Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Fried goat guts for all by Dasain


The news that Nepal has denied transit visas to 10,000 mountain goats and sheep from Tibet to enter the kingdom for Dasain this year has been greeted with utter dismay in some quarters. This is understandable, because it could be an irreversible setback for national efforts to stockpile saut?ed goat guts for Kathmandu's paploo and kauda class this festival season.

As we all know, deep-fried goat innards washed down with beer are an important guarantee of inertness, and without adequate supplies Nepalis may actually end up doing something useful and important in the national interest while preparing to celebrate Nepal's national chard. This is why the semi-government National Institute for Lethargy and Inertia has moved swiftly to identify alternate sources of goat protein so that there is sufficient indolence and lassitude to go around this Dasain. (Special khasi reinforcements are being rushed to Kathmandu from Syangja, highly-placed sources told us on condition of anonymity.) Vigilance squads have already been deputed by most ministries, and they are carrying out spot checks at various departments, corporations, public sector enterprises, and our embassies abroad to make sure that no civil servants are sneaking into their offices to actually get some work done in the run-up to Dasain.

Even senior ministers and secretaries are not exempt from this crackdown. It has come to our notice, for instance, that the Home-away-from-Home Minister and the Health Hazard Minister have escaped to Australia under the pretext of attending an international conference, and at the moment of going to press, are both busy catching up with a backlog of pending work that they brought from home. They were spotted during their flights out poring over piles of files and adding toks. They are both expected to get a severe reprimand from the Crime Minister when they return for spoiling party unity during the Dasain go-slow. Unless all members of the cabinet show strict discipline and consensus, the Chief Whip will be compelled to give them all a tongue-lashing when they get back. And it will not just be lip service, you can be sure of that.

There are workaholics among us who will insist on going to work in the coming week to push paper. Woe on such spoilsports, they need help. It's not that we are less lazy the rest of the year. But Dasain is the time that we can really let ourselves go by wallowing in sloth. Even though we know this, we sometimes lapse into exertion and toil. Vigilance, that is what is required. Vigilance against hard work. Just look at all the benefits of sloth: we have always underestimated the role laziness plays in non-violence and in ending wars. Making people too lazy to fight should be the aim of all peace-making endeavours. There is nothing like a sense of time having stopped to bring warring sides to lay down their arms.

Having said that, it has just come to my notice that I am now too lazy to complete this column. May you all attain nirvana this Dasain: that state of perfect immobility and bliss.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)