Palden Chodra is 28 years old bachelor. He has just arrived from Mongar to his new place of posting here in Thimphu. It is his first official posting. He was placed in Mongar for two years after graduating from the College of Natural Resources; Lobesa, Wangdue Phodrang. He is an Agricultural Officer and a strong believer and self-proclaimed guardian of our cultural and traditional ethics.
when he last visited his great grandmother in their village, she kept him busy asking him to settle down soon so she could die happily after witnessing her only great grandson’s marriage. This was the only wish she had like all great grandparents do. It was his last week in the east. And every single word uttered with her soothing voice is still audible to him. And like all loving great grandsons he did secretly promised to fulfill her last wish sooner.
Almost mysteriously, just after a month or two of his stay in Thimphu-the capital of Bhutan, he and his Miss Perfect happened to dash each other on the crowded pavement along the Norzin Lam. The whole scene unfolded in perfect slow motion similarly how it happens in all the romantic movies of Bollyhood. Her long silky hair danced in the air revealing in mini-seconds her beautiful face.
Palden Chodra missed a heartbeat, took a long deep breath and kept blinking his eyes in even slower motion when he saw what he always wished for. She had a typical Bhutanese face cut; Plump rosy cheeks, small eyes and sharply cut lips. He even heard a romantic tune coming out of Dramyin( Bhutanese wooden guiter) played in some far distant place with a husky voice humming in the background. The ‘time warp’ smoothly came to its normal speed when he heard the final note of that romantic symphony. But in the normal speed of time his eyes suddenly caught the sight which utterly displeased him.
|image: Dramyin source - culturalinfusion.org.au|
Syeldon Rewa wangchuck is her good name. She is Harvard graduate and is flawlessly westernized. She is an Assistant Manager in one of the financial institutions in Thimphu. But why on earth was Palden Chodra displeased!
The ‘self-proclaimed guardian of our cultural and traditional ethics’ saw her wearing LEVIS jeans tightly fitted around her legs, stylish boots warming her feet and Northface jacket covered the top half of her body. He never wished such garments invade the simplicity of his wardrobe, his house and our nation at large. The sight of her garments did disturbed him but the beauty of her face still made the unfinished symphony of ‘love- at- first -sight’ to continue.
A friend at his office advice him to wear some decent pants and shirts after office hours whenever he makes an appointment to meet her, loss some extra mass especially around his tommy and reduce the consumption of ARA (home manufactured alcohol) and DOMA (a combination of a betel nut, lime and a wild leaf which is customarily chewed after every meal in Bhutan). Palden Chodra agreed on exercise in order to reduce the size of his tommy but was adamant not to wear pants and shirts and to reduce the consumption of ARA and DOMA.
In his desperate attempt to woo her, without tarnishing the ethics, he toke her to watch the latest Bhutanese releases in theaters around the city, to MART and to the SHAREE SQUARE for some shopping. Though he was uncomfortable on the elevator he wore smiles on his face. Interestingly the day of their last outing on which they had spent a time together in Centenary Park was on the eve of Valentine Day but sadly Palden Chodra was unaware of it.
Late that night, his friend called to inform him about this special occasion of lovers on the following day. So immediately he rushed to the nearest ATM Counter to withdraw an amount of money to purchase a gift to his darling. His frequent attempt to withdraw money from ATM counters that night was in vain. And out of sheer frustration Palden Chodra spat a mouth full of DOMA on the screen of one of the ATM Counters.
The following morning, on the romantic day for love buds, Palden Chodra received a call from General Manager of a Bank. He was caught red handed spitting on the screen by the CCTV hung inside that particular ATM Counter the previous night. He was ordered not to repeat the act again. The news was already spread among the staffs. And as luck would have it Syeldon Rewa Wangchuck, who lately had started to show some affection to him, works in the same Bank as the Assistant Manager.
Two days later he receives another bad news. His lovely Great Grandmother left for her ultimate home in the skies.
# its a pure work of fiction and should not be affixed with the names of characters, institutions and individuals who might have experienced the same incidents narrated in the article.