Friday, October 5, 2012

World Smile Day

Your smile is inexhaustible - so pass them around freely and as often as you can.
The happiest smile is the one you give to someone who has none to offer you.
You wont be taxed for smiling … so go ahead and smile with abundance! It lights up your face and makes you look pretty.

Wishing all my readers a VERY HAPPY WORLD SMILE DAY!


It is amazing how I can remember the people in the following photos so vividly – even when some of them were taken 8-9 years back.

I had gone to the Prime Minister’s zimchung to shoot his portrait for use during the SAARC Summit. After the portrait was done, Loenchen wanted me to photograph him and Aum Rinzi together. That took some doing! Even after having been married for over 30 years, Aum Rinzi is still very coy in the presence of her husband.

 PHOTO #2:
I photographed Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering about 5 years back at the Paro Tsechu grounds. It is obvious that he was thoroughly enjoying himself.
Among Bhutan’s most respected personalities, he served the country with utmost loyalty and dedication for the past four decades. Given his medical condition, I am afraid that he may not contest in the coming elections. That would be an irreplaceable loss for the country.

I am told the ladies are Bhutanese movie actresses. I spotted them about 5 years back during the annual Paro Tsechu (festival).

This novitiate monk posed for me shyly from behind a Lhadar (large/tall prayer flag) post. It was taken 5 years back at Dechenphodrang Monastery, Thimphu.

This oldman was photographed at Thangbi Mani in Jakar, Bumthang. What attracted my attention was his immensely strong, bull-like build. He looked very lean and yet stout and muscular. Very healthy old man indeed.


This little girl is from Laya village. She was photographed at Punakha during the annual Dromchoe. At that time she was only 6 years old. Seven years later, I met her once again in her village in Laya when I had gone there for a trek. But this time I did not photograph her.

PHOTO #7 & 8:

These two children were photographed at the Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse.

The lady in the photo was seen crushing stones by the roadside above Doksum on the way to Trashiyangtse. The radiance of her smile tells me that happiness is a state of mind and not a condition determined by one’s affluence.

PHOTO #10:
These giggling bunch of little girls were photographed in Zhemgang about 7 years back.

PHOTO #11:
I photographed this young student in Dungkar, Kurtoe in Lhuntse Dzongkhang. He was eating his lunch, a bowl of pre-packaged noodles. When I trained my camera on him, he promptly turned the plastic bowl upside-down on his head and gave me a beaming smile.

PHOTO #12:
This smiling little girl was photographed in Punakha. She had a younger brother who was even more cute … but was so grouchy, I excluded him from the photo.

PHOTO #13:
This is the only RAPA girl I have ever photographed in my many years’ career as a photographer. This photo must be about 8 years old. The girl had just joined the RAPA and thus her eyebrows, her hair style, her lips, her face .. they were all still intact. I am told that she left the profession after about a year or two.

PHOTO #14:
I am told that this lady is from Chapcha and last I heard, she is supposed to be in the US of A. I photographed her in Paro Tsechu – under the staircase of the VIP cottage at the celebration grounds of Paro Tsechu.

PHOTO #15:
This photo of Aum Karma and Aum Damchoe Lhamo was photographed at Langjopakha about 6 years back. They are great friends which is obvious from their body language.

Aum Karma in the front is the daughter of the famous late Chapda and Aum Damchoe in the back is the wife of Dasho Tshering Wangda, Bhutan's Council General in Kolkatta, Inida.

PHOTO #16:
This is Ms Kencho Dorji – a tour operator. When she saw this photo posted on this Blog, she sent me a SMS saying: “How come I do not know of this photograph? LOL”.

PHOTO #17:
This portrait of a mute was photographed inside the Changangkha Lhakhang few years back. As I asked him to pose for me, his friend began to make a series of faces to mock and amuse the mute. The mute loved it so much that he burst out laughing. What a laugh! I am convinced that he who laughs the loudest loughs the truest.

PHOTO #18:
I photographed this silver haired beautiful old lady somewhere close to Kelikhar in Wangduephodrang. As I was driving down from Nobding, I saw this serene old lady sitting on the doorsteps of her home by the roadside. She held a rosary in her right hand.
Few weeks after I took the photo, it was reported in the papers that her own relatives, in a bid to rob her of her cash, battered her to death.

PHOTO #19:
A shy school girl in Dungkar, Kurtoe, Lhuntse Dzongkhang. She wanted to be photographed and yet you can see that she is very shy about the experience.

PHOTO #20:
This photo of two little girls thoroughly enjoying themselves was shot at the RAPA grounds. I think they were students from either Druk Private School or Little Dragon Private School. It was during their annual concert that was being held at the RAPA Hall.

PHOTO #21:
This photograph of a young mother and her two small daughters was shot at the Memorial Chorten a few years back. The mother looked on with joy and satisfaction while her little girls bantered around the open lawn. But for some reason, I got the impression that everything was not quite right. There was an air of melancholy about her that she couldn’t quite suppress. I hope life has been treating her well since.


  1. They are all very beautiful sir, and thank you for sharing then with us. They made me smile, which I will pass on to others near me now. You are lucky to shoot smiles.

    1. Sorry this might read as reply to Mr Nobu, but my page refuse to take me to a new comment. YD, the galleries of smile pictures you collected over the years superb. Reminds me of a song
      “Smile an everlasting smile
      A smile can bring you near to me
      Don't ever let me find you gone
      'Cause that would bring a tear to me “(Boyzone)


      It is

  2. Loved all the smiles, esp #1. Never seen a picture of such a candid moment before.