Veteran lyricist Bhairabnath Rimal no more

KATHMANDU: Veteran Nepali lyricist Bhairabnath Rimal passed away at his residence in Chabahil on January 9. He was 86.

According to his second daughter Rekha Dhakal, he was being treated at home after he lost his appetite and faced difficulty in walking since Dashain. He had been admitted to the ICU of Chirayu Hospital on January 6 after his health condition became critical.

“After being admitted to the hospital there was no progress in his health and thus the doctors permitted us to fulfil his last wish,” as per Dhakal who revealed her father wanted to spend his last moments at home.

His kidney had stopped working in the last hour of his life, as per Dhakal.

Rimal breathed his last breath on January 9 at around 2:30 pm. His last rites were performed at Pashupati Aryaghat the same day.

Rimal had been admitted to the ICU of Medicare Hospital for 18 days due to his kidney problem in 2012 as well.

According to Dhakal, her father had a hearing problem since his childhood and was able to decode language of his family members just by their lip movements.

Other people used to communicate with him by writing and he used to reply verbally.

Born in Thamel, Rimal was popular by his nickname ‘Kadam’. He was brought up in a literary background and was inspired by Nepali literary figures.

As per Dhakal, he took the name ‘Kadam’ after the first letters of Nepali words he used to describe literary figures for their behaviours towards him — Karuna (encouragement received from gifts given by Kabi Shiromani Lekhnath Paudyal), Daya (sympathy shown by Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota), and Mamata (love shown by Natya Shiromani Bal Krishna Sama). Rimal, who penned patriotic songs in the beginning, gained popularity with the modern song Junkiri sung by Narayan Gopal. Jun Phool Maile Chaheko Thiye, Hun Yatri Euta are some of his other popular numbers.

Deep Shrestha is one of the many singers to sing Rimal’s songs — Shrestha found it interesting when he communicated with Rimal by writing. “I was about to visit him on Saturday or Monday but unfortunately he left the world,” mourned Shrestha who has had about 50 years of work experience with Rimal. “I have a collection of many old creations by Rimal. I was about to surprise him by recording one of his old creations, Mitho Haso Jindagi Ko in new version. But he gave me a sad surprise.”

Mutuko Harek Nasa Ma, Sajhako Jun Sangai were some evergreen songs of Rimal.

His songs have been sung by singers of new and old generations alike.

Sharing his nearly 29 years of working experience with Rimal, Suraj Kumar Thapa said, “Though his physical body is not here, his creations will keep him alive forever. In him a musician like me got a parent for songs and lyrics writing. I have reached here by learning, practising and singing his lyrics. He paved the way for modern songs in the country. So, his contribution will always be there till Nepali music exists. His demise is a great loss to the Nepali music industry.”

Thapa recorded his first song Bato Herchu Aasa Boki Aja Voli Sajha via Radio Nepal in Rimal’s lyrics in 1992.

Sajal Shrestha, nephew of Rimal, started his song-recording career with the lyrics of Rimal — Mardaina Maya Aama Ko when he was studying in Class VIII in 2004.

Dhakal also revealed that her father has many creations kept safely at his home. Rimal is survived by three daughters — Sobhana Chhetri, Rekha Dhakal and Amrita Sharma, and son Abhishek Rimal.