It was a whirlwind week leading to my departure. So much packing to be done, so many people to meet and so many thoughts to gather. There are too many to list to whom I owe the gratitude and honour of knowing, but to each and everyone of you… Thank You. You have made my time in Bhutan so very unforgettable.

As I stood and watched the fireworks display the evening before I left, a thought arose. This was my farewell gift from the Land of the Thunder Dragon. A feeling of calm came over me, knowing that my work here is done and it is indeed time to go. Another chapter beckons from beyond the mountains.

Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.
O, beautiful, and full of grace!
If thou hadst never met mine eye,
I had not dreamed a living face
Could fancied charms so far outvie.

– Anne Bronte, Farewell


As the curtain falls

It’s a little embarrassing to write after such a long break only to report that sorry folks, I’m heading home.

But I am. In a little over a week.

[Mini-factoid: I hate to pack unless it involves a backpack and an itinerary scribbled on the back of a napkin.]

A thousand clichés flash through my mind. None of them quite fits. To sum up all that I have thought, seen, heard, tasted, breathed, felt from the moment I got off the plane at Paro exactly one year ago.*

I don’t know how to say goodbye to this little corner of the world in the mountains. Where I have fed a good dozen or more plump fleas. Where I had the miraculous fortune to meet so many good people, reminding me that it is as important to be good at something, as it is to be good. To be a good person. Where I once ate 3 plates of rice for lunch because the cold made me really really hungry. Where I learnt how divine it is to bask in the sun on a winter’s afternoon. Where I once laid awake at night wondering what in the world I got myself into, and then now wonder, how I am going to get everything packed and get on that plane next Sunday.

But if I had to say my goodbyes, I like the way the French say it. Au revoir.

Till we meet again.

* It was when I started this post, but I write slow. So it’s now 1 year and 1 day.