July 21, 2024, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

I became jobless, after Nepal turned into a democratic republic: S. Raj, famous Sarod player

The Nepal Weekly
September 5, 2023

Sudarshan Rajopadhyaya, born at Gabal in Lalitpur district, is more popular in India as a classical musician and singer than in Nepal, where he is very little known. He has recorded more than one hundred songs in Nepali and dozens of songs in Newari too.

After passing voice test at Radio Nepal some three decades ago, he continued his journey to the world of music without taking rest. When many people suffered during the time of Covid – 19 pandemic, it was a boom for him as he got time to compose poems utilizing the lockdown. “I have become a poet during the time of Covid,” said Sudarshan, popularly known as S. Raj. He has recently published a book with the collection of his poems.

He has been inclined towards music since his childhood. His journey in the world of music started from his family as his father was also a noted Esraj player. “I used to play Tabla when I was just 8, 9 year old in tune with my father’s musical performance in Esraj,” he recalls.

S.Raj has been performing Sarod in various cities of India for more than a decade. I visit India whenever I get invitation for the performance,” he said.

“I used to perform classical music in Radio Nepal in the past, but after the Radio stopped broadcasting classical music with the introduction of democratic republic system in 2063 B.S., I became jobless,” recalls S. Raj. He had performed in Radio Nepal for more than two decades. “My father also used to perform classical music in Radio Nepal,” he added. His father Jalesananda was an Esraj player at Radio Nepal, where he retired after performing for 30 years.

“I got into the field of music as I was brought up in a family having musical background and my father was the source of inspiration for me to learn music,” he said.

S.Raj has learned to play different musical instruments like Madal, Piano, Guitar etc. besides Sharod. I can play all the musical instruments except Violin, Sarangi and Flute, he added.

S. Raj has received Masters Degree in Classical Music from Calcutta. Besides, he has also done Master in Business Management from Tribhuvan University and also received MPA Degree.

He was dumb during the childhood until he reached the age of six. But one day he suddenly started speaking words to the surprise of his family, who were very much worried about his condition.

His voice automatically returned the next day of he observed 6 year’s birth day. Mangal Raj Joshi, a famous astrologer of Lalitpur district had forecast this when his parents went to consult him. He told my parents not to worry about his voice, which will be corrected at the age of six.

He started visiting India from time to time since 2010 to give live performances at the invitation of various organisations. He has made dozens of performances on Sharod Vadan in different parts of India. Sarod is a guitar like traditional instrument which has 25 strings.

Sudarshan Rajopadhya

He is, however not much about the future of music in Nepal. It is difficult for a singer or a musician to survive only on the basis of his musical talent, he pointed out. That’s whey he has chosen hotel industry as his second profession. He had served for 16 years in Hyatt Regency and currently is serving at Himalaya Hotel as F. & B. controller for the past few months.

S.Raj has also started musical meditation sessions for those suffering from various mental problems such as anxiety and depression. Not only Nepalese, foreign nationals are also benefiting from the musical meditation sessions he is conducting at present. If you cannot focus your mind on studies or some other subject, you can benefit from musical meditation, he said.

Now he wants to spend rest of his life by teaching music to interested people. The government has done very little for the promotion of music in the country, he pointed out. He also underscored the need to establish separate music college in the country for the development of music field.

He has been giving musical performances in Calcutta, Beneras, Delhi, Rajsthan, Jaipur, Indoor in India. He has got invitation from Calcutta, India for a performance in November. His talent was recognized well in India than in his home country, Nepal.

Palpal, Tyo Rat, Panisari are some of his popular songs in Nepali where as Nasala, Hasana, Chhanu Ninhu and Chhangu Matina are his Newari songs.

S. Raj has received a number of awards from India including International Indian Besties Award in 2019. Besides, he was also honoured by Vividhta Me Ekta Rastriya Samman 2020 and Sangeet Manjari Award (from West Bengal Government in 2013). He had bagged first prize during district -wise music competition organized by Radio Nepal in 2002.