Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sonam Lama: Some memories never die

{Sonam Lama, a multifaceted persona and a teacher by profession passed away on June 14, 2011 and his Anthesti Kriya falls on July 4, 2011}

Sonam Sir as he was fondly remembered was a house of talent that could never be replaced. It is a great loss for Singtam as such persona of brilliance shall never be seen again. He was a year short of 40 but yet he has given enough memories to make him remember for a long-long time. Sonam Bhena to me was much of a friend and I did share many close moments with him over the last few years.
Memories of his hilarity still thrive over my thought and I find it hard to make myself realize that he is now no more with us. I was with Sonam Bhena in the 42 days Teachers Training the last two winters and a summer at PNGSS. Off lately, it was during those training sessions I came to know him much better, being his bench mate; I got a chance to get closer to his character and his enthusiasm to give something to the humanity.
It is hard to sum up works of Sonam Bhena into a single cup of life; he was a musician, singer, lyricists, poet, painter, designer, artiste and many more. Despite his interest and his creative nature he was more contented in his profession as a primary school teacher at Sakyong Chisopani. Just the other day during his funeral I was talking with Mahesh Dahal, Head Master of Sakyong Chisopani PS who was in total disbelief on Sonam Bhena’s sad demise.
I got to know from Mahesh Dahal about his involvement in the school be it designing the school batch, sharing music lesson with his students and above all his involvement with the students in encouraging arts and culture among themselves. Equally interested in sports, Sonam Sir’s contribution towards Sakyong Chisopani PS continues to live on among his fellow staffs and his students to whom he would fondly called them “chora-chori”.
I still remember him saying it is these students that give us our bread and butter and we should never take them for granted. We are a teacher and it is not our duty but our responsibility bestowed upon us to build a better tomorrow.
Last year his two article “Yuva ko Arth” and “Waad” published in popular Nepali daily Hamro Prajashakti from Gangtok was well appreciated and he was preparing his third article “Traaashh” along the two previous articles when he had a sudden demise. In between he had published numerous nepali poems.
Sonam Lama was born to Late RB Tamang and Palsang Tamang and was actively participating at cultural activities in and around Singtam since late 80s. With more than two dozen compositions and 45 plus lyrics, he came up with his only Nepali music album “Sizal”, named after his daughter in 2007. From key board and guitar player to a singer Sonam Lama is among the few individual who had had seen highs and lows of musical development of Singtam Town. He belonged to that time when stage shows were built on trucks. He was the founder member and the President of Aroma Musical Group that lasted till late 90s. He was part of Cultural Exchange Tour in 1997 that performed in different parts of India including Allahabad, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Amritsar and Guwahati. Sonam Lama’s last public appearance was at Singtam Basibiyalo last year.