Songs from: Kunti Moktan27
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Apart from playing on the keys of the harmonium and practising music, her hands are also busy carrying out domestic chores. Scrubbing the floor, cleaning up the house, preparing meals and making her children ready for school is on the top of her daily schedule. It is only on completion of these household chores that she uses her time for 'Riyaj' (practice of music).
Before long it's 11 0' clock. Time to get ready for work. Students in many schools wait for Kunti ma'm to come and train them to sing. Kunti ma'm, an excellent teacher of music, is hired by as many as nine schools. Her name alone is a source of inspiration for many students.
Running between three to four schools a day, scheduling time for stage programs, carrying out her family responsibilities and allocating time for recording must be a real tough task.
Kunti Moktan, who dwells in the soft corner of thousands of Nepalese hearts, needs no introduction to the listeners of Nepali music. Her folk based classical songs are very popular. She is known to the audience as an artiste with a melodious voice, who has been singing for the last two decades.
Thanks to the economic slow down, the growth of the Nepalese music industry, too, has suffered. In addition, due to the weak mechanism to protect copyright, leave alone the beginning singers, even established singers like Moktan have a compulsion to adopt alternative professions to earn their livelihood.
And of course, there are the stage programs, which she participates professionally as well as voluntarily in support of some needy people or organization. In the late afternoons and evenings her schedules are usually packed with such programs.
For Moktan, it seems, the most important thing gets the least time. For recording songs, which is supposed to be the first priority of all the singers, she is compelled to steal time from the packed schedule. However, she gets enough time for recording and practice on Sundays. "I have spared Sundays for myself," said Moktan.
Moktan's musical career started from Darjeeling. During her childhood, when she studied at St. Xavier's' School, Darjeeling, she used to sing songs at the school programs.
A large number of Nepalese residing in Darjeeling have made their name in the field of music and literature in Nepal.
In the late 1970s, she passed a voice test and her songs started being aired from Radio Kharsang, a local radio station of Sikkim run in Nepali language. Even as the volume of audience increased from a few hundreds in a hall at the school programs to a few thousands of the entire region, her aspirations was to win the heart of a larger audience throughout Nepal.
Luckily her dream took shape in 1982, when she got an opportunity to record a song 'kahile kahin malai pani herideu hai pharkiyara', without having to pass the voice test in Radio Nepal. The process of passing voice test, which was considered a Herculean task then, could be avoided because she came in a team of cultural program presenters from Darjeeling. Impressed by the cultural program, the management of Radio Nepal decided to allow them to record a song each. Her very first song recorded at Radio Nepal became quite popular.
Shortly after that, she decided to come to Kathmandu with her husband Shila Bahadur Moktan, a popular musician, to pursue her career. In 1983, she brought out her first disc record named 'hit songs from Kunti Sundas' from Ratna recording in Kathmandu.
Her practice and devotion towards music has led her to become a successful singer, who will live for eternity amid the lovers of Nepali music. She has already brought out albums like 'kahile kahin', 'mayalulai', 'mero man', 'kriti', 'kusum' and 'kamero'.
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