"We need to focus on the positives" says Tika Pahari

It was nearly a year ago, reelnepal team visited Tika Pahari and discussed about the past, present and future of nepali movie industry. It was a wonderful moment with him to know about the facts how the industry evolved. A part of the discussion is preasented here.

Q. Apart from your recent movies, Manjari and Hostel, you seem a bit reluctant to act in movies these days. What has been the reason?

A. It is not that I am reluctant to acting, but the focus seems to be on family more these days. My three sons are on their path in career making and I have suddenly become the old man in my family (with a laugh). I was always selective in my roles and it is not that I have left acting. I am still acting. Manjari was my son’s (Gaurav Pahari) debut film and   in Hostel, where my son is one of the three lead actors, the director wished to keep the real life father of the actors in the movie so I could not say no. However apart from these two recent movies, I am still taking movies at my own pace, one at a time at most.

Q. You have now acted with your own son, but you have been in the field of movie making since before your marriage. What changes do you see in the Nepali cinema during these times?

A. When I started acting, there were a small number of movies made. One movie a year sounded like a big achievement for the industry itself. The number of movies, people associated with movies has increased exponentially during these times, however, sadly there seems to be a decline in quality and professionalism. It is not that everything is in decline, there is upgrade in the technology that is used to make a movie, we have varied range of financial scope but in overall, there are many people these days in our industry, who have just came into it for glamour and other interests apart from acting.

Q. Do you mean to say; the movie industry is in a hopeless situation now, mired by unprofessional people?

A. Somehow yes. However, we also need to focus on the positives. New generation movie makers, especially youths, have started to make quality and off-track movies off late. There is also a growing trend in making movies focusing on our local ambience, which was somewhat lost in the last two decades.

Q. You talked a bit about your initial days in the movie industry. Looking back all those years, what great memories do you have of your career?

A. Memories, they have been the greatest gain in my career. All the directors I have worked with, actors, technical staff, and others, we share a bond that is so special. They will be my family forever. And the viewers who made us, who we are, deserve a special respect. I would like to recall that, during my one visit to Birendranagar, a woman pelted stone at me accusing me of selling women in brothel. That was because of my role in movie ‘Chelibeti’. That is the moment that I would never forget. That moment still gives me pride with the realization that movie can be a great tool of social transformation.

Q. You studied ‘acting’ in PFI? Is it necessary to study to become a fine artist?

A. This is a difficult question to answer. There are a many artists who without training have become legends. However, no one can succeed in this field without having a deep understating of the process as a whole. Those who have succeeded have done so because of their natural ability in adaptation, but if we are to have a mass full of untrained people in the industry we will get bad result and if we have trained artists and technical staff, our quality will be high, no doubt.

Q. You seem to be very harsh on people who take their career in Cinema lightly, any reasons?

A. Yes, and rightly so. These are the people who have destroyed their own career and in the long run the face of cinema in Nepal. People, without understating the subtleties of the cinema, have come into this field. Actors, who have no knowledge, have been given break, producers who have no idea how challenging it is to make movies have jumped into the pan after being brainwashed for an hour, and people with no technical knowledge are our technical staff. How do we expect quality and creativity with this? I would like to give you an example. During my time at PFI, Shakti Kapoor failed at the subject of dancing. Determined to become an all round actor, he worked so hard on his dancing that he was later known in bollywood for his dancing skills as well. This is what determination is. If people with determination and understanding, come into this field, we will definitely be better but we need to understand that this is our shortcoming and we should move forward and hope this situation clears in some time.

Q. Let us get a bit personal here: Your favorite movie?

A. Chatyang.

Q. Favorite directors?

A. Tulsi Ghimire, Pratap Subba, Kishor Rana.

Q. Life changing event?

A. Positively: My Marriage, Negatively: The loss of my father.

Q. The greatest quality of an actor?

A. Respect for the process of acting.

Q. The first movie you watched?

A. A Hindi movie the name of whose I forgot, while at my secondary schooling in India.

Q. Your First movie?

A. Uchi Udaan (Hindi)

Q.  Latest Movie?

A. Hostel.

Q. What would you want the most in the director?

A. That the director should not be rigid, he/she must be able to change his philosophy with creative inputs whenever necessary.

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