A Visit to Katmandu, Nepal – Part I

After travelling through the hills of snow-capped mountains and precipitous path, forest of straight chirpiness, entwined unknown trees, and blanket of snowstorm at Thrumsengla, Pelala, and Yontongla, I reached Capital City on February 16,2014. It took exactly eighteen hours to reach all the way from Lhuentse to Capital city, Thimphu, and I managed to reach in one day even though there was a back pain after sitting many hours inside I20 Car. It was a rough and terrible journey, with the roads heavily snowed in. From Pelala only I had a grandstand view of the valleys and mountains, and from rest, the mountains were shadowy and covered with thick clouds.

I was indeed exhilarated to receive letter from DPA duly signed by Honorable Dasho, Director General dated February 7, 2014, requesting the head of agency (where I work) to relieve me for attending short term course in Katmandu, Nepal. And, working in a secluded place such opportunity is rare. In the eyes of my friends who joined in conglomerated world, my sense of pride and pleasure increased, even though it values not much. But, one thing did not increase, i.e. I was having only two days left to get air ticket and I would miss the chance in case if I do not get passport on February 17, 2014.

As I was on official purpose, I was so much worried that I might miss the opportunity that our department offered and if I had not reached here at Capital City on above date I would have missed dateline for getting air ticket. Upon reaching Thimphu I instantly approached passport section under Ministry of Foreign Affairs, situated adjacent to Kuzu FM office. With highly tensed and worrisome back at my mind and carrying a bundle of official documents I entered inside the gate and waited there with hopes that I might meet someone whom I know it before. Luckily, I met a girl whom I know little during our training at RIM. After much earnest request made to her and the staid madam, whom she was dealing with direct issue of passport, I got my work done within just an hour. I was happy that she helped me during such emergency albeit she made ridiculous remark uttering, “don’t entertain such request in future.” Even then, I was indebted to that unknown civil servant not for her ridiculous remark but for her fervor and zeal in issuing passport at the eleventh hour. After getting outside, I realized that the issue of passport to anyone going for official tour or personal is not that much daunting or time consuming. If truth be told, it is just a matter of time and willingness to perform public-service delivery at the brim of our attitude. But, do not wrong me for such thoughtless view. I think comparing to accounts work at Dzongkhag level, the work pressure is less. At Dzongkhag we are inundated with works most of the time carrying relentless escapades and criticisms from public. All that we require is positive attitude and optimistic mind.

At the vanguard, the journey to Nepal was an unexpected one, not in terms of having tenacity to travel so but having worked in a place nestled in remotest Dzongkhag the chances were rare indeed. I realized that remoteness and isolation of place – even though it values certain point as per civil service rules it acts as a detrimental factor; the factor that hampers the very chances that the department offers. But I thank our department for offering such opportunity to accustom and expose ourselves to the world of government accounting at a bigger level; orchestrating such smart move and although, when our economy is passing through the derailed state yet our department scrutinized and dissected in offering such training. No sooner did the department offer such training than the level of happiness sprouted up; it was a wakeup call for new accounts officer that journey of civil servant life has just commenced.

I was bit apprehensive about traveling through flight for the first time; however, my friend had already prepared to face the taste of it. Nepal, situated in Himalayas, is one of the hotspots for tourists’ destinations yet during the last decade, one or two plane crash customarily every year. Owing to this alarm, I got into a sweat that I might not return back to my motherland country. What had had happened to Nepal with thousands of planes has impacted Bhutanese pilgrimage a lot, in terms of traveling through helicopter after reaching Nepal. Thus, on February 20, 2014, I visited Dechenphug Lhakhang for simple benediction- so that I along with my friends could return safely with cosmos of knowledge and valuable experiences from Nepal. This was my wishes and expectations.

Our training on ‘government accounting’ was funded by World Bank and we were paid $ 120 per day for each of us. The training commenced from February 28, 2014 to March 6, 2014, at National Information Technology Institute Pvt, Katmandu, Nepal. At the beginning, I thought that I would be in the money when DPA had offered such opportunity, however, it was not. Undeniably, the training exposed us to the world of government accounting at international level, to say the positive one.

I spent the previous night (dated February 26, 2014) at Shaba-RBA camp and of course my birth place in the late 1980s. Shaba valley is truly an oasis of peace and sanity amid the surrounding disturbances from incessant movement of vehicles. From RBA main gate I could see the dried patches of terrace field left untouched, some farmers had burnt the dried grass at the paddy field, and some had even planted the apple trees. It was truly startling.

Rolling down a bag that has four wheels with necessary things inside, I approached to Druk Air Office. It was early dawn; the mists of the previous dark night have just disappeared. Much has been said about the pulchritude of Paro valley, and for last few decades, Paro has been veritable treasure trove of attracting tourists across the globe. Many would have started getting off from bed and I could see the narrow shaft of light glittering through the mountains opposite to Shaba.

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