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Bhuwan Chand: Born to perform

Bhuwan Chand: Born to perform
Quick facts Born on 14 June 1949, Kathmandu Went to Ratna Rajyalaxmi Campus, Pradashani Marg, Kathmandu 

Took a leading role in the first Nepali feature film ‘Aama’ in 1964

Wife to Michael Chand Mother to Sheela Chand, Sheetal Chand, and Shirush Chand  I started my career in acting when I was merely four-five years old. Back then, we had no such thing as film acting. Nepal still had a long way to go when it came to cinema culture. I used to be a theater performer. My primary passion, however, was dancing. I did take up roles that suited me and my age, I was mostly participating in dance performances.  To be surrounded by famous actors, artists, singers and dancers was a surreal experience for a young me. As time went by, I became a member of Kala Kendra Sansthan. I officially joined as an employee of Rastriya Naach Ghar in 1960. My salary was Rs 150, which was a lot for a child. When I think of it now, I have been financially independent from a young age.  There weren’t that many theater actors back then. The number of female actors was even lower. In many plays, it was common for male actors to play female roles. Part of the reason why not many people were pursuing acting as a career was social discrimination. It was already difficult for people to take up acting as a profession, imagine how it was for female actors. I feel fortunate that my parents, especially my father who himself was an artist, was supportive of me. Before TV and film culture, theater was one of the chief sources of entertainment in Nepal. We even used to get invitations to perform for the royal family. There would be a request to stage certain plays for the royals. There also used to be theater exchange programs between countries, where actors would be sent to countries like Russia, China, and Iran. So, in a way I had the privilege of traveling the world because of the job I loved. And it was because of my theater background, I believe, I got to play one of the leading roles in the first Nepali feature film ‘Aama’ in 1964.  [caption id="attachment_37817" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Bhuwan Chand alongside Shiva Shankhar on the first Nepali feature film ‘Aama’.[/caption] They didn’t just hand out the role to me; I had to go through audition. With no hope whatsoever of landing a role in the film, let alone of one of the leading characters, I went through the audition. I was surprised when I got offered one of the lead roles in the film.   I was nervous about acting in a film, because it was a new medium and there were so many experienced artists in the set. I was just 15 at the time and there I was acting before them while keeping in mind that I had to remain inside the frame. I was used to performing in front of the audience, but not in front of professional actors and film crew. And worst of all, I had to act alongside Shiva Shankar, one of the greatest artists of the time and my father’s friend, who cast as my romantic opposite.  After acting in ‘Aama’, I went on to play many other roles in films and TV serials. But I never gave up theater, the place where I learned to act and fell in love with this profession.  Looking back, I can see so many changes in the Nepali film industry. But I think old Nepali movies did a better job of storytelling than now. The script used to have a relatable storyline. These days, movie plots are hardly grounded to reality. Also, during my time as an actor, there used to be so much love and respect between artists. We looked after one another. I find that love and camaraderie is lacking in the Nepali movie industry these days.  Currently, I am not working on anything. I feel like I have grown old and need time to rest. I have decided to take only those roles that do not require me to travel a lot. Or else, I am happy spending time at home and with my family.  I feel proud of how far I have come. I will forever cherish the love and respect I got from my fellow theater and film artists. That for me is my greatest achievement of all.   About her Basundhara Bhusal (Friend)  I have known Bhuwan dijju for around 65 years, and she has shown nothing but kindness towards me. She is incredibly talented, and there is nothing that she cannot accomplish. She is empathetic and extremely hardworking. She is one of a kind.  Michael Chand (Husband)  I am one lucky fellow to have a wife like her. She has been nothing but a supportive partner, whom I absolutely adore. In terms of her work, everyone knows she is incredible. But her roles as a wife and a mother are equally great. I hope that I get to be her husband in every lifetime.  Ramesh Thapa (Friend) Most people know her as the first Nepali film actress, but her acting career dates back a long time before ‘Aama’ came out. She was literally raised by theater. She is a very hardworking artist, who has always maintained a positive attitude towards life. It is hard to come across someone like her.