THE LOGIC OF A RANDOM NEPALI
Much like the sasquatch, there are rumors of Orange Balls still floating around in our market. Why is this such a big news? Because we all hold these 4-for-a-Rupee as gems close to our hearts. A nostalgia factor if you will. And these little snippets of nostalgia were dealt to us 3 years ago, and we were hooked. Now, the dealer hands out things like weed, unsolved mysteries, and debunks kids who give Google a hard time. This, of course is no other than Mr. Rastra Bimochan Timalsena. Never heard of him? Probably because he goes by the name Random Nepali, and is one of the most popular YouTubers from Nepal.
He also happens to be a lawyer, a teacher, and a really down to earth guy. So, how does he juggle all of these? How many heads does one need to wear these many hats? Mr. Timalsena does it all by just one, which is why we though the following conversation was important.
HOW DID YOUR YOUTUBE JOURNEY START?
I used to have a lot of fun back when I was in college. I’d seek out fun in anything I was interested in. After I finished my studies, I came back to Nepal and started working and life was going as a whole. I did not know anything about video editing but I used to follow a lot of YouTubers and watch their content. One day, I was at home and had a random thought: why not make a video? That’s why I named my channel ‘Random Nepali’. Not to become a YouTuber but just to make a video so that it would bring about a new change in my daily life. Sort of like a startup; trying something new.
After I uploaded my first ever video on YouTube, the reaction it got surprised me. It got around two thousand views and I had a feeling that this might be something that could work. Then I continued doing more.
RECENTLY, YOU CROSSED THE MARK OF 100K SUBSCRIBERS, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
Frankly speaking, I never imagined I would reach the 100k mark. When I started my YouTube channel, I think Aayush Rimal was the most popular NepaliYouTuber, with around 15-16 thousand subscribers. At that time, having justa thousand subscribers was a big deal. So, when I reached the 100k subscribers I was on a plane to India. I had 97k subscriber when I departed from Nepal and I had just uploaded the video on the ban of PUBG. I just wanted to check how the video was doing, but when I checked it, I was genuinely shocked. The subscriber count had reached 99,998 and the video was becoming viral. It was a really good moment and I feel really ecstatic about it. I felt like I have achieved something in my life.
WHAT SORT OF DIFFICULTIES DID YOU FACE WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT?
Rather than the difficulties, my entire work process for starting the YouTube channel was for me to have fun. Because of this I was never worried about not getting views. The first video had four comments and I was happy with just that. And I think it was easy for me than other YouTubers. They had to make the videos using many resources and the editing took a lot of effort. I was making the content while laying on my bed which made it easier for me.
But as time passed the thing I was enjoying became a job itself. That is why I took a break for six months because I felt it was getting hectic. There was my normal job which I had to do and then there was YouTube. If I did not make any videos the YouTube algorithm starts getting problematic. If you do not make a video for a month, people will forget you. This was the thing that made it a bit more difficult.
TALKING ABOUT THE CONTRADICTION BETWEEN YOUR REGULAR JOB AND YOUR JOB AS A YOUTUBER, HOW DO YOUR TWO JOBS CO-RELATE?
Before, my job as a lawyer and me being a YouTuber didn’t have much co-relation with one other. The videos I made when I started were all focused on the fun side of things. There was no need to bring them together.
However, recently I have been trying to connect law and YouTube. My recent videos focus on providing informative content rather than solely emphasizing on entertainment, but all the while maintain the fun aspect of it. Furthermore, since law focuses on logic, I want to use this platform to broaden the horizons of knowledge, of mine and my audience’s. I recently discovered that my viewers are of ages 18 to 25, an age bracket where one feels they know everything but don’t. And I’m here to let them know. And when we all know what’s there to know, I want to promote the freedom of speech. A lot of problems exist because we don’t speak up.
ONE OF THE RECENT VIDEOS YOU DID WAS ON THE ‘GOOGLE BOY’. WHERE DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR SUCH TOPICS AND CONTENTS?
Well, even though I am the voice of ‘Random Nepali’, the man behind the scene is my older brother who is a cardiologist. He’s the one who came up with ‘Google boy’. He introduced me to this topic and about the Savant Syndrome and he insisted that I should make a video on it.
YOU ALSO EXPLORED UNSOLVED CRIME MYSTERIES. WHAT IS YOUR REASON TO COVER THESE TOPICS?
When I read the case of Namita-Sunita murder case, I got fascinated with it. This case was from Pokhara, from where I and my family come as well. You could say I got intrigued to cover this mystery because of that common ground as well.
Like I said before, I am trying to change my contents to more informative videos. The times we live in right now are more inclined to the misinformation rather than the actual information. In this day and age, people tend to react by seeing only the title and the clickbaits, and I want to change this perception and make videos on information that is useful. Obviously, there should be that entertainment factor in the contents because without it the viewers might find the videos monotonous.
“But YouTube has become like a second life to me by now so it will be hard for me to part with it. The platform has been good to me and I want to utilize it to promote freedom of speech.”
BACK IN 2017, YOU MADE A VIDEO ON WHAT YOU WOULD DO IF YOU WERE THE MAYOR OF KATHMANDU CITY AS A JOKE. BUT IF YOU WERE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO IN REALITY, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ACTIONS?
Well if such situation were to arise, I would not promise unreasonable things to the people, saying something like I will bring in a city wide metro system in Kathmandu in the next 5 years.
What needs to be done is research on things that need an improvement and which need to be changed. Let’s take the problems of the public transportation here; overcrowded public vehicles are one of the many hassles to deal with. The solution to that would be to increase the number of public transportation to reduce that congestion. Then to have a system where these transportation are efficient to reach any part of the city. This would reduce to problem of traffic. The other thing I would tackle is the development promotions of the outskirts rather than focusing in the main city area. Developing those outskirts will provide the people there with the facilities they can get at the main city areas. This will significantly reduce the congestion of people at the heart of the city. This will also help in controlling the pollution in the city.
IF YOU WERE TO CHOOSES BETWEEN BEING A LAWYER AND TEACHING LAW OR A YOUTUBER, WHICH IS HEAVIER TO YOU?
I’ve been in the field of law for a long while so I would choose it over anything any time. Easily. And even if I were to think about being a full time YouTuber, it’s impossible in Nepal. The income generating potential is really low. Businesses are yet to recognize the prospective of advertising on YouTube and the benefits of sponsoring content creators. Until that opportunity is tapped in, the future for making videos online in Nepal is bleak.
But YouTube has become like a second life to me by now so it will be hard for me to part with it. The platform has been good to me and I want to utilize it to promote freedom of speech.
FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE FOR YOUR VIDEOS?
Like I said before I want to promote freedom of speech. Next to that, I want to continue making videos that are educational and fun. Additionally, I’d like to provide a platform for other creators as well. This way, we’ll be able to grow together.
INTERVIEWED BY BAIBHAV SHRESTHA || PHOTOGRAPHED BY GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR