11 August 2013

The Day I Met the Prime Minister

It's exactly ten days since I met the Prime Minister of Bhutan in his office. In these ten days I have tried structuring the story in hundred different ways just to make to as humble as possible but I couldn't beat the humility with which his excellency invited me to meet him in his office. I at one point didn't want to write about it at all but I don't want to deprive my daughter from reading about how lucky her father got one day in 2013. Therefore the following story is written just for the record.
The Leader who walks among us 
I had received tweets from the then Opposition Leader and I would reply with ease and also would post comments on his blog like we were friends but after he became the Prime Minister I suddenly became hesitant about being at ease. I didn't have the opportunity to meet any of the former Prime Ministers, not even in the public gatherings, and therefore the idea of facing one or even communicating with them is relatively new to me. Besides I am just an ordinary teacher who is not used to much privileges.

On August 1st, when His Excellency sent me a tweet asking me to meet him before I leave Thimphu, I panicked and I didn't know how to reasonably make a reply. I had always wanted to meet him because he was the inspiring force behind my blogging passion. He introduced my blog to the larger Bhutanese readership on his blog in 2009, after then I took blogging seriously. But the excitement of meeting the great blogger is heavily outweighed by the fear of having to face the prime minister of the country.

Everything seemed like a dream and only sound that I heard was that of my heart beating fast as I drove to the office of the Prime Minister. I only realized I was carrying a funnily small khadar when I was readying it before I entered the office. A guard at the door offered a bigger one but I declined because I wanted to offer what I came with.

I was soon seated next to the Prime minister, the place I wouldn't brave to be in even in my wildest dream. But life had this huge surprise blessed on me. I had the honour of talking about about my workshop in Thimphu, my school, my blog, various other ordinary things. His excellency surprised me by asking about bBay on Facebook and other little things I did in school. I was deeply humbled that he noticed and cared about little things we ordinary people do in our lives. The initial fear has completely melted away, it was the same old Tshering Tobgay I have known on Blog, Twitter and Facebook. The prime ministership has made him more charming than powerful. I could feel strong energy in his office but the moment I saw him my muscles relaxed.

My workshop team was gathered at a small restaurant in the town and among them were two Singaporean consultants who had expressed deep wishes to meet our prime minister. I conveyed that to his excellency and I was completely taken aback when I was asked to call them and see where they were. I was then asked to wait with them at the restaurant and expect his excellency. My team couldn't believe it actually happened that evening. We got the opportunity to sit and talk with the prime minister for over two hours in a very ordinary restaurant without any bodyguard or protocol.
Singaporean Friends

My blogger friends who were scheduled to meet me the same evening were upset when I couldn't join them for the football match but I surprised them by calling them to the same place. The prime minister recognized most of our blogs and left with an unforgettable advice:
"You are thought leaders, Whatever you write, our youth will believe. For that reason, think and reflect and go slow."
Bloggers: Some of us from that Night, some already left


  1. Yeah, you missed the last line..."unlike me....hahhahahhah"

  2. Aww...thats so humble of the Prime Minister.
    And you guys were indeed lucky...:)

  3. Sad...I am not in the picture.

  4. a wonderful privilege. (y)

  5. Thanks for arranging the meet up with the Prime Minister. Yup, that's me in the Taksang photo, exhausted from the climb. Sea-level creatures like us have to get used to mountain air. And heh, I know the hotel in the first photo :)

  6. Your were very lucky indeed... I am amazed by the simplicity of our PM.


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