Imtiaz Ali

Soon as I entered Bhutan, I realised that I live in a cynical world.

I had been to beautiful places before, I had met innocent people – here there was something else. I looked out of the window. There were no signboards for shops. There was a look in the faces of people when they looked at me. It was as though I was a guest from a foreign land, not an opportunity, not a threat. That was strange. Why was that strange? Isn’t that how it supposed to be? But usually it is not. Usually we just pretend that it is. But it can be – that’s the thought Bhutan put in my head ultimately. I can be how I am supposed to be. I can be happy. And here I am – usually unaware of my happiness and sometimes feeling scared of happiness.

 How have they done it? How have they managed that people truly love and respect their monarch? Everywhere else in the world I have heard people calling their government leaders only by the worst names. And here I noticed the demeanour of people changing to dignified and respectful if they entered the same building as the king. And when I had the good chance to meet his Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk, I felt he is exactly like Bhutan – pure, real – the way it’s supposed to be.

 My visit to Bhutan got me in better touch with myself. I want to go back there all the time.



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