Friday, June 27, 2014

36 Years in Bhutan.

It was one of those gloomy days. I was bored and thought of going out to smoke. I wanted the caffeine and nicotine in my system to produce my outputs. I was about to leave that I had a visitor. It was no other than our Mr. Sashi. I have known him for past two years, and he does the checking for our Measurement Books. 

He had come to my room to ask regarding some MBs. We talked and this is what I got to know: 


His full name is O R Sashi. Orical Ragavan Sashi (if I have gotten it right). He came to Bhutan in the year 1977. He was then just a class XII graduate and in his Malayalam paper, he had seen an ad for a post of LDC in PWD. He had his relative named Rajan who was working in Bhutan. He would write letters and telegrams and managed to come to Bhutan. During those days, his salary was Nu. 300 /-. He says, it is equivalent to Nu. 50,000/-. He would send home 240 or 250 and rest he would keep for himself. Things were not available in Bhutan then. And mutton per kg would cost Nu. 2 /-. He worked 23 years for PWD and 10 years for BOC. He then joined PHPA-II for good. He told me that a Prince gave him a laptop for his service. The laptop was sent to his son who was pursuing Engineering. 

He would share that during those days, even if people had money, they couldn't purchase much of commodities for it were always unavailable. He said, even a jacket wasn't available in market. He just had come to Bhutan without any winter clothing, so he had to suffer until a lady would knit him a sweater. That too, wool was to be purchased. He learnt Lhotsampakha early than Hindi. During those days, the roads were narrow and muddy. 

He has two sons and the eldest one is of my age and batch. His son studied in Lungtenzampa while I was in Motithang. He was part of many projects in Bhutan, but he shared only one with me. The one that took them two years, it was the Bailey Bridge built towards Takshang. 

It is going to be three years in PHPA-II, and he wishes for extension. I am not sure whether he would get or not. But my prayers are with this man. He has seen Modern Bhutan while she was in her infancy, while she was at her worst and while she grew up to be much hyped Nation which gives curiosity to those who have heard her name. 

But on my personal note, till date I have found him very calm and gentle. He knows where we go wrong and guides us, especially on writing our Measurement Books. He has always been a nice person to me and even if I am of his son's age, he respects me and my colleagues. I find this very uncomfortable. Sashi Sir was here for 36 years, I hope he stays longer, because we do lack hardworking men. I am blogging about him because not many will know his story, and even though I can't abridge all his life experiences here, it is nothing but a mere gesture of respect for a man who spent his youthful days to old age, here in Bhutan. 

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