Towards Limitless Dreams: Buddha Lama

By Abish Shakya || Photo by: Pranab Joshi

With his tuneful singing and utter cuteness, the 20-year-old singer, Buddha Lama from Pokhara has become the boy of widest worship.

Lama’s musical journey began after his sister dragged him into the music scene and dragged him into enrolling at Triveni Sangitalaya institute. To learn music better, Lama later joined Gurukul institute and devoted himself to music from a fairly young age. He learned to play harmonium, along with other percussive and stringed instruments. Lama’s years of learning produced yields of successes: first being tagged as the fourth top singer in the singing competition.

Let us know something about you and your family.

I grew up in a family that was financially bereft. My father worked as a broomer at the office of Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City, and cleaned the streets every day. My mother collected meagre earning by doing small works. Besides, she keeps falling sick frequently. My sister is married, and I have a brother who is suffering from a type of paralysis. Due to his paralysis, he cannot work properly. In a way, we’ve always been struggling just to make a living.

When did you decide to start singing?

I always looked for ways to start earning money as soon as possible. Seeing my father work under the scorching sun everyday was painful for me, and I always wanted to get my family out of this misery. Eventually, I saw singing as my direction.

How did you start earning from singing?

Some people approached me with their proposal to invest in me. However, I prevented myself to rely on someone else. Later, I started singing chorus in a couple of children’s songs, but it was more about getting tips only. I also continued to perform in live shows, and because I was a kid then, I was underpaid.

Have you participated in singing competition before?

Yes. But since I was at a fairly young age and younger than other contestants, I didn’t really expect to win those competitions. I have to say I was too small, and my voice wasn’t fully developed.

Did you have any other career choices?

I did keep sports as an option. I’m a taekwondo ITF Black Bet 2nd Dan, and I’ve played national games. I’ve secured a gold medal as well. Besides, I’ve also played football matches. Now, I know that singing is the choice of career for me.

Anything that you’ve recorded?

I have recorded a few songs with my brother-in-law. He has been of a great support to me. I’ve even tried singing some songs of different genres, including rap and rock, but those are immature recordings; so, nothing too exciting.

Maybe you did receive some assistance?

Knowing my troubled financial state, many people have supported me. Some people had gifted me copies and pens. Since I was good at my studies, my teachers also loved me.

What drives you towards your dreams?

I’ve always wanted to get my family out of the misery and make them proud of me. I’ve always kept myself ready for the big competition. Finally, it was before me, and I jumped for it.

What were you thinking before, during and after the audition in Nepal Idol?

I did think Nepal Idol was too big for me. I also did think that judges might not take me in because I was too young. Besides, more experienced singing enthusiasts had auditioned. In the audition, I demonstrated a comedic scene, and I had thought I played my cards wrong; but thankfully, I got in. Upon returning home, I showed the golden ticket to my parents and shared that I was going to Kathmandu for the next round. This is when I knew I was one step closer to following my dream.

How do you like to sum-up your experiences in early rounds?

I did feel that the judges gave me difficult songs to sing than to other contestants. So, performing well was a challenge for me. However, I accepted the challenge taking Nepal Idol as the grandest opportunity, and made myself ready for anything. I pushed my limit and gave my best in all rounds. This was when I realised my potential. This made me even more confident and helped me put on a stronger performance in every advancing rounds.

You had faced the danger zone once. Were you confident that you would not get eliminated?

Everyone used to have their hearts racing on Fridays. We would look around and see fine singers, and we would have no idea which one of us was about to go home. Well, finding myself in the danger zone was frightening. But on the other hand, it was not a moment of happiness for me either because the one with whom I had spent happy moments was getting eliminated. Moreover, the flashback video projected in the screen used to make me even sadder to know that an exceptionally capable singer was going to step down from the stage.

How has Nepal Idol changed your personality?

It has unlocked my potential and personality. It has taught me to speak from my heart. Now, I’ve become more comfortable to present myself to the crowd and communicate with others. I’ve honed my singing aptitude. All in all, I’ve become confident to share my stories and face the reality.

A fun moment when you had laughed open-heartedly?

I had many fun moments with Pratap Das, Afsar Ali, Pratap Lama and Suraj Tamang. Suraj used to perform caricatures. In one instance, he enacted a drill of a wrestler. He lifted his shirt, but started counting his ribs. He was so natural (haha).

How has Nepal Idol changed your life?

After moving from Dhading to Pokhara, my family has suffered so much. It is said that god gives everyone a chance in their lifetime, and it came to me in the form of Nepal Idol. At a small age and a short span of time, my life has taken a complete turn. I’m happy that my family will not have to suffer the same fate as before.

What will you never forget about Nepal Idol?

I’ll never forget the stage, the judge and the camera behind which millions of audience stayed with their support for me. The Idol stage has changed my world, and it has given me the chance to shine.

What next after Nepal Idol?

Now, I want to become adorable, not only for people of my community but for everyone. I will pursue my career in music, and see people appreciating my musical works.

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