Ramesh Sharma’s gaze was fixated on his phone screen. The iPhone 12 Pro was gifted by his son who had recently started working at a financial consulting firm in Boston after graduating from a top liberal arts college in Massachusetts. Nobody knew how well he did in college. He never told his parents, or even his friends. “Pass bhaye yaar. I passed,” he used to tell his best friend Samyog, who studied in a college in New York, whenever he asked how his semester went in their monthly Messenger call.
Ramesh was proud of his son, but his neighbors were always suspicious of his son’s success. How could a ward-level politician afford to send his son first to an elite school in Kathmandu and then to another one in Massachusetts? His wife did not have a job and the neighbors would often hear her shout at their house-helper Ramila. Their suspicion hinged upon one prime question – can corrupt parents have non-corrupt kids?
“This Donald Trump. Stupid as one gets. His supporters are no less,” Ramesh murmured to himself.
He closed the news tab and continued scrolling on his Facebook feed. Another news story appeared. It was shared by his brother-in-law. He clicked on the title, and his shiny phone took him to a new browser page.
“Chii, how stupid are these people. Protesting against KP Oli. He has done everything well for the country and this is how people respond?” he continued his self-commentary. He clicked his tongue in disgust.
His reading was interrupted by a phone call. He picked it up.
“Sir, today we have a party meeting. It looks like the party is going to split. Chitto aaunuhos. Come soon!”
Ramesh thought to himself, “Maybe this time I will get a better post in the party hierarchy.” He grabbed his black istakot and bhadgaaule topi, and called his chauffer, “Take out the car, Raju.”
A Hyundai i10 appeared in front of him in a few seconds.