Joining hands for better tomorrow
Haath ma kehi na hunne haru aawaz liyera utha (Those who have nothing, rise up with voices raised) — a very thought provoking line from one of the songs summed up the message that Nepathya wanted to convey to all Nepalis in their concert at the Birendra International Convention Centre on January 30.
This concert in Kathmandu was Nepathya’s second last performance of the Shantiko lagi Shikshya tour, which they embarked on on December 21, 2006. The band has been touring once every two years throughout Nepal with the message ‘Education for Peace’. They started their ‘tour’ journey five years ago from Kathmandu on this very day, and on this afternoon they performed to a packed hall after having wowed audience and fans in 15 different places.
The concert started on the scheduled time. The hall was packed with children from CWIN, CPCS, Bal Mandir, prison inmates’ childern, Apanga Punersthapana Kendra, Aama foundation, Annapurna Mahila Samaj and Teresa Academy, and other guests.
The excitement and enthusiasm of the children created an apt environment for the concert. The show kicked off with the screening of the music video of Sa Karnali, which gripped audience’s attention and interest. The ballad Maina Pokhari gave all those present goose bumps with its had hard hitting lyrics and heart wrenching visuals. The band played along with the video.
Amrit Gurung, Nepathya’s frontman, with his amazing stage presence entertained the crowd and also talked about the situation of the country, and his message was that we all have to help each other to make this country a better place to live in.
Though the message and the mission of the concert were serious, the foot tapping songs enthralled the crowd and left all screaming for more. It was not only Gurung’s soulful voice that had the crowd up and dancing, but the music created by Nikhil (drum), Subin (bass), Shishir (maadal), Suraj (synthesiser) and Hari (guitar) mesmerised the audience.
The lighting and the special effects were commendable as it helped in adding to the ambience. Yesteryear’s popular numbers like Chhekyo chhekyo, Chari maryo, Jam bhane jam tani and Jomsomai bazaarma brought back fond memories and made the crowd sing along, whereas Gaun gaun bata utha perfectly complemented the band’s message.
The concert was very interactive as Gurung made sure the crowd sang along and replied to his queries. Their popular numbers like Bheda ko oon jasto, Resham, Sa Karnali and Taal ko pani made all those present scream for more. Seeing the children dance to those songs made the band’s efforts all the more worthwhile.
Talking to Gurung after the show about his inspiration to tour Nepal and bring music to people in the most remote of areas, he said, “I am a traveller, I like travelling around Nepal, meet new people and learn different kinds of music. That is how I get inspired. But during the Emergency, I felt the friendliness and affection of people slowly disappearing as everyone seemed to be scared of each other, especially strangers. However, since peace has been restored, people are back to being themselves, and the trust that was lost in-between has been regained.”
He added that they decided not to start their tour from Kathmandu as he felt that people outside the Valley needed more attention.
They ended the concert with Rato ra chandra surya and Haath — two patriotic songs. The audience left with smiles on their faces, and perhaps the Maina Pokhari song lingered in their minds as it did in ours.
So, are Nepathya’s tours making the desired impact?
Gurung’s answer was, “I don’t know. However, even if one person follows what we have said from the stage, then I think we have been successful.”