Kathmandu: Singer-songwriter Prakash Saput is best known for his sentimental lyricism. His songs invoke issues concerned with social justice. One of the recent songs, “Mero Pani Haina Ra Yo Desh”, brought to light the voices of people marginalized for centuries, who feel ostracized by the state itself—compelled to ask whether the country they call home really belongs to them. His other song, “Badala Barilai”, tells the story of a girl who is raped and murdered, homing in on the injustice that prevails in this country.
Saput might be the brightest star in Nepal’s folk music firmament. He is massively popular on social media and his stars seem only to be rising. He has over 1 million subscribers on Youtube and his songs have been viewed over 180 million times so far.
Saput has now come up with a new song—“Kura Bujhna Parcha”, literally meaning “one has to understand things”. Predictably, the song is trending at number 1 on Nepali YouTube. The music video features popular actors from film industry Swastima Khadka and Aanchal Sharma and also a cameo by Saput himself.
On the surface, the song seems to veer away from the themes of Saput’s oeuvre so far. It tells the story of two girls in their twenties who say they need to “understand things” before getting married, and that they’d give their life to the one who loves them. But peel away its layers and it talks about an issue rooted in the Nepali society, that of marriage and who gets to call the shots when one marries.
The two girls, played by Swastima and Aanchal in the music video, appear to be at the right age to get married, what society would consider the right age anyway. Their family members are worried about finding a perfect bride for them and they are having conversations on the quality of the boys they would opt to get hitched to. One says the boy should be wealthy, while the other says the boy should be loving and caring.
Nobody wants their life to get spoiled after getting married, so seeking the right person to get married is an important thing. Among various other problems, finding the right guy for a girl to marry and the family’s serious concern regarding the matter is significant in Nepali society. But in the song, Saput seems to say that the autonomy for one’s marriage should be given exclusively to the one getting married. It is a sharp counterpoint to the Nepali society’s norm that considers marriage a family affair, connected to prestige of the family. Saput seems to say, No, marriage is a private affair.
As a snippet of the song goes—”Hamro jiwan hamro bichar/ Hamrai huncha right / Afno right pauna lai / Garnu parchha fight / Budho hepni paryo bhane / Ko sahana sakchha / Yo vanda ta her manmaya / Single life rock chha [Our life, our thought/ It is our right/ To secure our right/ We need to fight/ If our husband is domineering/ Who can tolerate?/ See Manamaya, better than this/ Single life rocks.]”
Kura Bujna Parcha is written and composed by Saput and sung by Shanti Shree Pariyar and Samikshya Adhikari. The music video of the song is directed by Saput himself. The song also has a signature dance step which is already popular in TikTok and probably will be in parties and gatherings as well. The song is designed as a Teej song, and here’s hoping that, while it will inspire people to dance, it will also make them think.