“After Apa retired from the army, I changed schools from Paro to Zhemgang. From 8th grade onwards, I studied in a boarding school. It was hard being away from my parents. I didn’t qualify after class 10 and was sent to a private school in Gelephu. The relatives with whom I stayed weren’t kind to me, and after 11th, I stayed alone in a rented apartment. My parents supported my decision, but the freedom of staying alone took a toll on my grades. My results were average. I contemplated going to college with my parents’ help, but Apa fell severely ill. He had to be referred to multiple hospitals. I gave up on the idea and pursued a course in hotel management. Working at a construction site, I’d saved enough for my fees.

After completing the course, I worked at a Hotel in the F&B sector. Things were looking up for me until 2020. Apart from a few seniors, we were all laid off. I didn’t know what to do next. I went back to Zhemgang, but it was hard to find anything to do. So, I climbed on a bus to T/phu, and after searching for months, I got a job in a cafe. The owner was a relative of a former colleague. I share an apartment with 2 friends and we are all trying hard to survive. From paying rent to buying groceries, everything is a challenge.

Both Apa and Ama are old and hardly visit me unless they are here for medical treatments. My mother is currently with me for medication. It’s hard to send them money regularly but I do when I can. Seeing my hardships, they refuse it but I insist and make them take it. In his late 60s, Apa still does carpentry and tailoring, which helps them financially.

I worry about the future because the sector that I work in isn’t stable as the pandemic unfolds. Influenced by friends, I did plan to go overseas to work but my financial state didn’t allow it. I advise the younger lots to complete their education when they have the chance. To those my age, be any job, I’d tell them to work with dedication and hard work.”

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  1. May 17, 2021 - Reply

    This too shall pass.