visitors! I hope everything is going on well on that end. Life has lightened up here since the past few days so to speak. The power cuts seem to have decreased a bit to the relief of one and all and hope we continue to get long hours of electricity. Amazingly, regular power supply these days, have livened up our spirits. Good for all of us! It’ll take some time for us to reschedule our lives to cope with the uninterrupted power supply. Talking about our segment, this
time we have a sensational personality here in our interview. Everybody says she is someone who literally generates fire on the screen and I couldn’t agree less. She won the Miss Nepal
title in 1997 and was the first to represent Nepal in the international arena having had a good show at the Miss World
contest. Yes, I'm talking about the amazingly beautiful Jharana Bajracharya
, a very popular name in our glamour industry; be it music videos, blowups, center spreads or the big screen. Of course, she has had a fair share of criticisms, controversies and what have yours, but that is the baggage that every personality of celebrity status needs to carry and she sure is not an exception. Jharana
is currently on a personal visit to the US and thanks to her that she has taken out sometime to answer my questions sent to her in spite of her busy schedule. Rather than spending time on this interview synopsis, lets gets started with it. Here is Jharana
in her own words! Hopefully, all past negative notions of her and her career fuelled by the press will finally now be put to rest once and for all. Here we go with Jharna
…up, close and personal!
Hi Jharana!! How have you been and how's it going?
Hey Pavel! I am very good actually:), thank you! Well, after years of not being into the world of glamour business and suddenly being back now; I needed a few adjustments here and there and getting used to it, but I think I am doing alright and balancing it out. As we all know that I have been in this field for a long time; I practically grew up in front of the media and it has always... well, in a way known to all my ups and downs. But I guess people were really curious about my being away for such a long time which brought lots of questions and speculation on the surface. I am glad to be doing this interview…a medium to let my people know my whereabouts:). Basically. I am doing good.
What are you busy with of late?
Hello from LA, guys! Well I am right now writing to you from the US. It’s 8:40 in the morning here. As I came up to check my emails from my morning coffee and an avocado. I found these bunch of questions from Pavel. That's where I am at… at my uncle's place in LA. Family visit. There were lots of people back home; again speculating; Oh! She is off again; she might get lost again and she is not coming back; and all that. But I am coming back by the end of this month; safe and sound:). I am not busy with much right now as you know but I am surely contemplating about where I am right now in terms of just a place. This is the first time that I have visited the US... I have been to so many places in my life but never to US; and this is the name of the place I have heard since I was even aware of things; you know what I mean!!!??!! I mean half of my family members are here and I have always gotten presents from here all my life. I always use to wonder how its gonna be like to be here. Now that I am here; guess what? I find it a little weird. I mean; every city has its own personality but I have found LA...rather a little too organized. ahhaha ...yeah overly organized. I was so curious about the fact that people hardly walk here; I mean you hardly see people here. All you see here are cars and lots of cars:))))). I don't know the lives here internally but its just seems so organized and perfect from outside compared to from where I come from you know. I am so used to chaos… organized chaos of our country Nepal. The hustle and bustle of Asan and New road, the traffic with none of the signals working; the puzzled faces of the traffic controllers; the pollution; just about everything is so much in the move; alive I guess. Though I am aware of the depressive side of it like power( electricity) issue, drinking water issue and corruption and all the political issues. "THE DRAMA." Yeap! That’s where I am at right now…doing my ongoing internal research but deep inside I hear a voice saying "I love my Nepal... my home; my people". Its where I come from.
How did your passion for movies begin in the first place?
I don't think I even knew the meaning of the word passion when I really began in the movie business. I was just16 then… just out of high school… a wonderer…kind of lost with the over night found name and fame. A proper word would be ‘shocked’ hahaha. But I did settle down to my reality eventually. " First Miss World Nepal" " First one to represent in Miss World" " Nepal's pride"......... and all that was a little pressure. Don't you think? I don't think people quite realize the overwhelming part of it though. Anyways, getting into movies was nearly a....... 'an accident' cause I did not expected it; ' luck' cause I always loved music, traveling, and an lover of art and expression. Something that was given to me on a silver platter cause I never had to work for it. Everything kind of… seems like fell into its place. When I did my first movie I had no idea what it was all about; being the fact that I even rejected the offer several times. My conscious was telling me “Jharna you have no idea what you are getting into. You don't know anything about acting or any part of it what so ever”... but I guess I was destined to be in this field; so I believe now. I just did it, not knowing why. All I use to do was just appear on the sets and location and do whatever the director would tell me to do and the days rolled by. Days and moths past and I still found my self acting. The distant bundle of questions eventually became my living reality. I was given a name, a position already before I realized ... ' an actor'.
To answer the question on how my passion grew, it came much later in my working life, I think. As I became conscious of it more. I started to like what I was doing and I wanted to do it better. There were lots of times I thought I was lost perhaps because of the limited area for self expression, limited people who would understand the term 'creative expression'. But I am thankful to all those who I met; who made me feel at home. Hence, my passion grew and continues further.
News had it that you were doing a movie titled 'Rangeen Manasaya'. What's happening with that?
I am doing "Rangeen Manasaya"; at least I thought I was, till I heard here that they have decided to take someone else for it now. I felt a little sad but now!!! What can I do???. I had my dates for them all through out the month till I came here. I waited for a long time. My visit to the US was previously informed to the producers as well the production unit; months ago before I made this trip actually. I was assured that my part would be over before my travel plans. So, I confirmed my tickets and everything accordingly; and since I had to travel with my grandmother, I could not be flexible with my travel dates; it was not appropriate to make her travel alone who is in her 80s now. So, that's what is going with "Rangeen Mansaya". I would've loved to do the movie. I was so excited for it since it would've been my come back project. They are a whole bunch of aspiring team and creative people. Maybe next time!
You've done a substantial number of movies during your acting career, how do you feel when you look back? And what do you think is the most important thing that you've learnt by doing all those movies?
When I come to think of it....yeah! I have done substantial "NUMBER" of movies and how do I "FEEL" when I look back???? Well...honestly, as a matter of fact, I am afraid to say that maybe it has remained just numbers. Of course I am not really feeling great to say this but I am also afraid that’s what it has become ,given the fact that a lot of people do not know that I have done 27 Nepali movies. Also, given the fact that most people know me through my videos and my ‘exposure’ in 'Love in Nepal'. And also not in denial that where I am right now would not have been so if I had not done all those unrecognized Nepal movies. So, all I have inside of me is nothing more than gratefulness and thankfulness toward what I have received in exchange; love and admiration. Not to forget all the controversies:) which were written and aired without any of my consent.( I am not sure I should be thankful to that part though:).
I do not know how people perceive it but for me it has been a great journey. Journey to have a better understanding of my own self and still continuing to grow every moment. When I look back at all those years, it seems like a dream at times; and when I am answering this particular question regarding ' looking back', I also feel like I am retired...hahahah, but I am not, guys... the journey has actually just began for me… Journey of LIFE. I feel happy when I am writing this particular sentence. And what have I learned???? I think it’s more of tense in present. Let's just say what I am learning. I am learning to be myself and trying to be… more centered; trying to figure out things in my life in general and learning to live... I know that I do sound vague but I just have this to say at the moment:).
Among all the movies you've done, which one is your favorite and why would you say so?
Now, that's a tricky one. I don't really have any favorite movie you know cause when ever I watch my own movie; which is rare; I always find a room for improvement and I don't really like myself much. I am always critical and shy to talk about it. Satisfaction is a little scarce. It's always the others who like them. Also being the fact that movie making is such a team effort. There are so many aspects and hard work that goes into it. From camera work to lights; to makeup to hair; screen play to the art of telling the story and the list goes on and on. So, if only one aspect goes a little wrong the whole project suffers. And keeping in mind that our Nepali Film industry is still in its primitive stage; we actually do a brilliant job at it, having such a limited market and budget:). But having said all that I think ‘Triveni' and ‘Suva Kamana’ are the ones that I think are a little better than my other ones. Being the reason that I related to the characters to some level and Ihad a great time making them souly. Just for the record I want to say that none of my movies had really done well commercially. :)... so there are times I wonder why am I well known or famous for? ?????mmmmmm.... I think I am known for my videos and the way I am personally I mean the way I convey myself (express myself). I don't know but ... Its all good:)
Why do you think that mainstream Nepali movies haven't been able to attract the urban audience? What do you think is the major factor?
I think the majority of Nepalese are not exposed to what urbans are comparatively. So the difference is vast. On one side you have a generation who are so well known to youtube, pubs and i-pods and on the other hand you have a regular working class who has to work very hard to make their living, do not have an access to internet; some might not have even heard of it I guess. So basically there is no comparison. For years, Nepali movies have been catering to just one type of audience. Only one kind of audience was there and there was very little influence by any other entertainment industry. It was limited. But time has contributed a lot in the difference of class, prospective and choices of people. Now we have realized that the urban class exist and a lot of us are solely influenced by the Indian movie industry.
Comparison has started and evaluation was born out of it. And ..yes... Nepali movies are not technically sound; we make movies with a very low budget where we have limitations which can be seen; we do not have good makers;; and so on it goes. All these flaws in hand then on the other hand we have these Indian movies which are very good in terms of quality and look very much glossier and tastier that what we are creating. If you give anyone to choose between them, of course they are gonna choose the much better and better looking ones. After all everyone wants their money's worth no? So, there is no room to blame actually:)
So, I think it's a great opportunity for the movie makers to have this realization that there are audiences who are craving for a different kind of cinema. They are looking for good quality, screenplay. Acting, making; so it's not that we do not have a market; its that we are able to produce what the market is in need. That's something all of have to think and act on I think...otherwise people like "ME"...won't be really happy working in the same structure all the time:) This can be a great time for creative people who are willing to experiment with their artistic expression. And I also think that the process has already started. New Movie makers are in fact immerging slowly and steadily.
If you had the power, what would be the thing/s you'd like to change in the Nepali film industry?
Mmmmmmmmmmm...You know movies always represents the people and the society,... so if I really had the power then I would change: a) Social values b) Belief system c) The Government. These changes would surely change the movie we make:))))))
Any special unforgettable moment you have experienced during your numerous shootings?
"Anjuli" was the name of the movie I did ....it been almost 7 or so years now!!! I played a double role in it. Ahhhh!!!!!! the shooting went on for ever:))) and I think that was the only movie in my life where I was asked to memorize pages and pages of dialogues cause the director wanted it to be like that. Anyways; it was in the middle of winter; that would be Poush . We had shooting location in the studio (you know where they build a set inside a huge empty house) and it was all night shoots. So, I was called early evening to be ready with my hair and make-up and of course with my two full pages of dialogues. I did not realize but my costume was a thin linen sari and a half blouse. I was alright when the night started but soon became cold like crazzzzy and on top of that I was sprayed water all over my body to give the effect of sweat...( yeah !! they call it showbizzzzz). Can you imagine the whole night and yeah, not the forget the dialogues; the whole page which had to be done in one shot. We went on and on the whole night and by the end I was given some brandy to drink. Thank god I had some of that liquor to survive. Well there are lots of those moments like that but this one I always remember somehow:).
How would you describe Jharana Bajracharya as a person?
Who I am indeed? I am still searching for the depth of this question, as it opens the door to the past if one believes that past is what one is made of. My life has been quite an adventurous one considering that I am 27 now :) . Being famous at 16; facing financial crisis; drenched in the world of entertainment for unexpected decade; intoxicated with success and tasting my part of worldly failures; mystified spiritually; longing to find where I belong; I am still searching. To realize that all there is; is to know "me" and nothing more could be understood rather. I have always been a seeker at heart and its a journey that I am taking which is called "LIFE".
Simply : Jharana is a very simple girl who you can easily spot next door. Sensitive. But I also think that she has a very complex personality, given a time to understand her.
Now getting more personal, I believe you are in a relationship. How is it going?
Yeap! I was engaged last year which I initially intended it to be a very private ceremony but as you know it did not work out so:).
How is that going?
It's going good. He is an amazing person and very dear to me. A lot of people have been asking me lately about the marriage. (I am happy that I am clarifying this in this self interview). I mean its a huge decision to take and when we talk to each other about whether we are ready or not to take the relationship further, there is always a mmmmmm....which comes. We both love each other dearly as beings but to be married?? We are sure we are not quite there yet. So, that's what is going on with the engagement part. But even if we do not get married , we know that we are gonna be good friends with each other and who knows what the future holds!
As you are Miss Nepal 1997, when you look at the date you became Miss Nepal don't you think how time flies?
Oh!!! Tell me about it:) It flies like nothing else that I have ever seen flying AHHhhahahahaha... but yeah !!! Its been , what?? good, 12 years ; my GOD!! that makes me feel old. Some of my friends even tease me about it now. Its been great though. Its been one hell of a ride. Most of the people start their life; think about what career they want to pursue and what kind of status they want to endure in the society and all that; but for me it seems like things were already graphed by someone else. Something which was beyond me perhaps. But it has been amazing and mind boggling. I am grateful for what Ihave experienced.
What do you have to say about the anti Miss Nepal protests that has been going on for a long time now!
I think that everyone has a right for their choices and decisions they make; after all we are living in the 21st century and people have their own ideas of what is right and wrong. I believe in doing things that one believes in so, if the protestors believes that they are doing the right thing they should go on with it cause I am sure they have a good reason for it and the same with the contest; they are on going with the pageant because they believe that it gives a women great opportunity to excel forward in live and so forth.
Lots and lots of youth are going abroad everyday for their better futures, your thoughts on this issue!
I think that it is amazing that the youths if today are lucky to have access to go abroad for better education. The only worry and threat that we are facing is that, they might just never come back. I think it would be beautiful if all these youths came back one day with all the knowledge to implement it their own country and help it grow. I just hope that the choice of studying abroad was not made out of frustration and regrets by their own country.
You've tried Bollywood as well. How was the experience?
Wow!!! "Bollywood"! I think I was there for 2/3 years ; on and off from Nepal; while Idid some Nepali videos and visits to family. Most of my time was spent in Bombay doing commercials and videos. It was there where I experienced giving an audition. I used to feel great whenever I used to get selected cause it made me feel like I had worked for it. It was amazing working with people from different nationalities and background. I enjoyed working with some well known commercial makers of India. But as far as movies go; which was initially my intended area to explore was not that inviting, I felt. It was very difficult to find good agents and without a good agent in that part of the business it's almost impossible to get into good production houses. I found commercials very safe ground for me and as time past by my priority changed and my want also changed to a different direction. But over all, the experience was a beautiful one.
You began with music videos, don’t you miss doing them anymore?
See!!! Even Pavel
thinks that I started with music videos. No dear, I started with movies first. My first movie was ' Hatiyar'
directed by Prakash Sayami
. Videos came much later in fact. I recently did one video; I am
not sure whether its out but the wordings go like 'Na Birsey timilai, na paye timilai, bina artha dil ma sajaye timilai'
directed by Alok Nembang
Rumors and controversies go hand in hand with the lives of celebrities and you too have had a fair share of it. What do you have to say to all those nasty rumors especially in the print media?
I think that print media carries a huge responsibility towards an individual and a society as a whole by conveying correct information. They have a power to change thoughts of an individual. I have always been involved in some kind of controversies but till now none of them have been true. Just for the record. I know that people always say that there sure is something there; and that's why there is a rumor but all the controversies till now are all false. There is no truth in it. Especially the one that involved me with some business man. It went as far as saying that I had a baby form this man and I was his mistress. I am ashamed that the print media does not even feel responsible enough to talk and interrogate with me before they print such bull shit. This false information was very hurtful and harmful to my family as well as my closest friends. I just hope that before a print media publishes anything, it should done it with authenticity.
Anything that we did not ask and you wish to share with the readers?
Well!!! There are lots of things that you did not ask Pavel but even if I want to tell them I am not sure the readers would like to read it. So, here is a better idea. If there is anything that readers would like to ask me and be interactive; I would be more than happy to answer. I feel so good to write my own interview. It's my first; I should do this often. Thank you Pavel. Take care!