It’s been pretty long since I haven’t updated my blog and it is partly the rain that is to blame because it kept me indoors and occupied on chores. And it was during one of those rainy days that something caught my eye. A bottle of beer-which today’s generation might have even forgotten that it once was a hip drink for all drink-a-likes!
The Golden Eagle beer which was long gone from the Bhutanese bars and market is alive at Mr. Bajay’s hotel. Just a bottle remains as his show piece. If you have gone through my book, “Beyond the call of daily life”, I have this man mentioned on the very onset of the book. Mr. Bajay’s real name is Pema Dhendup. He comes from the tiny little village of Tama, Zhemgang. He earns his living running two hotels and a furniture house right in the town of Zhemgang. He is survived by four kids.
Mr. Bajay is a familiar face and he was the first Zhemgang resident that I knew when I came to this unknown place. He comforted me with all advises when I was heartbroken supposedly for being sent to a remote school. Now, he and I are minutes apart and we have many characteristics in common. We share seven long years of friendship. He was a devout reader and his knowledge on the flora and fauna stands testimony to this fact. He tells me his love for reading is diminishing by the day. He has a small collection of books which makes an onlooker wonder-An all knowing being.
|Uncle Bajay with his Souvenir|
He idolizes the great minds of the world including some of our former ministers. The wisdom of great inspirational leaders and the good things they did to our country lights him up, then I follow suit. And why shouldn’t I? After all, if something good needs to be followed as an example, no morality check up would deny not to.
His skill in cookery is yet another mentionable quality. He is a learner at this skill. All the ordinary dishes that we encounter in today’s hotels are obvious but his skill and knowledge on food goes beyond the conventional food preparing process. He shows me some sauces which I haven’t heard or seen before. With his talks on various subjects and issues, I let a few gulps down my throat. I am a documentary movie enthusiast and whenever I get hold of a new documentary movie, I make sure I pass onto him as he too has an undying thirst for knowledge.
He frequently asks me on the English words and phrases that he doesn’t quite understand and he tells me my explanations can make a retard understand, hence, the teacher-ship which I pursue. He was educated until middle school and during his formative days he was reputed to be Zhemgang’s only ‘nine-chuck’ expert.
On one usual evening, having read an entire page on Obama’s consideration for South East Asia, he was lost and I had to tell a summary on the story to which he even now remembers what he learnt. A naturally born-to-learn learner! His outlook on learning makes him an all knowing saint. But when it comes to computers, he lags a little.
And in evenings…
As customers heats up in discussion on various subjects, he will humbly come listen to the discussion holding an orange mug to which he already might have poured in some pegs of the familiar ‘Special Courier’ whisky. This is Mr. Pema Dhendup commonly, Uncle Bajay.