You know it is a slow news day in Nepal when the wire services start filing stories about toilets being built on Mt Everest. So the highest mountain in the world is going to be declared an "open-defecation free zone". This doesn't affect the Ass one way or other because yours truly is not in line to set a new world record to take the highest dump in the world. But the reason the high-level authoritarians have taken this step is because the poo pile on the South Col is now so high there is nowhere to pitch a tent. Apparently there are freeze dried droppings there from as far back as the unsuccessful 1952 Swiss Mt Everest Expedition. OK, there will now be outhouses with commodes from Camp I to Camp V, but how is that going to help? Frozen turds will still be coming out pulverized from the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall in a couple of centuries. Be that as it may, there is cause for serious concern: global warming is melting the Himalaya and it's going to thaw out everything. Everything.
The Maldivian government is getting pretty exasperated, apparently, with the frequent change of government in Nepal: five in the last five years at last count. The reason is that no sooner had they sent an emissary to invite Makunay for the SAARC Summit, than he was gone. So, the envoy was dispatched again to invite Jhol Gnat, and he too was out. This week, the Maldivian emissary was back to deliver the invite from President Nasheed to Prime Minister Bhattarai. The question is, will Bhattarai still be PM on 10 November when the first SAARC summit in the southern hemisphere kicks off on Addu Atoll?
Breaking News: BRB Breaks Down at JNU. Really, what's with our comrades? You'd expect the iron-fisted former guerrillas to have hearts of stone, but they've turned out to be cry babies. Even Comrade Ferociousness has a habit of shedding a strategic tear or two when the occasion so demands.
And when Padam Dai heard the prime minister speaking haltingly in Nepal Bhasa at a new year function the other day, he couldn't stop his tears either. Could that be because he couldn't bear to hear how BRB was butchering the mother tongue? But when his turn came to speak, Padam Dai himself got the year of Nepal Sumbut wrong. Someone tell the prime minister to quickly brush up on his Sherpa, Gurung, Tamang and Magar since their new years are around the corner and we don't want any more crying.
Despite tears shed, the prime minister's Delhi visit seemed to have gone well. Except he didn't get to meet Sonia because, we were told, she was still recuperating. But then the very next day Sonia was seen at a photo op on 10 Janpath with Jigme the Fifth who had brought along his new bride for a darshan, before whisking her off (wife, not Sonia) on a honeymoon in Rajasthan.
It was when BRB got back home that all hell broke loose. One expected Mohan "Comrade Pokhrel" Baidya to raise fears of "Sikkimisation". One expected Comrade Cloud to skewer Comrade Red Flag. It was even quite expected that Comrade Mahara should hop off to China while Laldhoj was in Delhi. And it would surprise no one that PKD would be working behind the scenes to stab BRB in the back. But the most unexpected was Comrade Cloud suddenly having a go at Unserer Fuhrer and accusing him of being an uncooked operative. What gives? Cloud must see an opening to use the nationalism and the ethnic card to make a break for prime ministership himself. Interestingly, only the previous week Lotus Flower commiserated with cadre that he made a mistake sacking Gen Cutwall in 2008, and that he only did so because Cloudy (who was then defence minister) insisted.
First he promised us a deal in "45 days", then BRB said "after Dasain". With no progress, he said, "before the India visit". Then it was "after Tihar". Tihar is over, and now the prime minister is promising a deal "after Chhat". You can be sure he is now going to say "after Lhosar".