Bhutan to Blacktown – Losing everything and finding Australia.

A story on perseverance, humour and irrepressible optimism and how one man’s life and character were shaped by losing nearly everything.


“Less than a year after I got that job, Saroja and I lay sleepless and terrified all night, whispering under the blanket, with our two-year old daughter Smriti asleep beside us. We could not talk for fear our house was bugged. Agents of the same government that had feted me now followed me in the street. A friend connected to senior police told me I was about to be arrested. In the south of the country, homes were being confiscated and burnt, men tortured, women raped. My father, a farmer and shopkeeper from a tiny village, a man with no interest in politics, had twice been arrested and tortured.”

“This book began as something of a practitioner’s manual for refugee settlement. But as I researched it, I realised I couldn’t write about the refugee experience without describing my own. This book is not a comprehensive history of the expulsion of the Bhutanese, the camps in Nepal, the democratic movement that sought repatriation of the refugees, or of the settlement of Bhutanese refugees in Australia and other countries. It is above all one person’s story, an attempt to share what I saw and learnt during my struggle, shared by so many migrants, to bring my family together in one place; my search for belonging.”