My first adventurous journey to Thimphu: 2003.


I was roused from a deep nap, when I heard the old man shouted” Dochu la ma ta tato wondai tso”( meaning we are now feeling hot in Docula(mountain pass). He must be southern Bhutanese because he was speaking ironically in Nepali language. My cousin brother who was occupying the adjacent seat in the bus said” Oh this pass is Dochula said somebody and I believe we are nearing to Thimphu(capital of Bhutan). I started to rub my eyes and peeped through the window glass of the Bus. A piled of snow was seen on the either side of the road.

I was journeying to Thimphu from Gelephu for the first time in 2003 with my brother who had never been to Thimphu. We are embarking to Thimphu for processing national identity card. Unfortunately there was on one in the bus whom we know them.

The driver kept applying constant thrust on the accelerator and the speed of bus was never bad, because it has left many small cars behind plying on the same road. The meandering road was making us to jerk sideward, time and again and in each turn a woman passenger was squealing at driver to retard the speed of the Bus.

“Oh brother where we will sleep tonight, I am sure we cannot find our uncle in Thimphu city” said my brother. I can see his face already tensed and looking at me worriedly. We will look for a waterless culvert and we will park ourselves inside the pipe tonight, I replied to him.
 
Photo: google.com

 
No sooner did we complete our conversation then I saw thousands lights of the Thimphu city twinkling through the fluttering pine leaves. We must been near Simtokha I knew later. My brother who is few years older than me had perturbed me instead of comforting me. He pointed his finger to the panoramic view of Thimphu city and said” Look there bro! We can see uncountable number of tall buildings glittering in the never ending line, and who are we as a newcomers to identify our uncle’s residence among thousands?” Don’t disquiet we will try our best bro I consoled him politely.

Our uncle has been working as armed force in Thimphu for quite a number of years. The panoramic view of Thimphu is zooming quickly toward us and finally roaring bus had travelled under a long concrete bridge. Just few meters from the bridge there was wide and open bungalow. The bus was safely parked inside the bungalow.

Everybody was trying to rush through a narrow door of the bus as the night has completely engulfed Bhutan. Yet Thimphu city was brighten with the hundreds street lights. We decide not to rush and took our own time to disembark the bus.

Before I got out of the exit of the bus, there were lots of people who came to usher the co-passengers. I cursed myself for being born to a humble background and there was no one to welcome me at the bus station, despite it was my first visit to Thimphu. Later I learnt those ushers were no other than cab drivers looking for passengers.  

We downed our luggage from the roof of the bus and walked near the RSTA building. My brother was calmly following me. Under the dim street light I unzipped my purse to take out the route map (Showing the direction from the bus station to my uncle’s house) drawn by my father before our departure from Radhi village.

My father lived in Thimphu in early 1960’s with his father who was then serving as one of the first Bhutanese standing army during our third king’s reign.

As directed by the route map, we had headed towards the bridge, climbed up the stairs and walked towards left side. Just after few meters towards left side of the bridge, we knew that we are approaching the gate as indicated in the drawing. Our confidence was boosted and we walked straight away towards the gate.

Dochula pass.
A young police man had barred our way near the gate. He told us to unzip our bags and he had done through checking. “Sir Do you know corporal Wangchuk? My brother enquired. “Yes but the corporal Wangchuk whom I know is from Zhemgang” answered the police. I shed tears as I could not hold our gaiety at that moment. The kind police had showed us the building which is about 100 meters away from the gate. We are sure about the location of the Building, but the same building had 6 flats. The police was unsure about the flat that our uncle occupies.

In a sigh of relief, we quickly walked towards the building. The building was three storey houses. We stepped near the first entrance of the ground floor and stayed there for while, spying near the door. We heard a woman shouting at his child” gelamo nan(giving warning in Sharchop). They are from eastern Bhutan, I presumed. We moved to the 2nd entrance of the lower storey of the same building and passively eavesdropped near the door.

Ah! We discovered somebody in the room was conversing in khengkha(my mother tongue). My brother rattled repeatedly on the door. After few seconds of repeated knock, we heard someone unlatching the door. It was only our uncle who unclosed the door.  

There was no cellular service in Bhutan in 2003. We have telephone booth in plenty, but my uncle do not owned private telephone at home.

14 comments:

  1. wonderful journey with many new encounters la...anyway finally you have found the right person before it was too late...nice n good day ahead..thanks

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  2. I am sorry sir, my article was bit long, I know I have eaten at least 10 minutes of your precious time. Any way thank for your time.

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  3. Norbu Sir, in 2003 when you were journeying towards Thimphu, I would have been playing marbles in dusty ground with my dusty friends with our cheeks all clothed in mucus. You made me to remember this la, thank you. Glad that you and your brother were able to meet your uncle. Hope everything is going well everyday with sound in health. God bless you and your beloved family members. Regards from me. Take Care. :)

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  4. Ugyen Sir thanks for your splendid comments and wishes. However I am sorry I took your precious time. I tried my best to shorten my story yet, I could not shortened more than that. Once again thank you and same wishes to you. Have a great weekdays here after.

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  5. Wonderful boss, I too had similar journey and still dreaming of to Thailand if I get through IELTS

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  6. Boss don't worry, you will surely get through IELTS. All the best in rest of the exams. thanks for taking your precious time to read my post. Keep visiting man.

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  7. This is such a cute story of your first time journey Thimphu. I too had my journey. But yours appears more interesting. BTW talking about that Dasho Chabdha thing, I think you must be careful in highlighting it. Rumors had that the spread of this information is still being patrolled by our government. May not be true. You just check it out. Thanks bro. It was as always a nice read from you. Take care!

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  8. Ok bro thanks for your great concern. Simultaneously thanks for your beautiful comments. keep visiting. Take care and have a nice weekdays here after.

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  9. I enjoyed reading your story of your journey!

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    1. I am pleased because at least my article had enjoyed you.

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  10. Wow!!!! You had a wonderful n experiencing journey mosh sir. Nice article n had enjoyed reading it

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    1. Thank you mam for your splendid comments.

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  11. Lying on my bed, here in Kanglung, my mind already crossed Dochula. Through the chilly fog, admiring the scene as I draw closer to my place. As you mentioned the view from Semtokha, I could see my house down the valley, Chang JiJi. Literally felt like I was moving back home. Loved every bits of your journey, dear sir. Between I am Khengpa too, but from Monggar. Have a wonderful weekend. Take Care!

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    1. Thank you lekey for your fantastic and fabulous comments. But sorry for eating away your precious time.

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