Saturday, December 15, 2012

Out of Station: II

Few days ago, it snowed much to surprise. There wasn't much in store except some dried chillies and potatoes. I have been complaining to Choden about the repetition of her menu but she said she couldn't help much. Except for the beautiful sunny day, there is nothing good being in Chumey in the winter.
On the greener side, i have got my new posting: Sarpang, it read. I almost regretted to have applied for transfer because i have always had this phobia of changing places and adapting to new faces but i am sure it is for the good reasons that i take leave from here. For teachers,there it is a great humiliation being in the same school. Your students come back to the same school as your colleague and shake hands with you saying: You are still here sir?
Two years shy of a decade, i am packing my things from Bumthang. Come next year, i intend to bask in the sub-tropical temperature in Sarpang and munch on fresh vegetables and fruits there. I bet the kidnappers would regret if they ever got their plans on me because there is nothing in me to exchange for their ransoms. But i would give them a list of people who needs to be kidnapped from our society or atleast from our government.:)

So i was travelling from with a passenger that i picked up from old Wangdi town, i told you? I almost took him to be some Indian worker but he was a good Bhutanese Nepali.
"Why did you resign?", asked him. There was a brief silence.
"Things are not going on as i have expected", he told me.
"You must have got lots of money when you resigned?".
"Yes. And finished repaying the loans i had!", pat came the reply. I felt miserable having asked that query in the first place.
No promotion. And what is more, he hadnt had his increment for the last 8 months. Reason: his salary reached the ceiling!(He told me some 18,000 plus) .
Ask for a posting, they send you in some remote villages, he said. His wife was presently in Lhuntse while he went to thimphu to complete his resignation.
In the course of our long conversation, it took us to his days of 1970s. He had completed his 6th grade when he opted to join in the government service. Few months later, he was in Thimphu training to be HA. He started with that post and and ended with the same post. 32 years of HA-ing!! Twice he had the opportunity to go outside Bhutan: Tamil Nadu and few years ago to Nepal.
Well we talked a lot of topic including the medicine, sanitation, rain-water harvest, surgery, Ngolops, and hydropower projects in Bhutan.
So he was heading to Trongsa to apply for some medical jobs in Mangdechu project. He told me that his prospects weren't good given his basic qualification. "First question they ask is, what is your qualification?", he told me with regret. "Oh, it is not same", i tried to defend him. A primary graduate in 1970s can easily compete with a general graduate of 21st century, i put in.
"I am happy now". There were smiles in his eyes."I couldn;t construct a house for myself but i have educated all my five kids", he boasted. I bowed my head in acceptance.

We reached at Trongsa past darkness. He bought me a beer while he sipped his coffee. We bid goodbye with warm wishes to each other.
Just then i realised that i haven't even asked his name. "Sir, your good name sir?", i asked him. "Loknath Sharma, la", he told me.
"Kadrinche. Hope we meet again sir", i told him as we turned to different directions thence.

8 comments:

  1. Sonam, it was nice reading your post as always. Good to know that you are transferred to Sarpang but be careful with the kidnappers. The price tag of the ransom is not less than 5 lakhs :)

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  2. Thank you Karma. I agree with your price tag:) I have silverbones allover my body.lol

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  4. As alys its goood to read ur blog..congratulation for ur transfer...c u soon

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  5. Sonam,

    Chumey is going to miss you! But Sarpang will welcome you, especially with the warm weather. Thanks for being a great friend to me at Chumey and tell Dawa I will miss him dearly.

    Take care and best of luck,

    Sabrina

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  6. Thanks PemaC for your good comments:)
    Sabrina, we still feel we need your works here in chumey very very much. Dawa speaks about your classes boastfully to all his friends.
    Loads of warm wishes and remembrances(I have been out of network for a long time, will be back to blogging after a month or so,)

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