Indian Idol winner forays into Nepali movies
Prashant Tamang started his career as a cop and in 2007 shot to fame when he won the popular music contest Indian Idol. Now Prashant Tamang has hit the headlines once again by "joining" the British Gurkhas and "tying the knot".india Updated: Nov 26, 2009 21:01 IST
Prashant Tamang started his career as a cop and in 2007 shot to fame when he won the popular music contest Indian Idol. Now Prashant Tamang has hit the headlines once again by "joining" the British Gurkhas and "tying the knot".
The 26-year-old from Darjeeling has been camping in Nepal, from where his ancestors hailed, to kickstart a new career in acting with the Nepali film Gurkha Paltan (The Gurkha Brigade).
Prashant, who became a youth icon in Nepal after winning the third edition of the music reality show against formidable odds, is shooting for the movie in picturesque Palpa district in central Nepal - it is known for its hand-woven cloth and the valiant Gurkha warriors who make their way to the British and Indian armies.
Nepali singer Narayan Rayamajhi is making his debut as a director with Gurkha Paltan, the tale of young Nepali men being forced to join foreign armies for want of opportunities in their own country and the hardship and privation they undergo.
While casting for his film, Rayamajhi was looking for actors who would have an army background and he found Prashant - with his police career, he was perfect for the role.
Prashant plays Nirman, the fatherless boy who is compelled to join the British Army to take care of his mother and sister.
Prashant, who lost his father at the age of eight and joined the West Bengal Police when he was 18 to fend for his mother and sister, was moved by the story that he says could be his own life story.
From Mumbai, India's film and finance capital, he has moved to Phulbari in Palpa, a village that every year sends dozens of its sons to try their luck in the British Army.
One of the recent sequences that he shot includes the return of Nirman to his village on leave when he gets married to a girl from the village, played by Nepali actress Ranjita Gurung.
The wiry Prashant, with his trademark beaming smile, looks dashing in the traditional attire of a Nepali groom - a long checked tunic made of the famed Palpa cloth and a matching cap with traditional garlands of grass and red strings around his neck.
The Nepal film industry is watching the making of "Gurkha Paltan" keenly.
Prior to this, Prashant was expected to make his debut with a biopic by debutant Nepali director Dinesh Raj Sharma, but the project is yet to go on floors.
Rayamajhi and Sunil Thapa, the veteran bad man of the Nepali film industry, say they are happy with Prasant's acting skills.
If "Gurkha Paltan" enjoys reasonable success, Prashant would have a new career in showbiz in the Nepali film industry.
Nepali films are also watched by the diaspora in Mumbai, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Hong Kong, London and the Middle East.
First Published: Nov 26, 2009 20:58 IST