KATHMANDU, Nov 10: Filmmaker Nabin Subba is one of those few who have truly lived what a teenage life is all about. There must be hardly few things that Subba, promoter of indigenous films in Nepal, has not experienced. From getting nastiest to becoming a gangster, Subba has many such memories still fresh in his mind that could easily fill the pages of his memory book.
Born in a Lahure family in 1967 AD in Taplejung district, Subba, 42, has only a few memories of his early childhood because he spent a lot of time in Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Nepal. But he still remembers those nursery days at his hometown in Taplejung when he and his friends did not have the privilege to learn a-b-c-d through any fancy nursery books.
“We neither had chalkboards nor course books. Those were the days when our teacher used to get thick layers of dusts on our table and used to draw us the basic of English and Nepali,” he recalled.
Though he barely remembers all what he did as a child, Subba says that he was an introvert child. He adds that he looked very lean and thin amongst his fellow classmates and that was why fellow mates who looked healthier than him made him do their works. While pursuing his secondary level of education in Hong Kong, Subba and his friends were fond of fishing.
“The Chinese in Hong Kong loved eating yucky insects and we were fond of fish,” he smiled and added. Because he lived within an army camp, the atmosphere around him was obviously much stricter than of his friends, and even the school he went to made sure that the students did not go against the school disciplines. But these factors did not stop Subba from practicing all sorts of childhood pranks. Bunking school was something next to impossible for students in his school because the school buses picked them up from their homes and loyally dropped them back. However, Subba with his friends made the impossible possible by bribing the bus driver.
He still remembers the sound of the slap that he got from his teacher when once he bunked school and went for picnic with his friends. It was probably the first and last time he got corporal punishment in his school life. Oh yes, he remembers another such incident. Once Subba was delivering a love letter of his friend to a girl of his class. He got caught and it was the last time he got thrashed.
As a teenager, Subba always desired becoming a fashion designer but he himself is clueless why he did not become one.
Many may not have ever thought or dreamt that this promising filmmaker had his own gang of boys, and he often got into serious gang fights with Chinese gangsters while he was in Hong Kong.
He was only 14 when he first got into what a teenager calls “gang fight.”
“I was quite a big fan of Bruce Lee and so were my friends. In fact, we used to host our practice sessions where we imitated Bruce Lee, learnt some martial arts skills, learnt using knives and sticks. Once when we were in a serious fight with Chinese gundaas, my friend got badly wounded. Luckily, I escaped major injuries. Minor bruises were too common,” Subba got down deep into nostalgia.
He however said that he and his boys never initiated a fight and they were Chinese who often took up an issue to create a battle.
He was not a spoiled brat but he did not spare experiences of all naughty things. Take for example; he says he loved breaking the windowpanes of army camp he resided in.
“Every time they installed new windowpanes, we made sure that they didn’t last for more than two days,” Subba laughed.
Upon completing his secondary level of education, he came back to Nepal and got into Intermediate in Science (ISc) faculty in Dharan. It was still not over. There were still a lot more fun to be had. As a college-going student, he made sure that he enjoyed bunking classes like other boys did in his time.
Subba chuckled and added, “After answering the attendance call, we always planned to bunk. Whenever the teacher turned to the blackboard, I used to escape from the window with my friends and we used to sit somewhere for some guitar sessions. My friends used to get themselves busy getting high while I enjoyed the music. We always loved ragging our teacher.”
Going back to those good old days, Subba even does not hesitate uncovering those moments of his life in Dharan when he and his friends indulged in watching X-rated flicks, screened in almost every ally. Obviously, like any other teenagers, he loved flirting with the opposite sex but says he never got into eve teasing.
Once such incident that he can never forget all his life was when he was bullied by some six students of Padma Kanya Campus. He was new to Kathmandu and had just started his profession as a journalist.
“I couldn’t believe it. The girls surrounded me and bullied me. Had I not escaped, they would’ve gone physical,” he gushed.
Today at 42, Nabin Subba is still single. It was not that he did not fall in love, but in his own words, all those relationships that he seriously got into did not work because of the distance. He often fell in love with girls from foreign lands and believes that the “Miss Perfect” for him is still to come.
Having come across four decades of his life, Subba now loves to recollect all his past memories, nostalgias and cherishes them by the day. He wishes to see his school friends someday. He still remembers walking in the romantic rain; he even misses his gangster friends from his school who used to carry holsters in the class itself.
“Nothing lasts forever. At the end of the day, they are just memories that will remain deep within. I love living my life with them everyday,” the film man concludes.