Nepali Times Asian Paints
Skullduggery in Chait


Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse in this erstwhile kingdom of ours there comes word from Jhapa of the martyrdom of thousands of chicken. This government deserves a break, there hasn't been a dull moment since it came to power with one endless crisis after another. Wonder what is in store for us next week: a plague outbreak?


The Ass was determined to write at least one Backside column without mentioning loadshedding, but it seems impossible. This week we have to share with you there in the dark some good news that there are places worse than us in terms of power cuts: the Gaza Strip and Goma in the DRC.


And we hear Karachi has 18 hour daily power cuts. At least in Kathmandu we know when the power is going off.


It's a good thing there are only 24 hours in a day. Because it means there can't be more than 24 hours of daily loadshedding.


We have to give credit where it's due. The government's wise (and brave) decision to put the price of diesel and kerosene on par has stopped fuel adulteration for the first time. As a result, NOC reports that the import of kerosene is down by 40 per cent, while diesel import is up 60 per cent-mainly because of the use of generators.


The Panchangan Committee has decreed that next year, 2066, we will only have 11 months and we're going to be skipping the month of Chait in order to make up for the slowing down of the earth's rotation over the past two millennia. The Gregorians, who are much more precise about these things because they have caesium atom clocks, added a second at midnight of December 31 on new year's eve to synchronise GMT with the earth's rotation. Here are the advantages of a 11-month year:

* Government saves billions in salaries to civil servants and can plough the cash into populist programs

* There will be no loadshedding because NEA doesn't have to supply power for a whole month, thus allowing the Kulekhani reservoir to fill up

* We'll all be younger by a month

* At least we don't have to pay a day's salary in Chait 2065 for the Finance Minister's Robin Hood tax for the hare-brained Youth Self-Employment Scheme

* The nation saves hundreds of tons of paper because all calendar printers will only have to put out 11 pages

* The pejorative term for political turncoats, Chaitay, will no longer be applicable


In other countries, it is the military that captures power through a coup d'etat, or the opposition votes the government out of power. So, it's great to know that Nepal is the only country in the world in which a ruling party wants to seize power. In other words, we have the only government in the universe that actually wants to overthrow itself. Where else in the world do you have a ruling party which has to keep clarifying at least once a week that it is not the party's policy to hack off people's legs.


Nepal makes it to the world headlines for all kinds of strange goings-on, but the latest is that this great nation of ours is now a major conduit for the smuggling of contraband human skulls. Oh yes, if you didn't know, the trade and transport of human skulls is banned by international law. It seems our customary officials were oblivious to this and had been allowing human skulls to enter the country unhindered across our open southern border to be put on cargo flights to the far corners of the earth.


Apparently there is a huge worldwide demand for human skulls as candle stands and India is the biggest supplier. But now that Indian sleuths will be manning the security at Kathmandu airport, looks like all this skullduggery is going to come to an end.


(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)