Nepali Times
Who, What, Where, Wen?


That seems to have been the plan all along: string us along with the fuel shortage for nearly two months until the lines got longer and longer and the people got more and more desperate, and just before they started setting fire to petrol stations, raise prices, allow hoarders to make a killing, let supply go back to normal so customers like us heave a sigh of relief. Then the ruling party gets its own student wing to organise some 'controlled protests' so the anger on the streets doesn't get out of hand. Brilliant, it works every time.

Meanwhile, Chairman Dazzling has found the Pistachio Palace a security risk because of the narrow lanes leading up to the Naya Bazar residence, and has moved to a better appointed villa in Lazimpat. Now, neighbours won't be able to eavesdrop on him channel surfing to watch himself on ABC tv, and won't be able to see him pacing on the terrace. PKD has been telling trusted foreign friends he fears for his life, hinting that the threat is not from the Rajabuddies but his own Mau Mau.

Meanwhile, Awesome, Jr who fills in as computer assistant, bodyguard, and general purpose gopher seems to be bored silly in Daddy's shadow. Ever since he was caught in flagrante by local paparazzi passed out on a sofa with his fly open in a Dhulikhel hotel last year, Comrade Sonny Boy has been compared to another important scion, clown prince Paras. But Dear Leader now wants to earn his own laurels. So, off he goes to climb Mt Everest this spring in the company of fellow-comrades. The idea is to trek all the way from Lumbini to Base Camp and then stick the hammer-sickle-carabiner banner on the summit. Both father and son seem to have this obsession with Lumbini and a film epic called Red Star over Everest.

Time to have a dress code and etiquette lessons for our leaders, especially when they meet foreign dignitaries in winter:
Don't give imported gladioli bouquets to visiting heads of state, especially if they are coming for only five hours
Mufflers that cover head, ears and back of neck are definitely out
So are turtlenecks inside jackets
Whatever you do, don't bad mouth your political rivals in front of the leader of a foreign country. Luckily Wen Jiabao's interpreter couldn't understand Jhusil mumbling in his beard about the untrustworthy Maoists, so we were saved a major national humiliation
Newly appointed ambassadors, including Maobaddie political appointees, may also need a briefing before they set off to become roving national embarrassments and plenipotentiaries.

Just to recap, let's make a three-point summary of the Wen's visit to Nepal and Gachh's visit to Delhi:

1. China gave us money to pay the Indians to import petroleum.
2. China told us to stop whining, and sort things out with India.
3. India told us to stop whining and sort things out with China.

Homely Minister Bijay Babu followed Comrade Wen's instructions by the letter and promptly air-dashed to Delhi. On Wednesday he met PM MMS who told him: "Why are you irritating the Chinese. Grow up!" (Or words to that effect). So Gachh invited him to visit Nepal for five hours, too. Wonder if the Injun Army knows it is dealing with a red sandalwood wholesaler who plays a crucial role in the decimation of south India's forests by facilitating the transit of the contraband timber through Nepal to China. (Speaking of which, we hear Gach Jr was pretty openly doing his collection rounds when he accompanied Dad to Beijing.) This must be what our government meant when we said we want to profit from our geostrategic location between India and China.

Firanghee Minister Kaji Naran Kamred slyly got the cabinet to endorse his plan to seek a spondilitis operation in Hokkaido for Rs 2.5 million, and since most other cabinet members have skeletons in their own closets, no one dared ask him why the operation couldn't be performed in Nepal itself since we have world class surgeons like Dr Devkota and Dr Banskota here. But get this, we tax payers are not just footing the bill for Kaji's operation, we are also paying for the ticket of his masseuse. Yes, the same one who accompanied the minister to New York and the SAARC Summit.

Read also:
Moving on, RABI THAPA
Resolve to have your cake and eat it too in slightly delayed new year resolutions

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)