Let There Be Light

Pavlu Banerjee: A teacher sings about burning social issues

Kolkata: He has been teaching young minds for 18 years now. He also trains them to be conversant with the world of information technology. Meet Pavlu Banerjee, who is no ordinary computer teacher, for he composes and sing songs that address social cause. His songs are not in tune with normal Bollywood songs, but he charts his own course.

Pavlu highlights all burning issues that India is facing these days—  right from religious intolerance, to dowry deaths to old age loneliness to prostitution to human trafficking, child prostitution, street children and rapes.

“When we see street children we recoil or move away,” says Pavlu, who teaches computer science at the Youth Computer Training Institute, Kolkata. “But I try to understand the dreams and hopes of the street children, then put them into writings, in the shape of a song,” he mentions.

Pavlu had launched his first solo English album in February, this year though he already has a Bengali album to his credit. The English Solo Album called “Long Way To Go” voiced his concerns pertaining to violence against women, a very pertinent issue that is plaguing the society.

“I have grown up in a musical family where everyone loves to not just listening to music but also to sing. My mother would put me to sleep while songs of Beatles, John Lenon, Cliff Richard played in the background. Since my childhood I had a strong bonding with music,” shares the musician who composed his first song when he was just 10 years old.

“Gautam Chattopadhyay and Mohiner Ghoraguli (a trend setting band in Bengal in the 70s which was also India’s first rock band) inspired the musical self in me during early college days. Soon I Formed my first band called “Emotions” along with Mitrakshar Chatterjee, Pushan Sarkar, Kingshuk Barman Gublu and Prasun Bhattacharjee,” recounts Pavlu.

Pavlu, for whom music is a passion, was part of a band also.

The band played at various concerts across the city from 1996 till 1998. They shared stage with great musicians like Nachiketa Chakraborty during that period. The band was dismantled in 1999 as all the band members went out of Kolkata to pursue their professional career.

He is also closely associated with Prachesta, an NGO that works for the rehabilitation of special children.

Pavlu says, he does not do all these for the quest for adulation of stardom and fan following, but to touch the heart of the common man.

In 2012, the news of Nirbhaya rape case moved him to write a song that’s relevant even today. When asked why he writes mostly about such socially disturbing issues rather than focusing on popular genres of love songs and personal emotions, Pavlu said, “As an individual we all have  a responsibility towards society. It is through films, songs and plays that we highlight the evils, the ruthlessness and the hypocrisy of society.”

The singer’s concern is correct as despite strong laws and social outcry, after the Nirbhaya rape case, such inhuman acts of brutality continue to plague the country. “Do you know that one and a half lakh female infanticides still take place every year in India alone?” Pavlu asks, leaving us speechless.

But it is not as if he doesn’t write about love and such other emotions. However, as of now they seem to take a backseat as he is all set to launch his second solo English album, ‘Hope of a better world’. “The recording is complete and post production work is on,” he shares exclusively with eNewsroom.

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