Tuesday, June 4, 2013

lai bari lai

beautiful things take very little time to take up a lot of space in the heart. this man first happened to me yesterday while i was in the office and a friend was playing his songs softly on the speakers. the first time i heard them, i barely heard them really, just a muffled melody like you would hear if it were being played in the room next door, with the doors closed. that's what robert frost calls poetry. i remember him saying something along the lines of how poetry is like that sound you hear of people talking behind closed doors, so that you can't really hear what they are saying, but you can feel what they are talking about because the melody, the rhythm of their conversation escapes and enters your ears anyway.

that was frost. and poetry. and this is bipul chettri. who has gotten me interested in nepali music for the first time in life. all i heard the first time around was the melody, and his words that came to me only in the form of a soothing hum. and music hasn't moved me like this in such a long time. and music is the only thing that can move things inside me like that. isn't that the same for most, if not for all?

so i've been listening to him ever since. again and again. and whenever i'm not, i realise i'm trying to hum to myself the lyrics that i barely know.

this man radiates talent in all its rawness. and there's no music video to accompany the music, there's no face of the man, no identity. it's his music standing on its own feet, and doing a splendid job of that. at the moment it feels more like the song's got wings. cannot help but draw comparisons with nick drake, that other music man forever tugging at this pathetic heart of mine.

what do you think? and it's so...ethnic. i mean, how do you put it. it's very modern and minimalistic on one level, yet there is something so very nepali about it. it's got that nepali ring to it that you can trace even when the words are all muffled and the melody is barely audible.

and even though bipul is from darjeeling, there's something in his music that brought about this surge of patriotism in me. it isn't the angry and defensive nepaliness of flags and boundaries and national anthems. it's something much more basic, more primal. in fact, it's so ordinary that i'm not likely to keep it in mind at all. the songs don't tell me what being nepali means. but i think i can feel nepal in his songs. whatever being nepali means to me--is reflected in this song. this nepaliness, i could belong to.

like how, more often than not, my sense of being has evolved from the times i've spent at dusk looking out the window and listening to the rain. this song would actually make a perfect accompaniment for an occasion such as that. yes, i could live in a nepal like that.

i have a feeling this man will make it big. but i hope he will make a lot of really good music before the bigness gets to him. wish him lots of luck.

can't. stop. gushing.
filled with so much gratitude for having gotten such a cherished experience

a reminder really
about how easy things are to love
and how lucky we are that way

really wish i could describe what's it's doing to me better, but i'll leave that to the better writers out there.

hope you all enjoy.

here's the song on soundcloud. there's wildfire too, which is equally delicious.


  1. After that gushing description, I was looking forward to the music to play, but the link is broken for me.

    Another time.
    Breakfast After 10

  2. it's gone. :(

    and without any other copy floating on youtube.

    i'll try and re-post as soon as someone graciously uploads it again. the song is called 'asaar' bipul chhetri.

  3. https://soundcloud.com/bchettri/asaar-by-bipul-chettri