A day in the life of a Nepali ‘madal maker

Apry 04, 2016

After walking around two minutes from Basantapur Durbar Square towards Pyaphal, you come across a clusters of small shops. Among the shops that sell musical instruments, on old shop stands out.

It is n the ground floor of an old quake-damaged building, which now needs support from wooden beams, that Raju Chaudhary’s shop is located. It’s a 6X6 ft workshop cum shop where Chaudhary makes tablas, madals, pacchima, dhimey, drums and a host of other local instruments.

24-year-old Raju came to Kathmandu from Chitwan earlier this year. Like many others, he came to the capital looking for better opportunities, and to satiate his love of travelling.

Raju got into this business following in his brother’s footsteps. His older brother, who has been in the drum-making business for the last 12 years taught him everything that he knows now.

At the workshop, raw materials required to make traditional Nepali drums is scattered all over. He, along with several helpers chamfer wood, cut goat skin and tie bamboo ropes before the drum finally takes its shape.

Raju lives in Dallu and comes to the shop everyday at 7 am. He works the entire day, and goes home only at at 7 pm. “I didn’t finish my education. I have a wife and a daughter to support and this is the only way I know how to,” he says while using the khari (polish) to tune a tabla he’s working on.

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