KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Some people have the habit of asking ‘do you know who my father is?’ when they are offended, even if it is them who have wronged. And there are those who deliberately try to keep their inherited fame in the shadows to instead build their own identity. Born to famous Nepali personas, three young people share the pressure they face.
Anantaa Thapa Ghimire, 16, is proud of who her father is. However, she sometimes struggles with the society to create an identity of her own. Even before she could understand her father’s profession, Ghimire remembers how some people used to treat her.
“I want to be known as Anantaa Thapa Ghimire, not just my father’s daughter,” she says. Daughter of senior journalist Yuvraj Ghimire, she shares some instances when she has been looked at differently because of who her father is.
“I remember this one time when I was sitting with a group of people, my age, and this person came to talk to me. He behaved well with everyone but I could feel that he was being extra nice to me knowing that I was Yuvraj Ghimire’s daughter. He being nice isn’t a bad thing, but incidents like this are sometimes annoying,” says Ghimire.
Down to earth, she credits her mannerisms to her father. “My dad isn’t only a well-known journalist; he is also a good father who has taught his children how to handle situations,” says Ghimire, “Both my parents have always taught us to live a simple, normal life.” Contrary to what people think, she says that she and her brother have known “no shortcuts” to get things done, just because of her father’s reputation.
Ghimire finds it odd that she is also given respect which her father solely deserves. “I am proud of my father. It’s not that I mind being recognized through him. But, when people shower me with respect and give me credit, I don’t enjoy it. My father earns the respect because of his own capabilities and he should be the only one getting that respect,” she adds.
As the younger son of writer and Professor Dr Abhi Subedi, Girish Subedi, 26, is most often known through his father’s name in his society too.
“I guess it’s common in our society to be known through our parents, especially if they are well known, rather than through your own capabilities,” he says.
In his early school and college days, Subedi admits to having faced an identity crisis, at times. “At school, teachers often referred to my father’s name if I did something wrong. Even a small mistake that I did would be pinpointed,” Subedi recalls, adding, “In college, however, it was just the opposite. Some of my teachers were my father’s students so they gave me extra attention and praises.” Due to such incidents, Subedi used to feel awkward amongst his friends.
Today, such issues don’t bother him. He feels blessed to be Dr Abhi Subedi’s son but he doesn’t let the fact blow up his ego. He is more concentrated on his work and his music.
Subedi is the vocalist and rhythm guitarist for a progressive rock band, Mukut. Although his family background is more inclined towards writing and literature, he chose to pursue music.
“Actually, it was my father who taught me how to play the guitar,” he shares agreeing to the fact that the family environment does affect one’s interests.
Subedi and Ghimire both mention the fact that they have to be very conscious about their actions, especially since they are attached to their parent’s good reputations.
“We have to think more than twice while doing anything. If I do something wrong, the blame goes to my father,” says Ghimire. Although she has developed writing skills, it is fashion designing that she is truly passionate about. “What I also like about my dad is that he supports me and my brother in things that we are good at,” she shares.
Subedi also feels the need to be extra cautious while doing anything.
“The one disadvantage about having a famous parent is not being able to do the things you want to, like other people my ages do,” 19-year-old Bibhushan Sharma also says. “Even if I am not doing anything wrong, if I am in a crowd and something wrong happens and I am present at that time, then that too puts my father’s status at risk,” he adds.
Bibhushan Sharma is the son of the present DIG at Research and Planning at the Nepal Police Headquarters, Bigyan Raj Sharma. “To be known through your father’s name is something to be proud of. However, in the future, I also wish to make my parent’s known through my name,” says he.
“My father stands by his ethics and I have learnt to do the same,” says Sharma. “I have had friends ask me to help them get their license out when my father was the Metropolitan Traffic Chief but I always told them I wouldn’t do that,” Sharma says as he never interferes with his father’s job.
One might think having a famous parent equals to an easy life with luxuries. But people often forget that fame, although shared, comes with a lot of responsibilities along with the pressures. Let’s not forget to be known for what you do, not who your parent’s are.