08 Oct 2017
3 min read
Khagendra Lamichhane has changed the definition of what it means to be a typical Nepali film ‘hero’. The characters he plays are exceedingly relatable for the Nepali public. In this interview, the silver screen phenomenon shares the experiences that have inspired him.
The protagonist from Albert Camus’s The Outsider, Meursault, inspires me. In the book, before being executed, Meursault says, “No one has the right to judge another.” Those words have left a lasting impression on me.
In Pashupati Prasad, there is this one particular shot where my character’s body is to be cremated. There were actual bodies being cremated on the banks, and I could even feel the heat of the burning embers seeping into my body (which had been placed on the pyre). After the scene ended, the blue sky above mesmerised me. And I lay there still on the pyre, watching the clear, blue sky above me. I somehow felt liberated—as if I had awakened from a deep slumber—a sense of calmness overcoming me. I thought about that experience for days only to realise this simple fact: Man is filled with love, grief, greed, pride, envy, anger—the roots of misery. But when a man dies, with him die all these forms of emotions, possessions—tangible and intangible—no matter how treasured or despised. They all eventually turn to dust on these cremation grounds, and I believe that’s why these grounds are deemed holy. The blue sky that I observed as I lay on those holy grounds taught me a simple lesson that day—to try to become as liberating as the sky.
Not too long ago, my family was going through a tough time. Seeing my distress about the situation, my father said to me: “We’re alive for today. We are to die some day anyhow. If in any way, we have become mere hindrances on your path to achieving your goals, I want you to simply assume
that we are dead and go pursue your dream.” His words have helped me through my trying times.