th April 2020 Saturday  ( 18th Day of Lockdown)

Today is Paldon’s birthday. It was a somber birthday and she must be mentally prepared since yesterday. We all wished her on her birthday. Had it not been this lockdown, she would, I mean we would have been to Tsuglakhang for offering followed by a grand treat in some restaurants. As such, I saw her lying in her bed this morning and we didn’t wake her up until it was the right time. We had Tsampa for breakfast.

As usual, we had a family prayer, which was getting better day by day. After the prayer, we did one-minute of meditation. And then we kept ourselves busy with our own schedule. I have completed my book “Siddhartha ” by Hermann. It is a self-help book. I enjoyed reading this book.

Better than nothing, my wife has baked cake in the afternoon for my daughter. So, we all relished on the cake she has lovingly baked along with pineapple juice. Instead of ordering cake from bakery, this lockdown has taught us as simple as baking cake in our homes no matter how ridiculous the cake may turn out. For the first time in these 15 days’ of lockdown, we had zumba dance. It was fun and we have unanimously decided to put zumba dance in the list of our daily routine.

10th April 2020   Friday (17th Day of Lockdown)

Nothing new to jot down as we enter into the 16th day of lockdown. The days are passing like usual and if there is only one change in my routine is, I have started joining the yoga guru Swami Ramdev, who gives daily yoga teaching on India TV network at 8 am. He provides various exercises to naturally cure some of the common ailments as requested by TV viewers. I try my best to follow him every day.

VOT carries a great video showing some of the people from different walks of life, sharing two of the books they are presently reading. I really find this program helpful and innovative. All people in the video are reading good books and it really encourages me and others. Although, I read books but when it comes to sharing what I have read, I find it difficult. Thank you, VOT for this video.

Today I also saw my mother singing a very old song in our family whatsapp group. My mother and my eldest sister are staying in Delhi Youth hostel. It gives me great relief to see my sister taking good care of our mother, who is 85 years old. All my siblings are scattered in different places and we keep in touch in our family group. This mobile has come very handy for all the people, in general, to keep their family members connected virtually even if not in person.

9th April 2020  Thursday  ( 16th Day of Lockdown)

Today is 15th day of lockdown and we have only 6 days left, yet the number of people infected with covid-19 has been increasing rapidly. Since the maximum number of cases is found in Delhi and UP, these two governments have identified hot spot, the place where maximum number of cases and death has occurred. And from last night, these hot spots have been declared sealed and heavy security personals have been deployed. They hope to reduce the cases especially in this last phase of lockdown. In the coming days, the government may take stronger action.

My daily routine went as usual. We had three meals and prayed for those most hit by this virus. Every day, I pray my respect to all those who are on the front line. I also saw in TV, a video showing a child calling her mother who has been treating the covid-19 patient in the hospital, to come home. It has been more than a week since the mother has been working in the hospital. I also saw a husband and wife, both a nurse posted in various departments in the same hospital. Their children are left in the custody of their grannies. And many more videos are shown which made me feel very lucky and fortunate and as such, I sincerely follow the rule so that their sacrifices don’t go in vain. Amid this, there are still people who under-estimate this virus and come out on the road and street violating this rule. That is a total absence of empathy.

I am going to bed early. I hope to see a better picture tomorrow. May this virus disappear.

8th April 2020  Wednesday  ( 15h Day of Lockdown)

Today is Lhakar and as per the direction received from our Religious Department, CTA we have to do incense burning ceremony in our own locality at 9 a.m. Unfortunately, it was raining around that time this morning. Nevertheless, my wife has done her own symbolic rituals in our home in the most modest way. However, the rain ceased and the weather returned to its typical summer’s day.

After breakfast, we did our prayer as usual for a little more than half an hour. Most of the time, we used to have some bits of tu tu may may during this session. Even in this small nuclear family, we see a difference of opinions over the selection of prayers, speed, postures, etc. We are only two generations in my family and already there is a generation gap issue. I am pretty sure others are having their own issues, of course in various degrees. Recently, I came across one Indian guru sharing valuable tips on national television on how to cope with the generation gap problem during this lockdown. Everybody must be having this issue especially in a joint family and that is absolutely normal. He requested the elders to be neither strict nor lenient in dealing with the young generations. When I retrospect into my style of parenting, I found myself a bit strict when it comes to imparting soft skills to my children. And this is where; I used to face objection and their long faces. One thing is for sure, I kept worrying unnecessarily for their future.

We have a full week for the lockdown to break. Since there is a steady increase in the covid-19 cases in India and other countries, there is unofficial news of extending the lockdown further. There has been regular conference among the higher authorities in the national capital and it is believed that they would disclose the plans on 12th April, i.e. two days ahead of the lockdown deadline. There are both pros and cons in extending the lockdown further. And I am sure; the centre will take an appropriate decision.

For people like me, there is no problem even if the lockdown is extended provided that the daily rations and necessity items are at our disposal. On the other hand, many people whose only income is from the daily wages and those who are retailers; they are the ones who will be immensely hit by this extension, if ever occurs.

Anyways my prayers for the victims of this covid-19; deep salute for the people on the frontline in this war against covid-19 and best wishes for all people including my immediate and extended family. Honestly, this virus has shaken each and everybody; irrespective of cast, creed and status.

7th April 2020   Tuesday   (14th Day of Lockdown)

As you know today is World Health Day. Unlike the previous year where there used to have various health-related programs, everybody is locked inside their homes.  The weather looked gloomy today. Nevertheless, I was able to complete all my daily routines successfully.

One more thing that I want to share is; I was able to upload my song on Covid-19 last night. My daughter sang the song and we recorded the video in the middle of the night. Somehow I felt glad not because I composed this song but because I was able to keep my promise. The moment I uploaded on FB in such an odd hour of the night, I received considerable likes and comments from my FB friends.

6th April 2020  Monday  ( 13th Day of Lockdown)

Nothing seems to have changed a lot regarding the coronavirus cases in India and abroad. Unlike the previous week, people are cooperating with the government. There are fewer people breaking this lockdown, the majority of the people are law-abiding and sincerely doing their duty i.e. staying home. Few people are made to be like this. Like the typical Hindi film dialogues, “Senorita, in big cities, such small incidents happens”.

My day went, as usual, starting from the family prayer to daily journal writing in the afternoon. Our former neighbor gen Tenchoe la came with two loaves of bread. We had a good gup shup time. I read books, made food, watch TV and browse my mobile.

I really wonder how daily wagers and poor people live under this lockdown. And there isn’t I can do from my home nor do I see any of these people in our vicinity. Luckily, social network sites are filled with videos of Samaritans going out on the roads and slums to feed these people. Better still, some of them are accompanied by their children in this humanitarian drive. Such drive sends a very positive message to our tiny tots. They not only see with their own naked eyes; they actively participated in this noble act of serving the needy. Through this journal, I send my heartfelt thanks to all of them. Really this is the time to use your money and fill someone’s empty stomach. And that is the real compassion in action far more practical than thousands of sweet lip service.

I get lots of time spending my time with my family. Right from the morning, I open my eyes to the time I retire to my bed in the night, I see myself in the company of my family members; comprising of my wife and 3 girls. Most of the time, I see myself behaving no less than a strict general; from giving instructions in my usual baritone to serious scolding. I know at times, I should be less strict but I can’t help myself. After all, it is the father’s responsibility to make sure his girls are fully geared up for the outside world. This is literally their training time and as such, they may have to bear the unpleasant hardships; in order to come out as a seasoned lady, tough and strong. From time to time, I also gave them lectures. One thing that I always tell them is to be grateful for all they have and be contented. They are also reminded the skills to cope with life’s problems. These are after all what we, as a parent can pass on to our young ones so that their lives will be a little better and easier than ours. We should teach our children problem-solving skills. Young ones these days resort to unhealthy means the moment they undergo some minor ordeal; because of this some even take their precious lives at such a young age. That is because they have not got this skill or they have not been taught this skill. It is such a great loss. A little broad thinking would have saved but.

5th April 2020   Sunday  (12th Day of Lockdown)

Last night I spent lots of time working on my song. It was still no finalized but I will finish it in the coming days. After all, it is just a personal project which is my own calling from within.

Each day, the picture of Covid-19 in our country is not getting better; in fact, it is getting worse. The death toll is rising every day. Amid this entire dismal situation, once again I heard sad demise of a Tibetan girl in Dharamsala. It is overheard that she was asthma patient and lost her battle on the way to Delek hospital. Now this is the third Tibetan who had died in a short span of few weeks. The detailed report of her death is still pending. Om Mani paedme Hum.

Today we had a family prayer session in the bedroom. We all prayed for little more than half an hour and it was initiated by Sonam. We prayed for all our loved ones, the deceased and all the good selfless people everywhere.

We all are excited about the pan India blackout tonight at 9 pm. I am sure everybody will get together as one like they did once on 22nd March 2020 by paying tribute to the covid-19 warriors. It seems, now people get used to staying at home. People are sharing their daily routines on social network and some are also sharing tips on how to make the best use of this lockdown. It is high time for those who have not yet made any routine so far to chalk out plans for we still have 9 more days to go. Sooner they realize, better it is for them.

By the grace of our state government, all the necessary things; like groceries, rations, and medicines are flowing unceasingly into our respective zones. Thank you all for those who are on the frontlines monitoring all these flows.

At 9 pm, the lights in every home around my area were off. There were people coming at the door with candles and mobile lights and sincerely followed the appeal of PM. We came out from our door and lighted candles on the window sill and mobile flash on our hands. Like what PM had said earlier, we really felt connected with one another in this difficult time and that was the need of time when everybody felt cut off physically in this lockdown. I really felt happy people pay heed to PM’s call.

4th April 2020    Saturday   (11th Day of Lockdown)

My morning routine went smoothly as usual. I really feel proud of myself these days as I see some changes in my life due to this lockdown. Of course, there are many things on which I need to work on. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing.

So, after breakfast, I went to Pa Gelek’s office to collect some more sanitizers. As decided yesterday, I sanitized the back yard and the channels myself without calling anybody for help. I returned the kit right after that so that others can use it. While coming back, I bought a loaf of bread from the school kitchen.

Sonam and I cleaned our back yard which has literally become no less than a dumping ground with litters stack one over the other. I felt really good at seeing it really clean afterward.

Some of our teachers are going online and sharing their lessons on Facebook for their dear students. I really appreciate this voluntary initiative of these teachers. The situation compels us to change sometimes, which is going in the right direction. Frankly speaking, of course with due respect to all those who are sacrificing themselves in combating this deadly virus; this lockdown is a blessing in disguise form. And as such we should not fail in counting the blessings we have received directly or indirectly in our lives due to this lockdown.

I guess after a very long time, many people have got a time finally, to do thorough introspection. Great saints have reiterated that happiness does not come from outside; but inside. They have talked about minimalism. And all these come true for many. If you are wise, you will be able to see the truth in their wisdom and sooner you realize this and act on it, better it is for you in the long run, after all this small virus has made us realize how weak we are after all.

Life is to live and let others live; life is to enjoy whatever you have and always grateful for you are the product of others. The fact that you and your family are safe is all because there are people outside making sure all the necessities flow into our houses uninterrupted. This is called interdependence. Once you realize this truth, you will start respecting others on a very basic human level, and your ego and selfishness disappear. It is said that selfishness is the root cause of our suffering. Selfishness is gone, your suffering will be gone too.

Today, I just went into the notes my students have written about themselves. Although it has been just a few days I get to know them as my students, yet I can somehow visualize each one of them as I was reading their notes one by one. This mishap came out so unprecedented that I didn’t get proper time to ask for their contact numbers; which taught me a life lesson that life is uncertain and we should not leave anything for tomorrow. Had I collected their numbers, I would have easily reached out to all of them and arranged an online class. I wonder how many of them are under strict parental vigilance and how many of them go wasting this precious time.

Well, I am sure every one of them has various stories to tell when they come to class. These days, many new apps, programs are invented by people of all ages while staying lockdown. It is said that 21 days is required for one to acquire a new habit or to get rid of a habit. We will get to hear more of such inventions in the times to come.

I hope and pray everyone comes out of this lockdown completely changed; changed in a better son, daughter, father, mother, doctor, teacher, politician, etc.

Inspired by so many people on social networking sites, I have been composing a song since this lockdown started. Somehow, I was able to complete this unfinished song. Here is the lyrics.

CORONAVIRUS GO!

There is a panic in the town

Everybody’s life is slowing down.

There is a virus in the town

Its coronavirus here!

 

There is a lockdown everywhere

No more traffic on the way.

People dying everywhere

In thousands  everyday.

 

Go! Go!  Corona virus go

And let us live in peace.

No! No! Corona virus leave

You must stop this spree.

 

There are Samaritans on the road

All reaching each and every one

There are nurses and doctors there

They’re saving people’s lives!

 

There is a prayer going on

No more losing hope and faith

There are people coming out

To kick this virus fast.

 

Go! Go! Corona virus go

And let us live in peace

No! No!  Corona virus leave

You must stop this spree.

3rd April 2020  Friday         (10th Day of Lockdown)

Late night, there was a message circulating on both TV and social media that Prime Minister Mr. Modi would address the nation tomorrow morning at 9 am about this novel coronavirus. If it is true, then it is his fourth address since this lockdown and every time Mr. Modi comes, he comes with a new appeal; first with Janta curfew and then 21-day lockdown. So, everybody is worried he might extend this lockdown further.

I got up early as usual. We had our breakfast before 9 am. The TV is on and it may be on in every household in order to listen to what Mr. Modi would tell the country.  No sooner did the 9 am siren came than Mr. Modi appeared relaxed and well-composed. I could well sense so many things going in his mind as a leader of 2nd most populated nation. Whatever he is doing is for the welfare of 1.3 billion people in India.

This time, all he asked from his 1.3 billion people was 9 minutes of their time on 5th April at 9 pm.  This Sunday at 9 pm everybody would put off their lights for 9 minutes and light candles or lamps so that each and everyone locked inside, would feel they are connected as one in this time of tragedy. My family and I am with Mr. Modi and will be a part of this lovely campaign. I am sure everybody will join this campaign to fight this covid-19, which does not differentiate race, culture, religion, age, etc. The count down for the great day has begun!

Gen Sonam Gyalpo accompanied me till Pa Gelek’s office to get the sanitization kit. He called all the inmates of the white house block and told them about the sanitization drive to be done at 6 pm tonight. Male staff volunteered to help in the sanitization of our block.

As planned at 6 pm, we started sanitizing our block. Male staff of our block has already started spraying the chemicals well ahead of time. I accompanied them. Within half an hour, we sanitized our entire block. Everybody went inside their respective rooms. There were some staff children playing football on our courtyard and I requested them not to kick as if they were on football ground. Hope they will think twice before they play tomorrow.

2nd April 2020     Thursday      9th Day of Lockdown

Today is the 8th day of lockdown. I got up at around 7:30. After a long time, I came out on the road below our staff quarter to see how people are observing this lockdown.  I see the shops selling rations and medicines open. A goods carrier stopped near the shop where I was standing and unloaded the daily commodities. My elder brother dropped by my home to ask about our well-being. He had a cup of tea and left. He has brought eatables for my children.

My daily routine went unaltered; recite prayer; exercise; read a book and write a journal. There is the sun in the sky but it is not having its usual warmth. I have put on my warm coat. My children are busy with their studies. I can see their patience losing day by day as the lockdown progress further but what to do. For the time being, we have to comply with the PM’s decree and forget about the idea of going out and relishing on mouth-watering street foods. We have to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

I found myself to be a very troublesome father, who sometimes worries unnecessarily about my girls. Although my children are in their teens and grown-ups, I keep telling them this and that as if they don’t know anything and that irritates them. I am sorry but that is a part of parenting and I am doing my duty.

 

1st April 2020     Wednesday   ( One Week )

The news about coronavirus is not getting better; on the contrary, it is getting worse with death toll touching 38 alone in India. Gosh! This virus is causing havoc.

Here in my place, the weather is good. Sonchoe and Bhuti went out for groceries and other kinds of stuff. In the meantime, I Prepared porridge for breakfast. Everything was going smoothly here thank God! with due respect and in solidarity with those selfless warriors in the hospitals and on the roads.

All the essential things are in abundance in our locality by the grace of Himachal Government. The day passed just like any other day; I did my prayer, carried my daily exercise and read a book. We had vegetable momo and vegetable soup for lunch.

I called my sister in Delhi. Choephel la is looking after her and my aged mother. My brother kunga and sister Lhakpa are doing good. I am sure everybody is calling their loved ones and ask about their wellbeing. Like PM Modi said; Keep Social distancing but keep connecting loved ones.

31st March 2020  Tuesday  (7th Day)   

Today is the 6th day of the lockdown. I got up early as usual and could carry all the daily routine including my daily dose of light exercise. For breakfast, we had an Indian dish called SUJI which is made of wheat. I feel lucky and my life is the same except that I can’t go out.

TV channels are flooding with news of this disease shooting up in India and in Europe. The number of migrants and poor people on the streets has come down as various state governments have provided them temporary shelter and three times a meal. Understanding the panic among people from all walks of life, the government had announced various schemes and stipends.

Times like this really test people’s patience, integrity, and empathy. While there are reports of people not following the lockdown and coming on the roads carelessly, there are people who are sacrificing their own lives and helping others in the hospitals and making sure the essential commodities are reaching the people smoothly. There are still other Samaritans who are feeding the doctors, policemen and other covid-19 warriors. I have a deep respect for these people. It’s really good and motivating to see such pictures in both TV and on social networking sites. From my side, as advised, I am doing my small part in feeding the stray dogs lingering around my colony. I am also praying for the long and healthy life of all those people who are doing a great job sincerely at this critical period.

Amid this coronavirus fear, a 26 years Tibetan boy had committed suicide in Dharamsala. This is the second death among already marginalized Tibetan; the former with covid-19. Later I came to know that the boy was from Tibet and was undergoing TB medication. I am just wondering under what circumstances he had to take this extreme step. So many questions are raised in this regard.

True to this maxim; “It is the difficult time which really tests one’s strength”, we see the true color of people. Some people are born mentally strong and maintained proper calm without an iota of panic no matter what the situation is. Others look weaker and they tend to lose their usual composure. They create unnecessary fear and get mentally disturbed. Recently, a man thinking he was infected by this covid-19 committed suicide! Well, such timid people always have this; what we called victim strategy. In Tibetan we have a saying; “Timid people never get peace of mind”.

Whatever; one this is sure and that is everybody realized how precious their life is from this virus. I think everybody has learned a whole lot of lessons from this lockdown. Many people came out and candidly shared what they had learned. From the big celebrities to the rich brutes; this microscopic virus has reduced everyone to a mere man and woman. Enigma’s song; “Return to Innocence” which shows everybody going back to their innocence, is all I can remember now. This virus has literally shown to us that we all are nothing but somebody’s son or daughter and sooner we realize this better it is for us.

If you have not acquired any new thing in your thinking, behavior, lifestyle or habits amid this coronavirus lockdown, no amount of preaching will change you. After all, there are doctors, nurses, patients dying and we are just enjoying a normal life within the four walls of our houses. And as a tribute for all people who have lost their lives for our own safety, let us all take a pledge to be a better person. For example; if you have been unempathetic, be empathetic; if you have been selfish all the time, be more generous; if you have been impatient, be more patient- a small step at a time.

Last but not the least, my sincere prayers and a big salute for all those patients who have died; those health workers dead and present; all those policemen on the road; all those Samaritans doing errands and feeding the poor. Because of you all, my family and I are safe. Thank you. I will be a better human being.

30th March 2020    Monday   6th Day

As decided, I got up at 7 a.m. I prepared Rajma and Tingmo. It feels good to be awake early. It is very quiet as the essential items are available only after 8 a.m. We all five had breakfast in our sitting room. The usual sun was not there because the weather was cloudy.

The news on TV is not something good. The infected people in India are exceeding a thousand. The picture is sadder in western countries.

I did my prayer. After that, I forced my middle girl for physical exercise outside my quarter. I did half an hour textbook reading as usual. This time I recorded my reading and sent it to one of my friends who is an English teacher in Mumbai for feedback. Gen Son Gyalpo came and ask me for a favour.

I watched so many motivational videos. These help us in these hard times. Merely watching TV makes you feel gloomy because of the sad news about the disease.

We had Idli and sambhar late afternoon. I also played guitar and compose one tune.

29th March 2020       Sunday       5th Day of Lockdown

Got up a little earlier than usual but the time is secret. The sun was shining brightly and my room is already heated comfortably. Sonchoe and Bhuti, our great cook is busy making Aloo Momo for all of us.  After our ablutions, we had a grand breakfast with the daily updates blaring from the TV.

Today is Sunday and I didn’t realize because frankly speaking these days every day is Sunday! And I kind of like this lockdown but of course my deep respect for those who are working day and night on the road and in the hospitals; and my deep concern for all those poor, who are worst affected by this lockdown. I wish and pray their problem gets resolved soon.

I did my short prayer. I prayed for all the people amid this national crisis. The coronavirus is shooting up every hour. And the death toll is going up too. Different types of videos are being circulated on social networking sites; some motivating, others inciting.

Mr. Modi, the honorable PM of India is on Maan Ki Bhat. As usual, his speech was very powerful. He extended his whirl of apology for causing inconvenience, wow such humility! He once again requested the Janta to remain at home. He praised all the corvid_19 warriors. Rich people and celebrities are coming out and donating money to be used during this national crisis.

We also watched Hindi movie “ Patti Patni Aur Who”. Enjoyed the movie. Played one round of card game thousand.

28th March 2020    Saturday    4th Day Lockdown

I got up late and I don’t want to mention the time. Anyways Sonchoe and Bhuti went to buy vegetables and rations. In the meantime, I made porridge and egg for breakfast. I did my prayer and exercise as usual.

We had cabbage and roti when we felt hungry. Seriously we had lost all the mealtime during this lockdown and I am sure it is the same in every household. We also had a good time playing cards. I strum my guitar.

The TV is on most of the time. I see the Samaritan on the road and in the hospitals. In spite of the lockdown, there were thousands of poor people and daily wagers stranded in the bus stations and some on the highway. They all are heading towards their respective villages and since all the transportation was suspended, people embarked on their destination on foot. A very sad picture of poor families sans food and shelter walking the road can be seen in almost all the TV channels. The government is having tough time-solving problems from various ends. This must be the first time the whole world is going through post-world wars.

In order to maintain positivity and to give moral support, TV channels are showing video clips of celebrities spending their lockdown period.

It is Sunday and we enjoyed the usual reality show “ India’s best dancer” and Kapil Sharma show. By the time the show finished, it was 11:30 pm. Sonchoe is in her deep sleep. The girls are in their bed fiddling with their mobile. Though the lights are off, I can see the mobile lights flashing.

27th March 2020 Friday – 3rd Day of Lockdown

I got up late. I had Tingmo and Chana for breakfast, Spaggati for lunch, and tsamthuk for dinner. The weather was really bad the whole day and it rained. I did my prayer as usual. In the afternoon, I made one video for my class 9 students and my daughter helped me edit the video.

The vegetable stock was completely over. I went to buy but there was a long queue. Sonam said she would go and buy tomorrow. We did video calling with my sister Lhakpa. It was good. I am also keeping in touch with all siblings and mom through WhatsApp. Good to see everybody doing good in their respective places.

Migrants are having a tough time going back to their villages. There was no mode of transportation. A picture of a small baby sleeping on the bicycle which was ridden by a father caught my attention and I was moved by this. My heart is with all those people who are deeply affected by this lockdown. All I could do was to pray for their safety!

The coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire and causing lots of havoc everywhere. Today is the third day. There are still people not following the lockdown. I wish and pray that this virus goes forever and bring back life.

26th March 2020 Thursday – 2nd Day of Lockdown

I got up very late. My kids got up even later than me. We had roti and omelette for breakfast, fried rice and dal for lunch and maggi for dinner not to mention the thermos filled hot water. We played cards in the evening. My daughters did their daily assignments as usual. I also did a brisk walk in the room. I did my prayers and read my book. I watched TV most of the time.

The weather was good. Neighbor’s kids came out to play since they were tired of being locked down. I can truly understand their plight. While going to bed, I listened to youtube talk series on various topics of my interest.

25th March 2020 Wednesday – 1st Day of Lockdown

This is the first day of the lockdown and I got up late. There was quietness everywhere which is good for my peace of mind. We had Chamdu for breakfast and veg momo for lunch and dinner. Every hour the loud siren reminds us of the lockdown. I spent time reading my book.TV is on the whole day. I can see police personals having a tough time controlling people on the road. I am quite surprised to see people still coming out of their houses without valid reasons. There are people like doctors, nurses, ward boys, police personals who are working so hard day and night. They are the ones who attracted all my respect. Rightly said by PM Modi, they are the real corona warriors.

At times like this when the whole world is affected by this virus, at least we have to abide by all the directions given by our government. And all that PM is asking is home quarantine and that too for our own benefit. Why can’t people understand this simple fact! It was a sight for a sore eye.

24th March 2020 Tuesday

I got up late as usual. I had roti and omelette for breakfast, rice and dal for lunch and light soup for dinner. Social media is flooding with news about coronavirus. There will be Prime minister’s second national address at 8 pm. Everybody is expecting another shocking news since the number of coronavirus cases is mushrooming.

Evening came. Everybody is glued to TV sets for PM’s national address. At 8 pm, the PM announced 21 days’ pan India lockdown much stricter than the last Janta curfew. The decree was hard to digest for everyone but it was the right step if we really want to fight this virus. Most people welcomed this but poor people especially the daily wager would have to face lots of difficulties. Later in the night, TV channels are showing live coverage of people queuing up to buy daily commodities. There was no social distancing at all in the markets.

23rd March 2020 Monday

Sonchoe didn’t go to the clinic today. We had Idli for breakfast. The number of corona cases in India is rising. TV channels are flooding with corona news.

In the evening, I heard the sad news about the demise of a 60 year Tibetan due to covid-19. There was panic among Tibetans in Dharamsala. The man had recently come from the USA.

22nd March 2020 Sunday – JANTA CURFEW

Got up late coz I had already known from last night that we won’t be allowed to go out unnecessarily. Veg momo Rice and dal

Today is Janta curfew and there is complete lockdown across India. Nevertheless, all the essential things are at our disposal. There was unusual quietness around when all the vehicles ceased plying on the road. There were regular updates on TV. It was the first time we had this; what we called Janta curfew. Everybody from the great leaders to the daily wagers kept themselves locked inside their respective homes and had real family time. Despite the stringent appeal from the PM for complete lockdown, some unscrupulous people kept coming out of their homes and these were broadcasted on tv channels. Reluctantly the police personals who were on patrol had to resort to latti charge. Not only were those people exposing themselves to the disease, but they were also posing danger to their loving family members and others.

At 5 pm, there was a siren and the people around my area came out from their houses and cheered the covid-19 warrior for their relentless and selfless sacrifice in this global war against coronavirus. It was such an emotional moment for everyone because, for the first time, everybody; rich or poor; men or women; young or old all over India unanimously followed the PM’s appeal. TV channels were flashing with live coverage of people coming out in the balcony and yards some blowing corn shell and others clapping, beating utensils and beating drums. Like many others, I and my family also did our part sincerely.

21st March 2020 Saturday

We had a late breakfast. We had roti and omelette for breakfast. Sonchoe left for the clinic but came home early. Kunga went back to Gangkyi in the evening. All the TV channels are giving live updates on the deadly coronavirus. Coronavirus has become the talk of the town. Countries like Iran, Spain, Italy have become the new epicenters of this disease after China. The PM of India, Mr. Narenda Modi is going to address the nation at 8 pm.

20th March 2020 Friday

Sonchoe left for the clinic as usual. Bhuti went to Mcleod to meet her friend in the wake of this coronavirus pandemic. Around 4 pm, I went to receive my younger brother Kunga who was staying in Gangkyi. After picking him, we went to Kotwali bazaar to refill my scooty. We were back home in no time.

It was a small family reunion here; brother, my wife, my three daughters and myself. We made vegetable momo for dinner. The four ladies squeezed themselves on one double bed in the bedroom while kunga and myself occupied the two beds in the seating room.