Name: Natikaji Shrestha
Nickname: Amrit Lal Shrestha
DOB: 1925 (1982 BS)
Birthplace: Pulchowk, Lalitpur
Parents: Mohan Lal Shrestha and Champa Devi Shrestha.
Marital status: Married to Saraswati Raj Bhandari
Children: Sanjeeta, Kabita and Sabita.
Occupation: singer and musician
Award: Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Pratham,
Indra Rajya Laxmi Pragya Puraskar,
Chinnalata Geet Puraskar
Bhupal Sangeet Puraskar
Natikaji Shrestha(Amritlal Shrestha) was born on 1952 in Pilchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal to Mohan Lal Shrestha and Champa Devi Shrestha. He lost his mother at the age of 5 and his father at the age of 10 and so he had raised by his grandparents at Gujeshwori where his grandfather was the temple priest. His maternal grandparents named him “Nati” (grandson) “Kaji” (aristocrat). He commenced his musical venture at the fragile age of 7 when he started playing the harmonium at the Gujeshwori Bhajan Mandali. His guru with whom he first learned music was Tuyu Narayan Shrestha. He became a regular in the bhajan sessions at the temple. He sang devotional songs and performed in various musical plays from an early age. At 25, Nati Kaji joined Radio Nepal in the capacity of a singer cum musician.From 1951 to 1978 he worked at Radio Nepal as a Nayab Subba.
He started his musical career in the “Hosh narakhi hidhda yatri”.He was the pioneer of modern Nepali music. He is now well-known as a singer, lyricist and a musician.During the 40 years of his service in Radio Nepal, he composed over 2000 songs of varied genres: patriotic songs, love songs, bhajans and so on.
He married Saraswati Raj Bhandari. They have three daughters Sanjeeta, Kabita and Sabita.
The figure of the number of songs sung by Nati Kaji has still not been authenticated. Nati Kaji has composed music for over 300 modern songs, 171 Bhajans, 81 National songs and 10 songs for children. Nati Kaji will always remain in the hearts of every Nepali.
“He was the Melody King of Nepal.” With songs like “Marna baru gahro hunna”, “Aja ra rati”, “Phulko thunga bagera gayo”, and “Yasto pani hundo raichha”, Nati Kaji claimed his place as one of the master composers of Nepali music.
He has been rightfully credited for immortal numbers like ‘yo Nepali shir uchali’, which have the might to evoke an entire nation, songs like ‘sapana bhulai saara’, which demonstrate the angst of a broken heart, and then there are songs such as ‘timilai hasera bida matra diyisakethen’, which exhibit the despair of separation.
He was also awarded with honors like — Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Pratham, Indra Rajya Laxmi Pragya Puraskar, Chinnalata Geet Puraskar and Bhupal Sangeet Puraskar among many others.
During his endeavor to broaden the music horizons of Nepal, he developed heart problems. He was diagnosed of Parkinson disease as well. He expired when he was 75 years old and took his last breath at Medicare Hospital, Chabahil.
Songs of Natikaji Shrestha:
Aaaja Bholi Dekhdinama
Aaja Ra Rati Ke Denkhe
Aakhaima Raat Gali
Aha Banma Fula Fulai
Akhiri Yo Chitti
Bhasma Dhalera Shambhu
Bida Hune Bhai Gayo
Luku Luku Lagyo Malai
Ma Timro Sahar Chodi Taadha
Pahadma Basi Khelera
Phool Ko Thunga
Thahai Thiyena Dil
Timi Aauchheu Bhanne
Yo Kasto Raat