Friday, June 24, 2011

The Site Stories:Part I

The Engineering Diaries.

Date: 18 June 2011

I had to catch a bus around 7:30 am early in the morning yesterday from Thimphu to Phuentsholing. Reason? I had to meet the site Engineer for Yalama Arts and Consultancy. Other reason for boarding so early was to meet my girl friend. But I could only spend around 4 hours with her and later on, I was paid advance with which, I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse, and not to forget a flash drive.

Anyways, today morning around 7:00 am, I had to come for Samtse. Samtse is not a big city and it is smaller than my college Campus, Yes, smaller that NIT Warangal. I will not say that Samtse is beautiful, because there are other cities that is much more beautiful than Samtse.

The journey was occupied with chit chats and potholes on the Indian road, there is not direct way from Phuentsholing to Samtse within Bhutan, you have to enter India. And it was amazing to see how India and Bhutan coexisted side by side. That is, for instant, the main customer of Bhutan is india, that way we get some Gross Income, on the other hand, what I saw today was that, early morning Indians were riding their cycles towards Bhutan. That is yes, of course, they are wage workers.

The moment I reached NIE, I was taken to site and mind you, my mentor site engineer, Sir Lha Wangchu is such a generous man. He showed me all the sites, three going to be constructed building and two should be renovated buildings. It was nice to visit them. But the worst part of it was, I had to climb the roof. Now the problem with Bhutan houses is that we don’t have normal parapet terrace like in india. We have the inclined alloyed roofs. The angle however might be around more than 30, but for a noob like me, not to forget a fat one, it is hard to maintain balance. Sir and few of the labours were laughing at me. But they did understand that this was my first time, and first timers are always excused. I was sensing that, the student tag or the shield is fading away from me, and now I am to face the real world. My this visit however, is going to teach me a lot and just in one day, I learned so many things that my professors weren’t able to insert it in my head for past four years.

But, did you really know that the buildings are cheap?
How? Well, let’s say, you are the client. You want to build a house. You have to first get some copious amount. Without that, please don’t enter my future going to be office. Now that money is taken from you by the consultants who will make your drawings. Basically that is more of drafting than creative work. Why? Because I am not a part of it. Lol.

So, the certain amount of your money is taken by the consultant. Then there comes a contractor, he is the one who is suppose to know how to build your twisted so called easy drawings. But, then, the contractor is not the one who is going to provide money for you. He is just a middle man for a middle man. So this contractor actually hires a sub-contractor, thi-k-dar. Subcontractor is the one who is suppose to get you your men, and he is the one who has most of the problems in your soul construction. He is the one who gets you skilled and unskilled men. Now, this subcontractor has his own share for the construction.

So if you say, your project is worth some money, then think again, because building is cheap, ie, certain percent to consultants, certain to your contractors, certain to your subcontractor. And nobody really cares? This is what happens when systems are involved. And then there goes your money, saved and loaned ones, with few goes lol.
But, then, it is good that I am learning more about the job and by the time I become more experienced, I think I will hate it, because I don’t like poor people being screwed.

The night is cold, you are standing on your  balcony, might be tiled or mosaic, you are standing to communicate with the night and breeze is not doing good to you, perhaps your cigarette smoke is dancing as you look across your silent balcony, towards the horizon yet to see it, you look across the land and stars both in the sky and land, and you just wonder looking into the night, without wondering, how exactly that particular balcony that you stand on, came into existence. Though silence lingers and you feel lonely on that very balcony, but do know this that it once was a noisy place and men and women like your parents, sisters and brothers build them with their hands, hands that was burnt and torn by the cement powder.

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