But visits from friends became increasingly rare and his health showed no signs of improvement. Prabin was confined to his wheelchair within the four walls of his home and completely dependent on others for his day-to-day activities. He began to lose his resolve. “Within two years of my accident, I realised how drastically my life had changed and how hard it would become,” recalls Shrestha. “I became depressed.”
One day, while his friends were helping him change, he fell, but none of them offered a hand. “Instead of helping me get back on my wheelchair, they said I should try getting up on my own. It was an eye-opening moment in my life,” explains Shrestha.
His passion for music was still intact, but since performing on stage was no longer possible, he was advised to take up editing as a career. In 2003, Shrestha enrolled himself in a six-month editing program at Web City, a software institute in the valley. Like most other buildings in the country this one too was disability unfriendly. Fortunately, Nirajan Panta, a student-teacher at the institute, agreed to provide lessons at home.
Shrestha, who started out by editing wedding videos, got his first break editing Yogeshwar Amatya’s music video Chaina Timro Bhara. Although this particular video led to many other opportunities, Prabin considers it his worst work to date. Now, after lending his chopping skills to more than a dozen films, the 36-year-old is looking forward to the release of his biopic, Mokshya, which Shrestha wrote and directed. The film centres on his life before and after the fateful event that left him wheelchair bound and is set to release this Friday.
“The idea for the movie first came to me seven years ago when I visited the Khagendra Navajeevan Kendra, an organisation that works with the disabled,” says Shrestha. At the centre, the video editor met many physically challenged people whose positive attitude towards life touched him greatly.
DIRECTOR’S CHAIR: Prabin Shrestha (second from left) on the sets of Mokshya, a film based on his life that is set to release on Friday.
However, all of them shared a common concern. While they were confident about their individual abilities, they felt that the lack of wheelchair accessible infrastructure in Nepal prevented them from achieving and reaching their life goals.
Says Shrestha: “I want the audience to understand that even those of us who live with disabilities are equally able to live an independent life and chase our dreams.”
Tsering Dolker Gurung
A review of “Mokshya”