Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Can we have a word?


Since no one has bothered to bring out full page ads in national broadsheets to congratulate me on the extraordinary honour conferred on me recently when I was nominated a life-long card-carrying member of the American Biographical Institute, allow me in all modesty to toot my own trumpet.

Just how rare and momentous a recognition this is can be gleaned from the fact that only two other Nepalis in history have been thus honoured by the American Biographical Institute (Motto: 'Send us a cheque for $100 plus $12 for postage and your award plaque is in the mail').

One proud awardee is the Grade Nine child prodigy who designed Nepal's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and actually put this country on the US watchlist for rogue states that are automatically eligible for full membership of the Axis of Evil. The other one to bag the Crazy Scientist Annual Award is none other than the UML minister who, a few years ago, came up with the ingenious (and deadly serious) proposal to export Nepal's abundant hydropower resources to China via satellite.

It makes me swell with pride to be in such illustrious company and to share this glory. Therefore, it is only natural that one's peers should seethe with jealousy and not call me up on my mobile to extend their congratulations heartily. It's a peculiarly Nepali trait that we don't like to see fellow-Nepalis recognised and getting ahead. But at the end of the day, comrades, the fact of the matter is that I was honoured by the American Biographical Institute and you guys weren't. Nyah-nyah-na-nyah-na. Ok, it set me back $112 but imagine how good it's going to look on my cv. So stop being mean and make me a chief guest at your book launch so I can deliver a keynote address. Hey, where is my dosallah?

At the rate things are going, it looks like more congratulations are in order. Most people are just famous but a business transaction that I have recently entered into with my Nigerian partners is going to make me both rich and famous. What I am about to tell you is in the strictest confidence, so please keep this to yourself. A month or so ago, I got the following urgent email from Mrs Abacha:

Dear Sir,

I hope this mail finds you in the pink of health. Unfortunately I can't say that about myself. Ever since my husband, Mr Sonny Abacha died I have been running from pillar to post trying to extricate his vast fortune stashed away in his secret Swiss bank account. My family would like to access that money so we can donate a part of it to tsunami victims. Unfortunately my late husband's account has been frozen and all the $890 million in it. I can only get it if I can name you Finance Manager of the Tsunami Relief Fund. Rest assured you will be adequately compensated, in fact you will get 30 percent of the total sum for your troubles. All you have to do at the present time is deposit $100,000 in earnest money in the bank account below and please understand that this will be fully refunded to you.

Yours in deepest confidence,
Mrs Miriam Abacha

It's not every day that one gets a proposal like this: to get rich quick while at the same time helping out in a humanitarian cause. I wired the earnest money two months ago and have been waiting patiently for further communication from Mrs Abacha who has promised to get back to me as soon as her lawyers complete the legal formalities. So, have you booked that space in the papers for your congratulatory ad?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)