Interview with Om Mani-Ba

“Tali sunera namattiu, gaali sunera naaattiu (Don`t loose earth hearing the claps & don`t loose hope having the slaps)

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Om Mani Sharma is one of Sarwanam´s rare foundation members. On the 9th of Ashad (23rd June) we were all happy to celebrate his 70th birthday in our Art Center.

Due to this joyful occasion, Sushila took Om Mani Ba´s interview to find out about his 30 years of amazing experiences in Sarwanam.

Here are some excerpts from their conversation:

30 Years in Sarwanam!

You are one of the most senior members of Sarwanam . You were there 3o years ago when Sarwanam was about to be born. Did you believe that you`ll stay for such a long time then?

→Yes ! I believed this. I was keenly interested to play drama & I got Sarwanam as the platform. & then my desire was fulfilled.

How did Asesh Malla & you get together?

→ I was a fan of literature & used to listen to his programs & read his articles. They were very good. And in 2027 (1970) I got to meet him . From then on we are working together.

What has changed within 30 years of Sarwanam?

→ 1st development in technology

→ 2nd awareness in audience

→ 3rd audience´s interest in dramas (….)

What was your most memorable experience in Sarwanam?

→ My 1st drama , the 1st time I was acting , when I stepped on stage for the 1st time, & was awarded as the best character & the sound of the audience clapping.

Why are you still at Sarwanam? Or let´s put it the other way: why did most of the other foundation members quit?

→It´s because of my interest, my work, my honesty & my cultivation that till now I am in Sarwanam. I won`t leave Sarwanam till my end. This my commitment.

And about the other founder members who quit Sarwanam, I feel that they had come highly obssesed with their own ambition, not jointly with Sarwanam. They won´t find the fulfillment of their ambitions.

Which of all Sarwanam’s plays is your favourite one?

→This question is very hard to answer ! Whatever drama Sarwanam has performed was very best . To remember some are: < Ek RAAT , NEW CHAPTER OF WOMEN , MERO GHAU TIMI NAHASE PO DUKHCHHA; SESH YUDDHA; SADAK DEKHI SADAK SAMMA; ITI HASHKA BAKI PRISH THAS ; HAMI BASANTA KHOJIRAHEKA CHHAUN ETC> which were all written & directed by Ashesh Malla .

Which is your favourite character of all Sarwanam`s plays?

→I`ve played many characters but in TUWALOLE DHAKEKO BASTI; I`ve played as Sarwananda, an antagonist < a villian > That was my favourite role .

How do you see the future of artists in Sarwanam ?

→Where there is commitment, there is everything. One who is truly commited will get satisfaction & success both. Honesty is also needed for that .

How do you see Sarwanam in Nepali theater?

→Sarwanam has driven Nepali theater. If we minus it from Nepali theater, theater itself will be neutral. Sarwanam lies in the 1st position of Nepali theater. From the point of view of experiments, technologies, actinig & the commitment of the artists, Sarwanam is the backbone of Nepali theater. Sarwanam has been launching dramas by feeling & considering the pain & problems of remote villages or country side of nepal.

As an actor

…which character do you find more interesting & you want to do?

→To express all kinds of emotions I find interesting. I`ve done this also. In a drama, I like doing whatever the director asks me to.

How do you prepare a role?

→1st from rehearshal , 2nd by own thinking, 3rd I` ve a habbit to revise my dialogues & role mentally every day.

Do you remember your 1st & 2nd plays(before Sarwanam)?

→Yes ! They were Maruvumima lekhak (desert writer) & Mukunda Indira.

Literature, Music and beyond

I `ve heard that you are writer too? Is that true? Can you tell something about this?

→ Yes! I used to write poetry but nowadays it´s been less. Few years ago I published one story book (CHHAP).

What do you enjoy doing in general? How often do you listen to music?

→ Whatever makes me feel happy, I do . Yes ! Extremly!

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

→Folk Song which has good lyrics, melody& language

esp. „Nachideu Maruni aanganaima chhamchham“

Can you name your favourite book?

“CRIME AND PUNISHMENT” – By Fiodor Dostoyevsky

“AN OLD MAN & SEA” – By Earnest Hemmingway

“MAN & SUPERMAN” – By George Bernard Shaw

→ But above all these, I like William Shakespeare’s MAC BETH most.

May I ask why?

→Because in the beginning of the story Macbeth is a respectable hero but because of his own high obsession he dies becoming the antagonist. So one shouldn’t be that obsessed.

And what about you?

→I’ve never been that much obsessed, because I know it’s never good for one. One should learn to be satisfied.

Everyone eats the same grain. A billionaire doesn’t eat diamonds. It is never only the farmer who eats grain.

Either/ Or

~ Tea or coffee? →Black tea

~ Optimist or pessimist? →Optimistic! One should be optimistic to live a long


~Kathmandu or countryside? → Kathmandu

~Proscenium or street theater? → Both!

~ Favourite Food? → Sweets! Kheer (sweet rice, cooked in milk)

At your age you still eat sweets? Aren’t you afraid of diabetes?

→I used to have diabetes and high blood pressure, bronchitis and two heart attacks already.

And nowadays?

→Now I’m healthy.

How is that possible?

→Because for 18 years, I’ve been practicing yoga. I am a vegetarian and I also don’t smoke. But sometimes I chew tobacco.

Many people say there is no real development in Nepal. What do you say?

→It`s just nonsense .

Having experienced so different phases of Nepali history, what is your message to the young generation?

→Don`t loose earth hearing the claps & don`t loose hope having the slaps <rough translation from nepali (“Tali sunera namattiu, gaali sunera naaattiu“) >. An artist is one student who always tries to learn.

Thank you for sharing your interesting points and feelings with us!

1 Response to Interview with Om Mani-Ba

  1. Sampada malla says:

    thanks a lot for sharing the article…it will be great if u also include the writer’s name…
    hoping for more such interviews…also, lets start intreviewing foriegn theatre groups too…we can start with the ones that we have contacts like Ari of Netherlands, Pobchan of Thailand…

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