After 12 years of ruling the comedy arena of Nepal Television, Hijo Aajaka Kura, the actor is highly inactive after the show stopped. “The show had to stop due to the political change, that I didn’t expect,” said Santosh Pant.
The show previously named “Aaja Bholi ka Kura” was renamed “‘Hijo Aajaka Kura” after 17th show, which continued up to 565 shows.
Santosh proudly says that he had established the “paved road” of comedy in Nepal, but the current comedy artists are digging the road and are making it similar to the current democracy in Nepal, with bumps everywhere.
By the age of nine, there wasn’t a limb he hadn’t managed to break. The child who acted on the stage from the tender age of three, and bagged gold medals awarded by the then late King Mahendra at the age of seven later grew up to be a well-known actor and a comedian. He has participated in a lot of awareness programs, acted in a whole lot of films as well as produced one of the most popular serials “‘Hijo Aajaka Kura” on Nepal TV.
Santosh Panta, the well known satirist, is neither a new name nor a new face to any of us. Even though a fortuneteller had warned his parents that he would fatally drown, he turned out to be a best junior diver. But he who had school in the morning had nothing to do other than swimming the rest of the day.
“We used to go through the gate to Balaju swimming pool when we had money for the tickets, and would jump the wall and cross the barbed wires when we didn’t,” says Panta, laughing. He recalls having to pay Rs 34 for his schooling, including tuition fees, lunch and bus fares when he studied at the Laboratory School in Kirtipur.
“I rode the bikes of our bus drivers when they were on duty and that’s how I learnt to ride,” says Panta mischievously. “I sometimes left their Kawasaki bikes in Chobar and sometimes somewhere else.”
Changing the talks, he adds, “Trying tobacco for the first time was one of the most disastrous experiences of my life. I threw up at the lunch that was ready to be served to students during the lunch time, and teachers knew it was because of the tobacco.” Needless to say, he never dared try it again.
Doing radio programs and gradually rising to Gai Jatra festivals by the age of 16, he had managed it all. So, Panta has many things to share, SLC being one of them. While he was sitting for the mathematics test in SLC examinations, a guard caught him cheating and warned him while he himself was teaching some students. So an argument broke out.
“The guard called the invigilator, and at the climax of the argument, I punched the invigilator,” says Panta, enacting the situation. “I was banned for two years from appearing in the SLC examinations but managed to appear at the very next final by my family’s source-and-force connections with the authority.”
During his college years, Panta remembers proposing to one Prativa in the classroom in front of everyone, including the teacher. “As I was rough with long hair and torn jeans and didn’t have the manners to talk to girls, she didn’t like me in the beginning,” he says. But he completes by saying that “Loathing is the first sign of love.” No wonder, Prativa became Mrs Panta. “We were quite adventurous and went hiking and trekking.” Trekking for seven people for five days cost Rs 96 back then.
“My friends and I’ve eaten carrion while trekking once,” he says. “And once I carried a backpack with kerosene as well as bread. During the trip, the kerosene leaked and seeped into the bread. Even then, we ate it, not throwing it away.”
For the final shot, he remembers, “I once even tried to impress the daughter of my father’s friend by driving the car with the ‘filmy swifts’ but my father hit me, which was quite embarrassing.” Panta still looks excited, remembering the incident.
Now 50, Santosh Panta, however, is still a teenager in heart.
“I still make paper tails and hang them behind the Pandit’s back during wedding ceremonies,” he says, sounding proud of it. (Based on articles by: Akanksha Upadhyay, Republica, and Dipak Sapkota, Nayapatrika)
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