Finding Happiness on the trip to Bhutan by Rohit Jain
Over to Rohit where he narrates his experience traveling to Bhutan and how happiness returned to the trip to paradise:
It was a magical trip to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, aka Bhutan. We were on a charter flight from Delhi that deposited us at the pretty Paro airport for a week-long trip along with dozens of other travelers on the same itinerary. On arrival, we were split into groups of 12-15 people and assigned a mini-bus and an official Bhutanese guide that would stay with us throughout the trip.
After a couple of days exploring Paro and its surroundings, it was time for the next leg. We took a leisurely drive from Paro, passing through small Tibetan settlements and hamlets, taking in the panoramic sights of Bhutan’s majestic mountains, and checked into our pretty hillside hotel in Punakha. The trip was going well and we were mid-way through our vacation. Quite unexpectedly, the first discordant note was struck early the next morning.
“Get me another omelet, and you’d better get it fast! This omelet is cold… I have half a mind to throw it at your face!“
Well, I could only thank my stars this unpleasant lot wasn’t on my bus. We went our own ways and our group spent the morning exploring charming Punakha dzong (fortress), having lunch in a beautiful restaurant by a river, and finally returning to the hotel by late afternoon. It was quite pleasant so I took my kids for a little trek through the hillside trails near the hotel. Tired, we walked back to the hotel by early evening and settled down in the outdoor gazebo for a well-deserved cup of tea.
This was the watering hole where everyone flocked in the evening for tea and snacks. It was a great place to meet folks from the other groups, and share notes on the trip so far. From the way the conversation went, it quickly became apparent that the gathering comprised of several long-suffering travelers from the bus which had ‘those four people’ (let’s call them Group of Four or G4). We were regaled with tales of the all-around unpleasantness these people had created over the last three days. They bossed around everyone on the bus, they shouted at their Bhutanese guide, they fussed over every little thing and made life generally miserable for all their co-travelers.
Listening to the unending litany, one guy was eventually compelled to speak up. He looked up from his tea and simply asked “Why are you guys taking this cr@p? If I was on your bus I’d put those people in their place.” The sufferers just shook their heads and mumbled something about not wanting to take them on. They were government officials, they appeared powerful people, they were better off not being crossed, etc. Maybe everyone isn’t that comfortable dealing with unpleasantness anyway.
“You are a bloody useless guide. You’re not as good as that other guide Sajan” (the leader of the guides, whom we were lucky to have in our bus). He continued: “We don’t want to see you in our bus tomorrow morning. In fact, we will speak to the tour company and make sure you’re thrown out from your job!”
This was all too much for the poor guide, who was the youngest of the lot, and possibly the least experienced. Tears started streaming down his cheeks. All of a sudden, the air was thick with an awkward tension; no one knew what to do or say.
“I’m not in your bus yet I already know how obnoxiously you’ve been behaving. I saw you at breakfast and that was enough for me. You need to stop.”
Quite a crowd had built up by then, drawn partly by the commotion and partly because they were all coming out for tea anyway. Encouraged by the situation, a few more people took on OM for his insufferable behavior of the past few days. Muttering dire threats under his breath, he and his group were finally forced to beat a retreat and they retired to their respective rooms.
The next few moments were magical. Conversations reached a crescendo as people discussed what had just transpired. It seemed everyone wanted to shake the Challenger’s hand, or express their admiration for what he had done. Sajan got the other guides together and they treated the entire audience to an impromptu show of Bhutanese dance and Bollywood songs. The mood was lifted, and there was a real buzz around the place that wouldn’t die down for a long time.
While all this was taking place, my better half had missed the entire show. She had gone back to our room to put the tired kids to bed for a couple of hours before dinner. When she came out, she saw the massive crowd and asked someone what was going on. To this one of our co-passengers replied:
“Oh, did you miss it all? It was really exciting! Do you know what your hubby just did?”
Note by desi Traveler: We all know somebody like Mr. Obnoxious and his gang in this travel story from Bhutan, but we chose to ignore the same for one reason or another, while continuously sulking over their behavior and cribbing with each other. The negativity need not be just bullying and shouting it could be in many forms like gossip mongering, pestering you for favors against your will, stalking you or any behavior that makes you or people around you uncomfortable What we need to do is face the person spreading toxicity around so that they are aware people are watching them and their behavior is not acceptable. Not necessarily we meet these people are on travels, they may be around you in office, home or in friend list both real and online. Here to wishing you only get positive people around you and to give you courage to face and remove toxicity around you.
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