Many Nepali cricket fans watch the game for one reason: to see India get walloped.
Cheering at India’s loss (the more humiliating, the better) is a way for us to get back at the often-overbearing southern neighbor, which repeatedly offends our rather delicate Nepali sensibilities. In the event of an Indian loss, we tune into Aaj Tak, just for the sheer pleasure of watching the hyperventilating anchors rip their national team apart. You, big brother, encroach upon Nepali territories; you blithely impose a blockade; you believe in keeping Kathmandu under your thumb. In return, let us at least have a little harmless fun at your expense once a while.
“Prejudice is a great time saver”, E.B. White, the American author, used to say, “You can form opinions without having to get the facts”. He forgot to add that there are exceptions. And why check when you are sure? Everybody north of Raxaul knows the latest Test series loss of the Australian cricket team in India was due to the obvious bad luck of the Aussies, and not to the accidental presence of the No 1 and No 2 bowlers in the world in the Indian team. And didn’t we always know Steve Smith was better than Virat Kohli?
When our national football team wins, the background music that booms out on to the field is no Bollywood masala song, thank you. Not even our national anthem will do. It has to be ‘Gorkhali ko choro ma’, since we all are, one way or the other, the direct decedents of the once-mighty, Killa-to-Kangara Shah Dynasty, lest those conniving Indians, in particular, should forget.
In fact, we can be real proud of the way we welcome foreigners. The Dashrath Rangashala, besides being fitting a crucible of our national pride, is also among the most welcoming places in Nepal. During the national football league, whenever the ball is passed on to an African player, the crowd enthusiastically eggs him on, “Ooo hapsi, pass, pass!” Athithi devo bhawa, right? Yet it’s not just a question of skin color. We know the dark-skinned Indians are inherently dirty, but the fair-skinned Chinese, who are increasingly visible in Kathmandu, are also no saints either. The pork-eating penny-pinchers!
With so much pork and beef cooked in Kathmandu’s restaurants these days, Pashupati has been barred for non-Hindus. Praise the lord. After the pollution of Janaki mandir by the lady in white, we can’t afford our national deity to be despoiled by those white-skinned heathens as well.
Apparently, if foreign propaganda is to be believed, in Nepal white skin is also open invitation to molest and rape. Recently I came across three separate sponsored testimonies of Western women who were ‘molested’ while celebrating holi in Kathmandu. You must be kidding. This is a sacred land. We don’t molest our guests, even if they dress like cheap tarts.
If something good happens in Nepal, it is invariably the result of the hardworking Nepalis. But should something bad transpire, rest assured the bloody Indians (it has to be them) are at it again. Kulman Ghising can rightly be proud of his power cut-ending exploits. It was unbecoming—borderline undiplomatic—of the outgoing Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae to try to instead credit the reduction in load-shedding to power imports from India. What imports? We are a country that is second-richest in the world in terms of its hydropower resources, after only Brazil. So don’t believe the Indian spin doctors. It is actually Nepal which exports electricity to the power-starved India.
Even with Rae gone, we will continue to be on our guard as the mannerism of new Indian envoy, Manjeev Singh Puri, is also rather suspicious. Why was he laughing so much during his meeting with Oli? What sinister plan was he hatching? I completely agree with one of my office colleagues that although a Sardar is trustworthy, he is, at the end of the day, an Indian.
Wary we may be of foreigners but meanness is not in our genes and we are also forever asking India and China and the rest of the world to come invest in Nepal. What privilege we give them by inviting them to the land of Buddha and Sita! Yet the foreigners still have the audacity to insist that we account for every penny they give us. The gall! Why can’t they simply trust the hardy folks of Nepal who are known for their honesty and bravery throughout the world?
Back to our beloved game of cricket, then. We eat Indian food, wear Indian clothes, watch Indian TV channels, stayed glued to every IPL telecast, even speak Hindi once a while, but why should we also cheer on the Indian team? If anti-India sentiment is high in Nepal, it is because the Indians are haughty and dirty and demeaning and threatening and, you know, downright disgusting. And why do they have to look so damn dark?
The writer is the op-ed editor at Republica. He can be contacted at email@example.com