First Radio Nepal singer leaves artistic legacy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 1, 2018-

Legendary singer and ‘father’ of Nepali Radio drama Hari Prasad Rimal died at the age of 92 on Friday at his Baneshwor home in Kathmandu.

He is survived by his wife and four children. His last rites took place at Pashupatinath.

The singer’s soft tenor was the first Nepali voice to emanate from radios across the country. It was lilting enough to carry pathos and a hint of emotional heartaches.

At the age of 25 Rimal rose to fame from Lagantol in Lalitpur.  He composed the music for a song written by the famous lyricist Shankhar Lamichhane. The song ‘Mero Mann Tukra Bhayera Ekdin Aakhaako Baato Bahanechha’ is the first song recorded and broadcast by Radio Nepal. The song launched one of Nepal’s most acclaimed singers.

Growing up during the Rana years, young Rimal had coveted the opportunity to attend Durbar High School. However, he was interested more in music and the arts. He often missed classes to attend musical events and take part in theatre plays. An apocryphal story about him says he befriended a temple priest and learnt music from him.

Rimal’s ‘Fagat Ek Nazar Ma’ remains a popular folk tune that is reminiscent of the music of yesteryear Kathmandu, with its plaintive harmonica and melodious vocals. Music was not his only passion. He was equally interested in acting. His acclaimed performance was excelling in an early version of Bal Krishna Sama’s Mukunda Indira.

Impressed by his talent, Sama offered Rimal a role in his new play, Prahlad.

Rimal went on to sing many songs and act in a number of plays and films.

Rimal’s filmography includes ‘Aama’, Manko Baandh’, Ke Ghar Ke Dera’, Pariwartan, Sindoor and Santan, and dramas ‘Bhimsen Ko Antya’ and ‘Mukunda Indira’. During his long and illustrious radio career, he directed hundreds of dramas including celebrated works of Nepali litterateur such as Muna Madan.

Much of Rimal’s earlier work is lost. The Bhakta Raj Acharya Pratisthan honoured him along with lyricist Chandra Raj Sharma in July 2017 for their vast contribution to Nepal’s performing arts.

Published: 01-09-2018 07:27

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