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Saturday, 14 July 2007

fire sale! Everything must go!

Saturday - the laziest day of the week!!

I was supposed to enjoy a lazy weekend afternoon watching Die Hard 4.0 with my friends. Being a mere fifteen minutes away from the theatre, I decided to walk the distance. Off the alley and onto the road, I realised a lot less vehicles plying on the road. Supposing a holiday spirit had taken on people, I carried on towards my destination. On reaching the theatre, much to my chagrin and my friends' amusement, I realised that the "Transport Entrepreneurs of Nepal" had announced a transport strike. Hence, the negligent number of vehicles.

Well, I managed to watch the movie. It was interesting to see a behemoth of a country brought down on its knees by a crew of neat hackers. Starting by crippling the transport system, followed by complete chaos in the financial markets, a "fire sale" caused a total shut down of utility services like gas, water and electricity. The shots were dramatic, and the hypothetical systemic breakdown of the United States of America was shown in neatly choreographed sequences.

It made me wonder, what it would be like, if ever such an incident were to happen in Nepal. Considering we are already with an almost empty state coffer, have intermittent bouts of availability of utilities like petroleum, electricity and water (bare human essentials), you would never need a team of hackers to bring transport to a stand still - you would only need to dress up as a policeman and slap a taxi driver. Apparently, that was the reason why our "Transport Entrepreneurs of Nepal" called a strike.

In Nepal, it is fairly easy to disrupt our system (if there ever were one). Lately, strikes are intermittent like the monsoonal rain; you do not need much to start a strike! A personal feud fuels the drive and before you know a a strike ensues- agitators forcibly close down shops, vandalise public property and well a total lock down occurs. All you need is a plausible reason to redirect the people's frustrations and there you have it. People pour out onto the roads, stop traffic and life comes to a standstill.

I often find out about who is responsible for the strike and what their demands were, well after the strike is over. I consider myself mildly well-informed, and it makes me wonder how people less fortunate than me manage.

This is Nepal (TIN) and I am loving it :-)


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