Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Corona pandemic stops blind singer Ram Kumar to showcase talent


Lakhan Chaudhary

Dhangadhi, 6 January (2022) - Ram Kumar Kathariya who hails from Kailali district in Far Western Nepal is successful in carving a niche in the music world with his art and voice.

Born with ophthalmic problems, he captivates everyone with his magical voice and style of presentation. He is considered a very good singer in the field of Tharu, Nepali and Kathariya language music.

However, he has not been able to perform for the last two years.

Coming from a poor family in Kailali Rural Municipality-2, North Manjhara of Kailali, Ram Kumar owns five kattha (18,425 square feet) land which is his ancestral property. His voice is the only means of his livelihood. He is loved by the music lovers with his ability to perform in different musical events.

Due to the corona pandemic restrictions, he has been unable to perform for the last two years. He says, "Pandemic has affected all areas. For me being blind has made my life more difficult. My voice is the only source of my family's income. The pandemic has dried up my throat."

Waiting for platforms

Before the pandemic he was able to buy two katthas land and build a home with his earnings. His musical journey was going very well.

He adds, "Pandemic affected the world when I was planning to invest in musical world. How could I stay untouched? Now my creations are waiting for platforms."

Ram Kumar started his musical journey in 2007. He has an amazing ability and art to compose songs, give voice and create complete music in sentimental, romantic, cultural, pop, comedy genres.

He says that till now his favourite romantic sentimental song is 'Man Kahe Tohar Bina Rahat Mor Udas' in Tharu language.

Ram Kumar has released more than 300 songs featuring his own words, music and voice. These songs have been heating up the music industry. More than 60 songs features chorus. These songs are played in the streets of Tarai-Madesh in all seasons.

His first released album was titled 'Tumhar Bina' in Kathariya language. After that he released more than one and half dozens of musical albums.

His few songs, 'Jaise bagiya shuwan lage', 'Tikapur Bazzar Ma Dekhnu Tuhin', 'Tohar Onth lage lahasa', 'Likh dahanu haye ram sandesh tummar naamati', 'ghoraghodi mandirmhan tu mai bhet karibi', 'aakashke pani jasin', 'tuhinase shortcut me love hogil', 'Hai mor darling', 'Aankhim chamsa, lahgtho karishma', 'Mor saano', 'Tuhinase pyar hogil pahil mulakatme' have been sung by all age groups.

Besides romantic songs, he has also composed comedy songs 'Sughur Janni Chhant Ke Na Leho Bhaiyao, Sugghar Jannik Dil Bare Khot Re', 'Mor Dui Tho Janewan Batai, Dunuk Now Rampyari'. These songs satirize perversion in the society.

His new song 'Dil Dadem Mangbo To' is about to be released.

Encroachment of Hindi language

He expresses concerns that old songs, arts, cultures and creators are falling into disrepair. His heart pains when some artists and creators distort the original language by mixing Hindi words and phrases for cheap popularity. He emphasized the need to focus on the preservation of original language and culture.

He says, "Old songs are disappearing. Culture will disappear if we can't preserve and promote original songs and their creators. Art will be saved only if the artist is saved."

He has a family of three including his wife and son. He said that musical stage programmes organized at festivals are strong source of income for him. But he feels sad when he doesn't get proper wage for performing in the stage programmes.

"My labour was exploited in many places. People also bargain for wages. It makes me sad," he said.

Congenital glaucoma

Born into a very poor family, Ram Kumar had a problem of congenital glaucoma. The doctor suggested that he needs proper treatment and diet but his family struggles for two square meals a day.

He reached Uttarakhand, India in 2001 in search of work at an early age rather than for a proper eye treatment. He tells that he had to work hard in Meerut, Bareilly, Shimla, Haryana and other Indian cities in the past.

Because of the hard work in India he lost sight of both eyes in 2006. And then he chose the field of music for livelihood.