“I was 27 years old at that time and she was 23. I was working as a peon in her village called Purano Basti in Sarbang, Bhutan. I was from Toribari which was 15 kilometers from her village. But I used to live in her village for my job. Actually, I had worked as a peon for five years and seven months in Bhutan. Initially I was paid Rupees130 per month. I was assigned to many villages like Bhur, Norbuling, Naya Basti, Lalai, among others. The roads were rough and not easy to travel. I used to pedal a bicycle for 2-3 hours to reach those villages and deliver mail. Although I was living in her village we didn’t know each other. It happened like this: a guy called Kabiraj Pradhan was also staying in the same house where I lived. One evening he said, “Hey let’s go”. I said “where?” “Take a walk in the village”. “Nope. I am not going”. But he kept on insisting and I had to go. Somebody had died in the village and people had gathered in that house. Some were playing cards. I too started playing cards, but my eyes were all around the room. I saw her there and thought this girl seemed good. After courting at least a year, on a Sunday I took her to my village Toribari. We didn’t face any hurdles since the inter marriage between Ghalley and Magar is accepted. We had a small ceremony to validate our relationship. Let me say that our marriage was performed in a shortcut. We invited a few people from my village, slaughtered a sheep, drank a locally brewed alcoholic beverage and had a party. After a few days we came to her home and her family gave us their blessings.”
LB Ghalley, 73, is originally from Sarbang, Bhutan, and based in Grand Forks, North Dakota at the time when this story was compiled.
Stories and photo compilation by Pabi Rai for BNS.