“My stepdad and I appeared for our exams at the same time. I was getting a Master’s degree in Linux while he was doing a specialized course in Microsoft. We both made it through and got good job offers in India. We schemed to convince ama to move in with us. To this, she simply said, “You two can settle there and marry if you like, but leave me alone. I will die in my motherland.” The next day, stepdad quietly packed his bag for Bhutan. Eventually, I too chose my family over the job. Bhutan was still new to IT then and getting any job was hard. After sitting idle for 7 months, an uncle said, “You can’t go on breaking bread for free”. Although it was difficult to hear, he was right. He helped me get a job. From an IT geek to a tea bag marketing guy was not the career trajectory I’d hoped for. But I focused on the work at hand. In a month’s time, I’d managed to get my manager’s attention with the sales I’d made. I was soon offered a job with a cheese brand. I came up with schemes to encourage bulk orders from shopkeepers. Based on the number of cartoons ordered, one could get free watches, microwave ovens, washing machines, and even motorbikes. A highly excited client even ordered 200 cartoons for the bike. The cheese manager who had been skeptical at first was also sold on the idea as time went by.

The insights I gained made me try my hands at running a restaurant. My parents were doubtful. It was considered only for the “less educated”. So, I wrote them a well-accounted business proposal. My stepdad had always been the easiest to convince. My mother too took a chance on me and invested. When they saw me excel, both of them quit their jobs to help out. My restaurant was and still is a place for the youth. It’s where they come to have a good time. I’ve seen a lot of budding musicians practice here. I even keep spare guitars for them to use. The walls of my restaurant adorn caricatures of western rock bands in Gho. If it wasn’t for my mother’s initial refusal and the numerous jobs I took later, I’d have ended at a boring desk job, slogging hard to make ends meet. I guess it was a good thing after all. I’m happy how things turned out.”

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