A portrait of Min Bahadur Bham, an interesting character in the boring story of the Nepali cinema

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Min Bahadur Bham is an absorbing character. Maybe that is wherefore helium is simply a hard antheral to get clasp of.

“I don’t similar interviews,” helium says. “If you telephone maine for a hike oregon for a drink, I’ll beryllium easy available. But, for interviews, I’ll ever beryllium hesitant due to the fact that I don’t deliberation I’ve done capable successful my beingness to beryllium giving retired interviews.”

Bham is 1 of the astir fascinating persons successful the mostly boring Nepali cinema industry. He is neither engaged nor is helium free. He is successful his ain world, trying to fig retired what helium wants to bash next. Some days, helium spends his full time watching films portion different days, helium does thing arsenic helium sits determination and meditates for hours.

He is passionate astir what helium does, but helium knows that helium is not perfect. That is wherefore helium perpetually works connected himself truthful that, successful years to come, helium tin grin astatine the enactment that helium has done successful his career.


Born successful Mugu successful Karnali, Bham’s childhood, similar him, was unsocial and interesting. His begetter was a writer astatine the Rastriya Samachar Samiti, the nationalist quality bureau of Nepal, and a photography enthusiast who worked astatine a telegram office. That is wherever Bham spent astir of his time.

“The telegram was the lone means of connection backmost then,” helium says. “I utilized to enactment determination and constitute telegrams and nonstop them to radical who were moving distant from Mugu.”

He besides had to instrumentality the telegrams to their respondents. As astir radical did not cognize however to, either work oregon write, helium utilized to work the messages retired large to them.

“I utilized to emotion doing that. I indispensable person work astir 10,000 messages, possibly adjacent more.”

Bham, who grew up successful Mugu, moved to Kathmandu aft completing his secondary school.

He utilized to work each kinds of messages. Some would beryllium bully portion others would beryllium bad. This, helium says, helped him recognize that beingness is not ever rosy and that determination are ever going to beryllium atrocious days.

“I leant science and the model of nine astatine an aboriginal age. Maybe that’s wherefore I didn’t truly bask my childhood.”

He recalls however helium wrote fake messages connected behalf of the families of policemen and service men arsenic they wanted to travel home. Sometimes, helium says, helium adjacent wrote fake telegrams of their parents dying truthful that they could travel location for immoderate much days.

As helium grew older, his begetter brought location tv and helium spent his clip watching Ramayan, Mahabharat on with films similar Simana, Bhagyarekha and Kanyadan connected a VCR player.

His curiosity for movies grew arsenic his begetter besides opened a high-vision cinema hallway that played some Nepali and Indian movies. But, to his disappointment, his begetter seldom fto him spell there. The lone clip helium was allowed was erstwhile the full household was together.

“That didn’t halt me. I utilized to sneak successful by bunking schoolhouse and spell with my elder cousins.”

He would besides walk a batch of his clip listening to the radio. Even though helium loved talking to himself, helium recovered bid with vigor shows. He utilized to visualise the presenters and deliberation astir them regularly. He did not person galore friends arsenic helium was an introvert by nature. This is wherefore helium recovered solace successful tiny things similar speechmaking an aged tattered Gorkhapatra oregon buying Muna children’s mag by redeeming wealth received during festivals.

Getting away

But, the clip helium was successful his teens, helium was captivated by movies. He wanted to larn more. He knew that if helium stayed successful Mugu, his parents would marque him bash things helium did not like. He wanted to larn acting and get into the theatre. But, his parents wanted him to survey subject and go a doc oregon an engineer. 

That is wherefore arsenic soon arsenic helium finished his secondary education, helium ran away. The lone spot helium knew wherever helium could larn much astir films and acting was Nepal’s superior city, Kathmandu.

“I had astir Rs 2,700. But, much than that, I had the volition to bash it and a bully accomplice – my maternal relative who had astir Rs 10,000 with him. Both of america decided it was present oregon never.”

It was monsoon; everyone was engaged planting paddy. He and his relative saw this arsenic a accidental arsenic the duo boarded a chopper which often came to Mugu to driblet nutrient and different indispensable items to the village. The chopper took them to Surkhet, from wherever they took a jeep to Nepalgunj. He had escaped his colony successful a pleasingly melodramatic manner.

In Nepalgunj, helium was free. Free from the bondage of his father’s expectations. Free from the boundaries of his home. He was escaped to spell to movie halls. Free to devour what helium wanted. Free to roam astir similar the protagonists successful the movies helium watched astatine his father’s movie hall.

“Going to movies was inexpensive there. I usually went to the greeting shows. After that was over, I went to devour momo oregon chowmein and past get backmost into the hallway again to ticker the day amusement and past the evening show.”

He spent a period successful Nepalgunj. He was having truthful overmuch fun; helium forgot wherefore helium had near his location successful Mugu. He forgot that his extremity was to spell to Kathmandu.

“I lone realised that erstwhile I got broke. That’s erstwhile my relative near for Mugu and I near for Kathmandu.”

Into the cinematic world

In Kathmandu, helium became an avid reader. Whenever helium got escaped time, helium would walk it speechmaking a caller book. 

When helium came to Kathmandu, helium had obscurity to go. He had a relative surviving present but was acrophobic that h would beryllium sent backmost to Mugu if helium went to him. He enrolled to survey successful the absorption watercourse astatine Saraswati Campus successful Lainchaur and stayed astatine Amrit Science Campus’s hostel. He enrolled successful absorption to marque his household happy. But, his bosom was determination other arsenic each helium could deliberation of was films, arts and literature.

“I started to spell to the Rastriya Naach Ghar connected a regular basis. There, I learnt acting. I liked it truthful much, I past joined Oscar College (to survey it formally).” 

To marque his household happy, helium completed his bachelor’s successful management. But, to support him blessed and enactment existent to who helium was, helium besides completed bachelors successful movie studies.

In Kathmandu, helium became an avid reader. Whenever helium got escaped time, helium would walk it speechmaking a caller book. 

“I was truthful overmuch into speechmaking that I adjacent work condolence connection connected newspapers.”

But, helium was ne'er a bully student, helium says, arsenic helium ne'er went to assemblage connected a regular basis. He spent the clip helium should person spent successful assemblage with friends drinking, eating meat, and gambling though his household was a vegetarian one.

“I’d program connected eating nutrient aft I’d made a diagnostic film, but sadly I didn’t fulfil that committedness arsenic I ate it aft making a abbreviated film. I besides got a accidental to spell to Russia and determination I adjacent learnt however to drink.”

By this time, helium was already addicted to cigarettes. Some days, helium would fume up to 100 cigarettes a day. But, soon helium discontinue smoking and says that helium tin bash the aforesaid with intoxicant and gambling.

“I’m not arsenic hooked towards these things arsenic others. If I want, I tin permission it today.”

This, helium says, is owed to his spiritual awakening. He says that determination are times helium feels helium was a monk successful his erstwhile life.

“It sounds weird, but that is what I feel.”

That is wherefore helium often visits the monastery astatine Namobuddha. That is wherever helium started to envision his 1 and lone movie – Kalo Pothi. 

“The basal operation of the movie was formed erstwhile I was there. I recalled my puerility and however things were to however I wanted it to be. That is what the movie is about.”

No rush

The movie made it big. It was adjacent Nepal’s authoritative introduction for the Oscars. Apart from that, it made it to a big of movie festivals passim the globe. Since then, everyone has been waiting for different movie from Bham. But, helium is successful nary hurry.

“I’m successful nary rush. I privation to marque a movie that makes maine happy. So, radical volition person to wait.”

To him, this is much than work. It’s what helium is passionate about, which is wherefore helium wants to hold to marque the cleanable film.

“I’m contented with what I’ve done successful my life. Even if I dice without making different film, I’ll inactive beryllium happy. But, I cognize that I privation to marque a movie and americium consenting to hold to marque a cleanable one.”

Original Story