In July 2018, the city of Cape Town in South Africa is poised to become the first city to run out of water as a result of drought like conditions. ‘Day Zero’ or the day when the city will turn off its taps has been brought forward and pushed back numerous times as the administration continues to assess its water reserves and hopes that its water conservation efforts bears fruit.
I recently had the pleasure of travelling in a ‘Sarathi’ taxi which offers ride booking services and, I must say, it was a great experience. The urge to write about it, at the cost of sounding like a paid promoter, is borne simply out of sheer overwhelming gratitude.
By now, everyone must be familiar with, and some even sick of, K.P Oli’s flair for the ridiculous. Remember the gas pipelines to individual homes, Nepali vessels in the high seas and other assorted proclamations during the economic blockade? Yeah, who can forget those! While those statements were passed off by the Oli fan club as the aspirations of a visionary leader, his statements on the legitimization of ‘underground’ money (got to admire that euphemism) is not laughable in the least.
The commercialization of holidays is a universal theme the world over and I doubt it surprises anybody anymore. In this day and age, the sort of conspicuous consumption it encourages is par for the course with festivals everywhere else and our country is no different.
After the Marshmello fiasco last week, there were people quick to brand the whole event a scam and a fraud. Others, including me, saw it for what it was – a series of unfortunate (and unintended) events that ended up in the shambles that we saw on video. Anyway, the intriguing bit was the reaction of the event goers when they felt that they had been swindled – all outrage and vandalism.
We have been having more than our fair share of election mania lately, what with our recent history of holding elections on a biennial basis. Every time an election is announced, the circus seems to come to town. You would think that with the election overdose of the last few years, at least some of us would be sick of it by now, travelling all the way home to cast our vote for some political dilettante or the other with no real interest in serving their constituency. But no! We love our elections and I have heard people say this is the real deal. But just because the ones before were Constituent Assembly elections don’t make them any less of an election.
In the year 2000, at an event in Florence, South Carolina, the then president of the US, George W. Bush, addressed the audience with this statement – “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” This subject-verb disagreement was one example of many grammatical errors that characterized the public speaking of the former US President.
How many times have we been here before? All of these entirely avoidable tragedies – resulting from neglected infrastructure, administrative lapses, and human negligence – leave more than 50 people dead and most of us shaking our heads.
Don’t we all just love Dashain? I mean, what’s not to like? An extended holiday period, some quality family time and erm…. lots and lots of food. Except that for thousands (millions perhaps?) of over nourished people like me, with a tendency to put on weight at the mere sight of food, the festival of Dashain is a minefield that is getting increasingly harder to negotiate. At the best of times, my weight fluctuations are quite enough to make Oprah Winfrey blush but while Dashain comes around once a year, it never really leaves me – if you know what I mean.
For those of us stupid enough to follow the news every day, the never-ending tales of corruption are starting to stack up as tall as our mountains.They tend to weigh us down every morning and make us anxious of the direction this country seems to be taking.