Who shrank Mt Everest?
As if all the attacks on Nepal’s national symbols were not enough, there is now an international conspiracy to prove that Mt Everest has shrunk. In the normal order of things this would be a matter of celebration since it would make the mountain easier to climb and we could give permits to another 1000+ expeditions, rake in royalty fees.
But putting it together with the call to replace the National Animal Cow with the Sloth Bear, and the National Bird Danfe with the Fruit Bat (don’t these traitors know bats are mammals?). They even want to turn our double triangle flag into a hexagon, and move border pillars to the north of Lumbini. This nefarious international conspiracy is giving me sleepless nights. On a matter as serious as this, the whole nation should be getting sleepless nights. Wake up, yes, you there in the driver’s seat.
What if the geologists find out that after the last earthquake, Mt Everest has not just become shorter, but it has moved entirely over to the Chinese side? If Mt Everest is no longer the highest mountain, and it isn’t even ours, how can we hold our heads high again as Nepalis among the community of nations? Imagine our ignominy and shame.
And, more importantly, what will all those proud owners of Mt Everest Restaurant and Bar (credo: ‘Get High Here’) do? Everest Bank (‘Our Interest Rates Is Highest’) will have to change its name to K2 Bank. Mt Everest Hotel must alter its credo from ’Nepal’s Top Hotel’ to ‘We Were Great Once’.
Then there is the Everest Herald Daily which could come up with a new slogan: ‘We Won’t Ever Rest Till We Get Our Mountain Back’. Everest Insurance could tell it like it is and say ‘Mt Everest Is Lower, But Our Premiums are Higher’.
Mt Everest Momo’s motto needs to change if they are to continue to home-deliver to Base Camp by helicopter: ’Freeze-dried Dumplings Without Oxygen’. Everest Corrugated Zinc Sheets will need to change its tagline ‘The Roof of the World’ to ‘The Gazebo of the World’. Everest Rubber Flipflops (‘First To Summit in Chappals’).
Sir Edmund Hillary’s family will be in the horns of a dilemma: to return his knighthood or not. We will have to rewrite all our text books and NTB’s promo brochures will have to be replaced with ones that say ‘The Land of Everest, Being Second Is Not So Bad’.
It is an unthinkable, nightmarish scenario. And what I want to know is why GONE had to be such a smart ass and grant permission to an expedition whose discovery would be potentially disastrous for our national morale, if not morals.
It is therefore in our national interest to safeguard Nepal’s vertical integrity and territoriality to pre-empt any revisionist attempt to recalibrate Mt Everest’s height and ensure that Qomolungma (Tibetan for ‘Goddess Mother of the Earth’) and Sagarmatha (Nepali for ‘The Pointy Dark One Behind the White One with the Flat Top That Is Third from Right If You Are Looking Counter-clockwise’) remains the tallest one in the world.
There are several steps that Nepal’s Bureau of Standards and Metrology can start taking right away if we can get them to wake up:
1. Every expedition climbing Mt Everest henceforth must ensure that team members who reach the top all carry at least 10 kg of rocks in their rucksacks to deposit at the summit. With 500 people expected on the Summit every season, we can add 20 metres to Mt Everest in just a few years and #MakeNepalGreatAgain.
2. All Cleanup Expeditions that used to bring trash back from the South Col and dump it on the banks of the Bagmati will henceforth be required to take it on to the summit instead. Let me just get my calculator out, here: by 2025 Mt Everest will cross the 9,000 m mark.
3. Dispatch a bulldozer and tipper truck from Trisuli to the summit ridge and start piling sand and gravel on top.