Exactly forty four years ago, a daughter in a renowned musical family was learning and practicing the verses of a song rigorously.
"Nasib kahan sabko uhi hunchha ra hundaina
sanjog sabko tara sabko lagi farak hundaina"
She was to participate in a contest organized on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of Radio Nepal three days later. Her father taught her the song and she very quickly learnt it. She was excited. The reason was that she could meet senior singers at the Radio Nepal and everyone would hear her song. "I was least nervous. Instead, I was most excited that I could meet Tara Devi, then." Tara Devi is a renowned singer.
The song mentioned above was never recorded. There was no system of recording the songs in Radio Nepal those days. However, she remembers the wordings and tuning of almost all the songs that she sang live on Radio Nepal. As she sang the song to this scribe last week I thought how many of such songs were 'wasted' without being recorded. But now, there is good news. She is bringing out a collection of these missed songs soon.
Nepali people have been hearing songs from the melodious voice of Meera Rana since a long time. Whether it may be folk songs like "Bainiko Daya Chha Bhane" or patriotic songs like "Pathar pani pagalne yahan", she has given her voice in thousands of songs.
Rana particularly excels as a singer of modern songs with classical base. Her song
"Timilai ruwaune mero dhoko hoina,
yastai paryo jindagima nadekheko hoina"
speaks out the expressions of broken hearts of many Nepalese lovers who are separated by fate.
Rana is known for her emotional touch in singing whether it may be during live singing in Radio Nepal, recording the songs or during stage programs. Music critics say that she was the first lady singer who danced on the stage while singing. "People did not take it nicely then," Rana reminisces.
Even today she is a hot favorite in stage programs. In fact, she is only allowed to present her show at the end of stage programs as her songs make audience jump off their seats and dance with the song. On the other side, while singing sentimental and tragedy songs, she makes her listeners cry with her.
Rana is one of the first Nepali women to have studied and sung classical music. Her voice, too, suits classical music. Her singing of classical 'raga' hold listeners spell bound. She remembers how her examiner, impressed by her voice, had made her sing for hours keeping the remaining examinees waiting till the dusk, in one of the exams of classical music she gave.
After 2028 BS, she started studying classical music. She was so knowledgeable in music that she earned the six year Bachelor degree course in music from Ilahabad University of India in just three years.
Rana hails from a family with a very sound musical background. Her father Shambhu Prasad Mishra is a well
known tabala player and her grand father Jhumaklal Mishra was a renowned ustad in the Royal Palace of Nepal.
Today Meera Rana holds the legacy of her forefathers despite the fact that daughters were not encouraged in music and singing during her time. In addition to becoming a popular singer she is also the chief of the Music Division of Radio Nepal, a music teacher and a radio program presenter.
Over the last forty years, she has recorded almost two thousand songs including modern songs, folk songs, classical songs, Bhajans, patriotic songs and songs for feature films. Lately she has also started giving music in the modern Nepali songs.
Today after forty years, when Rana has already maintained her identity as a singer, she struggles to balance her time to play out her role as a government employee, a housewife and a public figure.
She believes singers are god gifted. "I could come this far only because God gave me a good voice suitable for classical music," said Rana. "I have honed this gift through a lot of practice over the years." Indeed, Rana has not stopped 'riyaj' even in her fifties.
A very confident Rana has won several awards in the contests organized by the Radio Nepal and other organizations. She won first prize in vocal in modern songs contest in 2028 for the first time. In subsequent years, she has won first prizes in various genres for almost a dozen times.
Recently she was awarded the honorary member of United Nations Woman Organization. She has traveled to almost two
dozen countries in the course of presenting programs. She is also the president of Nepal Music Association.