A self-employed guy- A lesson for Nepalese Youths


Artical by Narayan kadariya

Tea shops are preferably the places most conducive to leisurely gossips for people laden with the burdens of daylong

Language translated by Samir Kharel

Language translated by Samir Kharel

chores. For people in Nepal, a typical day begins with the savoury sips of tea in the morning.

Tea as well as chit-chat enthusiasts through the countryside and city-street tea shops from early dawn. Heated arguments and debates over international and local affairs take place in these “tea conferences”. Sambhu Karki, a fifty four year old has been a witness to these tea conferences for more than a score year which immediately brings to mind that he owns a tea-shop. Having been born and raised in Dolakha, with some of his youthful years spent as a labourer in a sugar factory at a place called Vaishali in India, Sambhu Dai might have barely imagined that his life would be so inextricably bound with sugar ! He had entered for some cause in the Kathmandu valley in 2051 BS and despite the fact that he has been undertaking several professions, his primary purpose lies with his tea business which has seen much expansion and fame over the years. A narrow lane in Putalisadak  leading into the ground floor of a building west of the road is where Sambhu Dai’s tea-shop is located. This tea-shop has been asserting its presence in this cozy spot for almost a score year.Sambhu Karki4

Alike other tea-shops, Sambhu dai’s business also entertains enormous clientele from early morning. The only thing that sets this location apart from other like places is that it is crammed with music studios, companies and schools, which features attributable to the huge presence of people pertaining to the music industry. Apparently, like in all the walks of life, a person who has registered himself/herself as a big name by some noteworthy accomplishments in music is known as a celebrity.

To this regard, the default venue for celebrities(Chiefly musical) to talk business and ambitions over leisurely sips of tea is indubitably Sambhudai’s tea shop. Anurag Sitaula, who has been running a music school nearby for the past fifteen years and Bikram Rai, the first Nepali idol are the frequenters of the shop. Veteran music composer Raju Singh and Arjun Pokharel, who has lately been acquiring much acclaim in the field of Nepali film music composition, singer Yuwaraj Chaulagain, renowned lyricists and music composers Kali Prasad Banskota, lyricist Bimal Gautam, music composer Kalyan Singh, film directors Gopal Chandra Lamichhane and Raju Giri, film producer Shakti Ballav Ghorasaini are among the reputed figures who like to have lively talks over warm sips of tea.

Sambhu Karki3Students from various TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GRE, GMAT consultancies around also flock Sambhudai’s “chiyapasal” for their fill of tea and cigarettes. Artists and celebrities who itinerantly perform programmes countrywide and abroad on regular basis like Pramod Kharel, Satya-Swaroop , Babu Bogati, Prakash Timilsina, Durga Kharel, Kamal Khatri, Kamal Chhettri, Bunu Rai Manandhar also set apart some time from their hectic schedule to step into Sambhu Dai’s Chiya Pasal.

Hence this place can aptly be termed as a stronghold of artists and celebrities. Clad in neat clothes with a “Dhaka Topi” coupled with his short stature and an ever present heart-warming smile, Sambhu Dai has appealed his customers: be it a new college goer or people older than himself and is affectionately and invariably addressed to as “Sambhu Dai”. Without delimiting his vision to a tea shop which he had installed to earn a living after his entry to Kathmandu, Sambhu Dai has diversified and expanded his business to water industry at Dakshin dhoka. He has his own set of vehicles to truck water and he has elevated his tea-shop to a restaurant. Through both businesses, he has created employment for eight to ten people.

Reminiscing his toilsome past, a jolly Sambhu dai admits that he has strove and uplifted himself out of much hardships. Though he hasn’t had much formal education, Sambhu Dai answers the queries about life and the World in a much metaphysical tone, “Life finally succumbs to the inevitable death. It is all about forging a pretension to live until one’s life gives in to death. Till then, people follow different lines of profession.”A father of four sons, Sambhu Dai was determined to lead his sons to college though he himself hadn’t had much formal education. But things didn’t go par his expectations, which could have easily disheartened anyone but Sambhu Dai, who bears no grievance but smiles resolutely.

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Himself being barely a secondary school graduate, Sambhu Dai has somehow managed to see his sons go to college. Those who have forsaken studies have shouldered the family business. The communication or generation wall which typically exists in ordinary medium class Nepalese family is lacking in Sambhudai’s family where father and sons are friends or pleasant companions. He only disapproves the abroad going plan made by his second son Shyam and it is absolutely normal to be opposed to something like that for a person like Sambhu Dai who has spent his entire life being quite inextricably tied up with his family. His gentle and sociable nature has won the hearts of his acquaintances who pass on copious praises to his meekness.

These compliments seem well-founded, as during all these years in a place like Kathmandu, he has neither been reported to have ill-spoken to anyone nor there has been a single known person bearing grudge against him. He is soft-spoken and as sweet as the tea he prepares. He is poised to help anyone he knows in need. No one has to check their pockets prior; as no one has yet been harshly spoken to for being unable to pay the billsowing to one reasonable cause or the other. He offers his pleasantries and aptly deals with those people instead. “There is love rather than sugar blended with Sambhu Dai’s tea”, says the music composer Ram Sitaula, who has developed such an intimacy with Sambhudai and his tea that he feels himself addicted to the latter.

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Music composer Arjun Pokharel also bears the same notion. Regardless of the cups of tea he takes elsewhere, his craving for tea is not satiated unless he steps into Sambhu Dai’s . For him, tea time at Shambhu Dai is an ideal moment to discuss about or zero in on different aspects of music. He has witnessed many social, political and economic changes during this period, as well as the massive exodus of youths abroad for foreign employment. Sambhu Dai doesn’t  feel good about youths moving abroad and he complains that there are ample cultivable stretches of

land laying waste due to lack of farm hands, where youths could utilize their energy and earn income. He also adds that youths ought to take various vocational and self-employment training’s and grab among the plethora of opportunities waiting to be explored and exploited in cities and villages. Indeed, Sambhu Dai himself is an archetypal materialization or a perfect model of the very opinion he upholds.