Saturday, August 31, 1996

At the funeral of monkeys


Razen Manandhar
"Ladies and gentleman, this tragedy comes as a terrible shock to me. I really feel bitter to stand at the funeral of our so called 38 brave citizens. Although this mishap occurred due to the negligence of Nepal Electricity Authority, I do share the responsibility as I am a staunch authority of human beings. I feel, I should have warned them earlier," The president of the Monkey Republic of Pashupati, an elderly monkey, rearranged the microphone made for that special ceremony. After a deep sigh, continued his speech, taking out his thick spectacles.

"I remember, they have worked hard to build this country's reputation, to keep the legends alive and to keep pace with a world rushing after modernity.

"They were all good monkeys and had a bright future. They are capable of doing something really remarkable for this country.

"Unlike their human counterparts, they are never lured by bribery, never try to twist our holy constitution for their benefit and never torture their counterparts. They have a great respect for their neighbors which other human beings lack. No one snatches others' property nor do they eye the government's property. The only difference between we monkeys and the insatiable men is that we never become greedy for what we really don't need.

"As our country is democratic one, many political parties exist here and those dead too believed in different political principles, but I've never seen them squabbling with each other like their human counterparts.

"Like all our citizens, these victims were also found of entertainment, as if they were born to enjoy. Some of them were hardworking sportsmen and devoted artists bent upon preserving our cultural heritage. they did wear jeans but preferred their mother tongue in FM programmes. they did belong to a different creed but never compared theirs as better one.

"They all were great scholars indeed. They never left their classrooms for narcotic puffs or for any political riot. I'm proud, they never turned themselves into puppets as students in Nepal do. They insisted o avoiding foreign textbooks and teachers. And you see, the children we have are simply geniuses.

"Well, all I want to say is that I smell a big conspiracy here. Most probably, these Fund people are planning a genocide. Perhaps, they want to eliminate us and import a different species of monkeys from Maharashtra.

"I'm grateful to those martyrs who sacrificed their lives against the power of encroachment of some suspicious human beings. May God resettle those departed souls in Heaven. Amen"


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]