Uncollected garbage

We all get stirred by these elements more or less in different phases of life. Some times we suffer more because of this folly. Although it depends on the individual person, how s/he copes with it. I’m specifically talking about Stress, depression and anxiety. No matter how inevitably I decline these particular topics in me, they sometime try to galvanise me !

Speaking of myself; I like to face these mental states in any healthy way possible, rather than allowing myself to feel distressed by it. To be more precise, I try not to allow stress to kill my mood. The other day though,I was happy dappy, doing my blog sketch and suddenly a couple of emails and few phone calls wrecked my frame of mind..boo.

  • Why so? Aside from managing office overseas, I’m dealing with current workforce and sloppy paper works over here. Emm… how would I explain the matter better to you….I’m actually dealing with lots of stuff at the same time. Few of these things are not in my hand, but rather depend on government offices and other establishments being run by a corrupt working class. So dealing with all those matters, may not be as easy as ABC. But I’m facing it straight.
  • I have a stubborn family member who’s also my business partner.He’s a veteran, hard working old fashioned man with an open mind, even though some times we have our disagreements. In the past though, we had serious arguments but not anymore, since I’m trying to find inner peace. Although I wish I could be more supportive to him.    
  • Money..hah..What if money wasn’t an object! I’m not rich, nor with a healthy bank balance. I have few debts but that doesn’t stop me from having an ice cream every now and then! Winning a lottery would solve many problems but I don’t want to depend on luck that way ;)..
  • Hmmm..life in general …emm ..No, I’m not too stressed out, hahah. I know things could go better than how it is now but still, I am not complaining. If I look back a couple of years, few of my plans went unsound but I made friendship with the past.  There’s nothing new in the past, right..
  • Every relationship has its ups and downs.The Love of my life, also gives me stress sometimes! But I don’t fully acknowledge it to be stress because on the other hand there are millions of positive things. All these things are life changing. I’m proud to have her in my life. It’s the most amazing thing that ever happened. Even though there are some healthy disagreements.Than again i trust  my true gut feeling as well. I suffered in life in many ways, I was iron, got burned to steel.I want to see how far I have to go with my true love.I see you inside out.

My gears for kicking out the negativity:

  • The girl I L o v e. Not only she neutralize my dire dragon but she is also a true companion, best friend.
  • Running & crossfit.
  • Music.
  • Jay walk, observation, random interaction with stranger.  
  • Cooking.

April is also stress awareness month. I know there are many people out there with situations that are a lot worse! My problem would be a luxury compared to theirs. To cope with pressure, agony, burden, trauma many people brace unhealthy habits like, drinking, smoking and some chose drugs. Mental health is not any less important than physical health. In my opinion, it’s vital!

So please don’t ignore the signs of stress. Let’s deal, find out the reason, time and don’t let it kill you slowly. I call this; garbage, nobody collects but you. And only you can recycle, absolve for a better You!

 

  

    

       

 

A separate gender …

1

‘Run, will you run? Don’t stand there to let them grab you and make a fool of yourself’ those were the remarks by my school mates. It was at a very early stage when I first encountered them...

I’m talking about them, you know, “Them”..? Some weird social foundation has been set that forbids to pronounce their name out loud which always left me with questions. People always laugh about them, tease them, hate them or despise them for being in the society. I never understood why society was so intolerant towards them.

Yes, I’m talking about Transgender people or locally known as Hijra, lady boy! Social outcasts, forbidden in secular society and labelled a separate breed of human, fed by utter hatemongering! Even so, one of them became a hero !

Humans as a species, refrain from accepting anything or anyone outside their comfort zone; foreign to what they define as ‘Normal’.  We tend to stick to the obvious and don’t voice out our opinions even if we do not agree with the majority!

Like transvestites, lesbians, gays, etc, hijras are another entity that are condoned by most. And as such they live a half-life without acceptance and without self-respect. Hijras are treated as objects of ridicule or sometimes looked at with fear.

They usually earn a living by performing in auspicious occasions at people’s houses. in some parts of the country they work as pimps. Also, prostitution among trans has been on rise.  Death also proves to be a difficult situation in the trans community, as up till now they haven’t been given any proper burial rights. As they did not belong to either male or female gender, burial ceremony becomes cumbersome!

rights

But recently a groundbreaking decision was made in this regard; cabinet passed a law declaring them as a separate gender. And now they have the full right to obtain a passport, they can vote, receive education, get a regular job and such.

I was never scared of them as a kid, despite of their strange outlooks  and approach. I wanted to know the What & Why. But I had to swallow the curiosity as a young boy; as no one could give an explanation to my questions. Or was I too young to understand the gender differences…? I don’t think I was.

A couple of days ago I read an exceptional blog, which made me put my thoughts into words! Not only did it encourage me to write about the cast aside but it also raised my spirit on this particular topic. A theme like this one has to come out more often. As an underdog blogger like myself, I believe we ought to exercise on this moot point.

It’s worth mentioning that over here in Thailand, there is a completely different outlook on the Trans community. They are locally know as lady boy and have very different stories! Thailand is paradise for them as they’re more accepted than anywhere else and can get a job quite easily. Apparently parents feel lucky to have lady boy in their family. Its very much commercialized as they play a big role in sex tourism. The beginning of Lady boy culture goes back as far as the Vietnam war!     

But I always wonder about why and how they become trans. Are they born like that or what..? How do they cope when they discover their true self?  Subsequently the  ‘Growing up trans’ blog opened an entire different sight!

I have been introduced with Kyle, John and Ariel. After a good few read of the blog and the watchful documentary ‘Growing up trans’, I find myself in deep thoughts. There is a lot of confusion centering the term “trans” itself. While some are born this way, others (who may be impotent) emasculate themselves! Meaning they cut off their genitals or grow through a surgery/ceremony, which according to them emancipates them.

But back home, where modern therapy or counseling are not available and parents may not be aware of their kid’s situation, what happens there?? What if they are middle class or poor family?

judgementIn most cases, they are sent away from their homes right after birth, and receive no formal education. As such, they earn a living by harassing people in various ways and collecting money from them. Then we complain about the rough behavior of ‘trans’ and their constant pestering.Do we take notice  at all of the hardships they go through in their lifetime? Can we begin to understand what life must be like for them?

 

If not properly educated, how can we expect them to earn a decent income any other way? Have we ever offered them jobs or made any other effort to help them? This group is one that is rejected firstly by their parents who give birth to them, and then by the entire society!!

And speaking of Kyle, John and Ariel; at least they were born in a society where they will be treated with some degree of care and understating. Although they also had to go through rough stage of depression and bullying!  Is it true that Chemical/Hormonal, Genetic and Environmental reasons are the main factor behind a Trans birth? I understand that they find themselves different than their own self in their puberty stage. But isn’t it way too early to go through all those hormone replacement therapy? Is that too much to wait few more years before the final decision/ operation/therapy?

Do pharmaceutical companies play any role on hormone replacement therapy? Is this becoming a money making business too ?  I really wonder about the rates of this phenomenon. Did we have these issues back in the previous centuries and how do they compare to the rates in recent times?  Or is this a modern day disease? I don’t mean disease like a virus or a bacteria but I mean a state that causes sufferings for kids.

Kids are the future of the nation. Growing up should be a fun adventure, flowing into a different vibe in puberty. A big thumbs up to those great parents who stand by their kids in their very difficult journey! My thoughts are with the younger generation, grow well! At the end of the day, we all are human and we all deserve some basic respect and decency.

child

(to be continued)

Monk’s footprint

 

 ‘Om mani padme hum Buddham Saranam Gacchâmi, Dhammam Saranam Gacchâmi,  Sangham Saranam Gacchâm

This chant is the sound I wake up to every morning! It is the prayer monks bring to my next door neighbor, who’s a devoted Buddhist. They always keep something for the next morning to give to the monk in exchange for his prayers and blessings.

Although I did spend some months in a Bhutanese monastery in my childhood, monks here are bit different. Seeing the monks walking about on their bare feet always sparks my curiosity as to why and how they do this. My own memories to walking barefoot barefoot are mostly ones of wonder and enjoyment of the textures of mother earth. I recommend it to everyone.

Besides the positive memories and my personal wishes to someday feel ice and snow underneath my feet, there are also more painful memories. A very strong memory I have is one I will share with you now.

It happened when I was getting back from the countryside by train. It was a local train so it was naturally overcrowded and stopping in every single station.

So, during one of those stops I was having a slow cup of tea and waiting for the last whistle to blow. The idea was to jump in at the last moment to secure a space by the train doorsteps. Travelling on the roof of a train is another excitement but that can wait for some another time.

So when the last whistle sounded, people started rushing towards the slow moving train. Oh there were a few other smart heads like me, who wanted to sit by the door. Trust me it’s great fun! I watched the train start to roll and with a sharp calculation I marked my door. As I jumped for the entrance, I felt a woman grabbing me to hold her balance as she jumped in after me. As the train picked up speed she couldn’t hold on to me and fell off!!

I screamed and asked people to pull the chain but nobody listened! As the train was overcrowded I couldn’t get inside to pull the chain myself. Some people even advised me to keep it quiet to stay out of the trouble. Can you imagine how self centered we are?!!

In all honesty, I wrote the following part differently at first. I wanted to hide the truth even from myself! Here’s the honest version, anyhow.

The train didn’t stop; it continued ruthlessly! Everyone acted as if nothing happened. And speaking for myself; I was horrified and lost my senses. What if the crowd point me out as the guilty one in this accident!? There wasn’t another station for hours regrettably, and I knew the train would stop!

I did not hear her screams or sound of broken bones, so I just held on and hoped she was OK…

I don’t really have anything else to say about it. I froze up and and carried on hanging by the train door until the next station, despite the shock. I heard the Ticket checker talking about that a woman been taken to hospital but not sure of her condition.

This collateral inconsolable event still haunts me until this day! After reaching my final destination, I was so devastated that I failed to notice that I had lost my shoes along the way. Therefore, I walked home completely lost in thoughts and on bare foot, just like I had come into this world.

 

I walked barefoot, like the monk did, but was in no shape to give out blessings or prayers. I was the one who needed comfort and release from my conscience.

Footprints in the sand

heading that way as it

leads away it leaves a

tale..

(Footprints in the sand by Robert Roberts.)

Every little drops

You know how I set my camp here, in this neighborhood? You know how I discovered the surrounding areas and such? Somehow I became part of this community in a very short period of time. Despite the potential here, I’m packing my bag and moving on to another city, after no more than four months. I don’t like farewell much, yet it never left me alone!

There are pros and cons to being a solo traveler and a non native. Luckily I adapted well and found my way around quick enough making my job hunt and exploration possible. And now it’s time for a farewell to my Bangkok chapter, at least for now.

So here I am, sitting by the canal with my three legged pooch, who has become my friend and good company as I think back & forth. I still have a few hours to kill before my landlady refunds my deposit.

All though I never really attached  to anything here, I ended up exchanging farewells to my community.

I will tell you here how it was…

  • The old lady fruit vendor gave me a pineapple, would have none of my protesting and didn’t take money for it.
  • The staff at the local seven-eleven gave me nine Thai Bath worth of stamps.
  • The food stall owner and his family sat with me for lunch with an extra dish, free of charge.
  • Mook and Tian (two little angels around 3 or 4 years old, I played with in the afternoon), gave me kisses and hugs.
  • My landlady refunded my deposit money, and more even than I expected (although I didn’t damage anything). Also, she asked me to come back.
  • Local grocery shop owner called me a good boy 😉
  • My neighbours from the buildings wished me well and asked me to stay in touch.
  • The solo mechanic drummer played some drum bit as farewell.
  • Few other people from the same neighbourhood also wished me well.
  • Last night the sound of crickets was louder than on an average night.
  • The night sky was completely clear and starry.
  • Non stop night air.  

 

So what made this happen, right? Well that’s simple: Be yourself, be good to others as well as to yourself. When you do little extra things beyond your usual transactions, I think that helps to break the ice. In other words, I tried from the very start to be a good ambassador. People from my same region had already spread a bad reputation everywhere. My intention was and will be  to retrieve the old glory of what we stand for… hahaha.

Legend says, when you know the reason you are here on this earth, only then you will understand the meaning of life. I would like to say, I’m trying …