Earlier this week, I learned the sad news that a musician called Amber Gurung was in hospital having suffered a fall (that’s him in the photo).
Amber’s the composer of Nepal’s national anthem – perhaps the world’s strangest, sounding more like the music you’d hear in a takeaway than a sports stadium.
If he were instead the composer of another country’s anthem, he’d right now be ignored and left quietly to die. But as he’s Nepal’s he’s not. Instead the government there have announced they’ll pay all his medical bills in the hope he can get back to health.
The government also recently announced they would give the poet behind their anthem, a man called Byakul Maila, an annual salary so he didn’t have to live in poverty anymore. Two bits of amazing news. Clearly Nepalis think a lot of their anthem!
Amber and Byakul’s stories will appear in my book once it’s eventually out. They involve some Maoists and a King and are far more interesting than this blog post makes them sound!