“It’s been 7 years since my husband & I decided to open a shop. Both of us were no longer in our prime for any labour-intensive work, so a new job was the best option. Although I was never schooled, my husband used to be a village lay monk. He started having issues with his knee & couldn’t keep up with performing rituals. So, he retired to help me with this work.

In our 40 years of marriage, we sustained by working on farms. We then bought a Bolero through a loan in hopes of starting a business. We still have some amounts left to pay. Before the pandemic, we made a decent income but now it’s gotten so difficult.

Our son has completed zindra ghu & has left for a 3-year retreat. After that, he shall become a teacher. My elder daughter went to work in Korea while her younger brother is here in the village, divorced and with 2 kids whom we are trying to raise. Our kids are independent & are able to help us, so that’s a great relief.

We were not being allowed to occupy this place for our business. We repeatedly requested for a permit & did our best to not litter & keep the public restrooms clean. We come to work early in the morning, prepare porridge & tea. Except for the momos, everything is made here in the shop. My two grandsons help me & when they’re not around, making momo is not possible. Nevertheless, this business benefits us & we are forever grateful in our heart for being allowed to open a shop.
The commuters have told us that a shop at this high place is a relief & it’s good to get something warm to eat in the cold. I consider that a source of merit which is not possible otherwise. At times, other sellers would come here to rush for the tourists & they’d dump their wastes, leaving the place messy. But my husband & I make sure to clean the place. Otherwise, we pay the same penalty.

I’m illiterate to give any advice but I request people to take responsibility for their waste & help each other out in times of need.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Chelela


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