Sunday, January 31, 2010 | By: CHIMI DORJI

The first time ever beyound the Bhutan gate

          Who would ever think back the intricate situations behind, when one continues to sail in the ocean of happiness? It is very difficult to skirmish against ‘troublesome moments’ once we are overwhelmed by ‘joyous moments’. Troublesome moments of the past strike abruptly in midst of happiness, leaving oneself nostalgic.
             Three young boys never thought of the troubles behind after getting selected for the undergraduate professional course in India. The overwhelming happiness overthrew all difficulties and troubles that they would face on their way to the place directed by the authority. Of course they did realize that after 3 -4 months they would leave Bhutan but how and with whom are the questions that remain shrouded. Having stayed for 4 months in the capital challenging against chilly climate, the time came for them to leave their motherland. They came from Thimphu till Phuentsholing bidding adieu to their relatives and friends. 2 days were spent and they got the tickets to leave for Kolkata on the 3rd day .It was a genius that at least three of them had heard about the city dubbed Kolkata but it was futile for them to asked whether either of them had been there as they had not even crossed beyond Jaigoan.
           The first two days got over nonchalantly but on the next day when they stirred up they felt something strange, they could breathe the normal air differently for it was the very day they had to leave for Kolkata. Ultimately with all senses of strangeness the time approached to leave and precisely quarter minutes to three they all reported to the bus station. As they got in the bus their hearts began to beat faster and their senses became numb. Bidding adieu for the last time to their relatives and friends, the bus started its engine. ‘‘We are gone, see you all next time when we come back’’ they said without having found their seats.
              After parting from the Bhutan gate they turned back to have a last glimpse. The bus began to pass through the tea gardens and beetle nut trees. Dorji heard his two friends chatting which he could not decipher. They saw so many Bhutanese faces in the bus. The bus kept on moving at a snail’s pace. Dorji glanced through the window and saw that dusk had enveloped welcoming the night. The town of Siliguri welcomed them. No sooner did the bus halt, “break for ten minutes,” uttered the conductor. They remained confined to their seats. Roadside vendors came near shouting “do you want this and that?” but they paid no heed. The journey resumed again. Dorji stared at his two friends and saw that they had dozed off although it was very uncomfortable. Seeing this, Dorji was also tempted to rest for the night; he leaned to the sit and slept for a while. After about an hour the bus halted and the shout of the conductor ‘dinner…dinner’ woke him up. It was 1:30 a.m then. They got down from the bus and went to have dinner. The dinner was horrible but still then their hunger gave way.
           As the dawn broke, the movement of vehicles started to multiply and as the sun began to kiss through the windows, the heat escalated. Having travelled for some more hours, they came across a reading which said, ‘welcome to Kolkata.’ They felt excited on finding that they had finally reached. The bus stopped. Passengers started to get out one after another. They got out at last, took out their baggage and stood in one corner. Cabbies came shouting on top of their voices, ‘‘come here, where you want to go?” Two familiar faces came near them and asked, “Where are three of you going?” “We do not know,” Dorji responded. “Let’s take one cab and go’’, said the two familiar faces. They booked a hotel and stayed for sometime with 3 boys. The two said  they were studying in Pune. They helped the three boys to get the tickets from the agent.
           Their two friends left for Pune at 10 pm. They went back to the room and took rest. At 8.a.m, the owner woke them up and told them to be ready to head towards the station. They hurriedly took out their luggage and went to the manager who told them to pay the fare of Rs. 200. The boys responded, ‘‘will your driver put us in our seats in th train.” “Of course”, said the manager. They paid Rs.150 saying that remaining Rs.50 will be paid only when the driver reaches them to their seats. They reached the station and took out their luggage. They were dropped out in the middle of road, the driver did not fulfill his obligation. He made a turn and left. They were dumbfounded. They wondered whether such person existed elsewhere.
            Utterly frustrated with the inhuman act of the driver, they moved in to the station. They enquired about the train and the platform. They went and waited for the train. The much awaited train came after an hour of waiting. They had no idea from where to board. They sought help from a porter and found their seats. They spent a night in the train. The next evening, they reached the station from where they were supposed to get down. They made a call to one of the seniors to come and pick them up from the station.  Accordingly  two  seniors came and picked them up from the station.And, with all these difficulties on the way, they finally made to their destination.

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