Before becoming the heartthrobs of millions of Nepali people, Sarun Tamrakar and Payal Shakya were but normal students studying in Kathmandu. Now, they are back in town, married and ready for the launch of The Uglyz’ second album – In Transit.
In Transit, as Sarun says, is an album they have given not only a lot of time but also a lot of effort to. As the name says, it describes one of those phases in life where they were in between, not completely together at one place (describing the circumstances of the band). The difference with this album is that they don’t just have love songs, but also songs which are inclined towards patriotism and social issues like street children. A particular song, “Khattey”, actually came to Sarun when he was saw some street children while going to his studio on a rickshaw. Seeing such a sight on the street, he thought about how such children should have a voice so that they could reach out and communicate with the masses. This is what the band has tried to put into the song.
The songs about patriotism in the album are also different than the usual. “In the patriotic songs, we have tried to express how it feels to be a Nepali staying outside of Nepal. We have tried to portray how these people feel. So the song is from their perspective,” says Sarun who has been living in Australia for thirteen years now.
About this, Payal Shakya adds how Australia was never a choice for her and after becoming Miss Nepal 2004, she was planning to go to the U.S.A. to stay with her sister. “I am a very shy and reserved person and I don’t make friends quickly. I am not really that social either so the only person I was close to was my sister,” says Payal, remembering the days before she met Saran at the Samjhana Audio Visual (SAV) studio.
They met at SAV studio in 2005 when Sarun was just visiting the place and Payal was there to talk about a music video. Sadly, it wasn’t love at first sight. “We both had a little bit of an attitude and ego. He was nothing more than just a random guy to me,” says Payal, smiling as she tells us her tale. After this incident, they started meeting quite often at events and started talking to each other but there was no such feeling. They did become very good friends though. They’d write each other emails for months telling each other their daily routine and schedules. One day they found themselves invited to a wedding. Sarun was supposed to go with a friend separately and Payal had already made plans to go with the same friend. However, Payal and Sarun ended up entering the wedding together with a single bouquet because the common friend had met another friend at the entrance. Rumors of them seeing each other started instantly. This was very upsetting for Payal, with her having problems in facing the people she met every day. It was hard for her to accept and move on because it was all over the newspapers too. Seeing Payal upset was not easy for Sarun, so as each love story has its own twists and turns, Sarun started ignoring Payal at events. Wherever and whenever they met, there would be nothing more than a cold “hello”.
During this time, Payal asked the common friend if something was wrong with Sarun. The common friend told Sarun that Payal was disappointed with his behavior, Sarun’s answer to which was, “I have a lot of respect for her but it was hard for me to see her go through all the nonsense and trouble people were giving her because of me. I couldn’t stand it so I thought I would ignore her and try to avoid her so that people wouldn’t trouble her anymore.” After hearing this, Payal knew that Sarun had successfully swept her off her feet and realized how thoughtful and sensitive he was.
That is how they started talking to each other again through Yahoo! Chat. The rest, as they say, is history with Sarun managing to convince Payal to come to Australia with him and now they are married to each other.