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Watch: Susmit Sen Chronicles Slam Colorism on ‘White Karidey’

The New Delhi guitarist’s newest release is a sardonic hymn for anyone enamored by fairness creams

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Jan 31, 2018

Susmit Sen Chronicles' new video borrows from Bengali folk music.

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Not one to shy away from his roots, New Delhi-based guitarist and Indian Ocean co-founder Susmit Sen picks up a Bengali folk-esque rhythm for his latest single “White Karidey.” If the title alone made you do a double take, then the video sets up an intriguing watch.

In a five-minute video shot by the capital’s filmmaking firm StoryRunners, there’s a figure wearing a gigantic papier-mâché head roaming around and (understandably) garnering curious and bemused looks from those around him. The footage is played over the Susmit Sen Chronicles’ pounding percussion that breaks into the occasional guitar solo from Sen as well as Mark Aranha. Co-vocalist Sudheer Rikhari becomes sarcasm personified as he pleads to a “lord of the fairness creams” to make him the brightest shade of white. Rikhari twists around India’s obsession with fair skin that is deep-rooted. He has plenty of barbs in his repertoire, but our favorite remains, “Oo bachpan se soch rahi hai/Yauvan mein banenge foreigner.” (“From the time she was a child, she dreamt of becoming a foreigner.”)

With a funky groove and a bell for percussion that sounds just right, “White Karidey” starts off Susmit Sen Chronicles’ year promisingly, balancing entertaining and provocative.

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