उस्ताद साहिँला (Ustad Sahila)

कालो ठेकी नारान / Kalo Theki Naran
(Recorded: BS1991/ AD 1934)

कालो ठेकी नारान काली काठको,  
रातो ठेकी दारको
दिनै आउँछ, रिङ्ग्दै घुम्दै, 
जोवन एकै बारको, 
हजुर कर्मै रिसाउने

हातमा बाला नारान कानमा सुना
माइतीमा लाउदैनन 
गएको जोवन, बहेको पानि, 
फर्केर आउँदैन, 
हजुर कर्मै रिसाउने 

साँहिलाजी, चन्दनीको उकालीमा / Sahilaji Chandani Ko Ukalima Laula Thulo Bar Maya Lai
Singer: Ustad Sanhila
Recorded in early 1930s   (YOUTUBE)

ताल मुनी माछीलाई /Taalmuni Machelilai Laideu Panchi Jaal
Singer: Ustad Sanhila

उस्ताद साहिँला (Ustaad Sanhila, 1894-1957) राणाकालिन नेपालको चर्चित गायक हुनुहुन्थ्यो । उहाँको वास्तविक नाम अष्टमान श्रेष्ठ थियो | AD1934 मा रेकर्ड भएको वहाँको "कालो ठेकी नारान काली काठको" बोलको गीत राणाकाल र AD1951 मा प्रजातन्त्र प्राप्ति पछि रेडियो नेपालको स्थापना भए पछि पनि धेरै बर्ष सम्म अत्याधिक चर्चित रहेको थियो । 

From the web:-

Ustad Sahila (Devanagari: उस्ताद साँहिला) (1894-1957), born Astaman Shrestha was a Nepalese musician, singer, and composer.

Astaman Shrestha was known as Ustad Sahila after the grand popularity of the 1930s song “Sahilaji Chandani Ko Ukalima Laula Thulo Bar Maya Lai”. With the song "KaloThekiNaran Kali Kathko", the Nepali folk music scene witnessed a new turn. He did sing numerous numbers but this particular song brought Sahila immense popularity. This song not only introduced him as a fabulous singer but also earned him the epithet of an 'evergreen artist'. 

Sahila was born in Dewapatan, Pashupati, Kathmandu to his father Bhaktaman Shrestha and mother Guheswori Shrestha. Sahila was trained in music under the guidance of Pandit Laxmi Kanta, Ustad Surya Mishra, Ustad Shiva, and Ustad Gafur Khan. Besides learning the fine arts of music, he worked on a daily wage basis. For around 16 years he stayed in Calcutta broadening his knowledge in Music. He also learned to speak Hindi, Bengali, and English and above all, he excelled in music especially singing. The musical journey had begun for him.

Even after residing in Calcutta for at over 16 years, there were no major changes in Sahila. The way he spoke, his thoughts, and his style of living were all the same Nothing had changed. He spoke the typical Nepali language, used to wear typical Nepali attire, and at the same time sang typical Nepali songs. He was a typical Nepali ambassador. Even Swor Samrat Narayan Gopal wrote a piece on the patriotism of Sahila.

After returning back from Calcutta, Sahila started visiting Palpa on a regular basis. He married Sanu Maiya Shrestha with whom he had been having an affair for a while. She gave birth to a lovely daughter and simultaneously his musical career took up steam. Everyone wanted him over to their place for a singing session which in turn resulted in him traveling extensively to various places in the country. "Kalo Theki" was doing wonders.

Sahila had recorded his first song in 1990 BS in Calcutta. That number also became quite popular. It won't be wrong to put that Sahila is that foremost singer who started recording songs only in the later years of his life.

Then Sahila had only one mission in his life and that was to sing songs and do something in music. For this, he went to every nook and corner of Kathmandu and wherever he went he used to tell about what happened there to his wife in detail. She was this perfect wife and spend his entire life serving him. Sadly, she expired before time. This incident divested Sahila to the core. He was left with no one around than his small kid. Whenever he used to feel lonely, sad, and depressed he used to find comfort in his daughter and used to cry his heart out and also started living life by looking to his daughter. But fate had more tragedy stored in for him. His one and only daughter also died and this made Sahila a lifeless person.

Now, it was more than hard for Sahila to live life alone. When he reached 40 years of old due to his relatives and friend's constant nagging he decided to marry again. There were many who wanted their daughter to get married to him...after all Sahila was already a prominent person. In 1991 BS he got settled with Belayeti Devi who was a daughter of Kaji Man Karmacharya from Bhaktapur. Soon after the marriage, they migrated to Calcutta.

Back in Calcutta, he again started singing. Then he sang some of the songs written by him and some pen down by Bal Krishna Sama. During those years the men who continuously encouraged Sahila to record songs were Sahu Bahadur Lal Joshi and Sahu Janak Lal Joshi. Soon after recording, Sahila again reached the pinnacle of popularity. Now he was not only singing but he was also singing what he felt deep inside.

"Taalmuni Machelilai Laideu Panchi Jaal
Yeuta Lagey Bichod Huncha Jodi Laijau Kaal Maya Lai!"
Singer: Ustad Sahila

Sahila was also the personal favorite of Chandra Shumser Rana. When Chandra Shumser Rana came along with his daughter in Baba Maharani's palace in Bal Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, India, Sahila was also asked to come and stay in the palace. Here, Sahila used to sing songs, ghazal, and bhajan to Chandra Shumser Rana's daughter. He was even appointed a job there to look after the kids there. Due to this, he worked there for six good years and one day when he decided to come back to Nepal again he was given Rs 12,00 by Baba Maharani.

During 1990 BS, Sahila represented the modern Jhyaurey singer. That time, there was no one who fitted the bill to compete with him. He was such a caliber singer that he could even sing non-stop for hours. He was also a renowned ghazal and a bhajan singer to such an extent that the ghazal he sang was never copied by any other singers around. The famous and the exuberant Sahila expired on Magh 15, 2013 BS and left-back memories and his creations.


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