What I Saw at Punakha Dzong (Bhutan)


This is a photo-essay, and I have promised to myself that I won’t write much (I realise, with utter surprise, that I have been completely unable to restrict myself to a few words while doing the Bhutan posts).  Suffice to say that while clicking the beautiful paintings, architecture of the Punakha Dzong, I chanced upon the life lived by its inmates, the monks. Students have been initiated to the monastic life as early as 8-9 years. That’s almost the age of my daughter. Do they know that they will live the life of an ascetic all their life? What happens when they have longings? Longings to have a house with a garden, a good music system, a car, a mate? What happens to those, who on attaining maturity, do not like this world? I wondered to myself. And tried to look at every child, student, monk with sharper, prodding eyes.

Do they really belong here? Did they have a say? Did they simply find themselves there and had nowhere to go back to? What if they fell in love?

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