4-10 December 2015 #785

The Bottom Line


Friends, Romans and countrymen, lend me your ears. I stand before you today with yet another column that will tangentially, in passing, and in an oblique way mention the Blockade (hereinafter referred to in short as: ‘So-called’). I can hear some of you groaning, and muttering under your breath: “Oh, no. Not another so-called column”. Let me, as the bigger dude here, issue a veiled threat and remind you that you have no choice but to read this. So, get on with it. What? You are turning to page 2 to read the editorial? OK. Bye.

Many of you have asked me at the various asinine social events this past week: “What is so-called India’s bottom line?” My answers are too vulgar to be printed in a family newspaper also read by minors, but I will paraphrase it thus: “£@$^ and %&!”  Having valiantly survived the British siege at Nalapani and the previous two Indian blockades in 1989, we Nepalis have developed a siege mentality. Ass licking the Indians never worked, so we try to head butt them every time they close our so-called border. By now, therefore, we are so used to New Delhi having us in a half-nelson that we are battle hardened. Which is why GONe led by Prime Sinister Oli is not unduly worried about the scarcity of petroleum, hospitals being out of medicines and the country grinding to a halt. Nothing was moving in this country even before this crisis, so there is no question of things coming to a standstill. (‘A motion at rest will continue to remain at rest even if it is kicked around’: Newton’s Third Law of Thermodynamics).

We had rehearsals for fuel lines for decades before this crisis, so this is nothing new. We have also lived without water for the last two decades in our neighbourhood, so there is no reason why we can’t carry on without basic items of daily necessity like imported pomegranates. There was hoarding, blackmarket and price gouging even before, and thank goodness for that because without smuggled oil, this country would have gone belly-up long ago. Nepalis avoided going to hospitals to be prescribed unnecessary and expensive medicines and visited shamans even before this crisis, so the shortage of medicines is a blessing in disguise. Over at the Financing Ministry, they are jubilant that the country’s six month standstill means that half of Nepal’s annual budget is unspent, and they can now dole it out to party cadre as pocket money.

In Baglung, the local administration decided to distribute limited LPG cylinders through a lottery. And there are other ingenious ways we are dealing with the hardships. Comrade Bigplop felt that there was too much normalcy on the streets which gave people the wrong impression that the Indian action wasn’t hurting us at all. So, in a masterstroke he brought a country already at a standstill to a halt.

Now that Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Intestinal Aerodrome has won this year’s CNN Achievement Award for #1 Worstest Airport in Asia, up from #3 last year by beating Pyongyang in DPRK and Wagga Wagga in Papua New Guinea, let me use this opportunity to congratulate each and every one responsible for this magnificent achievement. It is no mean feat to be the smelliest, dirtiest, rudest, and most anarchic airport when competition in this vast continent of ours is so strong. And yet we made it. For this we owe our collective gratitude especially to the baggage handling gang at TIA for the extra work they put in to make Kathmandu victorious in this year’s contest. It was their diligence in dilly-dallying which ensured that every passenger on the one hour flight from Delhi was made to wait at least three hours for their boxes of induction stoves to arrive on the carousel. And it is very thoughtful of TIA Management to announce plans to put up a barbershop in the arrival concourse because passengers who have waited so long for their checked-in baggage to appear are in need of haircuts. The other reason Triumverate International Airport made it to the top position is that we turned Nepal’s aviation gateway into a zoological park by allowing dogs, cats, cows, monkeys, and even wild boars to roam the terminal building and showcase Nepal’s rich biodiversity to arriving visitors.

It is, however, too early to rest on our laurels. We cannot be complacent, let our standards slip and allow ourselves to drop from the coveted #1 slot for Worst Airport In Asia in 2016. If that happens, we have no one to blame but so-called India.

Read also:

Without a Modicum of Doubt, Ass

Half-assed blockade, Ass

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