Nepal Has Recently Gone Through Media
Akhada represents not only form of talk but place where you are talking.
In Nepal, galli, bus stop, cafe, or parks where people predominantly young men hangout engage in akhada.
Nepal has transformed from a Rana family dictatorship regime to Shah Monarchy and finally to the Republican State.
There had been some extreme measures to suppress public free speeches.
Freedom was always limited and people disapproved of it.
Many people participating in, or commenting on akhada are concerned individuals expressing their displeasure of such government or just plain talking about politics.
Mostly these connections are made through literature, arts and music.
One such example involves a book rakta kunda.
The book depicts personal experience of a former employee who relatives were a spectator during Royal massacre.
He argues that massacre was orchestrated by former king Gyanendra himself by killing his brother (King then) and his family to inherit the throne.
In akhada, people constantly mention this book and argue if it is factual or fictitious (Bhattarai 2004).
Akhada was mainly an expression of such dire political condition where one tries to cope with one's discontentment, disfavor and dissatisfaction of political situation and its consequences on the life of each individual as a whole.
It is mostly practiced by middle class people who are incredibly bothered by such changes as their common ground is how politics can play a huge role in establishing individual and society.
In modern context, akhada put forwards Nepal's stable and peaceful past which comprised of rich cultural identity and cultural diversity.
Moreover, it laments the changing politics and economy of Nepal and people likely to engage on it view this as more democratic practice where your ideas are heard by their colleagues and friends.
People practicing in akhada are appreciated for their thoughts.
Moreover, those thoughts are discussed, and argued between fellow colleagues or friends and even concluded.
Everyone who participates can form independent opinions and subjectivisms to such practice.
This is why it is very popular among middle class people albeit historically government tried to suppress those practices.
Moreover, if akhada is hold between friends, it takes the discourse of equality where whoever wants to add their opinion; they can do so without much of congeniality.
However, if akhada is hold between seniors and juniors or family members, there is always respect given to the elders.
Conversation may start with a point of view from elders and even to disagree to their point of view, juniors add a certain degree of respect and politeness to arguments so that hierarchy is always maintained.
It would be unfair to say that akhada was mainly for withstanding such political barbarism, or conscious attempt to resist the government, but its mode of expression of things which are displeasure and disapproval.
Although each individual may have different opinions, their expressions seem to have common themes and outlooks which are reflected as their unique social identity that constantly creates and recreates akhada.
This is why akhada is a speech genre as defined by William Hanks,
Speech genres are seen as both the outcome of historically specific acts, and themselves among the constitutive dimensions in terms of which action is possible.
Genres then, as kinds of discourse, derive their thematic organization from the interplay between systems of social value, linguistic convention and, the world portrayed.
Although Akhada is communicated mostly in Nepali, it also involves mixing of various dialects or even English or Hindi (Indian language) to produce more than Nepaliness to it.
Nepal consists of people from various dialects so people are multilingual as they can speak Nepali, their specific dialects, Hindi (learned through watching Indian movies, shows which are very popular among Nepalese households) and English (most of the schools are English medium so it's common for people in Nepal to speak, read and write in English).
Therefore mixing and matching is common in akhada.
Akhada are open-ended and may take new form as conversation between individual could entirely go from one direction to another touching different topics as it goes on.
For instance, one could talk about politics and then connect it to the particular satirical piece on TV and talk about the show and so on.
So discussion can lead from one topic to a different topic which is the underscore of akhada and probably the reason why it has survived through multiple generations and test of time.
And, since it's all spoken but not written, language is the only way one can understand and document it.
Akhada is a speech sub-genre of casual conversation which is evident on its use of settings where people participate by talking casually on topics such as politics, music, art and literature.
People constantly share and exchange consciousness, ideology and interpretation of political discourse among their colleague and friends.
However Akhada, beyond its political analysis between peers, profoundly reflects the contemporary significance in the social life and identity formation of Nepalese people.
Movies are often a time pass with bags of laughter that are often created to entertain people.
We are so busy these days; we have to deal with stress and anxiety that we hardly have time to relax.
Therefore, movies in particular are there to calm us down, to clear down those clouded minds and recharge those precious brains.
And, mocking something may it be on political, religious or cultural context with imitation entirely to point out the irony or to be satirical is therefore funny, entertaining and relaxing.
Mockumentary as name suggest is a mocking documentary which is a parody often mocking, imitating but in a very unique way, entirely as a documentary to feel and sound more serious although it's entire purpose is often to make fun of things, point out a canny out of uncanny, and find humor in a seriousness.
Often creators of the mockumentaries are not interested to increase our consciousness.
They do not want us to scratch our heads and wonder profoundly about the incidence presented as a normal documentary would.
Instead, they produce it simply as a novelty or stunt style to incur more controversy on the subject matter.
Moreover, some produce it as an alternative to innovative dramatic style as a serious documentary that constantly tries to look and sound real by pointing factuality, albeit rather fictionally.
In addition, some produce it to reflect parody and satire in things which may be political, cultural or religious.
Nonetheless, the purpose for creating it may be different; end result is always the same in the form of comedy and laughter (High 2003).
Mockumentary is presented as a traditional documentary, but exaggerated enough to portray the parody of things.
Interviews are deliberately made tiresome with the interviewer's reaction clips edited, trimmed and massaged later to reflect the irony.
Handheld camera is secretly used to include such embarrassing conversations or self-indulgent interviews that are so obvious for viewer to sense a theme of satire.
Instances when the characters' interviews and observations rarely agree with the reality are often used.
In addition, any incident such as fights, arguments, and even walks-offs and door slamming in the background are also used.
Moreover, the characters' distorted, biased or misinterpreted perspective of reality is used to point out the irony.
Mostly raw moments are captured so that the interviewee is unaware; this is later used predominately for comedic effect (Pollick 2003).
Mockumentary succeeds on creating a unique perspective and view of things.
It strictly does not follow a traditional comedy approach of punch line and standard set up, instead achieves humor by simply showing incidental bits of dialogue or visuals that actor deliver with great improvisation.
The goal here is to transform serious documentary into a laugh fest of epic proportions.
Although, mockumentary are slow paced, and humor is hard to grasp as it uses witty and intellectual humors but once understood, it can bring a burst of laughter and therefore loved by critics (Pollick 2003).
The people who enjoy this work are fully aware of this as a work of fiction.
The audiences are not required to decrypt the film or even question the factuality; rather the audience is placed in a privileged position of knowing bizarre situation which outlines a paradox of things.
Moreover, audiences are aware of the presentation of politics, religion, culture, stereotypes, or prejudice in an unconventional way as line is drawn between facts and fictions.
In addition, audience who enjoys these movies loves to make fun of celebrities, music, books, politicians and movies.
Although reasons may vary on exactly why as we all have reasons for mocking things, ultimately it brings out plain fun for most folks and are indeed shared among viewers who like to see fun side of things (Stape 2008).
Mockumentary This is Spinal Tap presents a fictionalized documentary with false newsreel footage to utterly point out the hilarity that goes on with music business.
This movie is satirical to the hard rock and heavy metal music community as it points out the flaws of these pretentious head banging, long haired artists.
In this movie, UK metal icons Spinal Tap decide to go on US tour to revive their fame (This is Spinal Tap 1984).
The movie presents absurdity of these music bands by use of farce and how these artists can unintentionally sabotage their career.
The band had obviously passed its prime by the time filming began, and interviewer continues to explore the backstage world of the musicians and self-destructing personas (Stape 2008).
Borat is another mockumentary which was a commercially successful film.
A fictionalized character Borat, a journalist by trade, travels through the United States interacting with people.
He uses Kazakhstan as a prop to reveal issues of America and mostly western audience (Borat 2006).
Borat tries to point out the irony of the Americans and its reflections as a sophisticated and worldliness people who get things, understands the irony.
Some act of follies is also revealed like Texans to be anti-Iraqi and pro Bush and New Yorkers to hate being bothered by strangers and so on.
Moreover, it lends imagination of the western world on other nations to be not up to their standards and portray those nations as a naive, innocent and silly (Campbell 2007: 54-55).
Mockumentaries often imitate or parody the cultural, political and religious context of society using fictional characters, intellectual humors and improvised lines as a form of serious documentary.
It is satirical, ironic and funny at the same time, and therefore produces a great dose of laughter which is a joy to behold at times.
Hanks, William F.