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Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Minister

You see him around all the time, wearing an overcoat during winter and a woolen coat in summer, always by himself. He has youthful features, and carries an air of self dignity. His big, plastic-rimmed glasses and goatee give him the looks of an academician, perhaps even that of the bourgeoisie. His is Mantri (minister), and makes a livelihood by doing odd jobs for anyone who beckons him, including that of a cleaner, helper and porter. Says Mantri, “I go and sleep near Soaltee Hotel when I am in the mood, but when I am too lazy to walk it out, I just got to a nearby restaurant, eat dal, bhat, tarkari and masu, and sleep like a log right here in Janabahaa.” As an afterthought, he adds, “If I inform my friend, he will come and pick me up in his car late at night.” Photo by Alok Tuladhar.