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Rajendra Keshari Pandey



Freedom has no barriers; it will not be and cannot be directed by anyone. It is in each and every individual and will always exist within them. A person is born free and when that life ends, they are again free from all bondage. There was a person in Kathmandu society, for whom even over a hundred years of complex, conservative and orthodox tradition could not restrain his instinct for self-liberation. Born, bred and trained in a so called aristocratic Brahmin family of that time, this gentleman stood aloof, far from the crowd, different and alone in his society. He followed his heart, not his head and we all know that to go against the traditional way at that time, was a Herculean task. But for a person like this, it was simply following his instincts for freedom of expression; he was a rebel out on his own, born free and ready to take on any challenge.

Basically a musician at heart, he developed his skill for music at home and learned Sitar, Ragas and Ragini. Since he had the infrastructure, wealth and home ambience suited to music, it was always his first choice as a hobby. He also extended this love into his personal life by even marrying into music. His first wife was a Sitar player, his second wife was a Tabla player and the third was an accomplished singer. All three wives came from the respected Newar community.

Another interesting aspect of this man was his support for women’s education. He established a private school at his home for his three daughters and employed learned tutors to teach them, as per the school curriculum. This was a very bold step in society at that time. However, following his own heart he had arranged a house full of music and also established his daughters’ education. For a person like him who belonged to a Royal Priests family, this move was a great rebellion in those days. I believe he is a wonderful example of how a liberated heart and a passionate character can survive in a conservative society. He broke the orthodox tradition and social constraints by silently following his own path of action. For him freedom to be able to follow his passions was top priority. The very word ‘Freedom’ is self-explanatory. It has no barriers, it cannot be hindered, and as I said earlier it will not be and cannot be directed by someone. It is there in each individual and always will be, it is up to them what they do with it.

Time passed, his life went on peacefully, and this gentleman on his own liberated path was moving ahead. He lived happily on this earth and eventually passed away peacefully to his chosen abode. He was practically married to the music. Sitar, Tabla, and Vocals were his daily life. I have great respect for this man. Once a resident of Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu, the name of this great gentleman is Pundit Bharat Raj.

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