Sunday, January 12, 2014

Law & Calamity

For me yesterday was a satisfying day - not because I did something noble or useful - but because someone else did. At about 10.30AM I was driving down from Motithang on my way to the Druk Air office in Changlam Plaza. As I was nearing the Labour Ministry office, I saw that a traffic police had stopped a lady driver in a Maruti car heading on the opposite direction to me.

WOW! is it possible that the officer stopped the lady for the reason I hope he did?

I stopped by the officer next to the car and asked him: “Lobey, gachi bedab mo?

“She entered a NO ENTRY zone”, replied the officer.

I was ecstatic! I gave the officer a Thumbs-Up and told him “Great Job - this has been going on for far too long”. He smiled happily while the lady violator glowered at me and drove off.

Some of you may recall that I had raised this issue of the mindless violation of the NO ENTRY zone in this particular area (my post of Tuesday, October 30, 2012 titled “The Bhutanese Way” (

I cannot understand why some people cannot understand that a particular area is declared a NO ENTRY zone for a good reason. Following traffic rules keep our traffic flowing smoothly. And, discipline on the road saves lives.

 Photos from my earlier post on the subject dated 30.10.2012

Anyway, I had a great feeling - it was obvious that the Traffic Police are finally going to keep a watch over this area. The truth is that every law-abiding citizen should respect the law, without the need for the law enforcement agencies having to crack down on them every time. But, as a close friend told me one day, the Bhutanese people do not understand the rule of law - the only thing they understand is the Taetha - stick/cane!

I drove down to the Druk Air office - a happy and contented man - only to find that the Druk Air’s reservation system was down. The booking assistant at the counter was courteous and apologetic. She offered to make the reservations when the system was up. She took down my email address and assured me that the reservation details would be emailed to me when the system was back on. That email never arrived – meaning that the system was still down.

Then it began to snow ---- and snow --- and snow. So much so that all flights into and out of Paro were suspended/cancelled. All vehicular traffic to Punakha and Phuentsholing was closed - with the result that a friend of mine was stranded in a traffic gridlock - 3 KMs below Dochula while returning from Punakha. I kept myself awake until after 10PM - just in case he needed me to go and rescue him. As I write this post, I am clueless as to what happened to him - whether he was able to pass the Pass or whether he is still holed up in his vehicle where he was stranded last night. It is too early in the morning to find out.

I am a little unnerved - is it possible that enforcing law in this country can be calamitous?

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