Nepali Times
Under My Hat
His master’s voice


If you are one of those who flicks the remote over to the World Wrestling Federation Channel as soon as NTV's Six O'clock News Bulletin gets underway then you don't know what you've been missing lately.

The studio design has been transformed to introduce a more sizzling contemporary look, the main newscasters have been replaced with robots, the introductory animation and graphics have been upgraded to show the planet earth spinning furiously out of control through a violent cosmos lit up by exploding supernova, and the content of the news itself has been spruced up with extra-gripping infotainment.

In fact, if one didn't already know that this was a government news program, one could be forgiven for mistaking it for a scintillating simulcast of Pyongyang TV which itself is the North Korean franchise of Fox News Channel (Slogan: "Proud To Be Unfair and Pleased To Be Slightly Out of Balance").

Enough of this idle banter. Without beating the bush around any further, let's go right over to the studios of His Master's Voice at Singha Darbar and follow this evening's news lineup.

"Namaste. Welcome to the Six O'Clock Edition of news on His Master's Voice. Before we start, a longish commercial break which is brought to you today by:
Mutton-Flavoured Instant Noodles: "If it Smells Like a Goat, It Must Be a Goat"
Unrealistic Juice: "Only Permissible Man-made Ingredients Used"
Royal Challenger: "The King of Even Better Times."
Sucks: "Made from Mother's Milk, Bee's Honey and Almonds, the Only Soap in Nepal That Is So Yummy."
HMG: "Three More Years"
INSAS: "The World's Finest Non-Lethal Assault Rifle"
.and SpicyTel: "Mobiles that Both Outlaws and Inlaws Trust"

Welcome back. Here are the main points of the news in the order that we have been told to read them by the Ministry of Telepathy and Miscommunications:

His Majesty Taufa'ahau Tupou Wala-wala IV of the Kingdom of Tonga has sent an automatically-generated Microsoft Outlook 'Read Receipt' to a previous message of congratulations and hearty felicitations transmitted to His Majesty on the occasion of His Majesty's Happy Birthday last week in which His Majesty's Nepali counterpart wished His Majesty and the people of Tonga continued happiness, peace and prosperity in the years to come-three attributes which the message said continued to elude us in our own country. The message read:

We hope that the bonds of friendship and amity between the landlocked kingdom of Nepal and the sealocked Kingdom of Tonga will transcend the obstacles of geography and history to grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come. Please acknowledge this message. P.S. How do you do it?"

Nepal this week established full diplomatic relations with San Marino, a landmark event that brings ties between the two countries into a more even keel after years of often-strained relations. The Ministry of Foreigners' Affairs in a statement hailed the decision and said it had helped lessen tensions in bilateral relations that had been running high because hardly anyone in either country knew where the other country was. "The likelihood of full-scale war breaking out between Nepal and San Marino has been considerably reduced with the decision to exchange ambassadors," said one Nepali official, "but we could in future still invade San Marino if its ambassador here is absent during ceremonies at the airport to see off dignitaries."

UML leader Madhab Kumar Nepal has taken personal responsibility for the decision to join the third Share Bahadur Deuba government last year, saying "it was a huge mistake", and has sacked his deputy. Meanwhile, Girija Prasad Koirala yesterday accused everyone in his party of being palace agents, and said he wouldn't be surprised if he himself was one and didn\'t even know it.

And that brings us to the end of today's bulletin, which was brought to you by Himalayan Iron Rods ("Best during Emergency"). Join us again next week. Same time, same station.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)