By PR Pradhan
It was Tuesday afternoon, I was waiting for the regular column from Lok Deep Thapa. When I didn’t receive the column, I phoned him. Dhana Bhauju received the call and informed me that he was about to finish his write-up and sending it to me soon.
Lok Deep Thapa is one among the very few of my best friends. Our friendship started during the days when he was the chief editor of the Sunday Despatch, a weekly publication brought out by the Gorkhapatra Corporation. I used to visit Thapa’s office almost daily. The reason was that we both used to enjoy drinking a lot. Other friends who used to give company to us were Ajaya Rana, Bijayalal Shrestha and Sunil KC, among others.
Along with the deepening of our friendship, Thapa also started to help me while editing the People’s Review weekly. Presently too, he is assisting me in this job every week. This friendship turned into family relations as my family used to be invited to Thapa’s house in every family gathering and vice versa. My spouse late Jasuda, and my kids too became familiar with the Thapa family.
As Lok Deep was the youngest one, all three brothers – Arun dai, Dr Tilok Pati dai and Dr. Kulesh dai — used to treat me like their younger brother. Mua (mother) also used to treat me as a son and my wife as a Buhari (daughter-in-law).
It was virtually a joint family with four brothers’ family staying in the same premises and I saw tremendous love and cooperation among the brothers and their families.
I found the entire family very sober, polite and well cultured. Mother Bhadralata, spouse of former IGP of the Nepal Police late Rom Bahadur Thapa, guardian of the family, was a symbol of motherhood — very soft spoken, familiar, simple, religious and supportive to all. I found she was a mother of forgiveness and wishing best to all always though she had been through a lot of hardship, since the Second World War and also when her husband fought for the establishment of democracy in the country way back in 2007 BS. Always, I used to see a gathering of neighbouring people, just to take blessings from “Mua”. For years, we were visiting Thapa’s house to take Dasai Tika and blessings from Mua. Unfortunately, for the last two years, we were unable to receive the Dasain Tika from her due to some reasons. Sad to say that we cannot receive the Dasain blessings from her anymore!
Tuesday evening, I checked the mail but didn’t see Lok Deep’s mail. I thought, I may receive his column on Wednesday morning. When I didn’t see the mail Wednesday morning also, I phoned to Lok Deep, but there was no response. At around 11 am, Lok Deep called me and saddened me by informing about his mother’s demise. Later, Dhana Bhauju informed me about the last rights of Mua was taking place at Pashupati Aryaghat, I rushed to Aryaghat to pay the last respect to Mua.
It is an irreparable loss to the Thapa family, losing a guardian and symbol of unity in the brothers. On this sad occasion, I pray to the Almighty for granting strength to the bereaved family to face this sorrowful time and extend heartfelt condolences to Arun dai, Dr Trilok Pati dai, Dr Kulesh dai and my friend Lok Deep and other members in the family!
My family prayers for the eternal peace to Mua’s departed soul. May her soul rest in peace!
Again, it was next Wednesday, I had to go to Aryaghat to pay my last respect to Durgadai – Durganath Sharma!
Of course, everybody knows Durgadai as he was a popular news anchor in the Nepal Television and more than that, his weekly TV presentation – Bishwo Ghatana — was very famous among the NTV viewers! Very nicely Durgadai used to present beyond and beneath the events/incidents taking place in the world. His presentation used to help all viewers on why and how that had happened.
Yes, Durgadai was a seasoned journalist and there is no need to describe about this here. He is perhaps the only journalist who started his career as a marketing officer for the Gorkhapatra Sansthan’s publications, then later shifted to the Gorkhapatra daily as a reporter and became a desk editor. In the meantime, he started news anchoring at the Radio Nepal and when the government planned to launch Nepal Television, he started to work for the television project months before NTV started telecasting programmes. He is the first news anchor of NTV. Later, he became the news director and retired from NTV after successfully completing the assignment of general manager.
He is a senior journalist for me and always a respectable person in the profession. Besides, we have other relations too.
Durgadai, born in Barbote, Fikkal in Ilam, had studied at the Karfok High School, where my father was the teacher. Durgadai has mentioned one incident in his memoire “Chhal” that how my father had given punishment when he had bunked class and how that punishment had changed his life! He always treated me as his younger brother and admired me as the son of his beloved teacher.
It is very sad that Durgadai passed away untimely. I believe he was an asset to the nation and his demise is a great loss for Nepali journalism and also to the nation.
I pray to the Almighty for eternal peace to the departed soul and extend heartfelt condolences to all the members of the bereaved family!