Ghatana Incidents of Nepal

Music Issue 57 Jul, 2010
Text by Nepathya

This is a unique album by Nepathya as it is based on an incident that took place in Mainapokhari. On 9th May 2004, a public bus heading for Kathmandu from Jiri was caught in a crossfire between the Nepali armed forces and the Maoist rebels on the highway near Mainapokari. Six innocent civilians lay dead. The songs are a result of the vocalist, Amrit Gurung’s interviews with residents of Mainapokhari—survivors, eyewitnesses and other villagers. Deeply affected by the tragedy, which he calls a disgrace, Amrit and the band dedicated the album to the victims.

A melancholy tune appropriately opens the album in respect of the deceased. The first song “Ghatana” talks of the incident itself. It vividly describes the entire event from the time the bus leaves town, leading to the unfortunate crossfire killings. The song ends in a lament, “What kind of war is this?” This is folk rock and the sound is decidedly rock. Talking of incidents in a song is an old folk tradition that is still true of many contemporary folk songs. The second track has lovely guitar riffs beginning with soft touches and moving on to heavier stuff, typical of rock songs. The third track admonishes people for the war, “What did you get for fighting among yourselves?” The fourth track gets heavier and has a strong drumbeat. Amrit sings, “May a time come when we can safely return home at dusk, like the way we leave at dawn to work all day long…..”

The last track “Aama” also starts on heavy overdriven guitars with Amrit singing on a high key about a mother being like a mountain carrying a heavy burden. The songs on this album are more about lyrics than melody, but they are moving. Nepathya sticks to folk rock and “Ghatana” speaks for all Nepali people.

Courtesy: Muzik Lounge, Thamel,
Ph No: 4266080