Sunday, March 25, 2018

Reviewing PaSsu Diary

Blogging in Bhutan is a fairly new culture. If we have to name Bhutanese bloggers who are consistent and well-known, there will only be a handful. A decade ago, the only way we could get our write-ups read by a mass was if we got published in the annual school magazines. A fortunate few got their works printed in the national newspaper, Kuensel. The rest of us could only sigh wistfully. Reading culture was equally bad. The one class a week we were allowed to visit the library translated to ‘no studying’ and ‘flipping through picture books’. I remember when I was reading Harry Potter in junior school, my classmates would look at the thick books in awe and say, “You finished reading those?”
Fast forward ten years and we’re doing so much better. Now reading is kind of the new cool. And everyone suddenly wants to become a writer. Unsurprisingly, with the Internet, recently there is a growing number of people, young and old alike sharing their thoughts, stories and essays on social media and blogs. Unfortunately only a few are consistent. Some of the beginners, mostly students take up blogging on a whim, write poetry and half-baked high school romance, and before they can change the default template to something more personalized, they lose interest. Their blogs become obsolete and are eventually forgotten. This was one the reasons I was hesitant before I began my own blogging journey. In the last three years, I shifted from Wordpress to Blogger, and I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be.
Therefore, it is impressive that PaSsu Diary has thrived for twelve years, and is still going very strong. I think I can safely say that it is the most popular blog in Bhutan. The book contains carefully selected posts and I loved every single one of them. They are short, simple and to the point, no superfluous words and statements that usually make me cringe. The book acknowledges and gives the author’s opinions on a wide range of topics and societal issues such as tattoos,  parenting, Bhutan History, social media, family, education, loan sharks, civic responsibilities and similar other debates.
I tried to pick some favorites and failed, but then I especially loved the posts about adopted sister and step-father. Remember those times in school when we’d have adopted brothers and sisters? How beautiful, innocent and unconditional was that, children who barely knew what family and love meant, choosing strangers to be their siblings? The part where Sir PaSsu was a much-feared bad boy in school but magically turned into a disciplined and shy boy in front of his adopted sister touched me. That little boy had known so little of kindness that he hadn’t known what to do with so much of it. I’ve always been a sucker for the underdogs. (probably why I have a soft spot for bad boys)
Then there was this post about his step-father. A quiet, introverted, self-less, and kind man, against whom the neighbors tried to implant skepticism and wariness in a young Sir PaSsu’s mind because “step parents are ooh so evil”. But gradually, the step-father and step-son bond over secrets they hide from the mother. I loved the part where he visits Sir PaSsu’s college. That got me teary-eyed.      
O-kay, I’m going to stop spoiling it for you now, and ask you to go read it for yourself, if you haven’t already. I’d strongly recommend it.
P.S: The cover is so catchy and good!
P.P.S: It’s also affordable. The paperback costs Nu. 350, and hardcover Nu. 500.

4 comments:

  1. Good summary indeed for those who is still hunting for a copy. My favourite is 'what did you expect?.' P.49 I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am waiting to have a copy, once I am back to Bhutan.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reading ur blog encourages me. Thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the best thing anyone can say to someone. Thank you very much! Keep reading. ❤❤❤❤❤

      Delete

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