From your President (With love)

July 14, 2017 11:29 AM Gunjan Upadhyay


Dear fellow ‘taxpaying’ citizens,

It has been brought to my attention that a lot of you ‘common’folks are getting worked up over my request to acquire a brand spanking new set of wheels to upgrade my motorcade. My demands have been labelled ‘un-presidented’(and here I was thinking this word only applied to Donald Trump), and many of you have accused me of being greedy, apparently because you pay something called taxes and resent funding my extravagance. Ooh, cry me a river!

Hey, it’s not like I have asked for a helicopter or a tank. Having said that, a helicopter would definitely up my presidential game and also save me the indignityof having to look at you peasants when I pass by in my motorcade. I won’t rule out a helicopter in the future, but for now all I want is the just the one armoured car, two cars for security escort, an ambulance, a few buses and motor bikes. See? It’s not all that much and it really angers me when people say I’ve got an entitlement mentality.

How dare you commoners compare me with your other politicians who are regularly mooching off the state? I am the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and I wasn’t elected by you. It’s just as well seeing you have done a great job of choosing all your ‘elected leaders’. Ha haha! I actually like the occasional joke, although you would struggle to believe that from my perennially deadpan expression. Anyway, just because you have no say in electing me does not exempt you from funding my indulgences. I mean, doesn’t your job come with perks? You might not have a hundred and sixty million reasons to smile like me but I suppose that comes with the territory.

And what’s with all this ‘we live in a third world country’ nonsense? Just because I’m the president of a third world country doesn’t mean my thinking has to be third world. As they say ‘simple thinking, high living (or something like that)’. I’ve been accused, rather insensitively, of being detached from reality but I’m optimistic with good reason. When you can afford freebies to ‘ailing’ politicians, good for nothing lawmakers and ‘Prados’ for the Election Commission, then why not a double dose of luxury for me, the first citizen of the country?

All I’m asking for is the respect, deference and perks this post deserves. So, it really hurts me to hear all this criticism and see how selfish you can be, especially after all that I’ve done for the nation. Your outcry even prompted a lawmaker to ask our PM questions on this subject. This was particularly spiteful of you knowing very well that Deuba has a difficult relationship with questions in general.

A lot of you on social media have also taken to questioning the significance and difficulty of my job. How low can you get? My job may be ceremonial but it isn’t a walk in the park. This job is very difficult and on any given day there are ribbons to cut, functions to address, platitudes to give, photo-ops to attend and a lot of traveling to do on the roads of the capital. Have you seen the condition of the roads lately? Only kidding, you probably know it better than most. Like I told you before, I do like the occasional joke.

Apart from that, I go on tax payer sponsored state visits to increase goodwill for our country and am apparently responsible for soft diplomacy too. I would love to tell you about the difficulties of the job but, barring Dr Yadav, no one has an idea what this job entails. It’s not like the PM’s post where every Tom, Dick and Hari has already had a go.  
While most of you spent your time getting outraged, a few of you also tried your hand at comedy. There were atrocious suggestions that I re-purpose and re-use the fleet of luxury cars that have been abandoned at government offices and save the taxpayer some money and earn a little goodwill in the process. Are you people for real?

I don’t want your second-hand offerings. Moreover, I want a car because of all the threats to my life as a consequence of the indispensable work I do every day (see above). I might not have appeared on Sajha Sawal and threatened you all but I still need protection because I’m the president of a sovereign country and everybody’s out to get me. Oh god, to think that a president has to offer you all these justifications. What is this country coming to?

But you know what really hurt me the most? It is common people like you now questioning their fight for a republic. C’mon, isn’t this what we all fought for? I mean, now that the king is gone, someone’s got to take his place and live it up in style. Don’t you worry, yours truly will do her best to ensure that the transition from a monarchy to a republic is in name only. Blink, and you’ll find that nothing has really changed at all.
Anyway, when the army gets me my set of wheels I would like to promise you that I will make Nepal the new Switzerland, but I don’t have any real powers you see. But hey, I am comforted by the knowledge that when you are waiting in the rain or stifling heat for my motorcade to pass, atleast you’ll have the pleasure of seeing an extravagant car and be grateful for the experience. Oh, and when you see me go by, don’t forget to smile and wave.

Yours truly,
President of FDR of Nepal

The writer loves traveling, writing, and good food when he is afforded an escape from the rat race. He can be contacted at gunjan.u@gmail.com

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