11 - 24 October 2013 #677

Hot shopping items this Dasain

There was a time in elections of yore when Kangresi leaders promised to transform Nepal into Singapore if they got the vote. The Maobaddies went a step further and said if they won they would turn Nepal into Switzerland. They won, got into government, but all they did was stash their cash in Zurich. Now, the Chairman of our Elect-shun Govt has gone and declared at the UN Generals Assembly that Nepal will become a Swaziland by 2022. What a crappy idea. What’s wrong with remaining what we are: a Least Developed Country? Methinks we should leave no stone overturned to ensure that Nepal remains an LDC so that we can keep being the leader of the world’s beggars. No one is going to pay for our junkets anymore if we rise to the ‘Developing Country’ category, no?


Heard on tv this week: “One faction of one party shuts down the country” and after last minute midnight negotiations failed, the political leaders were accused of “caring more about their own parties than they do about the country”. We all thought this was about Nepal until we found out that we were actually watching C-SPAN and they were talking about the US Congress. The shutdown of the US federal gubberment is an important lesson for the 33 Parties in Nepal about how to make their 10-day bund in November really successful. And in the spirit of reciprocity the Nepal Embassy in DC can now also deny Nepali visas to Tea Party folks for declaring a bund.


Before they got their tickets, candidates were all trooping off to temples and sacrificing black goats. Now they have tickets, they are all trooping off to astrologers for tips on do’s and don’ts during the campaign. For instance, Brave Lion has been told to wear coral rings to ward off rebel candidates, Madhesi leaders have been given exact date and time of the auspicious alignments of the planets to declare their manifestos and even Marxist-Leninist candidates have been spotted surreptitiously tuning in to the horoscope program on tv. Meanwhile Nepal’s asstrologer-in-chief has declared that Chairman Awesome’s zodiac is not so great so the Strongman has been poring over his kundali to find that the sign rising on the Eastern horizon at birth and the longitudinal difference between the tropical and sidereal constellations and co-mingling of planetary energies when in the sign of its exultation need to be propiated. Don’t be surprised if there is another worship of a revolutionary water buffalo over Dasain.


The week that Nepal was declared the fifth worst country to have a passport of, comes news that Nepalis have found ever more ingenious ways to smuggle themselves out of the country and acquire visas. Earlier, an entire volleyball team which had gone to Japan for an international sports meet decided to stay back. We have lost track of the number of wushu and karate contestants who have never returned. Then the formerly-royal Nepal Academy sent a 12-member dance troupe to the US, and only one came back. Now comes word of just how adept Nepalis are in getting a visa to the 165 countries that we need visas for. Of the 26 who went to Belgium to commemorate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Nepal and participate in an international trade fair in Ghent last month, 15 disappeared soon after landing in Brussels. It appears that they paid Rs 18 lacks to the concerned authorities for a formal visa recommendation letter. Thank god Finance Minister Shanker Koirala came back.

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