Life isn’t a bed of roses and as comfortable as our imaginations are. It was month of November, everyone in the school was as busy as bees assembling nectar. Classes ten and twelve students were busy writing trial exam and teachers thoroughly engaged marking answer scripts, simultaneously preparing question for home annual exam. Exam committee were pressing teachers so hard to submit assessments for the preparation of results. None could imagine how hectic and tedious teaching job is, when we really think of it.
One evening, I received a text message from sister, B.Ed trainee at Samtse College of Education, informing mom has been referred to Thimphu Hospital for immediate operation by the village health personnel. It was detected as Pterigium-extra growth covering whole pupil that would probably discard proper vision. Mom decided to commence journey towards Thimphu very next day and asked me to get her at Gelephu. Leaving busy programme behind, I had to move down to Gelephu. Dully filled leave form was submitted to the principal for sanctioning of leave for five days. He was so generous in granting leave but asked to present on school picnic scheduled next day. It was almost mid-day at picnic spot, when I received another call from sister; Mom was already on half way to Gelephu where I have to to be there to get her. Sacrificing lunch, instantaneously I rushed, pleading Thinley Tobgay, (a teacher) to drop me at Zero point. Having waited for few minutes, a tripper agreed to give me a lift till Sunkosh. As I was looking hither and thither for vehicle at Sonkosh, a Bolero plying towards Thimphu gave me a lift till Tsirang-Dagana junction. Once again, I had to look for vehicles plying to Gelephu. As I was waiting in tensed, an Alto car appeared and I waved hands to stop and I asked lift till Damphu because I was pondering to hire a taxi from Damphu. He granted lift and as we were introducing, he asked where I am actually heading. I narrated whole story and knew he too was going to Sarpang. We had simple lunch at Damphu and went chatting till Sarpang check post. I thanked him for lift and was thinking at the back of my mind, he must be of high rank elite, as he personified decent moral rectitude. As I disembark from the Alto car, saw a driver entrying at the check post and one police approached me asking where I was going. "I am eyeing for vehicles plying to Gelephu" I said. He entreated Bolero driver to take me till Gelephu. It was already nine PM, when arrived at Gelephu. By then, mom has already arrived with one of the acquainted staff. We spent a night in stinking dirty room which perhaps compelled us to shift to another room day next. It was Sunday, we couldn’t go to the hospital and spent the day shopping some stuffs. On Monday, we visited hospital and directed us into the ophthalmic chamber but there wasn’t doctor. He was away in abroad for training and would be back in two weeks. Health assistant prescribed instant requirement of eye operation. No choice, day next we had to move to Thimphu spending a night at cousin’s house. Following day, we paid visit to Thimphu Hospital and doctor confirmed the needs of operation and asked for blood pressure checkup, and other necessary checkups. Aunt at Dechencholing told me to go back to the school if my leave run short. I entrusted mom to them and returned to the school to conduct annual exam. Later, when they did blood pressure checkup, it was detected pulmonary tuberculosis. She was thence admitted in TB ward.
As soon as science examination was done, I availed leave once again. Early morning next, I was looking for vehicles and one friend informed me the Vice Principal wife’s visit to Damphu. I queried, she confirmed her proceeding and agreed to adjust me till Tsirang-Dagana junction. Had dropped at junction, ached my head coz got to hunt vehicles plying to Thimphu. A moment later, a bolero belonging to T-Cell Company approached and granted lift till Wangdue Check post. I went in Taxi from check post to Messinna. In another taxi from Messinna till Thimphu. I was thence in TB ward as a sick attendant. How pathetic and damn boring it was, could hardly imagined by anyone else.
Once, when I was heading to Changlingmithang to witness the Druk Wangyel Traditional Archery tournament. On the middle of way, I received a call stating one of my cousins who was studying in Bangkok on Trongsa Penlop Scholarship was stabbed in one of the bars on the arrival night. I speeded into the emergency ward, he was lying half dead. Towards the evening, he got shifted to surgery ward and parents were worried at distanced home. It was local Annual Tshechu at Khomshar. Father and little brother had to come to Thimphu without attending eventful Tshechu. Parents’ care is so immense comparing to children's love towards parents. Reserving vehicle, they arrived at nine PM at Thimphu Hospital. They were dumb and blank, uttering no word. Children give lots of troubles to parents besides educational expenditures and financial burdens. Thence, I had to look after two patients and cook for nine people.
Before school closes for winter vacation, I reported to the school to submit leave statement and obtain relieving order for attending winter workshop programme. On 15th December, I returned to the school by bus till Tsirang-Dagana junction and by Bolero till zero point. Zero to school in hired private Van. The school closed for winter holiday on18th December and I fleed to Tsirang in the afternoon. I stayed at Tsirang for two days and moved to Thimphu as a sick attendant. When I got back, stabbed cousin was discharged and proceeding case in the Attorney General Office. Despite busy kitchen chores and taking meals to the hospital, I had to go to the Attorney General Office and court for the case. Semester in Bangkok resumed, he was late by five days and had to asked court permission to go to the university em-placing one of the in laws as his representative to file the case in the court.
In one afternoon, I was with uncle in the town to shop some food stuffs where I received a call remarking another cousin who works as domestic air manager at Bumthang hospitalized in Thimphu. He was admitted in the ENT ward and doctor advised him to undergo operation. Towards afternoon, he was taken to Operation Theater and operated successfully. By then, it was 12th January 2015, time to attend winter evaluation camp at Rinchendhing, Phuntsholing as marker for Class ten Biology. Stayed at Phuntsholing almost for two weeks, by then both the patients were discharged from the hospital. On 25th afternoon, evaluation was over and rushed towards Thimphu because environmental science orientation at Bajo was programmed on 26th January, 2015. At 4.30 PM with my friend started journey by bus from Phuntsholing to Thimphu. It was 9:30 PM when arrived at Thimphu. Next Morning we hired Taxi towards Wangdue. When we arrived at Thinleygang, vehicles were stranded due to road widening block. It opened to traffic at 9 AM and reached at Bajo HSS at 10:30 AM. As we joined them, session was already at full swing. More than 57 participants were attending Environmental Science Orientation for class IX.
It was immense triumph to meet five old trainee mates after long gap. We had dinner together and went for evening hang out at Messinna. We visited Drayangs and party and went for night ride to Khuruthang, then to Punakha. It was 1:00 AM when we got back into the room. Indeed, it was most adventures time with old comrades but day next was disgusting day for me. I suffered from diarrhea and vomiting that compelled me to be absent from workshop. I had to visit Bajo hospital and take rest for a half day. On 30th January workshop got over and in same evening we departed to Thimphu. It was10 PM when we reached Thimphu.
An appointment for mom’s eye operation was at two later days. On 2nd February, mom’s eye got operated and day next was dressing and follow-up checkups. On 6th February we headed towards Gelephu and spent two nights. On 8th I sent them home in Buli bus and returned to Damphu. While returning there wasn’t bus or taxi going to Damphu. I embarked in taxi up to Sarpang check post and in private car till Damphu. Day next was reporting day to the school, so had to look for vehicle going to Drukjegang. While loitering here-there at Damphu town met some staff friends reached up for personal reasons and agreed to adjust me too. On 10th February, all staff gathered into the school with new hopes and fortitude to cater best education to future youth.
At the blink of time, winter vacation turned out and time for succeeding academic session. Perhaps, I really didn’t realize how winter days and nights spent. Days were busy, nights were chilling cold. I couldn’t think of 2014 winter coming to an end so hastily and resuming of eventful new academic session so soon. Only god can answer my unanswered questions!!!