It’s been a while since we got a little excited. Actually the problem is we have begun to lose track of ‘when’ of it. Till a week ago, it seemed like there’s one big mountain we are trying to move and we would be singing ‘We moved the mountains’ almost in the same manner Freddie M would sing ‘We’re the champions’. Our happiness would have been shared with the rest of the world.
This is the time to put our ‘gift of hindsight’ to use. Possibly the problem was right there for everyone to see, more than half of the six hundred could barely do anything better than raise their hands (‘I do as the boss says’). Probably the problem with such a large mass was the lack of athleticism; the body designs did not allow any external force to be created apart from the sheer gravitational pull that constantly kept them rooted to their chairs.
Dozing off in the chairs in the warmth or cool of air conditioners, depending on the weather, it was the best place to be in whole country, no worries of nothing. Power, water, canteen one could find everything there, resulting in total lack of agility. However, people still derived pleasure from the fact they are ‘close’ to the happenings as daily news outlets comfortably interpreted that as a sign of leadership. A leader never waivers from an original stance, a leader never flinches. No one really bothers to attribute these traits of leadership to ‘inability of a person to come up with alternative ideas’. Interestingly everyone stuck to their guns till the last moment. Unfortunately, for us, there was never a dearth of people who qualified as leaders. I had my leader, you had your leader and they had their leader and together we ended up having one too many leaders: what do we do with them now!
Meanwhile, the super-hyped process continued. Almost every other neta under the mantle of some ‘party’ managed to port his belongings in and out of the Baluwatar as if it were some state-funded fully-paid vacation. Hence none has so far expressed regret or apologized for not being able to deliver. Rather, it left them more invigorated in the manner a vacation does to a normal hardworking person. In the process they also ensured that for their lifetime they would get plush perks by virtue of being an ‘EX’. It’s perhaps one of the few decisions that this august body managed to reach in unison. And, each one of them emerged shouting, ‘Nepal will not see a better tomorrow unless I get back in one more time’. And how we lost track of time amidst this game of Russian roulette!
At the sidelines, the cost of new Nepal has been ascertained. It’s expensive and interestingly we still haven’t managed to reach the final total. Real people who then fought a real battle embracing real martyrdom now must be wondering about whether it was something worth fighting for. Some nine billion was spent on these saviors only to see the majority of them managing to fulfill the great Nepali dream of four annas of land and a bike in the valley. And talking about those who have tasted blood since and have been habituated to riding Land Cruisers or Range Rovers with national flag fluttering on its bonnet, the less said the better!
For us mortals trying to remain on the ‘saner’ side of life, there isn’t even something to hold on to, something to hope for. No one can comprehend how one can really do anything productive when the mind is constantly and consistently occupied by as basic a thought as when do I get in the line for couple of liters of fuel? Just a few weeks ago, you worried about getting a next LPG cylinder. You might not have run out of ‘gas’ but am sure you are already beginning to worry about that dreadful moment when your kitchen stove suddenly fails. How every time you pass by a ‘petrol pump’ you have the temptation to fill the tank, just in case. You age-old concern of which time of the night I wake up to fill some empty water tanks remains as fresh.
The only silver lining, which many skeptics tend to interpret as a deliberate-tactical-attention-diversion move, seemed to be the wider roads of Kathmandu. You can hear the voices in café joints and newspaper stands about how Doctor Architect managed to do one good thing. No one’s sure about the fate of the project but for many for whom Nepal even today continues to exist within the hills that surround the valley, it was a sign of Nepal making progress. The western and eastern parts of the country were almost at a standstill for weeks and we made no qualms about it but mere three days of bandh forced us to gather for a candle light march!
Back to the completely unexpected road widening project, chances are, lots of people will probably save lot of time with free flowing traffic. Hopefully, with the debris removed, electric poles pulled to the sides and street black-tarred, we will be free to move around, hopefully. However a question remains: wait ‘don’t-know- how-many-more’ years to see the whole event unfold right where it all began four years ago, wait for that mountain to move or, take time out to manage ‘turmoil and chaos’ a little better.