Nepali Times
The kindest cut


CONSENSUS: Two canines talk it over in Singhadurbar

There are three dogs in my house. The oldest, smartest, and the smallest, a mongrel bitch, is called Jantari. Then there's two male bhote kukurs (Tibetan Mastiff): Rame, 3, and Pushe, 1.

Now, observant readers will note such a combination is a recipe for disaster. One female, two males. What's more, two males of the bhote variety, notorious for their moody aggression. And so it proved. Rame was lord of what little he surveyed, with Jantari a willing courtier, until brash Pushe came along. Rame could push Pushe the Pup around, but it was clear to us early on that Pushe would soon outgrow Rame. We hoped Pushe would accept Rame as his elder, or that Rame would gracefully abdicate with time. It was not to be.

Last week, after a series of minor squabbles, Pushe and Rame got into the worst brawl of their doggy lives. When they were finally separated, there was blood everywhere. Rame had a torn mouth and was limping. Pushe had swollen, bloodshot eyes and cuts on his flanks. Those trying to break up the fight got bites for their trouble, too. What's worse, the bhotes refused to make up. Another confrontation seemed imminent. What to do?

The doggy drama put me in mind of larger questions. What can one do when opposing forces refuse to acknowledge each other, other than as enemies, and continue to fight to the detriment of themselves and the wider polity? The analogy didn't seem so far-stretched applied to our own political games. Pushe and Rame were battling it out for dominance, focused solely on gaining the upper hand. Their owners, instead of feeling secure in the knowledge that two strong and trustworthy employees were guarding the household, worried about their own security as they observed the snarling and growling from a distance.

Wild dogs, who live in highly organised packs attuned to collective survival, quickly find a way to adapt to hierarchical shuffles and get on with more important matters like procuring food. House dogs on the other hand, due to the idiosyncrasies of their breeding and owners, may take things rather more personally. So they persist in savaging each other, causing everyone around grief. Food still comes in a bowl day in day out, after all, so they can remain focused on egoistic struggles.

Back home, after some consultations, the momentous decision was taken to castrate both Pushe and Rame, that is, khasi banaune. We'd been told this might mean reduced male-to-male aggression, while not impairing the dogs' ability to guard the household. They would even put on weight, the vet suggested, which wasn't a bad thing at all as long as we made sure they weren't overeating. And of course, Jantari and her owners could rest easy whenever she came into heat ‚Ä" the boys would simply continue in their disinterested service of the household.

We're still awaiting the results of the kindest cut. If all goes well, our household and its dogs will forge ahead in security and prosperity. So I'm sorely tempted to suggest a similar solution for our political gladiators. Oh, I wouldn't be so vulgar as to suggest literally castrating the men who sit there snarling in committees ad nauseam while the janata look on helplessly. A symbolic self-castration of ego, though, would go a long way in resolving the impasse they have brought us to. Collective egoism in the form of jingoism, too, could be dispensed with either side of the border. What's it good for?

Just as an aside, however, I have been reading up on eunuchs of late. In many cultures across this wonderful world of ours, castrated men appear to have occupied significant roles in the courts of the good and the great. Eunuchs, being unable to propagate, were often considered more trustworthy and less driven by personal gain, at least from a dynastic point of view. For my part, I'd like to dedicate this column to the Chinese eunuch Cai Lun (ca. 50-121AD), the patron saint of paper-making.

1. Sammy
What a treat reading this Rabi. 
And could you please tell us who won that fight between Pushe and Rame? We need some pointers here. I mean my bet here is even though Psuhe is young, he is calculative and frisky. Rame is getting old and his age might have gotten better of him, you know they get fairly delusional when they start ageing. 
And here's my suggestion, if they fight again, just chase them across the border will you? The entire household will be with you in chasing them across the border, although I am not so sure if the neighbours will come and join. Cause they just love watching tamasha.  

2. manoj aryal
totally rubbish article..!! i have three dogs in my home and they fight together..!! a reputed paper like nepali times should not published this type of article..!! its a pity to read this..!

3. Sandeep Dhungana

No decisions expected in Rame and Pushe's fight even in the umpteenth round, not until they themselves bleed to death or they bleed the rest  of the spectators to death. I believe the honorable title should go to the 'Itar pakchhya', saintly Jantari, everyone would live in peace.

4. prakash
Manoj, this writer himself is the editor, what do u do?

5. abhi
love these comments when they say a "reputed paper like nepali times"....!  bujhney lai sri khanda, nabujhney lai khurpa ko beend...! 

great piece rabi....

6. chundun
Rabi your humor in this piece is not lost here in "the land of the free and the home of the brave" ;-) where I am pleasantly surprised to find some avid readers. Your spin to a sad situation in the "motherland" is quite refreshing and we need more people like you back home to keep things sane. One thing still left in our fellow nepalis is the sense of humor and pieces like these helps us keep things in perpective, albeit in a humorous ways. And honestly, political correctness aside, how many of us would love to see these bastards get castrated - right in front of Singha Durbar? I would bet my left family jewel that this would make quite an advetisement for Visit Nepal 2011 and make the most hits in YouTube!

7. manoj aryal

Dear Abhi,

I can understand this article, i have read articles from so many magazines and the newspapers around the world but this is not the way to write i must say, it seems like rabi can write anything and nepali times publish it, from your point of view you like it but its my opinion what i am writing, there is no question of "shreekhanda or khurpa".this piece of writing of Rabi is suitable for a informal chat with his friends in a tea shop...! not as a "written piece", i hope you can understand as you are such a knowledgeble person who can understand this "misterious" article..!!

8. abhi

My intention was not to insult you. the reason its is so unbearable to read other nepalese newspapers in English is because its always full of condescending NGO workers using heavy language and deliberating on everything from state reform to governance and everything in between. You say you read internationally, so you must have come across pieces where the ideas of subtlety, bit of wit, and engaging the readers with some seemingly trivial details. 

If you read nepali times regularly, you must have come across Kunda Dixit's seminal piece about 'tress felling in kathmandu' few years back when troops were marauding his newsroom. He was creative, using the analogy of trees to protest the king's move.

I can bet my life here Rabi does not have dogs named Pushe and Rame. But look how he has presented the case with such subtlety. How do we abuse our netas when we talk? We call them KUKUR HARU right? The writer did exactly that, but with a hint of class and wit. That's why I loved the piece. 

9. Satya Nepali

"A symbolic self-castration of ego, though, would go a long way in resolving the impasse they have brought us to."

Very good article. What would have made it excellent is if the writer had gone the extra length to spell out how this "symbolic self-castration" might be brought about.

Fact is, it can't. No one self-castrates himself, certainly no young male fighting for overlordship of the 'tol'. 

Pushe and Rame did not self-castrate. It took the owner, Rabi, to carry it out. Same analogy should be carried out to the human political battle. Our political leaders will not, of their own accord, tone down their egoism or jingoism. It has to be done by THE PEOPLE for them i.e. political leaders of Nepal should be cut down to size through the means of REFERENDA that puts all major decisions taken by them since 2006 on the table again.

That will show them who's boss in this country. It will show them, in no unambiguous terms, that they are here to serve the people, not to ride roughshod over us. It will show these dogs WHO THE MASTER REALLY IS. 

What do you say, Rabi?


10. Rohit

100% with the writer

our leaders are dogs..............................

as non of them have done anything for our country, once they do it then we call them leaders.

11. hange

Excellent, introspective article.  As for the manoj aryals of the world:

 if you don't like it, don't read the author's articles in the future.  Frankly, it's these kind of, "it sucks," comments that are truly rubbish.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)