Ram Bahadur, who entered Kathmandu from the eastern hilly district, used to study science at Amrit Science College Plus Two. Sir, while he was teaching, the theorems and practicals never entered his mind because he was playing with cinema. As soon as he passed Plus Two, he enrolled in Ratna Rajya Campus to study Journalism. It was only after about a year that his family came to know about this personal decision. His father, who dreamed of making his son a civil engineer, survived the heart attack by luck.
Ram Bahadur used to ask him for money to pay the fees, saying that he was studying engineering. With that money he bought a cheap Dell laptop, an amateur DSLR camera and a cheap tripod. After college vacations, his routine revolved around the camera.
After graduating in journalism, he got a job as a reporter and writer for a tabloid newspaper published in the evenings. He didn’t have to walk around reporting on the ground to write the news. The news of the famous broadsheet newspapers were printed after adjusting the language. The same job for days, even if the salary does not come suddenly and even after 2-3 months it comes only for 15 days, he felt as if his self-esteem was hit. He was tired from work.
Ram Bahadur used to live in a cheap room in the Kshetraparti. To reach his room, he had to climb the wooden stairs with his mobile light on. There was only one brick on the ground floor of the house. One day, when Kunni went to bed early in the morning, he put the camera on a tripod and while defecating, he started pouring out his thoughts to the camera. He started to make it a daily routine for him to shoot with this camera. He used to narrate his life frustrations, fights with his boss in the office, quarrels and quarrels with his girlfriend on camera.
Other Derawals living in the same house would wait for their turn to go to Charpi and knock on the door from outside. They called him crazy. He would also reply by saying ‘Sure friend I’m crazy’. This routine continued. Bewildered by his habit, the Derawals started to wake up early in the morning and go to Charpi. When there were other people in the charpi, he kept the camera in front of the door and waited to express his displeasures, he used to fight with the derawals inside the charpi. Later the others stopped caring about him and instead started talking to him nicely. This routine continued for one and a half months.
One day, after Bose reached 45 in number, he quit the tabloid job. When nothing worked, he put the video he had shot on his computer and started editing it in the timeline of Adobe Premiere Pro. For the next one month, the mornings of the chirpi he drew were taking on a meaningful form. He surprised himself. But he couldn’t figure out how to make sense of this long video sequence that seemed like a narrative, but he felt that it had to be embodied. One afternoon he was sitting on the toilet thinking about what to say to the camera, what to say, suddenly the pan he was sitting on started shaking. The wall of the narrow wall began to recede, gnawing at his cheeks. After a while the ceiling above collapsed. Ram Bahadur and his camera set were crushed in the 7.8 Richter scale earthquake.
A few weeks after the Nepalese army pulled him from the rubble of his house, Ram Bahadur started looking for his camera in the toilet. The camera was broken beyond use but its memory chips were intact. He looked at the chips in his survival computer. His film had a great ending. His joy knew no bounds.
Ram Bahadur showed the film to friends who promoted him on Facebook and Twitter by writing “Cinefael” in quotation marks behind his surname. They said it was festival material and encouraged him to send the film to the festival. He eagerly decided to send the film to a film festival, but he had no money. He sold his only surviving laptop and submitted the film to 10-12 festivals. Later he submitted the film to about 15-20 festivals asking for a ‘waiver code’ saying that he could not pay the fees to the festivals.
Waited for 1 month, waited for 2 months, waited for a whole year, no good email came from anywhere. He decided to release the film in Nepal. For this he went to the Film Development Board located near Gopikrishna Hall to understand the matter. He did not have a formal film education certificate. Before making this movie, he had worked as an assistant director in a big story movie. He had taken this audacity without consulting the intellectuals of the Development Board. The development board decided that his work could not be accepted as a film. What does he know that art can be measured in today’s computer era!
Ram Bahadur returned home in tears and, distraught, uploaded his movie on YouTube one night from a friend’s house who had high-speed internet.
About a week later, Ram Bahadur was checking his email. A new email surfaced inviting him to premiere his film at a major foreign film festival. However, Ram Bahadur’s film has been watched by more than 100,000 people on YouTube. He missed him.
Rajan Kathet – Film Director / Writer
(Sherdhak The Golden Hill directed by Kathet had its world premiere at the 41st Seattle International Film Festival 2015 and has also been invited to the prestigious Montreal World Film Festival 2015 to be held in Canada at the end of August.)