18 November 2019 I They hated him, they booed him, they wanted him dislodged from the country, they chanted slogans against him, they slandered him, some even wanted to hang him, wanted to lynch him out on the street, they simply wanted to dethrone him – 2006 was a catastrophic year for the King of Nepal.
But he took it all on the chin, with the poise kings are wont to display.
He told them he would die an ordinary Nepalese citizen than leave the country his forefathers had built.
Dethrone they did and king Gyanendra Shah too delivered on his promise: he refused to leave the country, retiring with Queen Komal to an ordinary retreat on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
Now, in 2019, the ex-king pulls crowd wherever he goes in his former kingdom, much to the dismayed surprise of the very politicians who set the republican machine in motion eleven years ago leading to his eventual dethronement.
Now all the gall is gone and the poison of hatred is past. Love is in the air so far as the last king of Nepal and his ex-royal family are concerned. People clearly love them, adore them – many haters notwithstanding.
Now no one boos him anymore but they surely die to hug him, smile at him, wave at him, garland him, touch his feet, shake his hand and occasionally some die-hard royalists even finish off the cheer by sloganeering for him – “Raja Aau Desh Bachaau!”
That he has truly accepted his former subjects’ verdict on the Shri Pench (the revered crown of the Shah Dynasty) becomes evident from how graceful and joyous he appeared as he and his family recently rocked up at a Kathmandu disco, named, lo and behold, the Lord of the Drinks.
The man who took a video of the former royal family’s jamming at the night club told southasia.com.au that the crowd could not be called a “massive” one but the club’s hall was definitely “packed”.
In the video, the king can be seen waltzing to the music and at some point he even takes his jacket off as it got hot in there. He basically killed it, he was the rockstar of the moment.
The upmarket nightclub had mostly young men and women when the king and his family arrived unannounced, it is understood. Shreizan Shrestha, who took the video and photos of the partying ex-royals, said he was not at liberty to disclose much information about their affairs that evening.
The former king of Nepal has no royal duties to perform and hence, regularly visits the four corners of the Himalayan nation. Last year, he was seen partying with his entire family, including the former crown prince Paras Shah, at another night club in Kathmandu.
Nepal-watchers wonder, looking at the response Mr Shah receives from people from all walks of life – did these youths really really want the centuries-old monarchy gone for good or did the “major parties” gave in to some mysterious foreign powers’ design to get rid of the monarch? As more and more people get disillusioned with the performance of their elected representatives, whether or not the country did the right thing by dismantling constitutional monarchy is increasingly becoming a matter open for discussion.
In his recent party, other members of the former roayl family were also present with former Crown Princess Himani Shah dancing to the roaring music.
The ex-king’s performance in particular came as a little surprise as he appeared at complete ease in an environment full of youths of his grandchildren’s age, an environment that oozed with alcohol-inspired romance. He even happily extended his hand to anyone who wanted to dance with him. At one point, he stood with few young women wanting to score a selfie with him.