It was during 2013 election. I was placed at one of the extreme places of Zhemgang, along with complete knots of strangers, to dispatch my duty as polling officer. Little did I know that the road less trodden would flash as fond memories today.
The first few hours of the journey wasn’t lively. So it took a while to break the ice.
Gradually, as we pushed further into the wild, close we felt and so full of live, the interaction became. Among us was a guy with an extensive experiences of travelling the pockets of our country, which made our journey increasingly exciting.
|Our presiding officer stealing some furtive glances.|
His stories were mainly that of pain and gain. Sacrifice and struggles. Tears and smiles. Diligence and reward.
As I kept listening to his account I could not help but relate it to my own life. I felt blessed to have been raised by a decent parents. However, his story had me wondered immensely on the sacrifices and struggles every parents make to comfortably raise their children, which to many of us remain frozen with time.
Once I jokingly confided that every time I receive my salary it puts me in a heavy state of dilemma. He seemed to have stirred by the funny remark and asks for the justifications.
“I am puzzled as I know not what to shop at the month end- cooking oil or an underwear”.
To my answer, he breaks into a wild laughter and forgets the lengthy trial ahead of us. On resuming his wisdom packed wrinkles, he rivets on setting priorities in life and leaves me with the same choice again- whether I should buy a cooking oil or an underwear.
“Life is not easy”, he further continued with a deep sigh as we ascended the hills. Coincidentally, and to his thoughtful tone, I said that my dad must have walked thousand miles to earn a handsome travel allowances. He paused for a short respite, dabbed the sweat and rejoined circuitously, “How do you feel cruising all these greasy and narrow paths?” Then he chortles expecting some response from my side.
My lips were half asunder as if to speak, I drew in a long breath but it escaped into a silence instead of a response.
Noticing the silence, he adds that the real pain is earning by self and making a wise choice.
True to his words, evoking the yesteryears, I would almost achieve buying everything that came my way. Making a choice was easy then. I just had to make a list and wait for the money from home.
Meanwhile, we wait for our friends to catch us and watch the light slowly fade down the horizon. Together, off we went to lodge at our designated place and called it a night.
An elder by age, experience and wisdom, he revealed out some of the findings and interventions of his experiments with so called survival and living. Moreover, his story of becoming a sole breadwinner and taking charge of his families emboldened me to rethink and live life more meaningfully.