Nepal, since early school days has obsessed me with a mystic charm that remains unfaded even today after having spent three years in the country. Like for many Keralites, the Malayalam film, YODHA, starring Mohanlal, Siddharth Lama and Yubaraj Lama was my first crush with Nepal !! The movie with its interesting storyline and characters was a kind of cultural exchange between two countries. When my organisation KVS offered the chance to serve in Nepal for three years, I was excited like a kid. Can anything else be better than this? An opportunity to work in my dream country..wow!!!
Right from the day I landed at Kathmandu (3rd April, 2011), I went in search of the locations of the Malayalam film YODHA and after a number of adventurous journeys and miraculous twists I discovered the boy, Siddharth Lama, who played the Rimpoche in the film and became a darling of Keralites. This was the first gift from this beautiful country that put me in the limelight when print and visual media in Kerala covered the news extensively.
This one post on my blog rocketed the number of followers from 90 to 200 in no time!!!
If love could kindle the poet in you, then yes, that's what Nepal did to me. My first English poem to be published in a journal was "Kathmandu: a Bohemian Rhapsody" :
That kickstarted the journey in poetry and creative profusion. The love, positive criticism and support I received from then on has been incredibly immense.
My association with the malayalees of Kathmandu, Kathmandu Kerala Samajam (KKS), is unforgettable for the creative freedom, respect and brotherly affection they showered on me endlessly.
Nepal brought out the wanderlust in me, the writer in me, the singer in me, the lover, the best as a teacher and organizer, the adventuror and the friend in me. The bohemian nights and the pristine, innocent days, the feast for my eyes and mind's eye with the immaculate sky and the rejuvenating sunshine, the cuddled up winters and the lavish spread of the red in the festive seasons..... I have so much to take in my little hands.
The Himalayan Times for generously offering me space to promote my writings and my artistic interests, Thank you so much. My dear student Saswat Karki for publishing a poem on me in the Himalayan Times:
My school and the Indian Embassy for encouraging me and giving me the best of opportunities to explore the hidden potentials. Thank you.
(Thank you NELTA)
The most innovative step in my career viz. making two short films with my students based on the prescribed lessons is a lifetime moment for me as a teacher and for my students too:
The people of Nepal, so simple at heart and so loving, touched me deep within. The music of Nepal for its indigenous flavour and richness.
My favourite song "Gajaluti tula tula..." originally sung by Ghulam Ali encapsulates all my memories of Nepal and the popular folk songs like "Resham firi ri...." and "Aakashaiko kaalo badal..." truly captures the rural feel of Nepal.
No other profession could have given me this much love and people at one place in three years. Love you and miss you my dear colleagues, students and parents.
Nepal, you still hold so much for me. I just need to stretch my arm and it is there in unimaginably infinite bounty.
Once is not enough !!!
---- Santhosh Kumar Kana
(I haven't mentioned or referred to people by name or contribution who made unfathomable difference to my life in Nepal. I respect our privacy and the sanctity of what we shared. Lots of love)