Set against a funky instrumental arrangement, the single Kaun Bataye marks the return of Dastaan LIVE after a brief hiatus. The song is a socially relevant track that seems to touch upon the lack of humanity in the present-day world along with a faint hope that maybe this humanity will return one day.
Written by an anonymous poet, the song is resonant with current times of turbulence in a post-pandemic world but is still upbeat enough to groove to. These days, some songs with underlying social messages tend to get categorised as cliched because of a tokenistic or forced approach. In contrast, Kaun Bataye sounds like a satirical take on real-world issues and this interpretation definitely makes for a catchy track.
The accompanying music video incorporates a familiar compilation montage with several people posing at their homes with placards in their hands, each with a particular question written on them. These questions range from religious conflict to rising fuel prices. While this style of music video direction has been popularised more so after the pandemic, the video (edited by Pinak Mokashi) is boosted by some really interesting snippets around the aforementioned questions.
For instance, one of the people featured is shown wearing a ‘humanity detector’ as he tries detecting humanity with a sound detector-like instrument. Similarly, another one is found to wear a box with one of the sides reading ‘Should I laugh? Hope you don’t beat me up for that’ while the other reads, ‘Should I cry? Hope you don’t beat me up for it.’
The song’s purpose is simple. The band isn’t trying to act all intellectual and offer easy answers. Rather, it is just trying to raise the right questions and the rest is up to the listener to interpret.
Jagtinder Singh Sidhu’s lead vocals are hauntingly pleasant. In the strings department, Sumant Balakrishnan and Shubanshu Singh don’t only shine with their guitaring but also provide atmospheric background vocals (with additions by Pinak Mokashi and Sudheer Rikhari). The guitarists along with bassist Anirban Ghosh and drummer Nikhil Vasudevan get their best moment towards an intense instrumental outro.
Verdict: Asking the right questions with anthemic grooviness.