It dates back to the days when Ata Kesang Tshering like other ordinary school going chaps can find jobs like treasure cave. You just need to point at the best gem.Gone were the days,where you get free even the soaps and towel at a remote boarding school.
"Our days of school had made us bold and brave,rising as early as lark,toiling through the dense forest,crossing massive rivers,walking up hills",said Ata.
"Today I am happy because those hardships and beautiful moments had given me sense of great contentment and happiness".
53 years old,Ata Kesang from Tashigang Thrimshing has been serving the country since 1975.Today he works in one corner of Flood Warning Section office under the Department of Hydromet Service.
Going to office has lots of fun.It's not just about the work of the day.Ata brings his favourite yellow -white stripped pack lunch hot-case ,and he opens up the aroma of kewa datse from his sumptuous vegetarian meal. His sweet wife has prepared his day's meal with all love and care.He could easily sense it from the taste of his lunch.
Today is Thursday.It's exactly 1:00pm.He shouts 'choai' 'choai' in sharchopkha dialect.The alarm signals the rest of his fellow mates reminding them for lunch time.Every one breaks out for lunch .
At times,it is hard to find space at the canteen.People like Ata Kesang finds a joy in togetherness. The taste of food is one,the conversation after food is another.It is here that I was introduced to his way and world of simple and humble living,a satisfied yet dignified style of life dedicating his free time to prayers .He spends a meaningful time with his children and make sure that they get enough of his attention and good values.
The earlier conversation we had at our lunch time was his profession and the times of his life.Ata was infact country's second group and the batch of students who were trained in wireless telegraphy operation.They were known as Babus-indeed wireless Babus,of higher profession.Initially as Ata recalls,there were only 13 of them.Some resigned now,few promoted as heads in several agencies,several others still at Bhutan Telecom.
It was in Eighth standard when Ata Kesang with group of friends decided to join the service offered by the Royal Government.There were many opportunities and scope.Competition wasn't that tough. Ata always had a notion to get a job,not because you get paid but that excitement and curiosity to serve and stand on your feet is a dream.His passion to be able to operate wireless telegraphy was of latest communication technology during the time.They were trained for almost one year in its operation.
The Wireless telegraphy at that time was under Information and communication.It was later used effectively for hydro-Met services in the country where Ata served as a part of the team.He received Nu 150 during the training phase.Later was incremented to Nu 250 per month as his salary. The wireless telegraphy uses code and morses.As Ata recollects, many of our people did make best use of it.However they also need to pay for a certain group of texts typed and sent."Initially we just had the message system,which was later upgraded to voice communication",said Ata.
Everyday Ata comes to office as early as 8:00am .His task for the day mainly includes fetching weather data updates from numerous stations across the country.For instance,Mongar,Samtse,Dagana,Chukha Sunkosh,Mangdechu sershong,Tendru and Deothang.Once he gets done with the morning routine,he prepares for the second update in the evening.If you happen to be around flood warning office,you would probably see Ata Kesang with wireless voice system receiving and noting down the data as far as from Lunana. The data is then being used for rainfall,flood and other weather analysis.
Away from work,Ata is a self sufficient and contented person leading good times of his life with children and his sweet wife.The savings he made from earnings is enough to take his wife and family for a yearly pilgrimage tour to bodhgaya.Ata walks all the way from Chanjiji to the office place with group of friends,conversing and sharing cheerful moments of life.He also takes advantage of the city Buses.These buses had a theme,"Take a ride and be happy", which is similar to his noble philosophy of life and happiness.
He never had been late to office till date.
Ata looks forward for continued good times of life.Not only he prays for his family's welfare,he lays all his heart for the happiness and well being of the sentient beings.Just as he finds joy and contentment in every simple thing,each day he discovers a great sense of INNER PEACE and meaning of living.