I have always hated the Maoist insurgency because I do not like violence, or may be I was not capable to understand that killing each other was the only solutions to the problems of the country.
Lucky for me and others who live in the Kathmandu valley, we did not have to go through the horrors of kidnapping, torturing, mutilation or bomb explosions. Our schools and colleges did not become a battle field; our houses were not gutted down; we did not have to flee our villages and we did not have to get killed.
Occasionally, we even enjoyed some Nepal-bandhs and chakka-jams and strikes.
Fast-forward some years and now we are all happy that the phase is over. Maoists are in to the interim government, the peace-accord has been signed and everyone seems to be heading for the constituent assembly elections.
On January 14, 2008 – the Seven Party Alliance had a huge joint mass meeting at the Khula-manch (Open Air Theater, Kathmandu). Top leaders of the SPA shouted and barked and tried to convince the mass of their unity and commitment towards holding the CA elections on Chaitra 28 (April 10). “Chunaab huncha, huncha, huncha”.
Avenues TV, this has become our (mine and aama’s) favourite channel these days. We never miss the 8.30 PM show “Off the Beat”, unless it is our area’s turn for the load-shedding. (Oh yeah, we are having a 6 hours load-shedding every day.)
[Maoists leader Prachandra speaking during the SPA’s Joint Mass Meeting held at Khula-mancha on January 14.
Pic by: Dipesh Shrestha/Nepal Photo Agency]
So we are watching Off the Beat. Prachandra comes to the screen and immediately my mom says, “Yo manchey ta jhan jhan handsome po bhako cha. Hera ta, mottayera katro thulo gardan bhako cha.” (This guy is getting more handsome. Look at his neck, how big it has become.)
Why not! He is in the government, has “sleek” SUVs and a huge 10 million worth house in the capital.
Meanwhile, the report is over with a line “Khula-mancha danga cha aaja”. The script was nicely written, amusing and full of sarcasm.
My mom says, “Hoina, yeslai kashari tanna khana ra raat ma nindra aucha hola hai?” (Say, how is he able to go to sleep every night?)
I am like – “Huh?”
“Ho ni, camp ma tetra manchey haru yesto jaado ma yeuta jabo tent ko bhar ma basi rako chan, khana pauchan ki paudainan, tyo kosailai thaha chaina. Tini haru ka neta haru chai jhan jhan handsome, jhan jhan motauney.” (Yeah, imagine how those people in the camps must be living in this terrible winter. No one is worried if they get to eat or not. And their leaders, they are getting more handsome, more plump.)
“Tyo ta hamle bhand pani, tehi camp ma basney manchey haru le uni haru kai neta haru lai sodhnu parney ni.” (Rather than we raising this issue, I think those people at the camps should question their leaders about this condition.)
“Sodchan hola ni, bichara haru le katro thula thula sapana dekhi raka holan.” (Yeah, poor ones, they must have big dreams.)
“Bhai halyo aama, tapai le ra maile tauko dukhayera ke nai huncha ra. Baru malai pani bhog lagyo, khana khaney hoina, aama?” (Let’s leave it, what can we do? Let’s go eat instead, I’m feeling hungry now.)
I am not surprised with my mom’s comments. She is a mother after all. I remember those times when I got home late and she would be waiting for me to have our dinner together.
“Bhog lageko bhaye khaye hunthyo ni aama.” (You should have eaten if you were hungry.)
“Taile khako chainas bhanera thaha huda hudai, ma eklai kashari khau?” (How can I eat alone knowing that you haven’t eaten anything?)
“Testo garna pardaina kya aama, bhokkai basnu hunna kya.” (You don’t have to do that aama, it’s not good to stay hungry.)
“Malai thaha cha, tara ta aama hoinas.” (I know it well, but you are not a mother.)
I would quit arguing and then start eating. If only Mothers could run the politics in this country – but I know, I am just being childishly unpractical here.