Why I want to move to Bhutan (or the doom and gloom of 2016)

29 Dec,2016



By Jaideep Shergill


I haven’t written this column in two months and while that’s not relevant or that anybody even cares, it’s important for me to be straight about the hiatus.


I was hard at work on my column in early November when a few things happened in quick succession:

– Donald Trump won the US Presidential election

– At home, PM Modi announced the demonitisation policy

– More terror attacks, shootings and attacks continued across the world

- The rich got richer while the poor got even poorer, if that’s possible!


The list goes on and on…it all just seemed like a lost cause. The gloom and doom was relentless. Clearly, we don’t live in a world which is fair, isn’t it? Far from it.  Something inside me just snapped and I couldn’t stop being angry. Angry at my inability to change anything, angry at the people in power who make the wrong decisions, angry and my fellow humans for making the wrong choices, just angry!


As the year comes to an end, I for one am happy to see the back of 2016! This year feels like the ugliest, cruelest, most frightening year in history.




We also saw a year during which we lost some of the finest musicians and performers. 2016 is now being dubbed the year of the reaper. Some of those we lost include: David Bowie, Greg Lake, George Michael, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Martin, to name a few.


We also lost several other greats, Muhammad Ali, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman and Fidel Castro, amongst others.


2016 was also the year of the UPSET. Countless wannabe Nostradamuses, pollsters, betting men and women made fools of themselves over the last 12 months. Donald Trump’s victory being the capstone of this singular trend but the world of sport saw several upsets too. Can you believe Leicester City started out at 5000:1 odds to win the Premiere league? The odds for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series was as improbable. Imagine winning for the first time since 1908… phew!!


The overall theme of 2016 is “out with the old, in with the new”. We could translate this as change is coming. Things will get worse before they get better. Let’s see what 2017 will bring. Or as they say in the Game of Thrones “Winter is coming”


I read somewhere that even Numerology has an explanation why 2016 is generally a bad year for most of us. Numerology is the study of numbers and an occult associated to personalities and predictions.


When you add 2016, it will result to nine, which is the last number and represents the end of a cycle. In numerology, nine represents thing coming in a full circle. Many things came to an end this year. Although 2016 is about endings, it also means new beginnings. Some things end, but this will also open to new opportunities and possibilities.


“I’m moving to Canada!”


In the United States, many people concerned about living under Donald Trump as US president have been repeating this sentence in recent weeks and months.


On Election Day, the website of the Canadian immigration office broke down completely. Too many people tried to get information about the immigration process in Canada on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.


In total, 200,000 users were on the website when it crashed, compared to 17,000 users at the same time the previous week.


According to Google Trends, 100 US citizens, compared to the normal two, looked up “move to Canada” on the search engine. And the numbers didn’t did go back to normal until two days after the election.


Canada isn’t the only place where Americans want to move. The immigration website of New Zealand suddenly had 56,000 visitors, compared to the normal 2,300 visitors a day.


These past months, I have contemplated moving several times, however, unlike the Americans, we don’t have that many plausible options as Indians, do we?


Let’s see who our neighbors are and what options we as Indians have… Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bhutan? Reads more like a minefield to me.


Not too many good choices. I think I will settle on Bhutan! Bhutan, the country of the Dragon people, the oasis of peace in an otherwise chaotic world. Here I come, Bhutan.


While I get packing, here’s wishing all of us a happy, happy 2017!  Hope to see you on the other side with some better news!


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