VOICES for the week of 12 February

campaigns without a cause!

potential campaigns i will embark upon to make this world (re: nepal) one tad bit better (i'm only half kidding here. no, seriously):

pebbles for pee!

i am so sick of having to be the one that is embarrassed when i'm not the one aiming at the wall, in a random corner of the street, relieving myself. it's a little difficult to walk over or wait till public pee-ers are done with their business to tell them how it is wrong to fertilize the sidewalk since it won't be soaking up any of the nutrients anyway and instead stinks up the street and makes it awkward to walk where pedestrians are meant to walk…so i suggest we launch a campaign wherein people (men AND women. i won't discriminate. positively or negatively) may throw pebbles at those pee-ing in public. i would discourage rocks since that may be slightly detrimental too future offenders but since this is a risque project i suggest you target the guilty square in the "eye" – just enough to startle them and then annoy them so they think twice before they unzip their pants.

muffle the music

you know when you are sitting in a cafe, enjoying a conversation with a friend, or reading a good book…or when you are in a cramped bus annoyed your face is cramped into some man's smelly armpit .. and some dude thinks he's being really hip by blaring de dana dan's anthem from his cell phone? well,  i say you grab it and hur it atthe nearest wall or pour ketchup on it or whatver else you can think to destroy that awful music you didn't ask to listen to but was forced to! if the one who wanted the music can't put on a headphones (and spare the others of his terrible tase in music) and won't share footloose from the stereo atop his/her should like it's 1987  then you are free to muffle that music!

mouthpiece for movies

oh, how i love, how i dream, how i yearn to hear the baby behind me cry or the ugly dude yell "i'm at JNC!…JNC bhaneko..FILM HERDAI CHHU KYA" into his cell after it provided a double sound track for 40 solid seconds….right before purav hands the secret dvd to amitabh bachan, you know the scene that is the climax of the climax. SERIOUSLY. did we come to the cinema to watch the movie or listen to the girls' 5-minute long conversation or children whining (why are kids at a 9PM movie?) or phones ring continuously? so, i say, from hereon JNC/Kumari (basically, whoever charges enough that the pretentious my-brother-is-in-america  storms in with their gold laden fingers and over permed hair) provide a mandatory mouthpiece to every movie viewer. yes, it is not hygenic. yes, it is actually quite weird. but, at least we can do what we came to do at the cinemas…watch the movie.

elbow for barging

i am not talking about lines at sundhara for the 7:30pm bus headed to jawalakhel. i am not referring to the crowd at mandir during puja. i am referring to people who get in lines anywhere else in the world but nudge, push and barge ahead at places where there are obvious, or ought to be obvious lines, in nepal. clearly, we would receive our tickets faster and token cards with less annoyance if we took turns. imagine that. taking turns. yes, one after another. the first person ahead get served. then the second. then the third. yes, it can work like that in nepal as it can elsewhere. i'm certain of this, because i've witness you flaunt your abilities to do so at embassies and overseas. from now on, partakers of this campaign can happily, confidentally, and with the support of a thousand other line lovers ELBOW – deep and hard into those that dare and try barge ahead.

….. so, are you with me? shall we sign a petition? shall we declare a bandh? shall we embark upon this task to make this world one little bit better… with small pebbles, runny ketchup, stinky mouthpieces and sharp elbows?

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Himal Southasian