Whose shop would not want to get rich and hoard piles of money when the question of sustainability is right below our nose? In a cutthroat world of business, even Rajnikanth would fear to thrive on paltry wages unless it is a well to do store. And in a pricey city like Thimphu where money is everything, who would dare to ward off customers and keep away bunch of money. After all, it is the money that every tom, dick and harry is after.
But not all shops are alike as we may think.
Few days before, I was out with my friends to purchase vegetables from a nearby average grocery. Bit later, a group of youth showed up in the same shop. The shop was also licensed to run a bar. Few of low quality brandies were topping the list in the rack. What my instinct had is that the bar was famed mainly for those elderly people who are not very used to superior qualities.
Hardly had I finished clearing the bill than the group placed their order for the night. Maybe they don’t want to get drunk from expensive bars because getting drunk from expensive taverns would also mean fat wallet. I was one step away to exit when the shop owner did something which I haven’t expected and seen in last many years. Initially I thought aunty was going nuts.
She was reluctant to serve their order. Her face bore the looks of suspicion. Not that they would take French leave after the round, but she thought the customers were juvenile. Immediately, the notice on the sale of alcohol to those below 18 became her subject. I felt foolish for not understanding her genuine concern.
I was mentally absorbed in the scene. However, I didn’t poke my nose fearing that I might add fuel to the already charring fire. But If I were to umpire them, I would straightaway give red card to the group. Only two or three of them seems to qualify for drinks but certainly next year. Since I am sufficiently exposed to “give no damn” stance of our young people, I was not impressed by their bravery and fight backs. It was, in fact, a pitiful sight of them for not accepting the law.
Although the quarrel perpetuated after my leave, I only wished that aunty didn’t lose her side.
I know Auntie’s valor caused her own loss. The money fetched from the boys could have helped her pay the rent or invest in her child’s schooling or fuel up the car if she had one, otherwise. But more than the money, she earned the highest degree of honor which money can’t buy.
While it may sound absurd for many others, what aunty did is, indubitably, a global concern and take home message to all the shop keepers out there. If we have more of responsible shopkeepers like aunty, Bhutan would have the finest generation today, tomorrow and always.
Let’s remind bar owners what they have for today’s youth before recklessly pouring liquors of any kind, to students or drop outs below sweet 18.