Asian Paints

It is difficult to go anywhere these days without politicians, dips, fellow-hacks, the family priest, and the friendly neighbourhood barber from Darbhanga asking me what I think about the visit to Nepal by @narendramodi. My answer has always been: #KarnatakaElection2018.

It is appropriate that they decided to call it a ‘State Visit’ because he is beginning his tour in our State #2. The symbolism is not lost on anyone when they are rubbing it in so vigorously. The Indian leader is journeying to Nepal in the first direct flight between the capital of India and the capital of Mithila since Ram made the journey in Pushpak Biman Airlines to ask for Sita’s hand in marriage. He was also not taking no for an answer.

However, after the original plan to drive overland across the border was shelved for security reasons, it would have been more appropriate for PM Moody to make the journey from Bihar Province to Province 2 by hovercraft so as to underscore the emphasis during this visit on promoting inland waterways. Given the condition of the East-West Highway and other Feeder Roads in the Tarai during the monsoon, methought we already had inland waterways in Nepal.

However, this is not the time to split hairs. We should regard it as a positive development that Nepal will graduate from being land-locked to becoming fully India-locked by land, sea and air. BTW is it such a good idea to give Shree Modi the keys to Janakpur Town when we already have an open border?

Anybody could just walk in.

Fearing black flags and protests in Kathmandu from people who want to remind us of the Great Blockage, Modi originally planned to fly straight from Province 2 to Province 4 and spend the night on the banks of the Modi River in Pokhara. However, the Grovelment of Nepal asstutely decided that he should at least make a transit stop in Kathmandu so that the Metropolitan City could fix what we euphemistically call ‘roads’ in these here parts.

Alert readers will not have to be reminded that Kathmandu has not been spruced up since the 2014 SAARC Summit, and it was beginning to look rather shabby. Since no street repair ever gets done in Nepal unless we have a powerful foreign leader visiting, it was vital that Narinder Uncle stop over in Kathmandu so the roads could be asphalted overnight.

The Chabahil Road which had more craters than the Jupiter moon, Ganymede, feels like an Expressway after its makeover on Tuesday night. Thank you Mr Modi. However, GONE should have insisted that the Indian PM nightstop in Gokarna Resort so that the Sankhu Road, which the Ass commutes on for his weekend golf run, could also have been patched up. Better still, instead of Pokhara, we should have sent the Visiting Dignitary to Sauraha so the Mugling Highway would be miraculously mended once and for all.

And we hope you loyal readers and royal leaders will take it as your personal sacrifice for the restoration of Nepal-India relations to a state of ‘normalitude’ that you will willingly and happily sacrifice your Friday and Saturday being stuck in horrendous jams on the roadways and airways. If you are thinking of going anywhere, don’t. If you are flying anywhere, drop it.

It is not enough to declare Friday a holiday, the gonerment should declare a 48-hour curfew before Comrade Bigplop decides to declare a Two-day Bund.

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