Sunday, April 22, 2012

"I Want You - Not a Bob Dylon Song"

"I want you" ! No, this is not the first line of the famous Dylon song. It is the English translation of one of the lines of a song titled - "Tomake Chai" sung by Kabir Suman. This is a song which was released in April 1992 and many of the young school goers heard it for the first time during September 1992 before the Durga Puja of that year. That Durga Puja was not any same for me. I was smitten by an album - "Tomake Chai" by Kabir Suman and today after 20 years on an April, Sunday suddenly the memories of September 1992 is arising again.

So, in this reminiscent state while celebrating Kabir Suman in my soul, I realized that it was in September 1992, this album brought out a structural change. Life was not the same and had changed for many young school children like us. That change was not only being observed in many forthcoming concerts in CLT (Childrens Little Theatre in Jodhpur Park), Madhushudan Mancha (in Jodhpur Park) or in Sunday Club (in Durgapur) where for two hours, we had done concerts (some in school fests and some other being a part of other cultural activities) in which many of us were giving some solo performances singing songs of Kabir Suman: But the change was more innate. This album of Kabir Suman had brought in a change in the thinking process of many young school goers at that point of time in Kolkata. It showed us a way to question structures, status quo to bring a difference in the lives of people. This has to be done by bringing in the context of people, their lives, emotions, shades of human beings in the medium of communication. Kabir Suman showed us how simplicity in communication can bring difference in the lives of people by building up a human connection. It also had a flavour of questioning the system but in a constructive way.

For young adolescent minds the questions his compositions raised was too difficult to avoid. But what it highlighted and brought in our middle class conciousness is a self belief to be successful by doing your own set of work simplistically with a continuous focus on relating the work with a larger goal of bringing a change in the lives of people in the neighbourhood.

So, Kabir Suman not only brought a change in the form of music making, but he also brought in new aspirations for people across different spheres of life. These people belonged to regular office goers, budding engineers, professors, sportsperson, doctors and so many. The spirit of bringing a human connect in the work and professional domain to reflect aspiration of society, human beings for creating a social change was being learnt from Kabir Suman by many of us in our generation. So it was much before "3 idiots", 20 years back through this poet, musician, singer, performing artist - Kabir Suman, we had learnt how to create a meaningful way of bringing a social change by being diligent and honest to the professional integrities in different domains of professional classes. So in a way the inspiration to bring meaningful persevering policy relevant changes through professional, intellectual integrities was being learnt from this man - "Kabir Suman".

So, today I realised what deep impact the songs had made in many of us. It was not only in the rendering two hour music concerts of Madhusudan Mancha, CLT but it had created aspirations which are driving many of us and will drive in the next 20 years to come. So to conclude, like many of us, today I would sing again - "Kabir Suman Tomake Chai" - "Kabir Suman - I want you".

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