Dasain Go-Slow

The news that China has closed the border and denied transit visas to 10,000 mountain goats and sheep from Tibet to enter the Feral Republic of Nepal this year has been greeted with dismay in some quarters. This is understandable given the irreversible setback this will create for national efforts to celebrate Nepal’s national festival with the gusto it deserves.

As we all know, goats from the northern and southern neighbours have sacrificed their lives to safeguard Nepal’s martial tradition that allowed us to fight off invaders and preserve our independence throughout history.

Fried goat guts washed down with beer are an important guarantee of inertness over the coming weeks, and without adequate ungulate supplies Nepalis may actually end up doing something useful and important in the national interest.

This is why the semi-government National Institute for Lethargy and Inertia has moved swiftly to identify alternate sources of goat protein so that there is sufficient indolence and lassitude to go around this Dasain. Even so, we need special Vigilance Squads to patrol the corridors of power to carry out spot checks to make sure that no civil servants and politicians are sneaking into their offices to actually get some work done during Dasain. (If they are sneaking to their parliamentary chambers to indulge in other hanky pankies, that is fine.)

Senior ministers, secretaries, MPs, and ambassadors plenipotentiaries are not exempt from this crackdown. It has come to our notice, for instance, that the Home-away-from-Home Minister and the Health Hazard Minister are both busy catching up with a backlog of pending work in their official quarters. They were spotted during their commutes poring over piles of files. They will get a severe reprimand from the Crime Minister for spoiling ruling party unity by being workaholics.

Unless all members of the cabinet show strict discipline and consensus, the Chief Whip will be compelled to give them all a tongue-lashing for working overtime. And it will not just be lip service, you can be sure of that. Woe on such spoilsports, they hamper our efforts to bring the country to a standstill.

It’s not that we are less lazy the rest of the year, but Dasain is when we can really wallow in sloth. Even though we know this, we sometimes lapse into exertion and toil. Vigilance, that is what is required. Vigilance against hard work. We have always underestimated the role laziness plays in non-violence and in ending wars. Making people too lazy to gouge the opposition with beer bottles should be the aim of all peace-building endeavours.

Having said that, it has just come to my notice that I am now too lazy to complete this column. May you all attain nirvana this Dasain: that state of perfect immobility and bliss.

The Ass