When the BBC World Service Trust premiered a radio docu-drama called Katha Mitho Sarangiko (Story of the Sweet Sarangi) two years ago, the series was so popular it was aired in 70 FM stations across the country. Through the adventures of a Sarangi player (played by Prakash Gandharba), the series delivered a subtle message about the co-existence of different communities in post-conflict Nepal.
Dilu Gandharba is back, now as a guest in a Tamang village where he meets Phurwa, a young woman who starts life with an ambition to improve her life through marriage; but her quest for the perfect husband sets her on a path to hell and back.
The last series, aired during the Madhes Uprising, explored the relationship between Dilu and Sukindar, a dholak player from Janakpur. The new series, called Phurwa's Tale, tries to portray the people and the ups and downs of contemporary Nepal. This year the emphasis will be on love, marriage and friendship, and understanding the relationships between men and women in a changing Nepal.
"The gap between the material expectations of people and their own reality has vastly increased over the last 20 years, and this has put people's marriages under strain," says Fiona Ledger, who developed the concept for the series. "Added to that the role of women is changing. They are getting better educated and want more choices in their lives. This leaves men unsure of their status and not surprisingly, conflict can break out in a marriage."
Katha Mitho Sarangiko airs on CapitalFM, ECR FM and on 103 at 8.15pm Friday, and on Radio Sagarmatha at 7.30pm Monday.
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