Nepal’s rainy season gets a lot of bad press for its mud, leeches, diarrhoea (verbal and gastric) and flooded streets that swallow up Marutis. It is time for the Monsoon to hire a public relations firm to rebrand itself. The Ass, in the national interest, offers his services free-of-charge to promote precipitation as a destination.
First of all, we have to come up with a snazzier slogan than #OnceIsNotEnough: people might think we are anticipating another earthquake. So, just off the top of my head, several catchy catchphrases come to mind:
‘Visit Nepal: Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall’
‘Wet Your Bed – in Nepal’
‘Visit Patan: It Rains Cats, Dogs and Water Buffaloes’
‘Have the Runs in the Rain’
‘It Never Rains in Nepal, It Pours’
‘Wallow in Waling’
‘Stranded in Lukla? Take a Rain Cheque.’
‘Avoid Airport Taxi – Take Boat To City’
‘Come To Nepal & Start Own Umbrella Movement’
‘Cross the Sewage Canal, and Travel To Nepal in Style’
‘Visit World’s Only Underwater World Heritage Site’
See? If we use our imagination, the sky is the limit when it comes to selling the rain to tourists. The Ministry of Foreigner Affairs, instead of jumping through hoops to strengthen bilateral ties with Djibouti, should instruct all our embassies to bring visitors to Kathmandu in the rainy season when the Valley becomes a lake again.
The gut reaction of many readers is to say: Wait a minute won’t I contract diarrhoea and trigger a violent uprising? The answer to that is: “Yes.” Now that Kathmandu’s Public Utilitarians have ensured that the city’s water supply is laced with the Vibrio cholerae bug, we can promote the city as an adventure destination. Slogan: ‘Visit Nepal and Lose 10kg in 10 Days. Money Back Guarantee. Conditions Apply. See Fine Print. If in Doubt, Consult Lawyer and/or Gastroenterologist.’
Alert visitors will have noted that Kathmandu’s road-widening project, which started some time during the reign of Emperor Amsuvarma, has turned the streets into sludge. The capital can capitalise on this and start a ‘Glastonbury in Gwarko’ Mud Festival where the NC and UML can engage in mud-slinging without any qualms.
But, seriously, the sludge will be an asset for Kathmandu’s burgeoning spa services. Instead of paying an arm and a leg to get yourself covered from nose to toe in therapeutic volcanic mud, in Kathmandu you can immerse yourself in goo to give your skin that younger, healthier tone. Kathmandu’s roads may have potholes that eat up cars, but they are paved with good intentions.
Since all this deconstruction has also blocked the drains, Kathmandu Metropolitan City has decided to flood the city and replace rickshaws with gondolas and promote the Valley as the Venice of the East.
Warning: All gondolas must stop at zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to swim across.