We start our weekly backside recap with this debriefing on the prime minister's visit to India.
There was a security alert half-an-hour before Prime Minister Bhayanak arrived at the VVIP Departure Complex at Gauchar on Sunday. No, it wasn't a bomb scare. Alert prime ministerial security had spotted two monkeys
frolicking on the runway. A Follow Me van was quickly dispatched to chase away the trespassing rhesus, which ran back across the domestic apron to Pashupati.
Aside from all the monkeying around, the special NOTAM that banned all takeoffs and landings for one hour while the prime minister prepared for departure gave many present a sense of deja vu. There were deep bows, bouquets and garlands just like in the bad old days of the royal regime.
Even before the flight there was a wild scramble among wannabes (including one particular willful defaulter) to upgrade to Shangrila Class to get up close and personal with the Awesome One on seat 1B.
Business wanted to travel business, but the ganyamanyas had taken all the 12 seats at the front. So the tycoons had to settle for the glorified economy, Chyangra Class. Still, this didn't prevent all and sundry from trying to give themselves free inflight upgrades while the plane was cruising somewhere over the western sector.
The sycophancy at 35,000ft was pretty unbearable with the flight attendant even beginning announcements to "fasten seatbelt and stow your tray table" by acknowledging for the umpteenth time the presence onboard of the "Sanmaninya Pradhanmantrijyu". One government official, a veteran of the royal days, remarked: "Some of these rituals never change."
However, conspicuous by its absence at Kathmandu airport was the diplomatic corpse which has decided once and for all that it is a complete waste of time to troop off to the airport every time the PM leaves or returns from a foreign visit, which is now becoming quite frequent.
Even as everyone got off the ramp at Indira Gandhi International, it was already clear that the real guest of honour on this trip wasn't PKD but the omnipresent Rishi Dhamala. Some Indian hacks even mistook him for a cabinet minister because he was on Awesome's coat-tails all the time. Our Sishi Gamala was much in demand even from Indian reporters because of his amazing knack of getting soundbites from Indian leaders. Sitaram Yechury dubbed him Chief Mischief-maker because he could work his way around India's supertight security.
Ass admits, Awesome was in his element during his India visit, and seemed to genuinely enjoy taking tough questions and being fluently trilingual. When the proponent of violence as a political tool laid a wreath at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, however, the irony seem to have been lost on everyone. And His Fierceness made no mention of Gandhi in his short message in the guest book. Later, he sped off for his audience with Manmohanji without waiting for Foreign Minister Upendra, who was so miffed he walked off to have coffee with Binod.
Meanwhile, back home on terra firma, Awesome's comrades in the cabinet were being naughty. Land Unreformed Minister Matrika Bhaiya was giving this scribe stiff competition by making a total ass of himself once more. After gaining notoriety by locking up a quarry contractor in his office toilet, the minister this week took armed bodyguards along to demolish private property in Siraha and dared the Home Minister to take action against him.
But Home Minister Bum Dev has been too busy shutting down nude dance bars and cyber cafes to pay much attention to law and order in the Tarai. Comrade Leftist God is convinced dirty dancing and internet porn is more of a threat to national security than the Tarai anarchists. Hey, how come he hasn't banned Midnight Hot yet?
Not that it had any relation to the official visit, but the very next day after the prime minister left, the charity donation box at the departure lounge of the airport terminal was broken into and an estimated Rs 30,000 stolen. The suspicion has fallen on the police on security duty.
The winner of this week's New Name contest is Rishav Shrestha who thinks Right Honourable Prime Minister Prachanda should be now called Left Honourable Prime Minister Prachanda.