Supposedly, our Members of Parliament represent us. We vote for them (or have our votes looted by their party cadres), so they stand for us, we are told. However, one need only look at the general dysfunction in parliament house, then at the comparatively greater dynamism of the rest of the country, to know that those in parliament do not represent the Nepali people. For instance, my own MP is a Bahun man who-as a friend pointed out-habitually commits the schizophrenia of speaking in support of globalisation at donor meetings; singing communist songs (with fists raised!) before the masses; writing articles in scrappy, downright bitchy language; and behaving extremely charming in person. This man does not stand for me, I promise. But of course he does: he represents me in parliament. He is my voice, it seems.
The story below, by Kishore Pahadi, expresses exactly this dilemma. What can you do when your representative does not represent you? You can write a story and offer a representation of your own. Pahadi does so with a light, humorous touch that saves a weighty issue from bearing down too heavily on the reader. His story comes from his short story collection Sarvagya ra Sex.
REPRESENTATION AND REPRESENTATIVES
There are three types of people in our country. One type:
Name : Ravishankar Karanjit
Birth date : November 25, 1947
Birthplace : Baitadi District
Education : Master of Arts (Political Science)
Engages in politics.
Endeavored from student days to turn the Panchayat into dust.
Nearly killed by police in the demonstrations of 1979.
Was only imprisoned.
Rumors once spread through the land that he had been assassinated in jail.
Suffered harsh torture from the government while in jail.
Released in 1986.
Joined the party after release.
Actively involved in the 1989 democracy movement.
After bullets, jail and torture, the dawn of democracy.
The general elections.
Elected to Member of Parliament.
After becoming MP, also became a Minister.
After becoming a Minister, got muddled about how to begin work.
Discovered the kind of chaos that the country was in.
Attempted to determine what kind of program would raise the country above the second-to-last realm before hell.
Day after day, exchanges thoughts with people considered program experts.
There are three types of people in our country. One type is like Ravishankar Karanjit, and the other type:
Name : Pritam Singh Thapa
Birth : November 25, 1947
Birthplace : Jhapa District
Education : Intermediate of Arts
Dropped out of college and these days engages in politics.
Engages in politics, meaning he keeps a keen interest in political science.
Is eager to engage in slandering others.
Dresses in foreign suits and ties, but places a great
emphasis on the need to buy homespun clothes.
Voices great opposition to the rate of inflation in the country.
Complains that even after so many months of democracy, there have been no changes.
Comments on the increase of anarchy.
Worries that only those who are tied to the powerful are awarded appointments.
Also worries about his own lack of qualifications.
No matter what kind of comments he passes, no matter who he slanders, no matter what kind of suit and tie he wears, makes sure to stop by Gurung's shop to down some liquor every evening.
There are three types of people in our country. One type is like Ravishankar Karanjit, the other type is like Pritam Singh Thapa, and the other type:
Name : Mahila Tamang
Birth date : November 25, 1947
Birthplace : A village in Nepal
Education : Zero
Smokes a tamakhu-pipe after waking up in the morning.
Eats cooked flour and pickles.
Goes to herd the cows.
Bathes in the river.
Doesn't know how to argue-why am I the only one to collect dung.
Knows-to eat gooseberries, one must climb trees.
Doesn't know-if you apply cow dung on the wound on your foot, you risk tetanus.
Doesn't know Ravishankar Karanjit
Doesn't know Pritam Singh Thapa either.
Doesn't know what Ravishankar Karanjit does.
Doesn't know what Pritam Singh Thapa does either.
There are altogether three types of people in our country. All three were born on the same day-November 25, 1947. Yet how different they all are. Which of these three types am I? I'm seeking the answer to this question. There are so many Tamang women in the country: perhaps I too am a Tamang woman. I've been looking for my representation since ten past nine last night. My wife says-"The month is up tomorrow. I want to give birth to your representative."