Snapshots From Shangri-La

Random. Utterly random.

The dogs of Bhutan are weird. Ultra-weird. You know, if you go up into the mountains, they are practically indistinguishable from foxes. A few more thousand feet, then they are practically indistinguishable from wolves. Which is just a wee bit disconcerting.

The city dogs though are just plain weird. Take your typical Indian street-dogs for instance. Haring it across the moment they see the slightest sign of traffic. As if their bloody lives depended on that one mad dash across the street. Which, to be fair, it probably does.

The Bhutanese branch of Canis Lupis Familiaris though, seem to possess none of this unseemly haste. These chaps will just park themselves in the middle of the road, and stare at all incoming vehicles with a peculiar mealy-mouthed sadness. Propah Hamlet types. Willing ’em blasted cars to go on and do their worst. And they won’t move. Not an inch.

And I Stop and Stare

At times, I see stuff which really cracks me up. This signboard’s right up there:

The Incredibly Funny Placard

Not teasing animals, in forsooth, is an admirable sentiment. But not when the animal in question is this:

A Takin. Wondering whether or not to be pissed.

A takin, as per popular legend, owes its origin to an act of veritable legerdemain. The redoubtable Lama Drukpa Kunley (aka The Divine Madman) upon being urged to perform a miracle, fused a goat’s head on a cow’s torso. And lo and behold, the animal trundled across to the meadows to forage for herbiage. True Takin-style.

Be that as it may, a takin is also possibly the placidest, the most unflappable, and the most singularly unconcerned-looking creature I have ever come across. To wit, many might there be beasts to be bothered by a goodly banter, but surely doth not a takin stand arrayed amongst them 🙂

The Bard once said, What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. Methinks that’s utter faff. Imagine if Romeo’s name had been Rentomendarkwapipachu instead. Juliet would’ve happily spent the rest of her life as Mrs. Paris. As opposed to causing general misery and heartburn all round.

Well the point is, there are at times, certain names which get your goat. Take this hotel for instance:

And this one's for you, Mr. Freud.

Unearthed it while randomly roaming around in Paro. Inconspicuous though it might be, it is by no means hidden. Hell, its just off the main road! Bloody hell, its off the only road Paro has!! And more importantly, one would think that the entire point of having a hotel, is that it should be anything but hidden.

Or perhaps, I am missing the entire point. If there is one place in the world, where an establishment can call itself “Hidden Hotel”, and get away with it, its gotta be in The Last Shangri-La.

Dhum Dhum Dhadam Dhadaiya Re

Yeah, I know……….its been an eternity, and more. Saw Omkara a few days back, first time ever I caught a movie on the day it was released, and have to admit, the friggin flick was worth every damn penny. Firstly, its almost the most un-multiplex muliplex movie you can ever hope to come across. Replete with profanities of the crudest varieties, I can’t exactly visualise family audiences making a beeline to the theatres to witch this one, but man, what a flick, what dialogues, what cinematography, what performances, a brilliant soundtrack, refreshingly different from the usual run-of-mill syrupy sweet Bollywood numbers, and ofcourse, Saif Ali Khan, in probably the best performance he has or is ever likely to deliver. If Othello was less about the eponymous hero, and more about the webs of deceit and subterfuge spun around him by the cunning, wily Iago, its no different over here. Omkara is Langda Tyagi’s magnum opus, period.