Saturday, August 17, 1996

Just for a Pajero


Razen Manandhar
"Could there be any thing more shameful than that I, the legitimate wife of a MP, will be walking home even wen all 200 MPs have registered their names to import the most sophisticated vehicles for themselves?" she was offensive at my quiet mood.

It has been more than two weeks my wife's persuading me to buy a Pajero for ourselves, as per the government's extra-ordinary facility for the MPs of this 147th LDC country.

"Look budhi. You have to choose one of us -- you want this husband or go and hunt for another MP-husband who will bring a Pajero for your pleasure." My patience gave way and I had only to say, " Do you know how much money I hand over to you every month?" That eighteen ropani bari in our village won't even fetch you an Indian motorcycle...."

I seldom find guts to retaliate, while she starts her never-ending lecture on home-politics. I broom up my vocal cords and she sweeps all my breeze with her god-gifted hurricane. I tried, "You know how much I earn. My love, I know you have dreams, so do I. But can you feel..."

"Stop it, will you? You see, Dhankumari's father, the MP from our district, he has half the land that we have. I met her last week and she was telling me her father is going to buy one."

"Oh! That old man dupes people easily every year. Let me tell you..."

"And you are chanting a song of sincerity. What a fool! do you know in which country you live? Bribery and corruption are symbols of survival here You have to do at least something for the sake of this country."

"Go on. Let me be proud of a better half of a woman like you. I used to think that had the world be rushing after illegal earnings, my sweet wife will always be at my side to battle against the serpent in the Garden of Knowledge. Now, show me where the apple is."

"I've never thought that you're such a milky naive," she seemed tired of convincing me (could she be?). This is the golden chance our government has provided us with to enhance corruption," she said.

Everybody knows it's simply impossible for a MP to buy a vehicle which costs more than his sincere life-long earnings.

"Think, why we the whole whole pack of them are after a Pajero when they too wear the same piece of cloth as you? You will get the vehicle in 13 lakhs while it costs about 40 lakhs in the market. You don't have to pay a paisa. There will be buyers with sacks full. Just give a couple of signatures and you'll profit a building in Kathmandu, the dream of a MP's wife," she explained.

I was spell-bound. I, now believe that only he who can coax and hoax can lead this country. I confess that the secret of my success is my ingenious wife. It is decided. I'll surely participate in this bonanza!
[Kathmandu, 17/08/1996]