Plight of being born as an artist in Kalimpong


Representative picture.  

I look at Kalimpong; I look at the people here. Is it small place with small mentality? Who respects the work of an artist here? And if an artist is young, damn! You’ll end up finding yourself in the porch of anxiety-disorder soon.

I know few awesome musicians like the guys from the band-Doodles, they speak about change- a positive change in this society. They want to transform Kalimpong in a better way, but change here is just political…. How sad!

Did anyone encourage them to repaint this town till now? (I mean the ones who warm their chairs in their offices)


Did anyone support them?


Because the ones who can support are busy giving press conferences- promising things that are never going to happen here even in years to come.

I’m not speaking about politics or politicians, I don’t really care who wins the election. I didn’t even cast my vote!

Few months back I was called to edit a book, I did. I don’t know what happened after that.

Many months ago, I was called to write a script. There too I was exploited ergonomically.

Dude! What about My time, my effort and my energy?  Who is going to appreciate and acknowledge that?

We artists too have things to look after, we might need another lens for mastering the art of photography, we might need to add some more guitars and guitar-accessories, and we do have bills to pay. But the scene here is more like, ‘Bhai we have a small function, please ai dinu hos na, photo-soto pani khichi dinu hos’ (please come to our function, and take some pictures as well.)

Are photographers that jobless here? Who will pay them for your pictures?

Or to the musicians, ‘bhai bholi ko program ma ayera eso ek-dui wata geet sunai dinu hos na, audience lai alik entertainment huncha ni ani tapaiharu ko pani publicity huncha’ (please come and perform in tomorrow’s program so that the audiences are entertained, you will also be publicizing yourself at the same time.)

Dear musicians, if anyone tells you this hereafter, don’t forget to get-up and shove their brainless head with the same guitar that you are carrying (make sure it’s an electric guitar.)

And to all the amazing poets, if anyone invites you to recite a poem in any function for free, please, rather make an anthology and sell it, it’s worth more than their cold Dhanyabaad!

Common! We have to eat and survive here as well.

We are the ones who really don’t rely on the funds coming from the government; we do things that we are passionate about. We want to change the system here. But other than a handful of youths, who all are interested to be the change here? No one!

I have slowly understood that Kalimpong is not the place for artists and this is the reason why the excellent ones are in other cities.

I’m afraid that K-town, one day will be left with no youthful artists, then the same chair warmers will be giving press conferences about the same thing because they just preach and not practice and the condition of this little town will be worst than ever before.

I used to wonder why eminent personalities like Tulsi Ghimeray and Binod Pradhan who hails from Kalimpong does nothing for their birthplace, only to realize that people here paid no heed to such talents which gradually drifted them away to other places. I’m glad that they chose to leave Kalimpong else it would be like the story of our lives— Lots of creativity in mind and not able to execute because we are not given that place or a platform, forget about place or platform, least people can support, but No.

What Divyas Bardewa from Doodles said got in my pipedream, ‘Aray khada (alternative of a garland) ra dhanyabaad ta katti thupri sakyo, (We have ample of khadas and thankyou’s) but we as an artist, never got that respect from the inhabitants of Kalimpong.’

This is the sad reality of the place we love so much, we want to do so much for this sleepy little town but our efforts are considered void and our age are disregarded or overlooked by the senior civilians.

Has time really come for the artists of Kalimpong to pack their bags and migrate to new cities where their talents are appreciated? Or will the people change their mindset and welcome the artists here?

It’s now upto them!


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Varinka Turquoise.