If Not For You – A Bob Dylan Film (2019)

A film by Jaimin Rajani and Vineet Arora.

Synopsis: A tribute film on Bob Dylan, depicting Kolkata’s/Calcutta’s affinity with Dylan through cityscape and interviews of notable Indian musicians who were inspired by him. The film also draws parallels between Dylan’s body of work and the Baul tradition of Bengal.

Official Site

Well made and very interesting about Dylan’s connection with India and how he inspired a great number of Indian artists. A lot of interesting stories and characters, and at least for me, new information.

It has many fine Dylan clips and also quite a few music numbers from local Kolkata/Calcutta musicians. Great picture and sound quality.

Featuring Anjan Dutt, Usha Uthup, Purna Das Baul, Susmit Bose, Miti Adhikari, Nondon Bagchi, Arko Mukhaerjee, Prof. Ananda Lal, Amyt Datta, and Rahul Guha Roy.

Narrated by Dhritiman Chaterji.

Usha Uthup – Blowin’ In The Wind (Full Song)


“The theme of the documentary demanded that we show how notable musicians and academicians of Calcutta have been inspired by Dylan’s body of work. And as a resident of Calcutta, who has spent a significant amount of time researching Dylan, it was quite effortless for me to think of who I wanted to interview,” he says. He even managed to convince veteran singer Usha Uthup to record a cover of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ for the documentary.”
– Jamin Rajani (TheHindu.com)

“Though developed in just three months, If Not For You feels like the culmination of a lifetime for Rajani. The film has been screened at small gatherings and festivals, including at Lou Majaw’s Dylan festival in Shillong, and Rajani hopes to show it in Mumbai and Delhi soon.

A small production it may be, but If Not For You has truly managed to capture how Kolkata will forever be under Dylan’s ‘dancing spell’.”
– TheHindu.com

“Dylan is like a local resident of Calcutta. This city firstly had some of the earliest rock-and-roll bands like High and Great Bear, so there was a culture of listening to English music. Secondly, Dylan is appreciated here more as literature, as poetry.”
– Jamin Rajani

from theHindu.com: Jaimin Rajani with his prized Dylan memorabilia.

3 thoughts on “If Not For You – A Bob Dylan Film (2019)

      I am Bapi Das Baul (Subhendu Das), I am a son of Sri.Purna Das Baul and also one of the member of this family, I saw in TV news and newspapers articles, after got very much surprised and shocked by all those funny stories, “Bob Dylan’s day in Kolkata for wedding, a Baul for a friend” in a wedding Bob Dylan came in Dhakuria, Kolkata!!!!
      After Dylan gets the Nobel prize, some person trying to come in front news, making some fake news. Please, media should check out the Indian immigration lists (Passenger arrival records) and the Indian embassy in the USA for the visa-approved lists info at that time.
      This is not at all true and happened. Bob Dylan never came to our house in Dhakuria, Kolkata. This is totally lying, an untrue and cheap idea to reach quickly media’s and people’s attention and have air footage, in that great moment when Bob Dylan got his Nobel Prize. Those people take a nasty and greedy opportunity on that.
      At that time I (Bapi Das Baul) was living in that house 59/A, Maharaja Tagore Road, Dhakuria, Kolkata, with my parents too, each day, each hour, each second, I participated and also organized in all the family events too. At that time, I was taking care and organized that marriage ceremony like in one Bengali family’s elder brother is usually do. From booking Sikka palace(wedding hall), arranging meals, guests invitation, etc.
      Also, I assured that, as Bob Dylan never came to Dhakuria, he never ever went by car with anyone up to Sikka palace in Ballygunge. Sorry, this is another lie story like some others. Yes, some family friends came from the USA, (Usha Harding, Debra Shwiff, and others) even after hearing that they are surprised too.
      I saw the video report on TV and also on newspaper articles, I understood that it is not only the media’s fault or a big mistake. But media should check out the Indian immigration lists (Passenger arrival records) at that period and please take more attention.
      Yes, my father saw or meet only 2 times Bob Dylan, first time on his USA tour organized by Mr. Albert Grossman, all those photos with Bob Dylan including record cover(John Wesley Harding)1967, also because of my uncle Laxman Das Baul too, Dylan likes him was an as good friend, please ask Shelly Grossman, who is still coming to Suri, W.B, and Kolkata often. And 2nd time with my elder brother Krishnendu Das, on the USA tour with my father and mother, he managed with the help of Al. Aronowitz and THE BAND to have two passes in MADISON SQUARE GARDEN MANHATTAN, NY, for Bob Dylan’s birthday party (PRIVET) but my mother didn’t go, she stayed in Badal Roy’s(family friend) house. In my Mother’s lifetime, she never meets Bob Dylan, so the story about cooking for Dylan, Bengali “Khichuri” etc …..…. Ha Ha Ha, all are very nice invention story.
      I am very proud and grateful that, I and my all brothers and sisters are the members of this very oldest eight generations, authentic Baul family who have so many histories in the past and present. So before anyone finds out about this craps and fake story, I apologize on behalf of my family for this big mistake.
      We and I like that the real facts and the truth must come to the fore. So I am taking total responsibility to write this. I like to stop more further confusion between fans and upcoming young generations because we all are responsible to serve them the real truth and reality. But always my big respect for my legend family.
      MY MOBILE : +33 6 16 92 33 88 (FRANCE)
      MY E-MAIL: [email protected]

      **** Please check very well the CD ” FROM ANOTHER WORLD” the producer, was my friend Alan, and one of the songs in the album “Tambourine Man” was translated into Bengali by me and also I sang, and musically guide, recoded this track in France. I signed the contract. Tapas Roy played mandolin and banjo and Manab Mukherjee played flute the song.

  1. Want this on DVD – does that still exist? Mind you IF any nation can supply a market our Indian cousins are the masters!! SUPERB – apart from Mr Baul being the one that couldn’t speak in English???? Best-educated Indians speak better English than most english-shire folks’!!!!

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