DREAMS Hall of Fame 2013 : Part l – Those Who Blew Us Away

December 26, 2013 , by Sewa Bhattarai, Leave your thoughts
DREAMS Hall of Fame 2013 : Part l – Those Who Blew Us Away » My Dreams Mag
The year that passed was almost a bumper year for Nepal. Our youngsters made us proud in one field after another. Sports, arts, music. You name it, they did it. DREAMS brings you some of these achievers who stole the limelight, and along with it, our hearts this year. 


The enthusiasm for Sports as a whole has changed a lot in recent years in Nepal. Thousands swarm to watch any match played in Dashrath Stadium or at the cricket pavilion at Kirtipur, whether or not the home team is involved. And when Nepal is playing any match, the representation of Nepal through posters, t-shirts and face paintings makes you forget the match and watch the viewers instead. 2013 is the year when we knew that sports craze is here to stay in Nepal!

Nepali Cricket team

There was only one ball left, and one run required for victory. The entire Nepal was on the edge of its seat, as the previous ball had just turned out to be a no-ball. But the last ball was bowled, and we had not just one, but four runs, winning comfortably at the last minute. With this dramatic finish, the Nepali cricket team gave us not just nails bitten to the half, but our first entry into a World Cup of any team sports. The boys made history! The crowds of sports enthusiasts who lined up at the airport to welcome Nepal’s newest heroes were an evidence of just how proud we all are of the team!


Image Source: cricnepal.com


Nepali Football team

Nepal has never been the SAFF champion. Even this time around, the title went to Afghanistan, but despite that, the game raised our morale no end. The Nepali team beat its traditional rival India, the first time in the history of SAFF championships, though Nepal-India match have been drawn before (in 2006). The victory was sweeter because India is a five-time SAFF champion. This victory has boosted the team’s as well as the Nepali people’s confidence no end. Now we know that Nepal is capable of giving as good as it gets in the international arena.


Image Source: goalnepal

Surez Gurung

Hong Kong based Surez has been boxing since he was 14, ever since police officer Danny Lawley introduced him to boxing. But this year has been special for him. He not only made his professional debut, but also won the match against Roldan Bullong from Philippines. For the troubled adolescent who was led away from the world of street fights into boxing, the sport has not only brought him success and fame but also changed his way of life. Currently he is training under Freddy Roach, who also trains world champion Filipino Manny Pacquiao. Wishing Gurung luck, let us celebrate the twenty-four year old flyweight’s punches with some (rum) punches of our own!

Surez Gurung

Image Source: Surez Gurung


Maya Sherpa

A triathlon is a rigorous exercise. It involves the three athletic sports of swimming, biking, and running. And Ironman Triathlon, specially, has been known for its long time (17 hours) and harsh conditions. Qualifying for the event is not joke, and Maya Sherpa prepared for it by swimming and running every day, and sacrificing her vacations to biking. She became the first Nepali to compete in this race. And to top it all, her race would actually benefit Empower1, a charity working for Nepali children. The lady has a strong heart, and that’s not just the muscles we are talking about!

Sherpas, who come from a line of mountain climbers, have traditionally lived in areas climbing which is an extreme sport for others. It is about time they showed the world what they are made of, and Maya has made a great start in that direction!

Maya Sherpa

Image Source: Maya Sherpa




Prajwal Parajuly

Prajwal Parajuly calls himself an accidental writer, since he never planned to be one. But his landing in the shortlist of the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize was no accident. His first book, a collection of short stories called “The Gurkha’s Daughter” was the result of persistent practice for several years. His stories are a wide variety of uniquely Nepali sentiments: Gurkhas, Bhutani refugees, troubles of finding a boy from a suitable caste in a foreign land, and the inner life of a girl tempted by a trafficker, among others. Writers of South Asian subcontinent have been telling stories of different facets of diasporic life for years, and it is great to have these stories of Nepali lifestyles gain notice. His next book, “Land where I flee” was recently launched, and here is hoping a similar success arc for this diasporic writer.

Rilan Grace PP

Image: Rilan Grace




2013 will forever be remembered as the year that Nepali beauties “made it” in the international arena. In 2012, Nagma Shrestha had made a start by finishing seventh in the Miss Earth competition, and Shristi Shrestha had raised our expectations by finishing in the top ten in three sections: Beach Beauty, Multimedia, and Dance. She was also the first Nepali to reach the quarterfinals of Miss World, but this year, dark horse Ishani Shrestha surprised us by finishing seventh, and by cinching our first trophy, Beauty with a Purpose. Nepali ladies seem to be very generous, for our Mrs. Nepal Rajani Thapa also bagged the philanthropy award in the Mrs. Globe competition held in China this year. Rojisha Shahi, first runner up of Miss Nepal, is meanwhile wowing judges wit her sartorial sense as she just bagged a silver medal for her evening gown. With all these goodies in kitty, we are sure it won’t be long before a Nepali lady comes home with the ultimate prize, and we wait with bated breath for that moment.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the world, 5’10” beauty Varsha Thapa is making waves of her own. Nepali models don’t come that tall. And when they do, they make it big. After debuting at the New York Fashion Week in 2012, Varsha walked the ramp for well known names like Jeremy Laing, Philip Lim, Kimberly Ovitz, and Prabal Gurung among others. Urban Planet, Satya Jewelry, Rouge Magazine, and UNIQLO were soon added to her resume. So in future, if we happen to see a familiar face in an international advertisement, we shouldn’t be surprised. And hopefully, this opens the doors of international glamour for other vertically blessed Nepali girls.


Image Source: Ishani Shrestha



Sanyukta Shrestha

This London based designer has been credited with “taking bridal fashion by storm” and for being “the driving force behind the future of bridal design in Britain.” What makes her so special? Sanyukta only uses fabric from fair-trade certified manufacturers, a reflection of her ethical beliefs. Her creations are prized as collectors’ items. Since starting her career with designing for the Miss Nepal pageant in 1998, Sanyukta went on to settle in the UK, where she has won notable fashion awards like Best Newcomer Wedding Award and Bridal Innovation Award. But this year, she outdid herself when her gown “Pippa” made from vintage paper she found under the floorboards of her new house, made it to the Fashion Museum in Bath. Along with this celebration of unique art, Sanyukta also celebrated the opening of her new store Behuli this year. And aren’t we proud that this star of the British fashion world chose a Nepali name for her store!


Image Source: lexlimbu.com



Bhim Niraula

When the “Sunday Morning love you” mania began, we did not know what hit us. Slowly, it became a rage, and all kinds of parodies popped up all over the place. In Nepal, the ten day banda generated the parody “Sunday morning banda” which was soon on everyone’s lips.

Once the hype died down, however, the vestiges of this song give us a lot to think about. With so many Nepalis in English-speaking countries, Nepalis’ engagement with English is, let’s say, at its peak. But why aren’t there good English songs in Nepal, like in other English speaking countries? How do you define a good song, one with good lyrics and music, or one which reaches out to many? If Bhim Niraula had a better accent, would we call it a good song? Why do we think a South American or European accent is cute, but not a Nepali accent? Why is it that we like Nepali lyrics sung to Western-style music (be it rap, rock, or any other), but not English lyrics to Nepali music?

There seems to be this entire world of English lyrics being sung in Nepali that we had never noticed before Bhim Niraula happened. Singing in English is the dream of many, and Bhim Niraula is the first person to make it big with this dream. Whether or not it encourages other Nepali singers to come out with songs in foreign languages, there is no doubt Bhim has given us a very memorable song that is appropriate for every season, even every day!


Image Source: Bhim Niroula




Nepathya wowed its fans with a first ever Nepali concert at Wembley Arena this year, and a hugely successful one at that. While starry eyed fans may not be able to take their eyes off of the band’s performance, the group of people that worked unseen to make this event a success also deserve our applause. For Wembley Arena is no small fry—Nepathya now joins the ranks of big names like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd that have previously performed on this stage. Parcha Productions and Subsonic Routes deserve a salute for pulling it off so smoothly, and putting our stars up there with global ones. We have become more confident of our performances—whether musical, dramatic, or dance, on stage—but the performers would be nowhere without the event managers to run things smoothly. Here is to hoping there are more exciting Nepali events all over the world in the future.


Image Source: Parcha Productions & Subsonic Routes




Sahara Sharma

Faith moves mountains, and who knows this better than Sahara Sharma, who was shortlisted for Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Short Film competition. The competition was for young filmmakers, and the subject was, predictably, faith. Raised in a city with more temples than houses, Sahara Sharma’s film By My Troth, about how faith influences four lives in Nepal, made it to the final five. This was the first time a Nepali landed in the list. The young filmmaker is ending the year on a high, since another of her films, Chasing Rainbows, was screened at Kathmandu International Mountain Festival in December. Receiving the prize for the Best Fiction at KIMFF proved that this is a movie worth chasing!


Image Source: Sahara Sharma


Sahara Shrestha

When graphic artist Sahara Shrestha landed up in New York in 2008 from Nepal, she perhaps did not realize that she came with a load of artistic baggage. Her latest collage “Transporters” contains various Nepali motifs including an image of a woman carrying the Ghantaghar, images, no doubt, that she herself had transported to the US. She calls Nepal “a nation of transporters,” so it’s perhaps no wonder that she is one. Today this collage has landed her the cover of “The Artist’s Catalogue” a journal that showcases the work of emerging young graphic artists. We expect Sahara to transport even more images of Nepal and help make Nepal a familiar vision for artists everywhere!


Image Source: Sahara Shreatha



Read About Other Group of Achievers This year in: Hall of Fame II

Text by: Sewa Bhattarai

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