34 year old Manish Lal Shrestha, or the ‘Bell Man’ as he is famously called, does whatever his sensitivity asks him to. He is currently working as the Executive Director for his latest project- Gallery M-cube. “Art should be a mainstream matter,” he says. Through his projects he hopes to give exposure towards the art to the general people which he believes is crucial in order for society to grow spiritually and psychologically.

We had a heart-to-heart with Manish Lal Shrestha about his teenage days, a topic that clearly makes his eyes twinkle and stamps a giant smile on his face throughout.

One word to describe your teenage days.

How were those days like?
It was both playful and innocent. I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time. I just went where life carried me; I revelled in that uncertainty. I was very social too and was always surrounded by a wonderful circle of friends. If there was anything involving art or music, I would without doubt be there. I used to jam up on stage a lot-I wasn’t a star but I definitely played like a star! Oh, those good old wild and crazy days! I wasn’t one to follow the norms either. I didn’t want to be another object of utility; I wanted to be different, something unique. 

How do you think teenagers today differ to teenagers of your time?
When I was a teenager everything was physical; we were so connected to nature. We used to play guccha and chungi, and swim in the Bagmati River. We felt we were a part of nature and hence, felt a certain responsibility towards it. The youth today are a bit out of touch with their environment. They are so lavish, and their life is filled with artificial entities. You could say that teenagers today are much more occupied within a certain space than in our times.

What did you do for your first crush?
I was around 14 years old. I exchanged hand-made greeting cards with her! (laughs)

Proudest moment as a teenager
Up until Grade 9, I was a total ‘ladoo’ in school. As SLC drew closer and the pressure from society started to build, I felt a certain sense of responsibility to make something of my life. So, I worked my backside off and passed my SLC in first division (which was a great deal at that time). I stumped everyone who doubted me and that definitely was a proud moment.

Advice to teenagers
You have the power to think innocently and do things innocently. That is the perfectness of your situation. Make the most of it. It’s your life. You are going to live it, not society. Before deciding on anything, think from the heart, not just the brain when you have the power to do just that. Dare to follow your passion, choose to live an honest life and you will find success.