Coming Soon: Ani Choying, the movie
As she enters through the door, a radiant smile on her face, the living room fills with her peaceful, positive energy. Dressed in a maroon jacket and robe, Ani Choying Drolma sits down to talk about how life has treated her since the Nepali Times first profiled her in 2002.
“We have come a long way, haven’t we?” the 50-year-old nun asks.
In Nepal, Ani Choying is best known for her breakthrough single ‘Phulko aankha ma’. Even though she has a larger fan base internationally for her mesmerising chants, Ani says there is something special about being admired by your own people.
After fleeing a violent home at the age of 13, Ani Choying entered a nunnery in Kathmandu, where she was ‘discovered’ by a passing American singer. Over the past 20 years, she has produced more than a dozen albums and performed in concerts all over the world. Her biography Singing for Freedom, which describes her journey of transformation from a frightened child to a peaceful, singing nun, has been translated into 14 languages.
Ani Choying says she has no desire for human passion. The only wish she ever had was to develop inner peace and to fight her demons. Ani is a familiar sight on the Pharping road as she drives her blue SUV to and from Kathmandu. Since 1998, she has been involved with the Nun’s Welfare Foundation and Arya Tara School, where she looks after 300 novice nuns and monks.
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“I think I have led my life to the best and these children give me further purpose, they give me happiness,” says Ani Choying, who, in addition to being called ‘the singing nun’, is often referred to as ‘the progressive nun’ for her social-welfare activities, which she funds with earnings from her concerts. Sipping hot water, she discloses that a film-maker is shooting a biopic of her, but she does not want to divulge details just yet.
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“I want to spread peace and happiness through my songs and thankfully, I have received such compliments abroad even from those who don’t understand the Nepali language,” she says. “I was not initially ready for a biopic but now, at 50, I am ready. I have led a beautiful life and maybe the world can soon see this life pictured on the screen. Why not?”
Read also: Ani's song, Kunda Dixit
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