Saturday, 22 August 2015

There is something about Bhutan

When my time came to leave their country, couple of my friends asked me 'Are you going back for good?' That's because many people strive hard to enter Australia and remain there only, extending the visa and trying to get even PR - permanent residency.

The facilities and modern amenities like: continuous flowing tap water, continuous and never shutting down electricity, fresh vegetables and fruit irrespective of seasons, pothole free roads, etc are no match for something that our country has that keeps beckoning us back home.

I am happily looking forward to return to my country, it is not because of formalities, which can be easily skirted about if I wanted to, just one year away and how I missed Bhutan. Even now I do not know the specific reason why I wanted to come back. With all the flaws, poverty and paucity of everything yet my country beckons me. And it is not just me as I was told by some surprised Aussies that all Bhutanese return or looking forward to go back even after getting visa extension.

There is something about our country have, that makes us miss her and invites us to her bosom. The roads are not good, there is no water supply, electricity is erratic and there are innumerable draw backs obviously because Bhutan is considered underdeveloped country for a reason, but that is immaterial. Bhutan is what I like. 

As I look back and try to find out what is that ‘something’, it is the human touch that is lacking abroad. Everybody is busy fighting their own battle making the time seemingly run fast. Time is money they say and indeed it is, when you are paid up for the labour in terms of hours. When you add monetary values to the time, time becomes money and it becomes hard to spare. Back home time is what we have in abundance. Everything can wait if you have some problem related to humane things like attending a sick, funerals or marriage ceremonies. The superfluous presence of car in the parking of crematorium shows that we care.

Even with police after serious traffic violation one can get away with just a warning. Elders and high officials need not stay in the queue, if at all there is a queue; there are different level of public service provided to the different people according to his status and connections. No one minds that (?) Yes, certain things needs to be changed but we must not forget that these things might be the very things that makes us unique.

The children need not bid good bye to their parents after attaining eighteen years of age. Parents can bank on their children to be looked after in their old age - until recently there was no pension system, perhaps due to this reason.

If your vehicle breaks down on the way, there is no dearth of helping hands. One need not be afraid of getting robbed or assaulted. Saying just ‘Hi’ or talking with the stranger or passerby is the means to know each other. There is nothing awkward about being a friendly person unlike being abroad where everyone is apprehensive of everyone; leave aside talking, even the eyes contact is avoided in the crowd. It is so robotic to be in crowd without friends.

Things are changing due to the development and as we copy from the west and youths becoming more vociferous and open about what they want. It must not be forgotten that the uniqueness of Bhutan is not just the architecture, dress and the language but there are certain ethereal values and humane touch which cannot be taught but which is intrinsic in our blood being Bhutanese. Those intangible values are desired to be preserved and passed down.

Otherwise, it would be not surprising if some Bhutanese do not ‘come back for good’ after going abroad.
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