|Reports of Kisunji's health greatly exaggerated|
KATHMANDU, May 25: Barely a month ago, there was a rumor about former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai that he would not return home from the capital´s Norvic Hospital.
Rumor and humor are synonymous with Bhattarai, but some people had started writing obituary about the 87-year-old leader when he was in the hospital.
Three weeks after he was discharged from the hospital, Bhattarai was seen having munchies at Thamel´s Tibel Guest House, and he looked more humorous than he used to be in the past.
"Would you like to have red wine?" P L Singh, one of Bhattarai´s closest aides, asked Bhattarai after he had already had some pieces of momos, pakodas, french fries and a cup of coffee. "Nope, it is getting late," Bhattarai replied. "Will be late to have dinner and ..."
"That´s why, let´s start," said Singh after he knew the missing portion in Bhattarai´s comment was drink that he pointed with his right hand. "It´s good for the heart." Bhattarai spent about an hour at the guest house entertaining everyone. When former chief election commissioner Keshav Raj Rajbhandari, who was defense secretary during Bhattarai´s premiership, reminded the octogenarian leader of his last remarks about becoming prime minister for a third time, Bhattarai satirically said, "I found you are a very clever man."
The former prime minister, who was carried on a wheelchair with support of two youth, did not miss the opportunity to banter with former mayor PL Singh, who was walking past. He said when he became prime minister for the third time, he would provide a vehicle for Singh.
Bhattarai insisted for ice cream thrice during his stay. His aide Amita Kapali had to suggest chocolate ice cream when the waiter asked for a choice between vanilla and chocolate.
Before leaving the Guest House, Bhattarai appreciated the food and drink items. "I found you have run the hotel very well, everything was very delicious," Bhattarai praised the guest house owner Pasang Chhiring.
And, he asked for Pasang´s visiting card. "I need it to suggest to foreigners if they ask me for place to find good food," he said. P L Singh was quick to add, "You will get ten percent commission out of that."
Singh said this is the way Bhattarai has been spending his days since he got well. "I have been living at Kisunji´s residence for the past one week and he is taken to some special place every day," informed Singh.
Bhattarai has visited several places ranging from Hotel Soaltee to Lasun Restaurant to try different types of food during the past two weeks. "And, he meets some local elderly people wherever he goes," said Singh. On Sunday, famous ornithologist Dr Harisharan Nepali and former chief election commissioner Rajbhandari were among a few accompanying Bhattarai. Dr Nepal asked Bhattarai to put his signature in two old books -- Birds of Nepal, co-authored by Roberl L Flemings (Sr and Jr) and Lain Singh Bangdel, and A Handbook of Game Hunting in Nepal authored by the late King Mahendra.