17 November,2014: Thereâ€™s a flurry of excitement among music and movie lovers in Nepal right now. With Bipul Chettri starting off his â€œLai Bari Laiâ€ tour from Kathmandu, and the release of Nischal Basnetâ€™s much-awaited â€œTalakjung vs Tulkeâ€, the entertainment scene in Nepal definitely seems to be progressing. But there seems to be a problem besetting this industry. And the problem is us.
As I am writing this article, I am occasionally checking my notification to see if my friends are ready to go out and watch a new Nepali movie with me.Â Obviously, Iâ€™d hate to go to the movies alone. So, here I am, trying to get some of my closest friends interested in watching this movie. Evidently, only a few of my friends are excited.
To be honest, I have never been a fan of Nepali movies. The only thing Iâ€™ve loved about them as a teenager is the trolls and memes that keep surfacing on my news feed. And I know itâ€™s the same with most of us. Most of us have, for the most part of our lives, made fun of lok-dohoris and Nepali movies (where the heroâ€™s entry is always repeated three times. Presumably, to ensure longer screen time for the hero). But as we can see, the scenario is changing. It may not have morphed completely, but at least it is trying to. And as the â€˜future of the nationâ€™, we should support the people involved in it. The least we can do is to give them our acknowledgement. We have access to unlimited information. We know which movie has grossed the most at the US box office, we know the number of followers that Taylor Swift has on her twitter account, the number of mentions that Justin Bieber gets every seven seconds or so and we also know the release dates of books, music albums and movies that might not be released in Nepal in the first place! We go to movies on premiere nights and boast about it on social media. We donâ€™t care about the reviews, do we? All we know is that big bucks were spent on the movie and that it stars one of the most expensive stars from Hollywood/Bollywood. But, sadly speaking, when it comes to watching a Nepali movie, we need to know the reviews, right?
Things are changing because of globalisation. And as â€˜global citizens,â€™ we should keep a tab on everything thatâ€™s going around the world. But whatâ€™s the point of peeking into the neighbourâ€™s plate when we donâ€™t want to know whatâ€™s in ours? Whatâ€™s the point of waking up at the middle of the night to see an artist perform on stage, while the most prominent artists of our entertainment industry live among us, in our neighbourhoods?Â Do we ever treat them with respect? Have we ever considered them as our role models? Do we even follow them on social media platforms? No. Not at all! And we wouldnâ€™t, even if we wanted to! All because of the stigma that refrains us from respecting our â€œlocalâ€ artists. We chicken out when it comes to promoting a new Nepali song or a trailer of a Nepali movie about to be released.
I am pretty sure that this is not the right attitude we are supposed to present as the future of our nation. How can we discard these beautiful fragments of art and human labour gifted to us by our own brothers and sisters?
If we dream about being as great as the USA (or whichever country it is that sets the standards), we should start supporting our artists and watching and promoting the local scene.
Artists arenâ€™t made by money and talent alone. They need viewers too! And since we are the ones who create superstars and world-renowned artists, itâ€™s better if we start from home.
Karki is a Plus Two graduate.