The ‘Ma’ of Ma-Ha, Madan Krishna Shrestha, lost his dearest wife to colon cancer on April 2, 2018. Yesodha Subedi was 67 years old. Madan and Yesodha have a son and a daughter. The son, Yaman Shrestha, is named after the parents “Ya” for Yasodha and “Man” for Madan.
UPDATE from Pashupati Arya Ghat:
Watch the video report (and their love story):
Madan Krishna’s love story:
Madan Krishna remembers found and tied the knot with his partner Yasodha Subedi when he was 23 years old. That was in the early 70s – a time when people of different caste were not allowed to marry, by the society. Subedi and Shrestha shared a common workspace at Sanchaya Kosh. At the time, Yasodha started to work as an assistant accountant, Madan had been working there for three.
The romance between the two started when they started having conversation with each other. They used to talk about everything – from news to magazine and family and home matters. At that time, Yasodha, was a fan of Indian film magazine. So, Madan Krishna used to buy Filmfare and Dharmayug magazines for her.
Madan Krishna’s sense of humour was one of the most attractive feature in him, according to Yasodha. He was also singer. He had also recorded a song on Radio Nepal, a song specially written for Yasodha on her birthday.
Madan Krishna remembers, “She was from a Bahun family and I was from a Newar. She was worried that her parents would never allow us to get married.”
Madan Krishna had read a book titled ‘The Art of Handling People’ during his college days. The book was really helpful to Madan Krishna to handle people. The tips on attracting people and the significance of sharing a common interest helped him to get closer to Yasodha. The book had actually helped him in deciding to buy magazines for Yasodha. He not only bought the magazines, would also read those magazines for Yasodha. He actually wouldn’t stop reading them until Yasodha asked him to stop.
Madan Krishna’s father was the Pradhan Pancha at Jituphedi village, a place about an hour’s walk from Balaju. Although he was a social worker, he was also a traditionalist. The senior Shrestha had a bit of progressive thought. On the other hand, Yashoda’s father, a district judge, was very strict about marrying the guy of their own caste.
But, instead of being detracted by their family and the society, the young couple grew more intimate as the time progressed. When it became difficult for them to live without seeing each other, they decided to get married without the permission of their parents.
There was a TV serial “15 Gatey” by MaHa. The serial is about inter-caste marriage between. Although not as dramatic as the serial, Madan Krishna had presented a part of his love story in the serial.
There is a saying in the serial – “There are only two castes in this world; that of a male and a female.” That was the principle Madan and Yasodha believed in their hearts.
Madan Krishna remembers, “Inter-caste marriages were not as common during those days. I think my father knew of the affair before our marriage. Although, he didn’t say anything explicitly, I could read the disappointment in his eyes.”
On the day of Indra Jatra in 1974 the couple went to Suryabinayak temple with their friends and got married.
The suit shirt Shrestha wore was borrowed from his friend Mohanlal. The tie was borrowed from Ram Shrestha, his another friend. Although there were no family members, they had invited friends to the marriage ceremony. After getting married, the newly wed couple rented a room at New Road – costing Rs. 60 per month. A friend Mangal Narayan helped painting the room. Another friend Pradip Shrestha, an owner of a mattress store at Maha Boudha, gifted the couple with mattress and duvet.
Madan Krishna remembers, “We only stayed for two weeks in that rented room.” After the marriage, Ishwarilal Shrestha, a brother by relation set up the meeting with Madan Krishna’s father. He accepted Yasodha as his daughter-in-law and offered to conduct an official marriage ceremony.
The official marriage ceremony was held according to Newar tradition. All the family and friends would be invited. But, Yasodha’s family didn’t attend the ceremony. The invitation card of the marriage didn’t mention the caste of Yasodha – Madan Krishna remembers, “The invitation read ‘My dear son Madan Krishna Shrestha and Yasodha Maiya are…’ even though my father knew she was a Subedi.” Madan Krishan always felt bad about that.
Although Madan Krishna left Sanchaya Kosh and started working as a comedian, his wife Yasodha worked at the office for her life. She retired after working there for 40 years.