Transcribed by Abish Shakya
Photographs by Satyan Shrestha
Hey, I’m WAVE Bro, a fun-loving stylish mascot of WAVE Magazine. Though I’ve been introduced to you today, I’ve a connection of blood and bone with Nepal’s first youth magazine since its birth because I am WAVE Bro, I am the WAVE Magazine, and I am everything under WAVE’s purview. And from this month, I am on my journey in becoming 25 years young; thus, I will be taking you to the retrospection of my bygone days with my story transcribed with my avatar of WAVE Magazine.
I was born in August 1994 to Yuvakar Rajkarnikar, my first-ever editor. I’m not trying to brag but this is the coolest thing that has happened to me. I was published by V&G Publication, and I debuted in the Nepali market with a price tag of Rs 12; as many as 2,000 of my first issue were sold-out. In my second penetration in the market, I hiked my price to Rs 15 but my readers did not mind it because they really loved everything I was talking about.
Now, I am soon becoming 25 years young and throughout these years, I’ve been taken care by many experts, and I’ve always felt good to be under their custody. Once I was under the custodianship of Himal Media and internationally-acclaimed senior journalist Kanak Mani Dixit was once my guardian. I’ve learnt a lot from him as well as from Kashish Das Shrestha, former writer who became the editor later. In March 2013, Annapurna Media took over me from Himal Media, and I’m still with the Big Brother Ritesh Criss.
“Along with music, DJ scene has also improved. When I was young, I used to go to Moonlight Discotheque, but today, I go to IBYZA and Deja Vu and dance to the music from DJs. I’ve even grooved to the music of international DJ’s like Diplo, Oakenfold, DJ Shaan and DJ Sa.”
Malvika Subba, Miss Nepal 2002, became my editor and I learnt a lot about fashion during that time. Soon, Subhasini dijju took over me and she used to take me to Honacha for our afternoon snack once in a blue moon. I shall apologise for not mentioning all my guardians; however, I will be doing my best to praise them in my special issue of August 2019. Anyway, I’m with the Editor Latshering Glan today, the guy who has remained in becoming my admirer since my birth.
Though I’ve been under the custody of many experts, I’ve remained in becoming a gadget freak, a bonafide music lover, a sports’ enthusiast, a fashion police, a social activist, and I’ve appeared in many more avatars. I’m so happy, and I’ll continue doing the same for many years to come.
In my first issue, I had a section with lyrics of songs and almost all people appreciated this. As a result, I started coming out with a songbook as a supplement every month, along with a poster of music icons. Readers even sent me letters requesting me to publish both English and Nepali songs, and I accepted their request. But later, I stopped coming out with songbook and poster because rights related to royalty became strong. There was a time when I had also collaborated with New Media Pvt. Ltd. and produced WAVE CD, a compilation of popular song. Today, I am thinking whether or not I shall repeat doing the same.
“Can’t deny but I’ve met plenty of pretty girls all these years who were fortunate to be on the cover, if not in the middle spreads of fashion or beauty sections. Our photographers have made these pretty girls look like angels.”
At that time, people were curious and had no idea from where they could get youth-related information and updates. So, I would find my mailbox (P.O.Box: 9220) remaining full all the times, and most of the letters would be about love, heartbreaks, and ‘letters to the editor’, coming not only from different parts of Nepal but also from countries like Russia, India, Hong Kong, etc.
Besides such expressions, I would also receive queries from readers on hard topics related to sexuality, psychology, and suicide. By consulting with legal advisors and doctors, I would answer them in sections like ‘Young Problems’ and ‘Psychological View’, and I believe these sections had well-explained the reality of youth of that time. But when I started receiving plenty of queries, I even came up with the sections like ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Connexions Exposed’that let my readers know themselves better and become my pen-pals respectively.
When I started the section ‘Teen Talks’—that later became ‘Young Ideas’—I started meeting young people in focus group discussions where were discussed on topics like abroad studies, drug abuse, bunking school, bullying, identity crisis, generation gap, superstitions, virginity, sex education, euthanasia, eve teasing, HIV/AIDS, gender biases, etc. Realising the depth of such youth issues, I even started to publish in-depth cover stories. Even today, I’m mobilizing good journalists to dig-out youth’s issues of greater concerns and publishing it in every issue.
The internet culture was getting big in 2000, and WAVE had gone digital with wavemag.com.np and emails were coming into email@example.com. I fetched some interesting websites and posted them in LINKS OF THE MONTH. I also conducted WWW2002 (WAVE Web Winner) contest and discovered best web designers at that time. With them, I also learned to code a bit. Today, I’m reinventing the website and much cooler website is coming soon.
One of WAVE’s icons has been the global-trotter Puskar Shah who started his journey to paddle around the world in 1998 to spread the message of peace and traveled to 150 countries around the world. I let his stories get publish on every issue and updated how his journey was going. Today, I met three cyclists who have followed the footsteps of Pushkar dai. In the article ‘The Venture of the Global Paddlers-To-Be’, published in this issue, I’ve written how the trio—Anish Dhakal, Dilip Chettri, and Nirmal Baral—have already returned after their successful venture in over 19 countries and how they are preparing to start-up their second phase of the journey.
“Like you, I have cried for so many times. I had cried a lot in 2001 because it was the year when Royal Massacre had happened. Next was in April 2015 when the earthquake struck, killing around 9000 Nepali.”
It’s hard to believe that I’ve got to meet many celebrities throughout my journey. In my earlier days, I got to meet personalities like Narayan Wagle, Nhyoo Bajracharya, Bhusan Dahal, and Ram Krishna Dhakal. Believe me, they were in their twenties and they were recognized as ‘Young Achievers’. Singers such as Deep Shrestha and Amber Gurung were prominent when WAVE began. Fans started demanding to meet celebrities like Raju Lama, Nabin Bhattarai, Sugam Pokharel, and others, and I started quizzes to find lucky winners who could meet them.
The music scene has changed now, especially with hip-hop becoming trending. One of my best hip-hop memories is with 9double7, Avinash Ghising, Sarad Singh, Nepsydaz, Jehovah, Sammy Samrat, The Unity, Apar Gurung, DA69, Nirnaya da’ NSK, Pranil Timalsina, Mad Zone, and Aid Ray. Today, things got improved, and organizations like Nepal Hip-hop Foundation programs such as Kathmandu Bboy City brought national and international experts in one platform, and I learned the real essence of hip-hop from them. It was a proud moment when Wild Ripperz secured the second position in the dance competition ‘Dance Plus 2’, and I excitedly took them on my cover.
Rap Battle has become a next big thing, and I am following them regularly. Kolin bro, the founder of Raw Barz, has become one of my closest patrons today. But I was so sad when we lost widely-loved rapper Yama Buddha and musician Rahul Rai.
Back in the 1990s, I went to many musical concerts, and BICC (Birendra International Convention Centre) —built in 1993—used to be one of the most frequent arenas to host concerts, but today, it has become the home of Federal Parliament of Nepal. I don’t know when we can see concerts in its big arena again. But I do not regret, because Tudhikhel and Purple Haze Rock Bar now offer best stages for concerts; I have seen Bryan Adams performing in Dashrath Rangashala and Eric Martin of Mr. Big purple Haze Rock Bar. Moreover, ‘Women In Concert’ has also been in full swing with artists such as Ani Choyang Dolma, Abhaya Subba, Nattu, Kunti Moktan, Ciney Gurung over the years, and International Jazz Festivals have exposed to world-class jazz music. There were some days when my dreams had shattered. I was excited to see Deep Purple and Salman Khan performing, but that dream hasn’t been fulfilled until today. I had even covered myself with the cover of Deep Purple but they didn’t come to Nepal to perform; that was sad.
“I’m soon becoming 25 years YOUNG. Come join me, and let’s celebrate.”
Besides witnessing such huge-scale concerts, I have also organized many concerts to date. I organized my first-ever concert at Sano Gaucharan Football Ground. Artists and bands like Nepathya, 1974AD, Nima Rumba, Muti& Revival were just starting at that time. I also organized WAVE 95’ and WAVE Show 95’, music and fashion shows. The 5th-anniversary WAVE T-Mobile Concert was one of the best concerts that I had organized by teaming with HITS FM 91.2 (100 MHz at that time). It was a concert tour on a truck that had Cobweb and Cadenza performing at three locations—Bhaktapur, Lainchour, and Jawalakhel— on the same day. I have kept the legacy alive all these days, and recently, I organised WAVE Rock Tour and WAVE Rock Festival where bands like Edge Band, Mongolian Heart, Sabin Rai with the Elektrix and the Pharaoh, 1974 AD #thenewlineup, Albatross, The Act, Jindabaad, Newaz, and others had headlined the shows that had happened in many cities of Nepal.
In 2002, I got to meet some amazing young guitar players who had participated in the guitar competition WAVE Hot Licks 2002. The Sprite Band Challenge 2008 was also one of the exciting competitions where fresh bands were coming to compete and ICMC also gave a chance for bands to flourish. Besides just performing in Nepal, E.Quals were competing in the Global Battle of the Bands in the UK and underground music platform ktmROCKS were holding a fundraiser gig for them. In recent years, I’ve met international musicians from bands as Asian Metal Fest and Nepal Deathfest have brought many good bands from outside Nepal. While Napalm Death from the UK came to Nepal for the Metal Mayhem 4, Silence Festival has been headlined by Behemoth from Poland and Twelve Foot Ninja from Australia. Not forgetting, I also met AK47 Music—Nepal’s first rock duo—and Nirvana Bista, the talented guitarist who has been recognized as Guinness Book of World Record as ‘The Fastest Guitarist in the World’. Recently, I did not only watch shows of an international franchise like Nepal Idol, Boogie Woogie, Roadies, and The Voice, but I’ve highlighted all of them.
All these years, I have also met many sports personalities, and I was mostly intrigued by the climbers of Nepal. This had influenced the First Inclusive Women’s Sagarmatha Expedition which had ten women scale Mount Everest. Even Nisha Adhikari and global-cyclist Pushkar Shah have scaled the world’s highest mountain, and I was so happy when I met them. Besides, I have met Paras Khadka and Sandeep Lamichhane, because of whom, my nose has swollen with pride. I also met Gaurika Singh, the pretty 15-year-old swimmer who was in the limelight during the 2016 Summer Olympics because she was only 13 years old at that time and she was the youngest Olympian. Man, she made all of us proud. Meeting them and learning about their victories, I’ve realized that nothing unites the nation as much as sports do.
When such big names are concerned, I cannot forget mentioning Nepali celluloid industry, too. In recent years, I’ve had the pleasure to watch great movies such as Loot, White Sun, Ghampani’, ‘Ma Yesto Geet Gaauchu’, ‘Prem Geet 2’, ‘Ae Mero Hajur’, ‘Chakka Panja 2’, ‘Kabbadi’, ‘Pashuati Prasad’, ‘Dying Candle’, ‘Kalo Pothi’, and others. More interesting for me was when I had chances to meet beautiful actors like Anmol KC, Shristi Shrestha, Namrata Shrestha, Priyanka Karki, and others.
Can’t deny but I’ve met plenty of pretty girls all these years who were fortunate to be on the cover, if not in the middle spreads of fashion or beauty sections. In the first few issues, my all pages were in ‘black and white’; however, these pretty girls have found themselves printed on the colored cover, inside spreads, and advertisements. Later, I started to have all-colored pages, and pretty girls started getting on every page, including ‘Skin Deep’, a section that provided beauty tips. Photographer Anup Prakash has made these pretty girls look like angels.
In recent years, I also administered ‘Face of WAVE’ challenge, from where many young boys and girls got a lucky chance to be on the cover story. Besides them, singers, actors, sportsperson, and others have landed on my cover. Photographers Arjun Shah, Sushant Pradhan, Satyan Shrestha and others have used their creativity to their fullest to bring the best out of them. In fact, Arjun Shah even created a beautiful calendar that featured burn survivors. I was highly appreciated for my effort in putting them on my cover. I must say I have brought the dreams of many people to being featured on magazine into a reality.
Like you, I have cried for so many times. I had cried a lot in 2001 because it was the year when the Royal Massacre had happened. Next was in April 2015 when the earthquake struck, killing around 9000 Nepali. I was, however, able to meet Babita Sedahi who had survived the collapse of our national monument Dharahara. Many Nepalis were in full swing helping people. Rajesh Hamal had gathered donations worth Rs. 1 billion while a few banks had donated huge sums for relief. Even Jackie Chan donated US$ 100,000. At this time, I, along with my team, was involved in plenty of relief work and wrote articles on safety and managing survival gears. Despite all that was going around, I decided to go ahead with my publication. So we spent countless hours at the Entrance Cafe close to our office in Pulchowk preparing the magazine.
Three years have passed since the earthquake and efforts of reconstruction are still going on. As similar to that, I’m also reconstructing myself. This time around, I am reinventing my website, and I’m soon coming up with an app as well. After all, I am celebrating in becoming 25 years young. To let you join me, I have been administering cool online contests from my Facebook page, the yearly contest being the special one because you will be able to win a limited edition The Beatles watch worth over Rs 1,50,000. Moreover, I’m preparing to conduct various campaigns and musical events the following year and celebrate my 25th anniversary in a much grander way in August 2019.
Let’s celebrate because I’m soon becoming 25 years YOUNG.
“I’ve remained in becoming a gadget freak, a bonafide music lover, a sports’ enthusiast, a fashion police, a social activist, and I’ve appeared in many more avatars. I’m so happy, and I’ll continue doing the same in many years to come.”