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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Busking in Dharan

February 24th

After Jaime, Rachel, Emma and I finished the scavenger hunt with time to spare, we decided to sit on a bench and write a song about our brief time in Dharan. Emma, our talented songwriter, spit out lyrics pretty fast. We were singing the song and laughing then as we got sillier and a bit more bold, we raised our volume and got a few glances from passersby. We kept going and at some point one of us suggested putting out a hat on the ground as a joke. Jaime pulled a hat out of his bag and Emma, Rachel and I worked on some background vocals to really give the song some character. Laughing at ourselves the whole time, we combined our new vocals with our carefully choreographed moves, and without realizing it, we looked down and saw five rupees in the hat. Soon people started standing off to the side to watch, and we even started getting requests like one man asked for a Nepali song which Rachel was very eager to sing them her favorite Nepali song that her host family taught her. We threw in some Justin Bieber, Wonderwall and of course we had to sing Hallelujah. Within 10 minutes we had somehow accumulated 200 rupees in our hat. It happened so fast and the whole time we were completely dumbstruck and in awe that this was happening. It felt like a scene from a movie. One guy even started serving us cups of hot chiya. (Now, for those who don’t believe, don’t worry we have video evidence but honestly it still feels like it was a dream.) When we finally decided it was time to go, we gathered our stuff, took a bow, and told our captivated audience “DHANYABAAD!!” then swiftly walked away with the biggest smiles on our faces. Once we turned the corner we burst out in laughter with wide eyes in disbelief of the events that had just taken place.

We eagerly shared with the group our story but also expressed concern that we felt guilty about taking peoples money. Our instructors assured us that since our intentions weren’t malicious or seriously seeking money it was okay. Then I remembered how the people who gave us money had the biggest smiles on their faces and looked so encouraging of us. We split the money evenly between the four of us. I still wasn’t sure what to think of the money we had earned. When talking with Rishi he urged me not to spend it but instead to save it so that I’ll always remember the time I performed on the streets of Nepal. Best four and a half hours I ever spent in Dharan.

…Now for anyone wondering what the song was that led to our moment of fame, I’m happy to share that with you now:

“We were walking in Dharan when we came across a man who said ‘Hey good looking, you want some momos and jam?’
We said ‘Hey sir, please help us on our way we’re just trying to find an internet cafe’
doo do do doooooo
doo do do dooooooooo *for dramatic effect*

It wasn’t anything crazy but with a lot of enthusiasm, laughter and contagious smiles I guess anything can happen? As for our group, we’re currently on a hiatus but rest assured we’re already working on some new stuff and are hoping to perform on the streets of Patan. Stay tuned.