From Dust Storm to Dark Future

Finally, it was decision time. As I walked into my office today, a short statured man walks in, greets me and places a letter from Head Quarter on my table. I read through and grazed my eyes on him. He was our new security guard. He would be replacing Sonam Wangda. There was this complete feeling of helplessness.

Sonam Wangda is a dead soul who has long been forsaken by friends, relatives and neighbours. I know Sonam Wangda since the time I joined my office in Phuentsholing about three years ago. In whole of my life, I have never come across another miserable man like him. Oblivious to the fact that he has six children and a wife dependent upon him, he has strayed away….strayed too far away that I fear, he would never be able to retrace his feet again.

As an immediate supervisor, I sometimes counseled him and many other times chided him but he never rose above the dust storm he created. Like a dung beetle that preferred shit over other things, he sunk into a world beyond my imagination...beyond my MBA degree.

It was usual for Sonam Wangda to take few shots of Rockbee (whiskey) when he came for work. This long period of usual-ness started to interfere with his home life and work. Over the course of time, Rockbee became his priority and rarely did he eat. As a result, he fell down one day while crossing a drain and broke his left leg. The office sent him for treatment and gave him leave over nine months. He returned to break another leg again. Even with disability, he dragged himself to the bar and got himself several shots of Rockbee on credit.

Given his long absence from work, the office was forced to replace him and there he was now, standing at turning point of gray past and blank future. I could not help feeling sorry for him and his family. There is only so much one person can do.

Every home in Bhutan today seems to be either effected in some way or the other by excessive consumption of alcohol or abuse of drugs. Alcohol and drugs cannot be an answer to weak knees and sick souls. Everyone has a problem but some people find it easier to turn to alcohol and drugs for comfort rather than learning to handle their problems in realistic and mature way. Alcohol and drugs seems to relieve the feelings, and probably for that very reason many people return to it again and again for help and thereby becoming accustomed to depending upon it. In such cases, our own inner resources and the ones offered by family, community, peers and society becomes irrelevant to such person. Alcohol and drugs are for small people …who feel small in the face of complexities of life, for people who are in search of temporary feeling of importance.

With so many cases of alcoholism and drug abuses in Bhutan today, there is a wide display of depression and agitation. This leaves the society devoid of meaningful life and communal harmony.


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