I am back but did I ever leave? My doubts are brimming and memories have already begun to fade..the mind is disloyal on that front, for it only looks at what it sees. Now that my feet are planted firmly on the very ground where they first learnt to trot, it feels like I have never left or like Alice in Wonderland, I just had a long, long dream where days were sunny, characters lovely and mythical and life a brief adventure from which I awoke to find myself near frozen by the frost of the wintry might. My back feels bent to a perpendicular and should I try and stand straight, perhaps I will crumble like a cookie.

Yet if it was a dream, why does everything feel so familiar, yet so strange and different? There are strange, new buildings in arms all around the town, dusty country roads in all directions and driving attitudes that has my neck elongating like that of a giraffe’s for the fear of being squashed by reckless drivers who have neither courtesy for other cars nor consideration for traffic/road rules. The seemingly perilous road has me thinking that living in this town is like living on the edge, on a daily basis. I am thinking, what will it take and how long will it take for us, the Bhutanese folks, to think and act like civilized people and make our homes habitable without fear and fervor of the societal demons and monsters, mainly created by directionless youth and migration issues?

My childhood home seem to have shrunk and aged, and so have my parents; layers of dusts had enveloped the little I had, my playground is gone and in its place stands a proud dusty road and a parking lot that, like an ant, hosts more vehicles, than it can accommodate. And people have moved…some in a different direction, some others into a different face and a selected few from this world.

When we were given a talk on reverse culture shock, I was much too proud and adamant that we would take no time at all to settle down because my mind had carried beautiful images of the quaint, smoky little town where I come from but the same brain-dead mind has deceptively begun to compare the minute I landed back that I have to endlessly remind myself that ours is more of a place of values than a place of wealth and no…this wasn’t a dream and I am no Alice…two years felt like a decade the minute I landed home. The town has gotten a new mask but my love for it hasn’t…You see, there still burns a mellow flame in my heart for this place that has seen me come into this world and known me all my life. All I got to do now is to fetch an old, worn out pair of shoes that will help me settle down into being what I used to be and learn to appreciate the Bhutan-ness of it all…
4 Responses
  1. Tashi Y Says:

    nice one as usual kc. i felt the same way too and still do sometimes :)

  2. Jimie CHOKI Says:

    Welcome home! Congratulations on your Master's. Love Missy!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Welcome back.

  4. Kinga Choden Says:

    Tashi Y, lets catch up soon at a session that you are hosting(somebody chirped about it) and bicker about it. :P

    JC, thanks but how do you welcome somebody when you are not at home yourself? Nevertheless, have lots of fun down there!!

    Anonymous, thank you very much.

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