An eve of Birag’s blossoms
A crowd had already gathered at nepa~laya premises. When the bell rang, everyone rushed to enter r-sala. Why? Because none other that the music legend Bhim Birag was performing at the Paleti Shrinkhala this evening of February 24.
Birag’s incredibly mellifluous vocal even at the age of 72 years stunned the audience as he began with a soothing number Timile pani ma jastai …(Try sharing love the way I do). The song originally sung by melody king Narayan Gopal was recorded in 1973.
Most of Birag’s songs were sung by Narayan Gopal, while Madhu Kshetri lent his vocal to the
evergreen song Phoolai phoola matra pani hoina raichha jeevan…(Life is not a bed of roses).
Birag rendered the song adding more raaga to it in his song and the additional stanza went this way
Bachna kathin chha,
marna pani garho
Pheri pani zindagi sabai
Muskan ra ashuko sangam rahechha jiwan
Phoolai phoola matra pani haina rahechha jiwan
(It is difficult to live and even to die, yet life is dear)
The most romantic song, what he called his ‘masterpiece’ was Kasari ma bhule... (How did I get diverted). “But I hardly had any romantic moments in my life,” he said.
That could be the reason why he has penned lyrics about life’s truth though they are often about unrequited love or pain in love.
Timro mero zindagani, Dukheko mutuma, Afu royera arulai are but a few such songs that speak of inner feelings and subtle meanings of life.
The evening was much more than just a musical show. Many who had come had grown up listening to Birag’s songs.
“We used to get into his shows at the Royal Nepal Academy dodging people at the gate,” recalled Rajendra Shrestha, director, SOS Children Village Nepal.
Birag is a complete music figure who writes lyrics, composes music and even sings them beautifully like music legends Ambar Gurung and late Gopal Yonjan.
The two-and-half-hours with Birag was one evening to cherish. Nepa~laya deserve all credit for reviving the tradition of the artist-audience proximity as well as for reintroducing yesteryears’ singers to the present generation.