Sunday, January 29, 2017

Legendary Singer Panna Kaji Passes Away

Dr. Rabin Man Shakya
Advisor, Nepa Chhen, Portland
Education Director, NRNA-NCC-USA Oregon Chapter.

Me and my family are deeply saddened and shocked to know that the legendary singer, respected Panna Kaji Shakya passed away. He was 85.

Late Shakya was husband of our late nini Gyan Devi Shakya. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.

The fans of Nepalese music in Nepal and all over the world are deeply moved by the sad news of Panna Kaji's demise. In the death of respected singer and composer Panna Kaji, the nation has lost a luminary and a shining star in the constellation of Nepalese music.

Late Panna Kaji was born on Dec 30, 1931 at Om Bahal, Kathmandu to father Chatur Man Shakya and mother Bal Kumari Shakya as their fourth kid.

As morning shows the day, young Panna Kaji was interested in music and singing since the childhood. As a matter of fact, Panna Kaji kicked off his singing activities in 2004 BS. The late respected singer vocalized his first song in Radio Nepal in 2008 BS.

Late Panna Kaji had vocalized about 400 songs including Nepali modern songs, bhajans and folk songs. Likewise, late Shakya had also given voice to some songs in Nepal Bhasa as well.

There is some kind of special and unprecedented softness in his rendition of the songs. Therefore, out of numerous songs, late Panna Kaji gave his voice to, "Tiriri Murali Bajyo Banaima", "Kina Kina Timro Tasbir", "Lolayeka Ti Timra Aankha" and "Lali Gurans Phulyo Hai" etc are admired by the Nepalese music aficionados.

In 2022 BS, a  national contest of  modern Nepalese songs was organized by Radio Nepal. The first slot was bagged by Panna Kaji in singing and late Narayan Gopal won the first place in music at that national contest.

Panna Kaji was laureate of many awards and medals. Remarkable among them are Image Lifetime Achievement Award and Gorkha Dakshin Bahu.

Late Shakya joined the Radio Nepal when he was a 19 year old teenager and he continued to work at the Radio Nepal until 2040 BS. It is to be noted that during those years, Radio Nepal was the only electronic media that provided information and entertainment to the Nepalese people, since TV broadcasting and FM radio stations were launched in Nepal much later.

The Newah people of Nepal have the tradition called "Nakhatya" of inviting the married daughters with their kids and husband for a feast after every big cultural festival like Mohani, Swonti and Pahan Chare etc. Our late grand parents at Naghal Tole, Kathmandu had three daughters, late Gyan Devi Shakya - married to late Panna Kaji - being one of them.  Taking a trip down memory lane, late Panna Kaji used to come to our home at Naghal Tole during the Nakhatyas and other big cultural events during 1960-70s.

Late Panna Kaji had great qualities of affability and sense of humor. He used to share his experiences in Radio Nepal during the family events. Nepal's late King Mahendra was an admirer of singers and musicians. The late king himself had written a number of lyrics for the prominent singers of Nepal under the nom de plume "MBB Shah". Late Panna Kaji, along with other prominent singers and musicians of Nepal, were invited at the Royal Narayanhity Palace for cultural events.

The Panna Kaji family has been living at their ancestral home at Om Bahal, Kathmandu. But after the  catastrophic earthquake in 2015, the family had moved to their home at Tahachal where he breathed his last.

Late Panna Kaji's funeral rites were performed at Teku Dobhan in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017. The Musicians' Association of Nepal had wrapped its flag on the body of late Panna Kaji. As a tribute to the late legendary singer, all the singers and musicians  who were present at the funeral sang the evergreen song "Tiriri Murali Bajyo Banai Ma".

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