Durgesh Thapa’s song allows space for criticism

Often when a song of Ram Krishna Dhakal’s plays, be it on the television, radio, or on YouTube, we are drifted to a different time. For those of us who grew up listening to him, his melodic songs often usher in a feeling of nostalgia.

At the same time, we are also reminded of the stories of his struggle to stardom – singing in the streets and on local transportation when someone recognised his talent and brought him to Kathmandu. He worked hard, and eventually became a successful singer.

Now, if Dhakal had said my voice is god-gifted, and that he didn’t need to learn, would he have become such a famous singer?

Till date, he is heard saying he is still learning music.

The context of the argument is in reference to a recent interview by popular singer Durgesh Thapa, and his subsequent song released under the title ‘Alu Jasto Gayak’.

For those, who are unknown to the song’s inspiration, singer Durgesh Thapa, appearing on an interview with Rishi Dhamala, made two mistakes. One, he sang Bhakta Raj Acharya’s ‘Mutu Jalirahecha’ when asked to sing a Narayan Gopal song, and the other he sang Ram Krishna Dhakal’s ‘Orali Lageko’ when asked to sing a Yam Baral song.

The problem with the internet was he slipped, not with me though. I understand, as human beings, we should be allowed ‘to not know’. However, my problem is with his subsequent release.

In his song ‘Alu jasto gayak’, he tells his viewers that his mother is an illiterate, and his father didn’t know how to compose songs, yet, he has made it in the industry.

By going through his justification, Ram Krishna Dhakal’s parents had to be literate or poets, and that is just plain wrong.

“Artists, and people who succeed, often overcome several hurdles until they are able to relish the benefits of success, and one should not criticise someone else’s journey”, I believe.

Durgesh needs to be reminded that everyone asks a singer the same question who comes to the music fraternity without learning melody and rhythm. He should not feign the question by citing his lack of access to avail it, and instead should make a sincere effort towards learning it.

For Durgesh’s part, he could have said that he is willing to learn and grow in the industry. For we know, learning the basics of music is important towards growth and success – may be it will help him better his career, and propel him towards critical success.