Muna Madan is based on an 18th-century ballad in Nepal Bhasa entitled Ji Waya La Lachhi Maduni (It hasn't been a month since I came). The song, which is popular in Newar society, tells the story of a merchant from Kathmandu who leaves for Tibet on business leaving behind his newly wed bride. The wife is concerned for his safety as the journey to Tibet is filled with hardships, and she pleads with him not to go. But he leaves despite her protests. When he returns home after many years, he finds that she has died.