We start this regular Backside column with a mandatory singing of Nepal’s national anthem. Could I request all of you at this time to please stow your tray tables and stand in an uptight position. All together now: ‘Resham phiriri, resham phiriri …’
You may now take your seats. Thank you. In times of turmoil, we need to remind ourselves of the symbols of nationhood that are important to us. The national flower: rhododendron. The national bird: डाँफे. And the knational knife: khukri. National animal: the ass.
However, our serious attention has been drawn to reports that text books are still being sold to students containing maps of Nepal in which an appendectomy has been performed on Limpiyadhura. All publishers are required forthwith to replace the appropriate appendage, and restore our national glory.
Who says Nepal is languishing? This government has registered a momentous milestone in the country’s history by installing an overhead bridge at Baneswor intersection. No previous jabberment was able to take such a Great Leap Forward. How can the country ever get ahead if we are not proud of our country’s achievements, precisely because there is so little to be proud of?
We also have to re-instil a sense of national self-esteem by singing the anthem, because during the lockdown schools and cinemas have stopped playing them. The Ministry of Vermiculture and Jingoism therefore must immediately make it compulsory for the national anthem to be sung lustily at every opportune moment, beginning with:
- The national anthem should be obligatory at the start of every Zoom online class. This is because students are out of practice and may have forgotten the lyrics.
- All Netflix users in Nepal will henceforth have to stand and singalong as the national anthem is played before every streamed movie. Failure to do so will result in prosecution under the draconian National Security and Seditious Act that deprives said perpetrator of his/her/its Netflix account for a period not exceeding 6 months, and/or a $25 fine, or both.
- Television news readers are required from the next fiscal year to start the evening bulletins by singing the national anthem in a duet with their co-anchors.
- All flights descending into Kathmandu airport shall play the national anthem on the cabin intercom as the aircraft enters Nepal’s air space, and just after the pre-landing safety announcements. At this point, all Nepali passengers will be required to stand, as a mark of respect, even if the Fasten Seat Belt sign has already been turned on.
- Members of the Lower House of Parliament will have to sing the notional anthem every time the legislature is reinstated by order of the Supreme Court.
- All ATMs throughout the federal republic that are still in working condition and have not yet been vandalised will have to play a fast-paced version of the national anthem after the pin code is entered and before dispensing cash.
- In the national interest, all party palaces will be required to play a folk-rock version of ‘Sayon Thunga Fool ka Hami’ during weddings instead of Bollywood numbers so guests can dance along.
- It has always been difficult for the authorities to enforce the rule that no Nepalis are allowed into Kathmandu’s casinos. After the lockdown, management will play the national anthem every time the roulette machine starts spinning. Nepalis will then naturally stand up, allowing casino security to nab them.
- From now on, all Nepali members of mountaineering expeditions will have to sing the national anthem with gusto on reaching the summit of Mt Everest. Non-Nepali climbers can sing Resham Phiriri.
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