As I move closer to end my fifth year in Paro, I look back with mixed feelings. I have many moments to cherish and remember. I also look back to those nostalgic moments with great sense of satisfaction and contentment.
I officially joined service in January 2006. It was a humble beginning then. We (me and my wife) rented an apartment below Rimpong Dzong. The apartment had a large living room, 2 bed room, 1 kitchen, 1 store and worst of all 1 rest room (toilet). With few personal effects, virtually the whole apartment was empty. But we had to accept it just like we accept a tail of a pig as part of pork. My wife had lot to complain when I got home late because there were either many strangers peeping through our windows curtained partially with her kira or our empty apartment echoed like it did in the empty multipurpose hall.
Our kitchen at least had few thing in it, because I chose to save my daily subsistence allowance (DSA) earned while I was undergoing my study tour as a trainee officer in Royal institute of management. I proudly recall buying 1 rice cooker, 1 water boiler, gas stove and a small two liter pressure cooker and a small frying pan form Thimphu. We also had a gas cylinder, few pots and other utensils arranged by my father-in-law. My wife's large VIP suitcase was our wardrobe and we had few good carton boxes to supplement that. We are both a very religious person so we also had a small altar set up on a table stained with cement and sand.
With the winter already in the air, the freezing temperatures and limited warm blankets meant that we needed other amenities to keep us warm. So we decided buy a double rod heater only to be shocked later that it cost us so dear. Nu 700/- was a lot of money to be spent on heater alone. It could have been used as a taxi fare to reach me to clinic, when I was fighting an acute pharyngitis. I have lived a moment near to my death.
But now in five years time, things have changed. I am decently paid and I surely didn’t have to wake or walk early to my office. I could afford a luxury of cell phone which was a distant dream a year ago. It didn’t matter whether I slept in darkness or in light but I have been to Tokyo once. For some, they must have seen a TV commercial “Malaysia Truly Asia” I have been there too. Dusty and din, Delhi was a place of magic.
I feel that god has really heard and answered my prayers. I begin my day seeing my loved ones and I end my day feeling that I have served myself and the Zhung. Today I have enough amenities to accommodate guests in my house. Carton boxes are well replaced with wooden wardrobe and plastic drawers. As I enjoy news on Aljazeera in my bed room. I can also see my daughters enjoy ‘tom and jerry’, ‘Mr. Bean’, and ‘pink panther’ on twenty one inch color sony TV in the living room. I can occasionally afford to send items my parents like in the high up mountains of Shingkhar.
I have a loving Boss who gave me an idea of Blog and Blogging besides my normal and routine customs job. His acumen has made me more matured and manly. Not only that, I also have so many affectionate friends around me. Even though Customs (my job) has been a subject of controversy for many I have started loving it more. I fell ignorance and Stupidity in critics has led to ridicule such a noble profession.
Having been recognized and promoted to a level of Assistant Collector of Customs and Excise is even more blessing. It is a realization of yet another dream for not only me but also for two mountain dwellers,-my mom and dad, Three lovely growing daughters, my better half, and my Wife's parents. For me this is Gross National Happiness in its fullness.
am I in middle class now?