Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aloo Chop and Youth Unemployment

‘What is this?’ i bet might have been also your expression on seeing this photograph because when one of my colleagues saw it she didn’t hesitate to tell me that the Aloo Chop (Potato Croquette) in the plate looks like shit!

Yesterday evening one of my friends took me in a small bar….not for drinks but to eat this shit alike Aloo Chop which he thinks are best sold in this shop in Thimphu and with it we also had aromatic masala tea in juice strained cups(the cups were also different in shape)…!

As my friend placed the order, I seated myself down in one of the corners. I scanned around to know this place more. It was my first visit. The observations simply stunt me.

The bartender seems half sleep because her hair was roughly tightened and she kept rubbing her eyes. The walls were dirt-strained. The window panes were oasis for spiders to net his web. The floor seems to have left unwashed for ages.  In addition to it, the floor was full of cigarette butts and the thick air inside this bar kept me stressed (office works) until I had a sip of the aromatic masala tea which de-stressed a bit so I could comprehend the situation ahead.

On our right side my hands landed on a pile of mattress and Chinese tagged cheap Indian blankets rolled up against the wall. On our left side near to the entrance, two young men were seated with three 11000 beer bottles in front of them. One more bottle was ordered when I ran my eyes on them.

One of them lit a cigarette and started puffing profusely. The other flips to the classified ad page of Kuensel. He stares on the page and quickly drops it down only to crumple it into a ball and tacks it in between the four empty beer bottles. The former passes the cigarette and unfolds the crumpled job classified Ad page. As he finished unfolding the page he jots down some phone numbers in his mobile. He then taps his friend on his back, stands up and pays the bill. As they exit I saw in their hands a file each with a lot of Xeroxed papers.

As soon as they leave then our much awaited Aloo Chop arrives with a wisp of steam. Looking at the shit alike Aloo Chop in front of me I couldn’t help but ponder over the issue of youth unemployment in our small country. The situation Reminiscent my own stage of unemployment just after I graduated, asked myself what meaning would they (unemployed youths) derive from the beautiful concept of Gross National Happiness and wondered who is more responsible; government or ourselves?

Amidst this confusion I coined this expression in my mind, “This Aloo Chop and the Youth Unemployment in our country is like a shit! Nobody likes it and nobody likes to talk about it either”. And I said to myself, ‘forget it, concentrate on the Aloo Chop and enjoy this moment in this weird bar because you are not visiting and eating this even more weird Aloo Chop ever again ”!


  1. Really interesting story Gayatri Sir.
    At first, I thought it was Chillipchop. I think the shape for Aloo chop needs to change then the customer might buy more than usual. But most Bhutanese go with what is available in the market when the choice is limited. There are options but the better ones are taken and they are left with what is available around them.
    But Sir ji, go back to that place and tell them to change the shape of Aloo chop. :D

    1. sure,Will go once and remind them of the shape...but Yeesi it was delicious despite its disgusting shape...... ehhehhe...
      Thank you for visiting again..God Bless You...

  2. Interesting one Sir ji.
    “This Aloo Chop and the Youth Unemployment in our country is like a shit! Nobody likes it and nobody likes to talk about it either”, however is one of my favorite . The other one being "shit-alike aloo chop" .

    But u clearly pointed out the fact that most Bhutanese restaurants ( particularly that one ) are money oriented ..to the extend that customer care and service first attitude is totally ignored.

    I believe that a good business is not just making a good food but also keeping in mind that the customer who pays 45 Nu for a plate of aloo chop is also a worthy customer of Nu. 45 x (365-52x2)} per year...(excluding the sat n sun ) and if they are giving that service , the environment/surrounding should also be good as well. No one wants to drink mocha standing near a public toilet.

    1. Thank you Anonymous for the insightful opinion...We seriously need to take this " Costumer Service" issue...Thank you visiting and leaving a line here...keep visiting...Thank you

  3. Nice post sir. The unemployment problem among the youth in Bhutan is really disheartening and worse still, such problems lack any immediate solutions. Hope it becomes better in the coming years.


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