Dayahang Rai and Miruna Magar. Photo: Setopati
Dayahang Rai and Miruna Magar were seen as a couple for the first time in ‘Kabaddi 4’ which was released this year. Their much-loved pair in this film will be seen again in ‘Jari’, which is slated to release on 1st Baisakh.
They are also acting together in Dipendra Lama’s ‘Nango Gaou’. Currently, this film is being shot.
In terms of performance, ‘Kabaddi 4’ is Daya-Miruna’s first film, but in terms of cinematography, ‘Jari’ is the first. The shooting of ‘Jari’ was done around three years ago. It was Daya who proposed Miruna to work in this film.
‘I know Miruna’s mother very well. She is a theater artist. “I was looking at Miruna when I came to know, she was the daughter of an artist,” he said. “Upendra Dai asked for advice to get Miruna in the movie.” I had Miruna’s number. I called him.’
At that time Miruna was studying in London. Dayahang was confused whether he would have time to work with him or not. But by coincidence, when Dayahang called, Miruna was staying in Nepal.
‘I came from London and was soaking in the environment of Nepal,’ Miruna said remembering that day, ‘I was afraid to even talk to people. I thought that someone would judge me because of my speech. Even when Daya Dai called, I was more scared than happy.’
During a telephone conversation that day, Daya informed that a film was being made about the ongoing practice and also offered a role.
After hearing the story of the film, Miruna was excited.
‘I was listening to the issue of continuation. Mero Boju (Mother’s Fupu) also got married to someone else. Both his families are happy. They used to meet,’ she said.
Miruna narrated the story of the film to her Boju. Tears came to Boju’s eyes after hearing the story. She died not long ago. Miruna says that Boju is upset that she did not get to see the film.
“Even if I didn’t get to see the film, I told the story, there is satisfaction in that,” she said.
This film is directed by Upendra Subba. The shooting of the film has also been done at his home in Angsarang in Panchthar.
‘There are no hotels. “We had a team of 40 people, some in houses, some in tents,” Daya said.
Although Miruna has been living in London, she says that it is not difficult to immerse herself in the village environment.
‘I was born in Hong Kong. After some time we came to Dharan. While living in Dharan, my mother used to say that we should live in the same way as our fathers had struggled in the village. At that time, Dharan had already developed.
But we used to walk long distances without traveling by car. After we moved to London, my mother wouldn’t even let us speak English at home. Even though I lived in the village environment, shooting this film was not difficult,’ she said.
She says that she got the opportunity to learn a lot while working with Dayahang.
‘I knew him as a good actor. While working together, I got an opportunity to know that he is a good person too,’ she said. Not all good people are found while working. I found the difference in the learning and self-strength I got from working with Jari and the Kabaddi team. Even before that, I had worked with a good person, but the energy level may not have matched, and she felt so comfortable.’
We also asked Daya and Miruna about the theme of the upcoming film.
Daya said, ‘I had heard about the issue in the Rai community. The same is happening in the ongoing Rai and Limbu communities. After placing a kathuva on the rais, if it is touched, the release is accepted, if not touched, it is rejected. It is a right given to a woman to marry a second time with a man of her choice.
It is taken for granted in our community. First, the decision of the women was relied upon, and later, it became a game of cockfighting. After cockfighting became a sport, the continued practice took the form of perversion. If we look at it as women’s rights, it still seems relevant.’
Adding to this topic, Miruna says, ‘Earlier, it was customary to continue paying for social reasons, now divorce is taken by going to the court. Before or now, women seem to want to live their own lives.’
The film shows the ongoing practice around the year 2050. Some are saying that this film is like Naveen Subba’s ‘Numaphung’. Even mercy cannot deny it.
“Maybe because the story of the film is taken from the same community, it feels like Numafung,” he said.
Rambabu Gurung’s movie ‘Jari’ stars Bijay Baral, Roydeep Shrestha, Rekha Limbu, Kamalmani Nepal, Pushkar Gurung along with Dayahang and Miruna.
Dayahang Rai’s next film ‘Bihe Pas’ is also being screened on 1st Baisakh. Directed by Pravesh Poudel, ‘Bihe Pass’ stars Dayahang along with Prakriti Shrestha, Ravindra Jha, Buddhi Tamang, Shishir Wangdel, Shyam Rai, Vishal Pahari, Subas Gajurel, Nizhwal Gautam and others.