By Dinesh Wagle on August 6th, 2005 in Wagle Street Journal
Saturday Blog: Plus a love scene in a restaurant. Scribes were the protagonists.
As I have stated in one of my replies to a blog commentator this afternoon, things don’t always turn out as per ones wishes. If you are into a job like journalism, where no routine is fixed and almost everything is ‘uncertain’, the probability of schedules being changed is even more. I am talking about my Good Friday. Yesterday. I wanted to participate in a politically motivated program but ended up my day first listening to an Indian art guru who was somewhat tiresome and then to Nepathya, one of Nepal’s most popular music bands. That was refreshing and made my Friday a Good Friday.
The lecture and slide presentation on Indian art history by Dr. Alphonso Doss was definitely informative but not as entertaining as I had expected that to be. Shiv Shankar Mukharjee, the Indian ambassador, later in the evening inaugurated a painting exhibition of Dr Doss, a Chennai arts college principal. Instead of attending the inauguration ceremony, I left the venue, Babarmahal Revisited, for another one at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.
When I reached Jawalakhel, I suddenly felt hungry. Real hungry, I mean. I entered inside the Bakery CafÃ© and ordered for a hamburger. Well, things do not turn out as per your wish. As I was ordering the burger, I saw a somewhat familiar face on a corner table. I could not completely get into her face but from only one side- her right side. She was familiar to me. At least I could say, I had seen her before. Many times. Ahâ�¦ one hand came from the corner, I couldn’t see the owner of the hand, and started caressing her cheek. Ahâ�¦that was a love scene. Where I was? I was supposed to see Nepathya performing. What I was seeing now? Who was that girl? Hum, I did not want to see on that side again, but what could I do, I was faced toward that direction. And I saw her, finally. I mean she looked toward my table once and that was enough for me. She was a reporter for an English language publication. I do not want to reveal the office she works for but I definitely know! A secret, huh, that for the moment I want to keep to myself. Blog is not a place for publishing other people’s privacy.
Anyway, she saw me. And she knew me. I was determined not to let her feel that I saw them. I could feel, she told about me to her partner. Now, the partner wanted to be sure. Sure about what? Of course, about my identity. He briefly came out from the corner, saw me, I too saw him for a fraction of second. He too was a reporter working for the same publication. They both know me but we have not talked yet. There are so many journalists in Kathmandu. You just see them, know each other but do not talk. Its like that.
I hurriedly finished the burger, time was running out, Nepathya would start their show in a few minutesâ�¦there was no time for peeking into a love scene. I literally ran out from the CafÃ© for Manbhavan.
Nepathya, a 15-year- and 6-album-old musical group with massive popularity among Nepalis, were doing a pre-recording rehearsal of their upcoming (and as of now) unnamed album. “We have sung enough numbers on love,” said Amrit Gurung, singer and the face of the band, seconds before performing the first number of the first social album from Nepathya.
You feel privileged when you get a change to hear pre-recorded version of songs by such a popular band. Two years ago, I got somewhat similar opportunity to listen numbers from Bheda Ko Oon Jasto, Nepathya’s last album, before that was released in the market. The band will enter studio tomorrow (Sunday) and the album will come out in the market by the end of September.
As the high pitched sound emerging out from drum and guitars started taking certain tempo, the singer with a long ponytail grabbed the microphone with both of his hands and started singing as if at least one of the veins in the throat might burst immediately.
Kata Lague Mera Didi Dai Ho
Jata Tatai Aago Lairachha
Garikhana Garho Bhairachha, ho
Kun Dinko Paap Lairachha, ho..
Well, you can figure out the nature of the album. The album is all about the present Nepal. And, as you know, Nepal is going through tough time. War and fire. All songs try to record the present Nepal. “Its artists’ responsibility to record time,” said Kiran Krishna Shrestha of Nepa-Laya, the band’s promoter. Nepathya have tired to record the present Nepal in their songs.
Certainly, for those who have been habituated listening songs like Chhekyo Chhekyo…, Jomsongai Bazaarma and Resham, the 25-minute-long song ‘Ghatana’ that describes the dramatic clash between Army and the Maoists two years ago in Mainapokhari, Dolakha district, in Gandarva style, come up with a different taste.
Situation in the country is serious and it is not unusual for songs depicting such situation to be serious. Amrit Gurung, decorated in a white T-shirt with a message of peace in blue colored fonts on the chest (Against Violence, Committed to Peace) closed his eyes inside a circular spectacle and screamed this stark question:
Janata kai Lagi Ladchhu Bhannele
Desh Kai Lagi Marchhu Bhannele
Khai Kasto Ladai Ladeko?
Do not know whom they are fighting for. I tried to find the answer, really, while returning to office. It was raining heavily as if the rain would take away all of our pains. It was already 7:45 PM as I entered the Kantipur Complex. I was not in a mood to write a report on the Nepathya’s rehearsal. For the evening, I just wanted to enjoy. Well, preparing a report is again, part of my job that I dutifully performed this evening.