28 October, 2014


     We all live our lives in a different way. Some people live their lives in a way feeling satisfied to have lived. I met one such man while travelling along East-West National Highway some time ago. I tell this same story over and again not because I don’t have anything to talk about but it inspires me more every time I tell or write about it. Many travellers including myself stop for a while at Yotongla pass, which lies at about 3,400 meters above msl. It's clean air and impressive view is quite refreshing for the tired travelers but, if required to stay there for years, it would be a hostile experience and many of us would not dare to or would give up half way. At such altitude, there is no settlement around and the place remains covered with blankets of fog for most part of the year. It is deprived of activities, except for movement of vehicles. 
     Surprisingly, someone lived there for 13 years and continues living there with no complaint. A watchman in Bhutan Telecom, Bim Bahadur Rai, 52, a father of six, has beaten all those odds. His duty is to look after the repeater station at Yotongla pass and to operate diesel generator during power outages. What interested me to know more about him was the satisfaction in him. “I like my job and being here is not at all a problem,” he said with a warm gentle smile, adding he owes a lot to the company that employed him. He is committed to serve it to the best of his ability. A job satisfaction, loyalty and dedication! If every employee has this kind of satisfaction, work would be a real joy. Considering their children’s future, his family opted to stay away from him in Thimphu.“We remain separated so that my children get good education.” he said. A caring father and family man! To keep others connected through good telecommunication network, he remains separated from his family. We seldom think about people behind our comfort zone. He does not seem to complain about the shortfalls but continues to live behind our comfort, sacrificing his own. A selfless lifeHe does not want to take leave from his work to visit his family since it is more important for him to “encash” his leave at the end of the year. “At the moment, money is more important for me to support my family,” he said, adding his family also keeps their expectations low. He knows his priority well.  
     Before joining Bhutan Telecom, he served in armed forces for 23 years and seems to have grown both older and wiser. Above all, he looks contented both by his face and words. To me, anyone living behind someone else’s comfort zone by sacrificing their own, without complaint and at the same time fulfilling their duty towards their family are the real heroes. Mr. Bim Bahadur Rai is probably the only one, I know of.

Mr. Bhim Bahadur Rai from Samdrup Jongkhar (At Yotongla Pass)


  1. I guess all Rais are like one,,lol. I know one Rai too who seems to match ur description too!
    i m already a fan of ur writing sir!

  2. Ya, they are great and there are many things that we can learn from them. Thank you for being a fan of my writing, it is so nice of you to say that.

  3. Many thanks for capturing this true story which is really heart touching and exemplary to all of us. May his wish fulfilled and peace thrive throughout this journey.

    1. The pleasure is all mine.

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