Nepali Times
Democratic ass-ent of Everest


Your humble Ass has never quite understood what drives mountaineers to risk life and limb, since the only ascent this donkey has ever indulged in is social climbing. I know, I know, they climb them because they're there. But what could be more absurd than nearly getting yourself killed just for scenery you could easily see from the window of the Lhasa flight.

So, it must be for the pomp and adulation one gets after a record-breaking climb. Like Apa Sherpa's jubilant homecoming on Wednesday as he was taken into town from the airport sitting on a sofa balanced precariously on the back of a pickup. As it turned out, Apa and the Ass were both stuck in a monstrous traffic jam in front of the Supreme Court.

There was heavily-garlanded Apa sitting at the back of a stationary truck under the blazing sun waving at bored passengers in surrounding buses and cars who all waved back because they thought he was tele-evangelist Shri Shri Ravishankar. Apa has just set foot on the world's highest mountain for the 17th time or so, and such spontaneous appreciation by fellow-Nepalis must make it worth all the trouble.


This year's expeditions really take the cake. Especially the Democratic Everest Expedition led by another multiple summiteer, Ang Rita. This must mean all previous expeditions to Everest were undemocratic. As the Ass duly noted in a previous dispatch ('One giant leap for assdom', #344) the expedition was to have placed flags of the eight political parties on the top and (get this bit) "remove any pictures of the king still remaining on the summit". That must be the picture some of the same climbers left on top after the 2002 royal coup. Breaking News:

Democratic Everest abandoned its only female climber who was lagging behind during the summit putsch and she had to be rescued by bidesi mountaineers. If this is what happens on a democratic expedition, the Ass can't wait for a republican expedition. Another Breaking News: The man who wanted to be the first to climb Everest in shorts didn't make it.


History is repeating itself in Nepal, and every passing day the Ass is reminded of Animal Farm, the book in which some Comrade Donkeys attained martyrdom. It's getting more and more difficult to tell the present bunch of loktantrik clowns from the previous bunch of royal clowns. Comrade Yummy has removed pictures of the ex-king and ex-queen and replaced them with portraits of Comrade Awesome and Comrade Pushpalal in her corridor of power. NTV has been instructed to begin work on a documentary profile of His Awesomeness called: 'Prachanda, The Man'. And a cotton swab used to wipe the sweat off the Dolakha Mahadeb has been re-routed to Baluwatar instead of Narayanhiti.

Not to be outdone, the army has replaced portraits of His Majesty the Supreme Commander in its 2064 calendar and replaced him with (you guessed it) COAS Katuwal in various warlike poses. The month of Jestha during which the constituent assembly elections were supposed to be held has a group portrait of five Jarsaps who were recently promoted, all looking rather chuffed.


The YCL's nation-building spree continues apace with the destruction this week of all veggie and fruit stalls along the Ring Road so the Green Belt can be turned into a Red Belt. A-ha, this is what they meant by "climb on the shoulder and hit the head". When the shopkeepers dared to burn a couple of tyres at Koteswor in protest, the young commies gifted them a plot of land next to Gonga Bu Bus Park and promptly sank themselves into a legal quagmire because a local businessman has a 50-year lease on that property.

During the next verification, there is one way to tell who is not a minor in the Maobuddies' cantonments: 65 women guerrillas who have given birth in the past month. Although this did not preclude a Maoist MP from marrying a minor recently, and when his party pulled him up by the socks (not for marrying a minor but for marrying without permission) he offered not to have sexual interactions with her till she came of age.

This baby boom in the cantonments will nicely make up for all recent desertions, and the comrades may need to set up a new front organisation called the BCL: Baby Communist League.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)