Date: April 28
Location: Garden of Dreams
Occassion: A friend’s wedding reception party
“Ma jasto 50 kg ko fistey bahun le kaha dhaalna sakcha ra Bidhya Bhandari lai? Malai kina yesto na chahiney dosh lagako hola?” (How can a mere 50 kg, thin and feeble Bahun like me topple Bidhya Bhandari?)
Said Khagendra Sangraula, with a smirk – may be even deriding the negativism lashed on to him lately in media because of his rather infamous article(1) on Bidya Bhandari, the widow of late Madan Bhandari (CPN UML leader).
(Bidyadevi Bhandari during her door to door election campaign in Kathmandu)
I have become his fan lately though, and getting to spend some 5 minutes with him at this party was an exhilarating experience.
“I can’t ever forget your line – seto sari, rato gadi – that was an awesome article,” I told him. His jeering smirk continued as we both sipped whiskey together.
“What ever happened to Bidhya Bhandari was inevitable, my article had nothing to do with her defeat in the CA elections”, Sangraula tried to convince me. I wanted to believe him but his sparkling eyes through his thick specs gave it away. Those mocking eyes.
“Bhai sanga salai cha?” Nope, I said I don’t smoke. Then the small frail figure of Khagendra Sangraula idled away – the wedding party continued… sarangi, flute, whiskey and a cool ambiance.
In the article, Khagendra Sangraula basically writes about how CPN UML party used a naive Bidhya Bhandari, widow of their influential leader Madhan Bhandari, as a stepping stone for the party. And how the “white sari” wearing woman transformed into a stoic politician cruising on a “red Prado”. Many were pissed off with Sangraula’s use of cruel satire, deemed as targeting the character of an innocent woman but I loved it.