Ratna Shamsher Thapa is a man of his words. Known as legendary poet and lyricist little do we know that he is beyond those boundaries. A multi- faceted person, he was also a lecturer at coaching institutes, first prize winner in football tournament organized by Tri- Chandra College. He is an active person who has made a glorious reputation from his unstinted service in Nepal literature. He has penned dramas, short stories, essays, articles, poems except criticism in the field of literature. He has been felicitated with numerous awards and honors throughout his lifetime for his contribution in arts and music. Harihar Sashtri Savitridevi Literature award, Honors from Music Nepal, Gram sewa pustakalaya a certificate of appreciation, Shree Paanch Mahendra Prakriti Samrakshan Kosh, felicitated with letter of appreciation. Recognized and honored by Rotary Club Of thamel, Certificate of merit in poetry from SAARC poetry Symposium, Gorkhadakshin Bahu and a Lifetime Time Achievement Award organized by ImageFM. Besides, he has other awards also to his credit. His words and poem filled the song with such rhythm and depth, so that the outcome was everlasting piece of music. If Late and Veteran singers like Narayan Gopal made his words immensely popular by giving his voice, younger generation like Rajesh Payal Rai have sung his written songs also. He participated in talk show and spoke about “Trend in Nepalese poetry” at an event by Delhi University. He also knows about rhythm like- Haiku a very short form of Japanese poetry and ‘Tanka’ which is a thirty one syllable poem traditionally written in a single unbroken line. He is true to his craft and still working with new composersand artist to make gem of a song.
WHEN DID YOU START YOUR CAREER IN MUSIC AS A POET, LYRICIST?
I have been in this profession for more than six decades.Apart from compositions it has been more than sixty years since my involvement in Nepali literature.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE COME IN THE MUSIC FIELD FROM YOUR TIME TO THE PRESENT?
Changes come with time. I see the changes taking place but not in a solid way. The reason behind it is mainly due to lack of knowledge. New musicians of today’s generation should have a good knowledge of literature also. Composers, lyricist must have poetic vision with a doze of literature and I see it lacking among them.
TODAY SINGING COMPETITIONS AND REALITY BASED POPULAR SHOWS LIKE NEPAL IDOL ARE SEEN IN THE TELEVISION SCREEN. DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE CONTRIBUTED ENOUGH IN THE FIELD OF MUSIC? CAN THESE SHOWS HEIGHTEN NEPALI MUSIC?
To some extent it can develop but I don’t think it can at a long run because when I watched some episodes I found new generation of singers are very good but the songs they have chosen for singing on popular reality shows lack depth after all singing and music is a serious subject and has more to it. It is a happy moment when somebody performs and gets awarded with prize for their singing talent. It means a lot which is very good but I don’t see the standards that should have been maintained, in my personal opinion.
AS A PARENT WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHILDREN FOR THEIR PARENTS? ONCE THEY BECOME CAPABLE SHOULD THEY LOOK AFTER PARENTS OR NOT? IF YES, HOW?
When children of present generation learn to respect and look after their parents and elders their personality starts to develop and get a mental satisfaction. They can also move ahead in their chosen career are my thoughts. Not only present generation but also up-coming generation should look after their parents because it is a discipline that should be maintained. If you respect your elders the younger generation will also show respect towards you but if you don’t you will not be respected. This knowledge will enable us to show discipline and start looking after elderly citizens.
YOUTHS TODAY HAVE GONE OVERSEAS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND ARE SETTLED THERE, HOW CAN THEY FULFILL THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS THEIR PARENT?
It is due to situation of our country and our home; youths today have to seek for foreign employment. They can’t look after their parents personally, they can ask about their wellbeing from time to time, solving their problems by supporting emotionally or financially, so that Parents are consoled at old age. The reason for working abroad is to become financially strong. If they feel negatively, such as thinking only for themselves and forget about parents, spending thriftily without saving for future then it can adversely impact their home, family and the entire society. If they feel it is their duty to look after parents and elders then they will start bridging the gap and take care of one another. Parents when they reach old age don’t want to leave their country and go abroad to stay with their children. Here they are comfortable interacting with neighbors, friends, family and kin but abroad they have to watch the house when their children go to work. Time passes more effectively for them while they are at their own country.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE FOR THE YOUTHS OUT THERE?
Youths must be sincere and responsible at work. Your vision should be doing authentic work for your home and for your family in a society. You should also make your Country proud and love your parents and senior citizens. Take these things in mind and move ahead in life.