Here’s one more clip from a Bengali movie starring Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar. She was so beautiful.
I myself wonder sometimes how is it possible to love the music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan and these old Bengali romantic movies at the same time. It must be because I am a Bengali. There is something about these old movies that is Bengali to the core. They are dreamy and sentimental like the Bengali middle class has traditionally been. That is why Bengalis are so proud of their poets, writers, scholars, thinkers and artists.
The poet Rabindranath Tagore, the filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the economist Amartya Sen, Vivekananda the founder of Ramakrishna Mission, the writer Nirad C Chaudhuri are all Bengalis.
VS Naipaul wrote an essay praising Nirad C Chaudhuri where he described how Bengalis in the early 19th century were among the first in India — and Asia — to embrace Western education and how it fostered liberal ideas and aestheticism among them. Tagore’s early prose is as lush as Walter Pater’s. But I am digressing.
We Bengalis like most people nowadays can appreciate other cultures besides our own. So there is no contradiction at all between loving the Beatles and adoring romantic Bengali movies. But the latter must be more “me” than the Beatles.