Shut Up Sona: Sona Mohapatra On Singing ‘Rang De’ As Her Tribute To Meera Bai, “She Was A Free-Spirited Rebel-Rockstar…”

Sona Mohapatra says ‘Rang De’ from ‘Shut Up Sona’ is her tribute to Mira Bai (Photo Credits – IMDb)

Singer-songwriter-producer Sona Mohapatra on Monday released a new track titled ‘Rang De’. The track, composed by her husband Ram Sampath for Mira Bai’s poem, is from her recently released OTT film ‘Shut Up Sona’.

The music video is shot with street art in the lower part of Paris, showcasing great female icons, from Edith Piaf to Frida Kahlo.

Commenting on the occasion, Sona Mohapatra narrated how it was only in her teens that she came to know about Meera Bai and her philosophy, breaking the image she had about the female poet as a child.

The singer said, “As a child, I found Mira Bai’s imagination very humbling and therefore depressing. I mostly found her clad in white, sitting with a tambura within four walls, bordering on her devotional servitude. while his rebellion was not really exposed.”

Sona Mohapatra continued, “It was only in my teens that I started knowing more about his life and times. He also wrote about sexuality and desire among other taboo subjects. My music video for ‘Rang De’ dogma and A tribute to him and his relentless desire to spread love, happiness and freedom amidst conservatism.”

Sona also told how Mira Bai violated the rules which were limited to women and followed her heart.

“Mira Bai was a free-spirited rebel-rockstar, but she has been institutionalized by the society. Despite his royal ancestry, he interacted with commoners and artists, danced and sang in public places, and sought a guru in Ravidas, who at the time was a blasphemer because he belonged to the ‘untouchable’ category,” said Sona. Mohapatra said.

She also mentioned that her rebellion was reflected in her refusal to commit sati and write songs about her.

Drawing parallels between the great poetess and herself, Sona Mohapatra said, “She wrote of her ‘choli’, a metaphor for worldly obstacles, asking Krishna to open it, and possibly for me. That’s how it was when I sang Meera Bhajan in a halter neck top at Mehrangarh Fort while headlining the RIFF music festival in Jodhpur.

“The world reduces women according to their gender, attacks them for their lust for freedom, and makes it all about sexuality. We are not just our bodies.”

A fact that stands out as clearly as Sona Mohapatra, a historian and writer tracing the life of a mystic poet in Chittorgarh, is the fact that powerful women artists in every era have faced condemnation.

Explaining what the film meant to her, the singer concluded by saying, “For me, ‘Shut Up Sona’ is a musical love letter to a country that is sometimes uncomfortable with my voice. It is the essence of my love and gratitude for everything that has consistently lifted me and many others around me – the music and the unique culture of my land.

“Ultimately, I am an artist. And with these songs, I am trying to further enhance the message of inclusivity, rebellion, love and the immense joy that my world has to offer.”

‘Shut Up Sona’ is available on ZEE5.

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