Farewell dear Koili Devi
By Eliza Rana
Kathmandu, Dec. 21: Veteran artiste Koili Devi Mathema, who composed and sang more than 4000 songs, died at the age of 78 on Friday. She has had the honour of being the first female composer and lyricist in the Nepalese music after the establishment of Radio Nepal, the then authority on music and broadcasting.
She was suffering from heart disease for the last four years. Dr. Arun Sayami had performed the surgery to place the pacemaker in her heart in 2061 B.S. Regarded as a legendary singer of Nepal, she had, however, released her first solo album, named Chitta Nirantar at the age of 71 and her second album, Hajurali came when she was 74.
Her all-time hit songs include Samjhi Rahanchu, Nisdin Kabal Hajurlai, Gaucha Geet Nepali, Timro Siudo Sajai dine, Kina Kina Timro Tasbir, and Gajaluti Tula Tula Aakha. She received lessons on the Oriental classical music from her musical guru Ram Bahadur Tandukar.Born to a Chhetri family in Makwanpur she migrated to the Kathmandu Valley and practised music at the palace of Singh Shumsher.
It is here that she earned the name of Koili Devi for her melodious voice replete with pleasant mellowness. Married to Saakar Bhakta Mathema, Koili Devi had to go through many ups and downs of life, particularly after the demise of her spouse. It is disheartening to the art lovers that she had to spend her entire life at a rented room.In honour of Koili Devi, Bhawak Aviyaan Nepal had established a Koili Devi musical fund in 2057 B.S.Noted singers and musicians paid their last tributes to Koili Devi and her last rites were performed at Pasupati Aryaghat Friday.
She had earlier wished that her last rites were performed without putting her mortal remains at the Nepal Academy premises. According to noted artiste, and film director Prakash Sayami, late Koili Devi had wished so because she used to allege that the Academy had done nothing for her during her lifetime.
Courtesy: The Rising Nepal