Biswas Timshina set a safe and straight career path for himself early in his childhood: finish school, study engineering, graduate, land a decent job and build a family home.
When he finished school, he started studying engineering as well, hoping to follow through on his plan. But the plan quickly began to unravel.
Born in Gangtok, Sikkim, Timshina grew up in a joyful and loud Nepali-speaking household. “If any teacher asked who tells the best jokes in my class, I would be the one everyone would point to,” says Timshina. “At home too, I was the one to crack jokes.”
In his first year of college, Timshina found himself more involved in writing scripts for mini-college documentaries rather than meeting assignment-deadlines. “I was enjoying the entire process of writing scripts, capturing videos, and putting them all together,” he shares. By the time he reached his final year, he realized he wanted to work with cameras and comedy rather than computers and calculators.
“My joyful and loud upbringing must be the source of my love for making people laugh,” shares Timshina, now popular in the Nepali-speaking world as BT Kancha.
His YouTube channel with the same name now has 170,000 subscribers, most of them from Nepal. Timshina, who has consistently been posting videos since 2017, explores ideas that resonate with Nepali-speaking communities around the world. Starting with parodies, some of which reached more than two million views, he moved to funny film reviews and even stand-up comedy.
Regardless of the genre, the foundation of his creative process lies in writing. “Everything starts with a blank piece of paper, and then comes the creative process of channeling the voice inside me,” he shares. “I think that’s what inspires me to create something on my terms.”
Offline, he started by performing stand-up comedy at open mics in Mumbai and, later in 2018, at home in Sikkim. In his journey as a stand-up, from one stage to the other, he taught himself to adapt and improve and hone his craft. He fell in love with the uncertainty: would people laugh at his jokes? He found the entire process of writing, practicing and performing both challenging and exciting.
Timishina decided to make videos in Nepali as it was the language that felt most natural. “Making funny videos in Hindi would have helped me grow my fanbase and number of views much faster,” he confesses. “But I never wanted to chase fame, I just wanted to make people laugh in my way, in the language I connect to the most.”
He posts two videos a month on his YouTube channel, taking around 10 days for the production. Alongside, he is also doing screenplays by writing scripts for different movies—he co-wrote the script for the Priyanka Chopra-produced Nepali movie ‘Pahuna’.
He also recently performed his first stand-up comedy show in Kathmandu, overwhelming the organizers who had expected around 20 people but had to accommodate over 200. Most of them were seated for the entire event as his was the final act of the night.
Timshina now plans to continue writing screenplays and posting funny review videos on his channel. He is also working on a mini-series and looking for sponsors.
For him, the most challenging part of writing scripts is coming up with an idea that clicks with him and his audiences. Writing screenplays, producing YouTube videos and performing stand-up become a hassle at times, but as all three involve pen and paper, he enjoys himself doing what he does best.
The little boy who once had his entire life planned out is now on unchartered territory, without a safety net. “Funnily, even after completing my degree, I never actually went to college to get that certificate,” he laughs. “I had come to know that engineering is not something I wanted to do in life, and when choosing film-making, I wanted to give it my all with no safety net to fall back to,” says Timshina.
Having no backup plans and deadlines make him remember why he decided to take the untrodden path: to have fun and enjoy the process