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KUNDA DIXIT
Under My Hat
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KUNDA DIXIT


Now that the villagers at Katmandu\'s only landfill site have once more slopped refusing our refuse, city streets are garbage-free again. Thais a pity. Many of us here had got quite used to the stuff, and we really miss it.

No more can we conveniently give people directions on how to get to Nepali Times by telling them to follow the smell to the bus park and turn left at the garbage pile.

In a city without house numbers, rubbish heaps have become visual and olfactory landmarks to navigate by. At night, after pulling the last page to bed, it is the fragrant beacon of our favorites neighbourhood dump that points the way home.

After studying them closely, we now know that no two rubbish heaps are alike. Ours has a certain delicate bouquet of fruity fermentation recalling an odour halfway between a mature gorgonzola and the smell of a freshly-cut toe nail. We don\'t know what gives it this distinctive tang, but it must have something to do with the momo shop down the road that uses our dump to discard entrails of deceased water buffaloes and ex-chickens.

There is a mound at Thamel which some say is stronger than ours. What roll On a scale of one to ten, our rubbish dump measures 8. 5 on the open-ended Richter scale, and theirs is only 8. 0 since it lacks the essence of all great garbage which is pulverised water buffalo viscera.

Garbage dumps also encourage biodiversity. Ours is a repository of endangered species of plant and animal life. If it weren\'t for the litter they would surely have gone the way of the dodo. Take the fiercely territorial Greater Himalayan Dingo of which we have a resident alpha male with a harem of five females. The fellow is highly possessive, and won\'t let any motorcycle near when he is gnawing at his favourite femur.

The heap also supports all manner of birdlife Site the Darkrumped Eurasian Scimitar Crow, which is now only found in Katmandu\'s garbage heaps. If the rubbish is cleared, this precious natural heritage will disappear-a loss not only to Nepal but to the planet at large.

The Hotel Association seems to think garbage is bad for tourism. Utter rubbish, Just yesterday, we observed a group of Japanese tourists posing for a photograph in front of our heap. We can open souvenir stores on Durbar Marg with choice samples of Kathmandu junk: styrofoam necklaces, buffalo amulets, egg shell ear-


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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