‘Our Most Treasured and Beloved Father of Drukyul’ is the way Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck describes His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo in the book of tributes to him, 11.11.11, published by MCP Publications coinciding with his 56th Birth Anniversary.
This review is based on the 2nd Edition which was done in 2013. The whole idea of the book was conceptualized by Mr. Karma Tshering.
The 56th Birth Anniversary has been significantly portrayed in the numerical sequence 11.11.11. 11 as in the Day, Month and Year of the anniversary. The number 11 also happens to be the auspicious dice number of Gay-Ngen Jagpa-Melen-Chenpo- the protective deity of the country.
Such concurrence happens only to a rare being whose birth has been prophesied by the 18th Century treasure revealer Terton Drukda Dorji. He prophesized that in a Female Sheep Year, a king would be born who would bring unprecedented peace and prosperity in to Bhutan.
True to the prophecy, in the Female Sheep Year of 1955, the good news of the birth of a prince was heralded on November 11 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Chodron Wangchuck, Royal Mother of The Third Druk Gyalpo.
As little as three years old at the time of formal introduction to the public, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo is said to have brought Genday Namgay –the then Drabe Lopen in awe and yet another prophecy was pronounced, “This is no ordinary child; he is destined for greatness; he is protected by YesheyGoenpo.”
11.11.11, through 11 chapters, briefly takes the readers through the journey of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo starting from early life facts to the accomplishments and inspirational stories including some of the path breaking royal decrees.
The deep respect and reverence that every Bhutanese has for His Majesty The Fourth King can be drawn from some of the most poignant messages about the sacrifices, contributions, achievements, values, and personal beliefs and selflessness of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo as opined through the tributes starting from members of the Royal Family to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers to the Youth, Business and International Organization as well as Lams and Rinpoches.
Here is what His Majesty The King says about his father, “To me personally, His Majesty is my King, my Teacher, my Inspiration and my Tsawai Lam.” Thrizin (Dr.) Sonam Kinga, National Council of Bhutan says that, “His Majesty has embodied the epitome of leadership by actualizing the ideal protector.”
“If my king sees my message, I want him to know we all love our king and want to wish him a very happy birthday.” Tashi Yangbi, 11 Years Old, Class V (then) Yadi Middle Secondary School, Mongar.
Those who believe in ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ by Shakespeare, this is the right book in terms of writings. The rare pictures of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo adds charm. Personally, to me reflecting on the 56th Birth Anniversary tribute is a humbling offering on the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo.