MaHa – Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya – has been the most popular comic duo in Nepal with their television shows being watched over and over again with rapt attention. Their jokes might be etched in our memories by now but their comic timing and dynamic on-screen presence still hold the power to make us erupt in fits of laughter.
Madan Krishna is gifted with snappy wits and can charm people in a nanosecond. His audience adore him, he is his family’s pillar of strength, and truth be told, The Week has also fallen a little in love with him.
He had had a tragic childhood when he lost his mother when he was just six months old. But when his father remarried, he finally had a mother figure and then eventually siblings he had craved for so long.
And now the camaraderie between him and his two sisters – Sadhana Tandukar and Sabina Shrestha – as they hold a hushed conversation over coffee is evident.
All three lead very busy lives. Sadhana runs a childcare center, Sabina works as a preprimary school teacher, and Madan Krishna is still involved in a lot of projects. But they always manage to make time for one another.
Madan Krishna Shrestha and his sisters Sabina Shrestha (left) and Sadhana Tandukar. The three share an enviable relationship.
“We visit him whenever we can,” says Sabina, confessing that Madan Krishna has been her guardian since their father passed away. Madan Krishna is quick to add that his sisters respect and love him a lot, and narrates an account of the time he was hospitalized after a surgery.
“There was a good canteen at the hospital but Sadhana still brought tea from home. I insisted on buying tea from the canteen but she just wouldn’t let me,” says Madan Krishna, adding, at the risk of sounding sappy by his own admittance, that it wasn’t just tea in the thermos but oodles of love.
When Sadhana intervenes to say that he means a lot to her and she would do anything for him, Madan Krishna, in his trademark style, tells her to stop, or else he’ll cry. The brother and sisters kid around a bit, but it’s not difficult to see that behind the veil of jokes lies immense fondness for one another, and it’s this value and admiration that keeps their bond intact despite not living under the same roof anymore.
Sabina mentions that on Bhai Tika day, their brother keeps peeking out of the window every 10 minutes to see if they have arrived. “He gets really impatient and fidgety and his face lights up when he finally sees us,” she says.
Bhai Tika might be purely symbolic but the brother-sisters relationship holds a much deeper significance in their lives. Madan Krishna draws inspiration from them, and the sisters in turn are fiercely protective of him. Having watched all his shows repeatedly, they have been his most loyal fans over the years without realizing that they have been his muses all along.