Jokers’ own country

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- Devendra Gautam, Kathmandu

Jan 14, 2016-

Recently, I came across a comedian at a publication house in Kathmandu where I had gone to collect remuneration for my write-ups. He was receiving a wad of cash from the account section, suggesting that making people laugh was becoming a lucrative job in this country. This at a time when many businesses have shut down due to the Indian blockade and the movement in the southern plains that followed the devastating mega quakes. After counting the money, the humour artist looked at me in surprise, probably because I had not acknowledged his presence, bothered to say hi and click a selfie or two with him. In fact, I did not have the energy to face another humour artist, tired as I was with an overdose of jokes that ordinaries like me get to hear everyday from none other than the prime minister. 

In our country, we probably have a maximum number of jokers per capita. With our prime minister himself acting like the prime joker, people are having boundless fun watching him perform every day. In this newborn federal republic geared neither towards socialism nor capitalism but towards anarchism, our PM, at least for this writer not known for his sense of humour, has become the king of jokers. So much so, people are refusing to take his serious promises like ending load-shedding within a year, and bringing cooking gas to individual kitchens through a pipeline within the same deadline, seriously. When people stop taking their rulers seriously, they have to become serious for they are on the verge of losing their jobs. But our prime minister seems least bothered about this lack of people’s confidence in him and continues to crack practical jokes nonstop. 

With our prime joker’s jokes filling the newspapers, TV channels, radio stations and social networking sites and getting really popular, he can surely make his foray into the country’s thriving humour industry if he chooses to quit politics one fine day. That will be a welcome change for Nepal and the Nepali people. In a country where aspirations for change are always high, people, grappling with a shortage of vital supplies (save jokes) like cooking gas, are praying for the current premier to quit and do what he is famous for doing: Cracking jokes. 

Sadly, though, our prime minister’s jokes are unlikely to sail through the southern plains, where a movement has been going on for months, reach the capital of our most import neighbouring country and impress the person known for his no-nonsense approach. This means there will be no change in the status quo in Nepal. On the contrary, the winter of discontent is likely to make way for the summer of unrest that may topple this government. In that case, let’s hope the new ruler will not be a person with a passion for cracking jokes. If hope turns real, that will be the most welcome change in the jokers’ own country. 

Published: 14-01-2016 09:06

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