Nepali Times
Kingdom for a horse


Right. We have it on good authoritarians that the disappearance of rhinos in the once-royal Chitwan National Park bears a direct correlation to the arrival of loktantra and the Girija Restoration. In fact, the rhinos started being killed as soon as two notorious poachers were released from jail by the seven-party alliance in September last year.

Now, conservationists at Kasara tell the BBC Nepali Service that envoys of two "developing country embassies" in Kathmandu are directly involved in paying middlemen for rhino horns at important five-star venues in the capital. Under CITES, envoys enjoy no diplomatic immunity when it comes to poaching endangered species. But that doesn't seem to deter these dogged diplomats.

The allegation has sent tongues wagging all over town about who the likely culprits may be. Narrowing down the search to "developing countries" has made the job considerably easier. Those who remember how street dogs suddenly started disappearing in the Dhobi Ghaut area in the 1980s recall that it coincided with a certain developing country embassy moving into the neighbourhood. This gave the word hotdog a whole new meaning. But with horny ambassadors now smuggling rhino spare parts into their checked-in luggage, there isn't much of a future for what could five years hence be posthumously declared Nepal Extinct National Animal.


Two famous Aishwaryas plighted their troth within a span of a week in India. One of them is a Miss World and the other tied the knot with our very own Devyani. What a coincidence that Devyani's husband's name is Aishwarya, a name that could easily have been her mother-in-law's if fate hadn't so cruelly intervened. Arjun Singh pulled out all the stops for his son's semi-royal wedding. He can afford to, since he is old money and new money all rolled into one thick wad. So what if Nepal is getting rid of its royalty, the Republicans of India are clinging on to theirs. And how come Bhutan's ex-king Jigme got an invite but our ex-majesty didn't? Devyani's Daddy had over 2,000 people on his invitee list but alas the Ass was not on it either.

The Nepali animals that did get to go to the festivities in Delhi were wild boars in the form of bandel ko bath. Bellywood glitterati and assorted Indo-Nepalese royalty were seen digging into the stuff. The proceedings were strictly out of bounds for Delhi-based paparazzi but our mole heard there were 450 Indian princelings at the Gwalior House function and the talk there was all about how the commies are taking over Nepal and what is the left-leaning Government of India doing about it?


So, what's with the moustache, Kingji? Maybe it is just as well that the monarch is not going to grace our bank notes from this year. Too little too late: the royal carcade to Hanuman Dhoka on Basanta Panchami didn't bring all traffic to a halt at New Road for two hours as used to be the practice. Emissaries have been sent to gauge the mood of the political forces about keeping at least a token monarchy. Even the Fierce One got a feeler and reportedly sent word back that His Majesty missed the bus. So, Plan B has been activated: a pro-monarchy julus of nange babas on Shivaratri which is guaranteed to send shivers down the spines of even die-hard republicans.


OK, so the Ass overdid it a bit last week with all that stuff on the UN but that's no reason to stop talking to him at the neighbourhood watering hole is it? C'mon, I was just horsing around. If you'd rather drop dead than be seen consorting with the backside donkey then go right ahead.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)