Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Royal Court

King: But the people love me. Did you not see it on TV?

Gajendra Narayan Singh's Ghost: You were in Janakpur. And the people who loved you were all wearing dhaka topis, and they had no noses. It was all so flat.

King: Who's there?

(Panchayati ghost Tulsi Giri enters.)

Tulsi Giri: Your Majesty, if you will scrap this constitution, I mean you already have, but if you will also announce it to the world. We need a democracy that is suited to Nepal. Imported rum is fine, but imported democracy makes no sense.

King: What are you saying?

Tulsi Giri: What I am saying is scrap the constitution, ban the parties, and show the world what the monarchy is capable of: law and order. If we shoot down half a dozen of those hooligans in the streets, the rest will go away.

King: But you have to take the people along with you when you make major decisions like that. And what about elections?

Tulsi Giri: Parties and elections are not indispensable to democracy. Your father used to agree with me readily. He was an original thinker. He was a son of the soil. Think about it. I will show my face again tomorrow. Your father could work with me, so can you, if you tried.

(Tulsi Giri leaves. It is past midnight. The king has a dream.)

Prachanda: Get out of here. You are unwelcome, unneeded, unwanted. You are an unnecessary weight around the neck of the people. Disappear. Evaporate off.

Girija: Listen to me, I am older than you. Revive the House.

Moriarty: Nice talking to you, chap. But I don't work for you. The guy I work for has two minutes to think about you, and he does not much like you. We thought we could talk business with you. But we were wrong.

(The queen wakes up the king complaining he has been talking in his dream again.)

King: It was not me, it was them. They were doing all the talking. How can they not see? The people love me. Wherever I go, they come to see me in the hundreds. There would be no Nepal if Prithvi had not created one. How ungrateful can they get?

(He falls asleep. He has yet another dream.)

Madhav Kumar Nepal: I am sick and tired of you. I am sick and tired of you. I am sick and tired of you.

Girija Koirala: I gave you plentiful warnings, but you would not listen. Your men cracked my rib. I am taking a leave, because I am being forced to. But watch out, I am more effective as a symbol.

CP Mainali: This is no RK Mainali.

Bharat Bimal Yadav: Madhesi hum lenge sau mein pachas.

Amik Sherchan: I did not like it when you got me arrested. You are not going to like what lies ahead of you.

Narayan Man Bijukchhe: I am against feudalism in any form or fashion. I always have been.

Gopal Man Shrestha: Deuba will do fine, you will not. Brother, you are going down.

(The king wakes up screaming. It is four in the morning. He refuses to fall asleep again. He calls for an early morning meeting of his key advisors.)

Sachit Samsher Rana: If it were not for me and my friends, they might have had this democracy thing back in 1990, but we did not let them. The army will never abandon you. And you will do just fine. You have my total loyalty.

Bharat Keshar Singh: You are Jesus Christ himself. You are bigger than Jesus Christ.

King: You mind spreading the word? Some people seem to doubt that these days. Can you talk Moriarty into it?

Tulsi Giri: You have my undying loyalty, but only if you scrap this constitution.

King: What constitution? There is no constitution. There is only Article 127. And tell those three fertilizer ministers to lie low for a few weeks. And whatever happened to Deuba? He does not even show up in my dreams.

Tulsi Giri: You miss him?

King: No. I don't know any patriotic Nepali who does. My family got killed. True, I did not approve of my brother in 1990, but we were so close. I miss them all so very much. It gets lonely around here. And why do they keep complaining? These monkeys from the 1990s. They can't tell a country from a coconut tree. They have no knowledge of statecraft. They were not born to rule. You can't run the country, and you won't let me do it either. What exactly is it that they want?

(Slogans heard out in the streets.)

We want -- democracy!
Down with the king!

Tulsi Giri: Let me shut the window for you.

King: Where is my next visit to?

Tulsi Giri: I was thinking Spain.

King: Forget Spain. I am talking about inside the country. These people in Kathmandu have short attention spans. They can not stomach any government for more than nine months. They don't remember how bad they had it in the 1990s. People appreciate me more in the villages.

Prachanda's Voice: Oh, really?

King: Who was that?

Tulsi Giri: The wind. Do you want me to shut the other window also?

King: Oh, please.

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