Saturday, May 23, 2015

Aircraft, Me and my Mom

It was autumn of 2009 when I headed to National Institute of Technology Silchar for my Engineering degree. By the way it was like going to moon, no one knew where and how the Silchar was. We headed blindly. Seems no Bhutanese had been there before. But we made the way there.

And there I met my friend, who helped me in all eight semesters. He was from Sri Lanka. And he came by flight to remote India for his degree. The flight! I used to ask him unusual questions. How is it to fly? He used to say, it’s so awesome to those who had never been on flight. But once you had been on flight they wish they had fastest bus transport. And he laughed at me so loud knowing that I saw planes in movies only.

Now back there at my village. It was sometime in 2006, when the government moved with the aim of connecting internet to remote Gewogs, from Laya to Shingkhar Lauri.  Heavy solar panels and antennas were to be transported. It was too tedious to carry on back of people, given that Lauri was four day walk from road point. So the hardware’s and instruments were air lifted by helicopter. The news of helicopter went on with waves of happiness. My mom packed her lunch and headed to Gewog center which was four hour walk just to have glimpse of the Helicopter. She made it. She saw it, and that day she still tells me like she had been to fairy-tale world.
Another ambitious plan for government to electrify whole Bhutan by 2013 was rushing. The date line passed but still no plans were executed at my Gewogs. But in mid summer of 2013, the sky roared with flying of helicopters for second time. It landed on every village carrying transformers for electrification. Carrying the transformer weighing tons and tons was near to impossible without road and rugged terrain. The news flooded and back there at villages our parents went to extend of prostrating to the pilot. The pilot was decorated with volumes of Khadar in remote village. He was worshiped more than god. In no place on earth he would have given such offerings and got a red carpet reception. That was story in my village: of plane and helicopter.
arrival of new aircraft  Airbus A319 with shark let, march 2015. Drukair

2015! And I was already working on aircraft for almost two years. I was employed in an organization where I had no idea of what would be working. Plane was dream even to have a glimpse of it forget about working on it. Today I am proud. I maintain an aircraft that conquer the blue virgin skies of Bhutan and other world.

 I was also selected for the training in New Zealand. My heart was filled with bubbling happiness. Yes I would be flying across bay of Bengal and Pacific oceans, that i used learn in Geography classes.  My mom was so worried about my flight. I told her that flying is safer than driving a car on good high way and there is nothing to worry.

 She might be still imaging how my flight was. She might be still wondering in which side of world I am. She won’t believe me still even after two months when I say the time difference is six hour between Bhutan and New Zealand.

Now mom, you walked 8 hours just to have glimpse of helicopter, you offered a khaddar to that pilot who landed at our home with transformers for electrification. Now with this blog I promised that as soon I return back to Bhutan you will see a plane which carry hundreds of passengers. And indeed I will make sure that you will fly to either Bumthang or Katmandu on pilgrimage. Till then mom be safe and wish my dreams be fulfilled.

Good day to all…….

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