Yet another wedding season is upon us and the nation is busy clearing up the backlog of couples patiently waiting their turn to tie the knot. Why anyone would want to get hitched at a time when the country is engaged in deadly serious debates about reinstating parliament is beyond me.
Anyway, the institution of marriage has many advantages but till press time I couldn't remember any of them. Oh yes, there is one benefit of having a spouse that becomes apparent after being married to one for 25 years, which is that men and women of reproductive age and above are allowed to legally conjugate. Usually, this is followed in due course by the arrival of a brand new Nepali into the world. The more the merrier.
A wedding is therefore good for our demographic way of life. It is also an excellent way to raise the per capita GDP because it allows us to reproduce consumers by a process known as genital engineering. Marriage is a tourism and trade multiplier that can help kickstart the national economy at a time when retail and employment levels are down. We must remember: Nepal may be landlocked but it is also wedlocked. Therein lies our salvation.
Besides the happy couple, the people who are most ecstatic about the nuptial season are supermarket owners. Their shelves are stacked high with gift items that are exclusively imported for the wedding season. And since marriages in our part of the world come in swarms, one is best off buying wedding presents for all and sundry at one go and just hoarding them in case there is a future shortage. Having just returned from just such a marathon shopping spree, in the public interest I'd like to reveal the utilitarian and functional array of wedding gifts I bought.
For some reason, they are all replicas of exotic and mythical beasts, usually a winged dog with hooves and a prehensile tail.
A graceful and playful bottlenose dolphin caught in blue crystal leaping high over the crest of a wave on a glass pedestal simulating an undersea tableau. Perfect for living rooms.
Rs 3,000 + 13% VAT
Romantic sculpture of swans with their necks intertwined riding the spun-glass surface of a placid lake. Mandatory for bedsteads on wedding nights to get the newly-wed couple into the mood. As marriage matures, it can also serve as a projectile.
Rs 4,200 for two swans, Rs 3,000 for one.
Griffins and gargoyles are favourites as wedding presents for Kathmandu's glitterati. No marriage is complete without a set of these. Great resale value, can be recycled to people who give you dolphins.
Rs 5,000 for alabaster griffins but gargoyles, being cuter, are more expensive.
On a slightly larger format, we have wedding gifts for the garden including scantily clad marble maidens holding pitchers and gnomes. The latter is irresistible since after the honeymoon is over it can serve as a paper-weight. Rs 6,000 for a six pack of gnomes in various poses including fishing, playing the flute, pretending to be a paper weight, peeing, staring into space and conjugating.