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Darjeeling Edit-a-thon: Literary Personalities

Norden Rumba

Early life and Education

Lt. Norden Rumba was born to Mr.Shaktaman and Harkamaya Rumba on 15 May 1949 in the summer of Darjeeling. He had two elder sisters and a younger brother. He completed his schooling from Turnbull High School and graduated from St. Josephs College, Darjeeling.

Career and Personal Life

His first job was in State Bank of India, Darjeeling that he continued with much dedication until his death.On 6 December 1974, Mr. Rumba married Smt. SabiGurung and to them was born a son, Aswath Rumba.

Other Accolades

He was a renowned lyricist, poet and dramatist held in high regard amongst the Nepali literary community. His songs were played on Radio Nepal and Akashvaani, A.I.R for the last four decades touching and inspiring millions of Nepali souls. He was posthumously awarded the “Best Lyricist Posthumous Award” from the Gorkha Shaheed Sewa Samity, New Delhi in 2003.

His Literary Journey

His songs “Merasabairaatharu”( Ratna Recs, Nepal 1986) a rendition by SwarSamrat,Lt.NarayanGopal / composer ShriChandanLomjel and “ Fullaisodhay”(10th April, 1983)were sung by the Nepali Nightingale Lt. Aruna Lama/ composer Shri Karma Yonzon. During his lifetime, he collaborated with stalwarts of the music world of his generation like Miss Shanti Thatal, Shri Kumar Subba, Meera Rana, Shri Manikamal Chettri, Dhananjaya Thapa, Dawa Gyalmo, Pema Lama, Badri Durga Kharel and an endless list of the then artists. Most of his work has been recorded and possibly archived by Radio Nepal and Akashvaani Kurseong.

His first collection of poetries “Prakshep”was published on November 1978. He also held the role of an editor of the journal “Hamro Sano Patrika” wherein he published translations of proses of famous Pablo Neruda and Kamu (Ka. Mu.Sheriff).Smt. Sabi Rumba published the only book, “Norden Rumba kakritiharu” a collection of his poetries, lyrics and essays in 2006 under Basudha Prakashan, Darjeeling.

Mr.Rumba excelled in the art of lyrical writing. He was a great storyteller of his times and considered as a great “JaatiKavi ”(cultural/ identity poet).

He was attuned with the disparities faced by the community and he longed for the upliftment and prosperity of the Nepali community in general which was reflected in his writings too. He did not shy away from questions on occupation, oppression and cultural identities being in danger of erosion. He had a strong inclination towards using typical Nepali words and phrases like “paapimajheri” literally translating to a “bitch and brag hotspot in the neighbourhood.” His song “Aamalai Khojey” a composition of Mr.Chandan Lomjel and now reproduced by the famous Nepali folk band “Nepathya” has words describing the condition and emotions lived through every minute.

He is also recognised for his romantic lyricism many of which have been sung by late Aruna Lama, Smt. Shanti Thatal and his contemporaries. Songs like “Baanki Pareko” and “Meromaya Marsyangdhiko”, renditions by the famous duo Badri and Durga Kharel have been ever so popular hits amongst the Nepali diaspora. He wrote all the songs for the first Nepali movie “Banchna Chahaney Haru”which released in the 1982, a film by Mr.Pratap Subba, who is the first Nepali Movie director from Darjeeling.

He was a dramatist as well and penned the famous ‘Mrigatrishna’ in Nepali along with his friend,Tashi Wangchuk as the music director, the script of which has been lost and is yet to be found. Many of his early works which were published in early Nepali journals from Darjeeling namely Astitwa, Dhunwa, Khoji and Hamrosamaj.


He was just forty years old when he passed away on the 28 May 1990 leaving behind a void in the Nepali literary community. He always made a diligent effort to guide the masses through his contemporary consciousness, existentialism and deep emotions in his writing.

Recently, Himalayan Tones Music Academy, Hong Kong has made a documentary ‘Chatyang banche ko manche’, a brief description about his works and life that can be found on Youtube. To sum it up, he lived a life immersed in writing and using it as a tool of communication with the general mass talking about love, hope, desperation and revolution.


i) Rang Taranga by writer Kamal Regmi

ii) Norden Rumba ka Kritiharu

iii) Samjhana ma sarjhakharu by RajuChettri


*HaarLagaiHaarHaruko-sung by Mr.Pema Lama(from the movie ‘Baachna Chahane Haru’).

*Yo Baisako Bazaar, Jeevan Lai Maile,Malai Khushiharuma-composed by Mr.Manikamal Chhetri (Sangitbaddha Geetharu).

*Kamjor(Aakashvaani Kurseong).

* Timi Boli, Achanak Paraya-sung by Mr.Pema Lama and Mrs.Rimala Moktan.

* Besahara Marney-sung by Mr.Kundanraj Subba.

* Marera Ma Khaali-sung by Mrs. Daisy Baraily.

* Katha AnantaHariko-composed by Mr.BasantaChhetri, sung by Lt. Aruna Lama (SangitbaadGeetharu).

* Ma Yasai Pani-sung by Mr.UdaySotang (cassette-‘AURA’).

* Aajako Yo Raat-sung by Mr. Ramesh Bardewa.

* Goretoma Suseli-sung by Mrs.Meera Rana(Radio Nepal 9/7/1984).

* Neesa Deena Khoja-sung by Lt.Aruna Lama(Radio Nepal 1985).

* Kasto Huncha Paaniko Phoka-sung by Mrs.Meera Rana(Radio Nepal 1985).

* Ma Piratika-sung by Mr. Kumar Subba and Lt..Aruna Lama.

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