Katha Mitho Sarangiko (Sweet Tales of the Sarangi) was first broadcast in February 2008. Since then over a 100 episodes have been recorded. It was the first travelling radio drama in the country, recording on-location, using ordinary people as well as professional actors. The main narrator is Dilu Gandharba. He has a passion for stories, music and journeys. This has taken him all over Nepal, entertaining people with his Sarangi, telling stories from his own experience and from the experience of others. Like many of his listeners, Dilu struggles to make a living. Besides playing Sarangi, he’s worked on a building site, and he’s done seasonal farm work, Born into a Dallit caste, Dilu has a natural sympathy for people suffering injustice, poverty. He is single, free and makes friends easily; he’s helped many women and men sort out their problems – legal, financial and romantic.
We believe drama should be easy to understand and connected to people on the ground. The drama is recorded outside. This means the drama team can chat to local people before recording, during and after. Local events and customs are naturally absorbed by the drama as it’s made. The language used is Nepali, but Nepali as spoken in very wide variety of accents and dialects. The drama is improvised. This means there is no dialogue written down. But storylines are prepared in great detail. The actual dialogue is then improvised following a detailed description from the director. There are important advantages to this approach. Performing radio drama with a drama script is very difficult. You have to be a very fluent reader and in addition be able to ‘lift the words off the page.’ Scripts are a barrier to anyone taking part who has a low level of education or none at all. Improvisation opens up the drama to uneducated and illiterate people of different ethnic, social and caste backgrounds. In particular it has given a voice to uneducated women. Improvisation performances are lively, fast and witty. The risk of educated actors resorting to caricature is also avoided. Uneducated Nepali people have a great gift for communication. Katha Mitho Sarangiko is a testament to this.