This Kolkata Guy Made His Folk-Singer Father Listen to Popular Western Music & The Reactions Are As Bengali As It Gets


How often, while listening to music, have you heard your parents say “ Eta ki? Gaan ki Matha Betha?” , “ Turn down the noise” and other innovative backhanded digs at your choice of music? Well, this awesome Kolkata guy- Aditya Sengupta decided to settle things once and for all.

Now i’ll stop with the banter and let you see the priceless video of his father reacting to popular Western Music.


We caught up with the father-son duo to know more about them

To Aditya:


Q. What gave you the idea to carry out a reaction video of your father?

A. My father is one of the funniest realists I know of. He is extremely Bengali, extremely classical and old-school in his approach to music. Being a hardcore folk-singer, he has little to no idea of the popular Western music world. So i thought it would be an interesting social experiment to see how he reacts to that music. Making the video was just so that every single element of his reactions were on film. I then had the idea to cut it into a small reaction piece, and fortunately – it turned out to be to be a fun little video highlighting the generation gap.


Q. Tell us a little about you, your line of work and a little about your father.

A. I’m a writer, playwright and filmmaker. I’ve been born in the world of cinema and the arts. My father is a singer-songwriter, actor and playwright himself. He’s been acting in the Bengali film and TV industry for 50 years. This year 2016 marks his 50 years of professional acting. He was a child-actor, and started off his career alongside legendary artists like Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore and others. Today, he is the General Secretary of the West Bengal Motion Picture Artists’ Forum. He continues writing and acting in plays, theatre, TV and cinema.


Q. What do you have to say about the generation gap in our society?

A. It varies from family to family really. But in the middle-class Bengali household that we know and are used to – the generation gap is real and stark. We have vastly different tastes in music, cinema, popular culture and the arts from our parents. We have different ideologies about lifestyle and ethics. We are separated by technological advancement, general pace of life and perspectives on living in the world of today. Yet, our familial ties are strong, as they have always been. Family transcends all gaps.


Q. Do you think present generation parents are working towards minimizing this gap?

A. To a certain extent, yes. Our parents were kids in the sixties and the seventies. They’ve seen the world go through some of its most radical phases. In terms of culture, the arts, music, movies, politics and socio-economic conditions. They are empathetic towards our choices. They may disagree with what we prefer, what we wear, what we listen to, how we act – but they make an effort to understand, even if their realm of understanding is slightly limited. The present generation parents are making a real effort. The next generation will make a harder effort. The generation gaps will keep reducing from 25 years to 15 years, to 10, and so on.


Q. You made your father listen to the music, not watch the music videos. Do you think that the line has gone too far because personally I won’t be able to show the latest music videos to my father too.

A. I think I’ve crossed the time when I’d be ashamed or uncomfortable to show my parents. But yes, today’s popular videos are hyper sexualised. I would have been slightly awkward to show him the videos of Wrecking Ball, Wiggle or Turn Down for What. The culture shock and gap would have been even more apparent then. I think you gave me  a great idea for my next video!


Q. With young teenagers having easy access to technology/content, do you think that for our generation, the so called gap is kicking in too fast

A. Yes. The gap is real, and the gap is increasing. The world is moving too fast and we are catching up at a slower pace than normal. There is just too much happening in the world in the field of technology for us to be absolutely on par with all advancements.


In Bengali, we have a word called ‘Gaan-Bajna’. Yet, today. It’s reversed. It’s ‘Bajna-Gaan’. Music has taken preference over singing – Arindam Ganguly


To Mr Arindam

Beacon Kolkata: Our deep respect to you for taking up the challenge with such brilliance. We can’t help but become fans of you

Mr Arindam: Thank you. I’m glad you liked it.


Q. What would you say about the type of music the youth is into today?

A. In Bengali, we have a word called ‘Gaan-Bajna’. Yet, today. It’s reversed. It’s ‘Bajna-Gaan’. Music has taken preference over singing. It may not be problematic to the youth of today. But I personally feel that singing isn’t as important as it used to be. And that bothers me. Different kinds of music have come up today. Electronic, varieties of rock and what not. Somewhere, good old fashioned singing has lost its prominence. It’s still there, in small doses. I’m not too fond of rock music. It’s too loud for me. It’s not a judgment, its a personal opinion. I like swing. I like soft melody. Melody! That’s something which is lacking in the music of today. It’s all the same type of sound recreated over and over again.


Q. There must have been a generation gap between you and your father too, but do you think that with this generation its been taken to another level.

A. There was very little generational gap between my father and I. We both liked the same sort of music, similar artists, etc. At that time, there weren’t that many choices, being from a moderate family trying to make ends meet in Kolkata. Today, the generation gap between me and my son is huge. I don’t understand the loud music that i often hear in his room. There is a lot of sounds that are hard to classify. It’s not that i don’t like them. I don’t understand them. I do try to listen to the good western music. My son made me listen to John Mayer, who is nice. I do like the song All of Me by John Legend and 7 Years by Lukas Graham. I enjoy instrumental pieces. But the gap is real, and its evident.


Q. Which musical instrument is your favourite?

A. I am a lover of stringed acoustic instruments. To me, the best sound is the sound of an orchestra with violins and cellos creating beautiful musical interludes.


Q. Who is your all-time favourite singer?

A. My favourite singer of all time is Kishore Kumar due to his sheer variety and range. I also am a fan of Elvis Presley, Manna Dey, Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar.


Q. Who is your favourite current generation singer?

A. This is a hard question. I don’t have any favourites in this current generation. Although as a musician and singer, I believe that A.R. Rahman still comes up with extremely melodious tracks both in Tamil and Hindi. He retains an old world charm of the 60s and 70s, while being relevant and contemporary in today’s musical advancement.


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