Thursday, April 6, 2017

What I miss and What I look forward to?

It's been four months that I have started to work in Thimphu, and I always wanted to work here. While most might have thought that it was the quest and thirst of making and saving money, which drove them to greener pastures, for me, it was just mere responsibility that drove me towards the banks of Punatshangchhu. Or else, money never intimidated me. I have a very weird relationship with it. When I fulfilled my duty, the first thing I did, I submitted my resignation. 

Many thought I had lost my mind and that I was asking for troubles, and for the ones who can never understand sympathy or empathy: Jigdra tem mey! Was I self imposing darker days upon myself? But I had different plans in my head, I wanted to paint, sketch, write, design and actually live my life.

So, I have now landed here, in the Capital of Bhutan. The economy isn't as dynamic as it would be in other capitals of other nations, but there's something different, something majestic. If we really compare economy and money, then it might be more expensive than any of the metropolitan cities of India. Yes, compare the amount of time you spend in cabs? Oh and the food, the drinks, and the clothes - even branded stores don't charge you that much and even if they do, they talk in decent way?

But what I like about Thimphu is that, it has its own beauty. It's not about going to hill tops and snapping pictures of lights. If you catch a cab, you can share cabs with others, and enjoy silence, at times - hear stories. It is interesting to know that a cab driver makes an income at par with Punatshangchhu Engineers, at times a few more thousand bucks than them. Yes, Grand Theft Auto type thingy job, that pays you well in real? (you can't be that liberal as in the game, for the cops are really strict here). Yes, just the profits. And when you walk the most crowded boulevards of Norzin Lam, you are surrounded by so many people, who are trying to look their best, who are actually trying to make it in this tough town. And those construction labours just show up on Sundays because they only get holidays on Sundays. Not because they can't afford the vegetables on Thursdays or Fridays. The most fresh vegetables you would get are on Tuesdays though, so cut down on your vanity and go there on Tuesdays and not on Thursdays or Fridays? While the winters are more harsher than your worst nightmares - the worst mother-in-laws, the spirit of this town or city, speaks out loud, for you will still see people partying around. You can have the most expensive meal in the nation to the cheapest and the tastiest ones, if only you knew where to look. Did you know that you are served the best Juma and thukpa at the Taxi stand below Viva City? That you can witness a very dynamic shop, at Sabji bazaar where they sell momos? That's the future! And did you know, that at times, it doesn't matter whether you bought vegetables from lower ground or the upper floor of Sabji Bazaar????

While the vanity fairs of this town confuses the aristocratic white men, we have all indulged in playing the game of 'hey! we aren't that backward as well?' My one question: is it the right hand or the left that you use to hold the knife while you cut that steak?? Do you even know how to use fork and knife? Thank you for googling and thank me, now you know what I knew since I was a thirteen year old kid: Yes, was a weird kid, read all nuisance stuff! I still prefer to use my hand to eat them meals, sorry Opera, if only you ate Dhal Bhaat with me?

This town has its own dark secrets as well. There lies a different town beneath the blankets of dark, a town of infidelity, a town which has succumbed into promiscuity. While some have accepted that it happens, while some are yet to have their dreams of perfect love stories shattered, and while some will never tolerate it. For this reason, I feel sad for many people ( I really do, ask my friends). Perhaps, they should know what are the consequences and circumstances. Oh, and I met very bold people on facebook who were just mere kitty cats in real life. And since when did it become, that you could only be smart if you knew the historical facts of our country? Aren't we killing softly, our innovators, our literature laureates, our food technicians, our physicists, our chemists, our engineers in all of their fields, our writers (wake me up when they write something worth reading - except The Night Hunters, Gaylo and Dear Seday - not because they are my friends, but they wrote things they weren't supposed to write few years ago, or the writers who came up with something eccentric),

At times, I wonder, whether we have two parallel laws. One for the people of Thimphu and the other, for the rest of the nation.

I compare my life with what I had lived in Bajo, and it is surprising. I didn't know I could make something out of the very things I did there. Well, Thimphu is more practical. Too bad, we don't have bars in every other 3m like we did in Bajo.

But mostly, what I miss is my friends out there who lived next door and I didn't have to catch a cab for them. That they were always doing something so stupid, that it was cherish-able, that all my memories are of laughter and smiles. I miss the wind fondling my face, despite my pimples then - the wind didn't care whether I was messed up or happy, it just embraced me whenever she was around, so did her step child - the dust and sands! Those nights that we all craved to see the illuminating lights of Punakha dzong, while we smoked cigarettes and drank both cheap and expensive ale at the banks of Punatshangchhu. While we sang rusty old classic songs, while some of our friends peed on cars and peed from balconies! While everybody knew everybody. Like known today, if you do something here in Thimphu, only 5% of the people would know, if you did it in Bajo, 225% rumoured about it. Still then, kids didn't worry or bargained to eat koka with their parents. While kids didn't have to see their parents gamble?

In all this, few of my goals haven't changed. I can't paint much like I could in Bajo, nor can I write now, and neither have I read. And I think back about those days out there, how naive, how lunatic, how impractical, how road side romeo was I then - and I look forward to see better days here. At least I now know, am not just sticking around for a salary, I am working on what I have loved the most - still trying my best to manage time for my loved ones.

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