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Aruna Lama - Nightingale of Nepali Music

By DT Correspondent on March 20,2009

Aruna Lama - Nightingale of Nepalese Music

It was on September 9, 1945 in a small settlement of Ghoom Pahar, a baby girl was born. Surya Bahadur Lama and Sanmaya did least know that this little girl would one day become the voice of the Nepali people and would charm many a listener and get to be known around the world as the Nightingale of the Hills. Inspired by her uncle CB Lama she started to sing at the tender age of seven and never looked back from then. She won the Music Competition organized by the Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sangh in the year 1956 at the age of 11. The great Ambar Gurung then groomed her since 1958.

On the 11th of July 1963 Aruna's life took a different turn. She got married to Saran Pradhan a musician, lyricist and composer. With a married life the whole scenario changed and she would sing lesser and was seen lesser. Soon after persuasion from all the other musicians and artists she came back to the scene again. The likes of Karma Yonzon, Gopal Yonzon, Ambar Gurung , Shanti Thatal, Narayan Gopal, Mani Kamal Chettri ,Dibya Khaling all composed music that was to be voiced by her. This brought her back to the center stage and she was acclaimed as one of the best Nepali female singers of all time.

1974 saw another big turn in Aruna's life. She lost her husband and she was left with two children and a whole life ahead. She struggled through the difficulties of life and started to work at the Chitfund from where she soon found work at The Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare Office and served there till 1998. She was strong willed and she looked after her children and never deprived them of any requirements. Besides working she also kept up with her music and carried on the glory of the Nepali people.

With her beautiful voice she has captured the hearts of many listeners and good wishers and her contribution to The Nepali Music world has been a big one.

As they say that all good things must come to an end, Aruna Lama passed away on the 4th of February 1998. Though she is gone her voice lives on and her memories shall remain in the hearts of the Nepali people forever.

Darjeeling and its people will always remember her as "The Nightingale of the Hills".
Date Of Birth    :    9th Sept 1945
Father/Mothers Name    :    Late Surya Bahadur Lama/Late Sanmaya Lama
Education    :    Mungpoo Primary School, Jalapahar, St Teresa's 1956. Completed Graduation in Arts from Darjeeling Govt. College
Occupation    :    Worked as Assistant Teacher in St Alphonsus (1965),Worked as Inspector of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare till 1997
Achievements/Awards    :    
Sangit Puraskar (1966)
Sur Sringar Sammelan Puraskar (1966)
Mitrasen Puraskar (Asam Nepali Sahitya /Sanskritik Parisha,Dibrugarh (1975)
Dishari Puraskar (Kolkata 1980)
Bhanu Academy Puraskar (Darjeeling 1982)
Nepali Chalchitra Puraskar (Maiti Ghar 1983)
Chinnlata Gett Puraskar (Kathmandu-Nepal 1992)
Urvashi Rang Puraskar (Kathmandu-Nepal 1992)
Mitrasen Sangeet Puraskar (Gangtok-Sikkim 1995)
Gorkha Dakshin Bahu 4th (Kathmandu-Nepal 1996)
Sadhna Puraskar (Kathmandu-Nepal)
Nightingale of the Hills-Hindustan Recording Sangsthan-Kolkata
Swar Kinnari-Sitaram Sahitya Pratisthan ,(Kathmandu-Nepal)
Swar Samagri-Arunanjali Programme(Kathmandu-Nepal)
Accolades and Programmes    :    Raag Rajat(Rajat Jayanti) Gorkha Rangamanch - Darjeeling 1981

Arunanjali- Pragya Bhawan-Kathmandu-Nepal

Aruna Lama Swarnim Saanjh-Pragya Bhawan-Kathmandu-Nepal

Source: http://darjeelingnews.net/aruna_lama.html

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comment Comments (10 posted)
  • image Some where it is written that -" Aruna Lama was highly renowned and talented singer of Nepal." Is it true ? She was born and brought up in Darjeeling and also she was govt.servant in India . So she was singer of India .Her mother tongue was Nepali . Nepali is also an Indian language. Thank you .
    (Posted by Mupa Baral, September 5, 2010, 3:38 PM)
  • image She came, She Sang and She became Immortal...A legend whose songs have certainly transcended time and lives on to this very day....Her contribution to Nepali Music has certainly been gigantic in nature....Kudos DT for yet another great effort to highlighting such great and eminent personalities...We certainly need to reflect for once upon their great deeds, honour and respect their contributions..It is people like them we must prevent prevent from fading into oblivion...Preserving our culture and heritage is the clarion call....Expect more such aritcles from u in the days to come...Keep it up !
    (Posted by zamyang, April 4, 2009, 1:56 AM)
  • image I remember “Aruna Lama Night” in Darjeeling 1981 like yesterday, where Aruna didi sang her heart out along with Kumar Subba and Karma Yonzon that was the night I shall remember forever. Aruana didi’s sweetness and calm nature was reflective of her voice and depth of her singing. She was one of the ever shining star of Darjeeling and the Nepalese music world. We should all learn from her the pride and beauty Darjeeling once brought to the world unconditionally and in rain and shine with total purity and joy. May her soul rest in peace. (California USA)
    (Posted by a Nepali from USA, March 21, 2009, 5:23 PM)
  • image Hi, Needs some more rectification. Aruna Lama - Nightingale of Nepalese Music
    (Posted by Arun Kumar, March 21, 2009, 9:50 AM)
  • image Songs of Aruna Lama quote " Pohor sal ta.......Yas pali ta manai daryo" Unquote. These powerful and touching words of her songs are still afresh in my memories to this day. Absolutely brilliant songs. and my respect to her music life always.
    (Posted by Hubert Lama. England, UK., March 21, 2009, 8:35 AM)
  • image Kudos Guys, Now this is the stuff I really like about Darjeeling Culture not some Idol crap. I really like the article and her contributions to Nepali Music. I am a Rock Musician myself but I have the deepest respect for our Nepali culture and Nepali Music. Darjeeling Nepali Music should have an archive to preserve all the past contributions and honour them. How about an article on Shanti Thatal next? That would be awesome. Thank you.
    (Posted by Sudip Mukherjee, Toronto, Canada, March 21, 2009, 5:31 AM)
  • image Aruna Lama didi, the voice of our Gorkha Nari. May you live forever through your lovely songs.
    (Posted by Ex Gorkha., March 21, 2009, 1:19 AM)
  • image Dear Nitesh, thank you for your suggestion, rectified as per suggested (DT Admin)
    (Posted by DT Admin, March 21, 2009, 12:50 AM)
  • image Her time was the age of Golden Melodies. We shall never find another Aruna Lama and Narayan Gopal. The day of melody song seems to be gone with the wind. Rap has completely overwhelmed the new generation. The emotional songs are being neglected everywhere in the world. Now we are compelled to listen to limited songs rendered by the two supremos (Queen of Hill & Emperor of Voice) again and again. Those are days that our hearts were truly touched by their songs. Aruna’s “Nepali!!!….Gourov garchhai aaphnai panma, ghamandi chahi hoinau hai….” Narayan Gopal’s “Virta ko chino vir ko santaan, sahid ragat lahure ko nisani……..” are the true gifts to Nepali people. Indeed they have indebted us forever. Dj people should establish a musical school in Aruna Lama’s name to keep her name floating in Nepali music lovers like one at Kathmandu which is dedicated to Narayan Gopal. Hope somebody at Dj listening.
    (Posted by A son of Dj, March 20, 2009, 11:06 PM)
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