Interview of Rajaditya Banerjee on his illustrious brother and film maker, the late Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay. Part II

An Untouched Saga of Melancholic Catharsis of A Legend Bappaditya Bandopadyay. Part # 2 

Rajaditya Banerjee continues his talk to Brinda Mallik...

Brinda-- How did his childhood help him to become a Modern Age Film Maker ? 

Rajaditya--I remember when we went to the same school in Kolkata our teachers used to ask me when you grow up what do you want to be ? 

I never had an answer . I went to him and asked him for an answer. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. So I asked him should I try to become a doctor or an engineer or a scientist ? And you know we're kind of conditioned to think like that . and In a country like India , in a society where doctors , engineers or established professionals are revered and valued much more than creative people, I think he had the guts to take the plunge in a world where he belonged that's cinema. He was a man who had simply never followed others . So it was only natural that he would do something different.

He had lots of stories to tell and that's why he chose cinema . What's interesting is when we were all busy trying our best to find 9-5 jobs , at such an young age he always knew he wanted to make films . 

Brinda.. Why cinema ?

Rajaditya....That's a good question . When he met Goutam Chattopadhyay of " Moheener Ghoraguli " , the legend , a fantastic musician and film director himself , he gifted him a camera and told him that it's a tool you might need. Why don't you make films? I think he saw in Bappa da an ability to narrate stories, to reach out to the masses through cinema. So I think he was very comfortable with the fact that he had a medium where he could experiment with ideas, narrate stories of social relevance and express himself. He chose cinema to talk to masses.

Brinda... How was his childhood ?

Rajaditya....Well , he was a very shy child and academically very brilliant . 
If he didn't make films, he would have been a very successful professional . He was very shy , introverted , always lived in his own world and was a recluse . A man who was fascinated by cinema and world literature, a man who took lot of interests in social and global issues. He never followed /copied anyone. He was always himself and wanted to do something different . He always wanted to say what he had to say . He was wearing his heart on his sleeves and not afraid of calling ' a spade a spade ' .

Brinda.... He was very much concerned about social issues and causes 
( Spontaneously stopping me ) 
Rajaditya..... Yes yes that's right . At the same time there was a firmness , there was a conviction 

He was confidant and convinced that what he said through his films did make sense to the people. As a filmmaker, a creative person he had a kind of a responsibility to talk about issues of social relevance which very few so called intellectuals cared about. 
In many ways his childhood was very different from the kind of childhood we experience in India. 

Brinda.... His Schooling - did it help in anyway ?

Rajaditya....I think he was a man who never needed a school. He was a student of Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission (NRM). He passed his high school from NRM.
He Graduated in Sociology. The point is he never belonged to any school.

He never really believed that we learn anything in school or in educational institutions. Yes he was a student of the University of Calcutta . He was disappointed with the educational system and felt schools, colleges or universities existed to serve career aspirations of students. We hardly learn anything in these institutions So he never understood why we had to go to school! He had never really enjoyed studying at school or going to college because he really felt that he had learnt so many things from the world/streets that existed outside the school building/ He believed you really learn something when you leave school. 

Brinda...Did his parent support him ?

Rajaditya.... Yes of course my dad was very supportive and mom was very pragmatic . Don't forget that cinema and literature is not alien to us, so he had it in his blood . It was only natural that he would either write or make films or express himself very creatively in different mediums . 

What was really remarkable is that at a very tender age he really knew what he wanted to do with his life and I think that distinguished him from others . He was an iconoclast, a kind of a role model for others. 

To be continued....