Our young maestros


Some of us develop a talent over the course of years after much labour. But there are some who are just born gifted. Even the masters of the art cannot help being impressed by the promise these tiny folks show, although they know the initial shine is not the end of the story. There is a long voyage to undertake, often riddled by hurdles.

Here are few of our hune biruwas (potential plants) flaunting many chillo paats (shiny leaves) who have managed to stir their seniors and won many accolades.

beats and rhythms:

Child tabla player Niroj Shakya started playing tabla only three years ago but has already won many accolades, including a win at a child artistes’ competition held at Kirateshwor Sangeet Ashram.

The 11-year-old artiste’s interest in tabla was “spontaneous”, though his father, Sagar Shakya played a major role in inspiring him.

“My father used to sing bhajans (devotional songs), and I wondered how it would be if I could support him in the tabla? My mama, a musician, also inspired me,” explains Niroj.

Even his guru, young Milesh Tandukar was very impressed when he first “tested” the child.

“I told his parents that he has a huge potential and if he learns the instrument patiently, he can definitely be a star of Nepal,” Tandukar says. Niroj also plays maadal, keyboards and is into art too.

A student of Universal English School, Patan, Niroj catches tabla beats very quickly. He also seems to understand the depth of the instrument and has parental support.

“I have not set limits to learn tabla,” he says.

While his parents have faced many difficulties to help him get exposure, his mother Nirmala affirms, “We haven’t said anything to him”.

Niroj often jams with his brother Sabin on the flute and says he will do his best to overcome the challenges ahead, and become, as he sweetly says, “the best tabla player.”

drumming to glory:

He is the drummer/vocalist of Kid Soul and 10-year-old Vijay Manandhar needs no introduction. He has already launched an album, and this Class VI student of Beginner English School practices an hour daily at home with his band, which also has his brother Vikram as band member.

“I dream of becoming

a great drummer,” says


“What puts Manandhar on a better position is, apart from his strong interest, the massive family support, which is pivotal for an artiste’s development,” opines senior drummer Dev Rana.

“My grandmother supports me a lot,” shares Vijay. Besides, with good media promotion and many offers at concerts, he is also quite known.

While this surprisingly shy little boy has come so far without formal training, he “will have formal trainings soon.” Vijay is also receiving support from seniors and experts.

“At home he practices to improve his stage performances — learn the wild movements of rock stars,” says their band manager Ritesh Criss.

Vijay says he wishes to continue honing his

talent by performing

more and more. However, there are also challenges aplenty, but he says, “I’ll do my best.”

Criss assures, “We will help him go on excelling.”

Master’s words

Most important to child drummers —

• Should have a strong interest.

• Should listen to a lot of music.

• Be mentally prepared how to give rhythms to music.

• Should play in front of people as much as possible.

Advice to child artistes

• Lot of dedication and interest is needed.

• Be happy, and be

sure of what you want to do.


• Might be needed: Consider the situation beyond the present and the strength of your interest. He had an offer to join the army (his father was a British Gurkha soldier), but didn’t

— Dev Rana,

senior drummer

small screen’s little hero:

This 12-year-old reel son of actor Deepak Giri often spurs riotous laughter in Tito Satya. With his all-supportive father and guru Shankar Acharya, child actor Raj Acharya has been exposed to the acting field since he was three-and-a-half-years-old.

Raj wants to be a doctor. “Being an actor may not be enough today, unless you are a leading hero,” opines Raj, who regards himself as an “average actor”.

Surprisingly smart for his age, Raj says, “Child artistes need to be appreciated to gain confidence, and that on their part they also need to be well disciplined.”

Raj is also a good student in school. He is also well accustomed to performing in public, a result of getting regular exposures.

Actor Giri himself is a big fan of Acharya’s. “I say two things to him and he says four. In one scene, I had asked Raj not to put artificial tears. He brilliantly executed his lines and even cried naturally. I just hugged him out of deep appreciation,” Giri says.

Master’s words

Children should —

• Be helped by parents to expose latent talents.

• Have the attitude to grow in the art.

• Not to leave education.

Possible challenges

• Kids are often swayed away by their initial dose of stardom. Parents should make them realise, “This ‘success’ is only a sign of a possibility of your future success.”

• Maintaining discipline.

• Be creative about having your own scripts. One has to be among top five actors to survive comfortably only by acting.


• Is needed depending upon one’s profession.

— Deepak Giri, actor

Master’s word

A child tabla player should —

• Understand the depth of the instrument. Dedication is necessary. Parents should be wary of instructors falsely promising short-term successes, even to incapable


• Have enough parental support.

• Be praised by others, which will help them develop a good view of the instrument.

• Perform enough in front of masses to get rid of jitters.

Possible challenges

• Lack of adequate financial resources.

• Playing only independently: a player

may find it restrictive and difficult to

play with other


• Society and family often negate one’s wish to play. Determination to play may falter then


• Is necessary. He left a job at a bank, thinking it would not give him time to pursue his interest in tabla. However, he later got a job as music teacher

— Hom Nath

Upadhyay, tabla