A small member of a big film crew

PROFILE: It is Sunday and the sky is grey, pregnant with rain.  In a two-storey traditional house in Motithang, crew-members working with film director Tshering Wangyel are enjoying their free time before the next shot.

The small man, Azha Namgay, 59, who is loved by all, is there too.

Azha Namgay, like the rest of the crew-members, has been living in the house that belongs to Tshering Wangyel.  Lodge and food are free.

Known for his humour and gentle speech, Azha Namgay, says he is really grateful to Tshering Wangyel.

“I don’t have anyone here in Thimphu. The crew-members have become my family,” Azha Namgay said. “We take care of each other like siblings.”

Whenever they run short of money, Tshering Wangyel gives them pocket money and helps them with groceries.

Kumar, 23, a crew-member, brings hot tea for Azha Namgay, who receives it with a gentle smile.

The crew-members are mostly away from Thimphu for about two months, because they are busy shooting a film.

“I’ve been to most of the places in the country. I’ve also been to Bangkok too,” says Kumar. “Working in film industry takes me to different places and it’s a good experience.”

After shooting a film, the crew-members get paid about Nu 15,000 to Nu 20,000.

“For now, life is good with people, who are willing to help and look after me,” Azha Namgay said.  He plans to be in the film industry as long as Tshering Wangyel requires him.

“Here, we are a big and happy family,” says Azha Namgay.

By Thinley Zangmo

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