Sonam Lama, a multifaceted persona and a teacher by profession passed away on June 14, 2011. His Anthesti Kriya falls on July 4, 2011}
Sonam Sir as he was fondly told was a house of talent who would never be replaced. It is a great loss for Singtam as such persona of brilliance shall never be seen again. He was just 39 years old but yet he left enough memories for us to remember him for a long-long time. To me Sonam Bhena was much of a friend and I did share many close moments with him over last few years.
Memories of his hilarious attitude still thrives over my thought and I find it hard to realize that he is no more among us. I was with Sonam Bhena in the 42 days Teachers Training over the last two winters and summer at PNGSS. Of late, it was during those training sessions I came to know him much better. Being his bench mate, I got a chance to get closer to his character and his enthusiasm to give something to the humanity.
It is hard to sum up works of Sonam Bhena into a single cup of life; he was a musician, singer, lyricists, poet, painter, designer, artiste and many more. Despite his interest and his creative nature he was more contented in his profession as a primary school teacher at Sakyong Chisopani. Just the other day during his funeral I was talking to Mahesh Dahal, Head Master of Sakyong Chisopani PS who was in total disbelief on Sonam Bhena’s sad demise.
I got to know from Mahesh Dahal about his involvement in the school be it designing the school batch, sharing music lesson with his students and above all his involvement with the students in encouraging arts and culture among themselves. Equally interested in sports, Sonam Sir’s contribution towards Sakyong Chisopani PS continues to live on among his fellow staffs and his students to whom he fondly called “chora-chori”.
I still remember him saying to these students that they give us our bread and butter and we should never take them for granted. We are a teacher and it is our responsibility to build a better tomorrow.
Last year his two article “Yuva ko Arth” and “Waad” published in popular Nepali daily Hamro Prajashakti from Gangtok. It was well appreciated and he was preparing his third article “Traaashh” along the two previous articles when he had a sudden demise. In between he published numerous nepali poems.
Sonam Lama was born to Late RB Tamang and Palsang Tamang. He actively participated in cultural activities in and around Singtam since late 80s. He has more than two dozen compositions and 45 plus lyrics to his credit. In 2007 he came up with his only Nepali music album “Sizal”, named after his daughter.
From key board and guitar player to a singer Sonam Lama is among the few individual who had had seen highs and lows of musical development of Singtam Town. He belonged to that time when stage shows were built on trucks. He was the founder member and the President of Aroma Musical Group that lasted till late 90s. He was part of Cultural Exchange Tour in 1997 that performed in different parts of India including Allahabad, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Amritsar and Guwahati. Sonam Lama’s last public appearance was at Singtam Basibiyalo last year.
About the author:
A teacher by profession, Shital Pradhan is an avid blogger from Sikkim. You can read his blog sikhim , a frequently updated blog which focuses on news and history of the Sikkim state. To read his other post on iSikkim click on the link below: