Deepak Bajracharya was on tour in Australia during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic last year. When the virus began to spread, Bajracharya and his band, The Rhythm, were forced to cancel their tour and return home. Nepal had no quarantine facilities at the time. When the band realized they might have caught the virus, they went into hiding at a homestay on the outskirts of the Valley. Nepal went into lockdown a week later.
The band was aware of the anguish of being in quarantine and wanted to do their part to let people know they were not alone. From their quarantine, the band began to perform live music shows online under the moniker ‘Musical Medicine.’ The shows drew a large number of viewers, followers, and encouraging comments.
The band was released after 14 days of quarantine. From his home, Bajracharya continued the live show. Cherisa, his daughter, joined him. The duo’s belief in music as a medicine that can relieve stress and soothe the soul inspired the show’s title, “Musical Medicine Show.”
As they went on, they received “unexpected numbers” of positive feedback.
“People began to like our performance, particularly Cherisa’s vocals,” Bajracharya said. “I was astounded to hear Cherisa sing so well. I had no idea she could perform so flawlessly.”
#TMMS, as the show was renamed after moving to AP1 Television, has a distinct and pioneering quality to it. It all begins with live music; sometimes the duo performs together, sometimes only one of them does. Along with other instrumentalists, Bajrcharya’s band The Rhythm performs.
The show is divided into three sections. The father-daughter duo discuss, as the title suggests, issues pertaining to two generations—parenting, family dynamics, and bonding—with two people representing two generations of the same family in ‘Generation Next.’ ‘Abhav ko Prabhav’ stars aspiring singers as well as those who are unable to pursue music due to their professional obligations. The hosts conclude the show with a performance titled ‘Musical Medicine Doze.’
Initially, they intended to do it for only a week, but the positive response from the audience encouraged them to continue. For about two months, they broadcasted the show on their Facebook page.
The show was titled ‘Musical Medicine Show’, guided by the duo’s belief in music as a medicine that can relieve stress and soothe the soul.
At the same time, they released The Corona Song, which was sung in both English and Nepali and was supported by UNICEF.
The song’s goal is to educate people about the coronavirus and how to combat the pandemic. “Suna na/ tadha baserai, saath dinu baru/ saath dinu haat, namilaedenu/ yo chhyanma/ jo sukai lai huna sakney rog yo/ garib dhani ra dharma herera lagdaina yo/ garib dhani ra [Please listen/ let us stay apart and help each other/ lend your hands but don’t shake them/ right now/ this disease can infect anyone/ it doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, faithful and faithless].
Previously, the show was broadcast on Facebook, but the AP1 television channel approached them with a proposal to broadcast it from the TV studio. The pair got to work on developing new ideas. Because it was supposed to be hosted by representatives from two different generations, the father and daughter decided to delve deeper into the generational issue by inviting celebrity guests from both generations of the same family.
On January 23, 2021, the first revamped episode of The Musical Medicine Show (#TMMS) aired on television and on YouTube. The first episode was primarily an introduction and a teaser for what the show would entail. They began featuring guests in the second episode. The show’s first guests were actor Dhiran Shakya and his daughter Jasmine. They discussed the importance of maintaining the bond between parents and children, understanding each other, and pursuing a career in a field of interest.
Hosting a show was not an easy task for Bajracharya, who has been in the music industry for over two decades, and his daughter, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. They had to remember scripts and present themselves formally to guests, especially those who had known Bajracharya for a long time. Facing the camera, choosing guests for the shows, and many other TV protocols were also difficult. They’ve become seasoned TV hosts now that the show has aired 20 episodes.
Both the father and daughter are excited about their new roles as program hosts.
“The program has been extremely beneficial to me personally,” Cherisa said. “It has taught me about various aspects of generation, lessons that have even made a positive difference in my family.” And so it is with Bajracharya. “The show has also given me a chance to understand the perceptions of the next generation,” he said.
Viewers continue to send them encouraging messages. The messages’ content is typically along the lines of “the show has brought me closer to my family,” “it has resolved our family issues,” and “after watching your show, my parents have begun to understand me.” And so forth.
These messages reassure the duo that their show, which airs every Sunday at 9 p.m., is making an impression. “And that is significant because it addresses the pressing issue of generation gap and how we address it,” Cherisa explained.
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