The purpose was not defined! Yet it started from Thimphu bus terminal till Gelephu bus terminal. Everything was fresh and fine early in the morning. The crowd was busy and rushing. All buses were getting ready to move to their destiny. When it was 7:00 am in my mobile driver calmingly pressed the accelerator hard signaling we are ready to move. Soon the wheels started rolling and my journey started from the capital city, Thimphu.
Majority of the passengers were Nepali, may be because our destiny is to the south. And sadly all were mothers of one or two – little cute baby in their arms holding tight and diligent fathers – face proved that they are sturdy. I was with my classmate friend Phuntsho Wangdi.
A Nepali grandfather sold Churkam (dried cheese) with his admired Dzongkha dialect mixed with humors and our journey was set worthwhile with Churkam in everyone’s mouth.
Soon with a sharp horn near Lungtenphu army camp we reached Semtokha. From there it was up – to the chilly serene scene of Dochula. A lady passenger requested driver to play music. She was rejected till Dochula. Everything was beautiful and quit. The rising seat and tip of Chorten (stupa) and monastery were overwhelming. The awesomeness soon disappeared to the tune of Sem gawi Ngyem (happy day of beautiful sun) of Jangchub Choden and Tshering Dorji. We were heading down then.
Everyone was quit. The road was snaky through the dense huge grand trees with long and beautiful mosses decorating them. The wind was chilly. And I was fallen asleep. The music was so sharp and it was Nepali song when I was awakened at Thinleygang.
A lady was beside road with cucumbers and maize corn. Driver stopped to ask the price of cucumber while I bought maize corn and enjoyed its allure between my teeth till Wangdue.
Muddy and noisy was the Wangdue town. There were trucks moving one after another. Seemed the town is kept busy by the ongoing Punatshachu Hydropower Project. Splashing muddy water to the roadside few cameras flashed to the burned Dzong (fortress). All the conversations were sympathetic. The sympathy of helpless headless Dzong, the unavailability of fund to rebuild and more emotional strikes with the continuing smoke from the Dzong were what they murmured each other. Everyone felt sorry for the unfortunate misery.
A huge jerk and bumpy ride made our way along hydropower construction. Many were amazed to see big holes dug on the difficult rocky terrain. They were counting the holes on their fingers tip till the motel where we had lunch. With chicken curry and rice, Bhutan has developed was their conclusion with their counts of number of tunnels on their fingers.
With full tummy we continued our journey along the turbid river. The sight of huge machineries and grouted mountain continues till we cross the river through beautifully designed bridge. The breeze of the dashing river was cool and fresh.
The song girl you are my angel frenzied the curves to Tsirang Dzongkhag. Up through the green chirpine with dark trunk and fearing hills, negotiating all those curves, we were greeted profoundly – welcome to Tsirang Dzongkhang on flamboyant board with red background.
Through the sloping valleys and bungalows, little goat craving to stand for the green fresh bunch of grass, bulbul singing and dancing to the tune and rhythm of wind, sun shining to wedge its rays on my forehead we reached Damphu town. An angelic look with tika on their forehead, ostensibly smiling heart throbbing and greeting with Dzongkha in Nepali dialect I was overwhelmed for their courtesy and mannerism of Damphu shopkeeper.
Sloping down through thick and foggy weather, negotiating the bumpy road we were finally at the deserted Sarpang check post. I was taken back to Garage town at S/Jongkhar. I wasn’t sure how far Gelephu is? My friend explicated me the names of the passing places. Vegetation starting from Tsirang valley till Sarpang check post is similar to my village.
Students’ with ash colored dress, lean umbrella, shops with no guarantee of when to collapse, barbers tackling their scissors through the rough hair of Nepali looks men best decorated the so called Sarpang Bazaar.
Simple sharchokpa girl standing with sweet smile to travelers, Nepali Kanchi with goats and cows playing in a fresh dew rain drops, and future airport waving its ring colured blue and white strips made our journey gratifying to reach our destiny.
Road from Sarpang to Gelephu is least fortunate. Small streams defined their ways to make it bumpier and it was remarkable when we were tuned to the rhythm of Ata Youngba with every thrust.
Little not far from among the huge trees, the raising tip of the yellow building, few taxis, sharp turn to the round concreted blacktopped space, thrice hard sound of accelerator being pressed hard connoted finally we were to destiny.
The crowd was again busy. And I was finally on the sofa. Gelephu is hot like hell.