The town

Samtse. The only border town that is still boasting handful of shops and is yet to catch up with rest of the development that is taking place in the country. You cross the checkpost and find that atleast the shops of our neighboring countrymen are faring little bit better than ours. Why? Because of the service offered and their capacity to provide anything of basic needs and of course because of our Bhutanese mentality where we think that the goods across the border is cheaper. I am back in this godforsaken place. In the middle of the year when the heat is at the highest celsius possible with occasional cool down when it rains. Well, not exactly godforsaken place. God, if there is ever a one, has not forsaken this place yet, however, the development that should have taken places have really forsaken this town. Either its because of the border issues or either no one likes to think of this town to bring development. The town is finally boasting one lone meatshop. Hallelujah for carnivorous species. Atleast they don’t have to order a cow to be killed and smuggled across the border. However, till this meatshop appeared, a cow had to be ordered or a pig and the next day you are brought a hot still moving flesh. God really have mercy on us. Its either to faint or grimly ignore all the compassion in you. I always call it a test of one’s compassion in you and my result is Bhutanese compassion is just a mouth service. These are the times when you think god have really forsaken the people living here because we all sin together. And by the way, the town also boast a mascot in form of a white donkey. He was left free because it had become old and could no longer serve its master. When I left this place it was dirty, sick and its ear was full of wound that crows and the flies used to pick on it. I thought it will die of infection and no one could do anything because everyone said it bites. It will roam in the town, inspect the dustbins , eat the carton boxes and rotten vegetables. Now, it has become beautiful and healthy. Infact, it is looking handsome and kinder (there there…I am not going to become emotional over a donkey…).
Well, I am back and with nothing to do, guess its time to pick up the reading once again.


  1. Hi,

    You really make Samtse town sound so desolate. And that scrawny donkey completes the picture :)

  2. Have u ever been to Samtse?? I was feeling rather desolate when writing it...but I like this town, it has its own quirks and stories...

  3. Yea I have been to Samchi but my memory of it is rather sketchy. It has been such a long time ago.

    Talking of stories, I know of one that you are provably unaware of. His name is Mr. H N Pradhan and he apparently has a house close to the RBP gate. I have never met him but I know quite a bit about him. There are a number of people around the world who would love to meet him and shake his hand. The reason is that he is known around the world as the second person from A5 country who has entered into their log books - an extremely rare QSO from a rare destination.

  4. A5 countries? QSO? What log book? Is it through HAM radio or whatever its called...:)

  5. Haha ... yea .. Ham radio. A5 country is Bhutan. QSO is a kind of acknowledgement of a call, a conversation that has taken place between two Hams. Bhutan officially recieved our country code: A5 in early 70's and during that time, H N Pradhan was a civil wireless operator based in Phuentsholing. He went on air as an officially authorised amateur. However, I still am of the openion that the call he took is not acceptable since there was no designated authority who could have issued internationally accepted CallSign. Also, there are certain formalities that need to be met before a call and a licence is issued. I get the feeling that Mr. H N Pradhan does not have that licence.

    However, internationally, he is recognized as one of the earliest and rarest Hams from Bhutan.

    In fact two years back, a French Ham expedition wanted to meet him and travelled to all the way to Phuentsholing but for some reason the meeting did not take place.

  6. Aha now I got it. Its called amateur radio also right? I remember I wanted get a license for that and somehow never happened. I mean that was back in the days when I was all young and preppy with too much time in my hand. However, that is an amazing story. Too bad the French couldnt meet him. I might have met him or not. But I will keep my ears and eyes open.Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Hey

    If you have time, please check out for me if Mr. H N Pradhan is still alive and if he lives by the same RBP gate. There are 5 American Hams coming and two from Norway - between Oct and Nov.

    May be I can send a car to get him up to Thimphu so these guys can meet him :) What do you say?


  8. Sure. Being amateur detective was always my dream....:D. I will let you know once I find out something about him.

  9. OMG!!!! I found your man. And indeed he is still staying near the RBP gate. You should have mentioned near the checkpost. I was looking at different RBP gate which is near the BOD. Anyways, here call, there call and I made an appointment to make a personal call at his house after my office. By the way I talked to his wife not him. He is gone to meeting at some office. Should I take a pic of him and mail you...:X? Well I have his home number as well as mobile number...err...can you please send me your email add or something.


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