Sunday Chronicle headliners 02 Feb 2020 Worth her weight in ...

Worth her weight in Sona Mohapatra

Published Feb 2, 2020, 12:15 am IST
Updated Feb 2, 2020, 12:15 am IST
This young engineer turned musician, who has a blue tick account on twitter, was invited to Paris for ISRO’s new Satellite launch.
Sona Mohapatra.
 Sona Mohapatra.

She’s a talented musician, film producer, BTech Engineer and a feisty outspoken fauji kid! Sona Mohapatra who has garnered much appreciation, was invited for India’s space shuttle launch in Paris. From how her early life was to the epitome of achievements she’s gained, Sona shares her journey.

Speaking about her exhilarating experience at the launch, Sona says, “As an Indian, I felt a deep sense of pride in being part of this occasion. This means another major step in India’s progress towards a stronger infrastructure, communications network and in turn, its global standing.”


The new ISRO satellite GSAT 30 in orbit gives us enhanced communications capabilities over its predecessor and strengthens India’s telecommunication services for the next 15 years.

Giving us a sneak peek into the event she says, “Seeing a rocket go into space is an indescribable and a powerful feeling. The questions that I brought into the discussion included, the role of Sattelite’s in predicting and help preventing climate change including catastrophes like Australia’s recent tragedy of forest fires. Also, the spy Sattelite’s under the guise of weather forecasters and space treaties must share knowledge from space exploration. Hence, there will be less of an inequality between the developed and the developing world and robots in space, the pros and cons of it!”


Apart from this Sona was also in Paris for the international premiere of her film, Shut Up Sona at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. IFFR also invited Sona to perform at the closing ceremony which is a first in their history of 28 years. The flick also won the Critics Guild Award at the MIAMI film festival.

Taking all the trolls and criticism targeted at her ‘like a boss,’ Sona says, “Critics and well wishers, both have asked me to ‘shut up’ very often. It’s the reason I chose to take charge of my narrative to make Shut Up Sona my film. All the love and positive feedback I get gives me the strength to continue being who I am — a disobedient but relevant artist who wants to go beyond just beauty and entertainment to effect change.”


Throwing some light on the movie she says, “Shut Up Sona is told from the gaze of my long time friend Deepti Gupta (filmmaker) who gets entry into the most private spaces of my life. As a result, the viewer too gets to see the journey from this privileged intimacy but the telling is of a more universal tale through the eyes of an Indian female artiste who protests, sings and fights for a voice. It also documents the build up to my call out and intrepid fight in the #MeToo movement and is a loud call out to patriarchy.”

For a person as dynamic as Sona, it is essential to have a few thumbrules and she says, “Make each day count. Practice gratefulness. Stand up and speak up for what you believe in and sing from the soul!”


Speaking about what advice she’d like to give the future generation, Sona believes one needs to stick to their roots. She says, “Take pride in your own identity, culture and do not ape or aspire towards homogeneity and being exactly like the west. Take special pride in artistic expression that is desi and true to our roots when it comes to the arts, music and even sartorially.  This does not mean being jingoistic but aspiring to be a generation that is inclusive and open-minded, learning the best from across the globe, aspiring for world standards in quality without losing its connection to its core philosophy, artistry and values.”


Sona also recently launched a new band called TSONAMI along with the first music video R.A.T. It is an amalgamation of different Indian dialects. From tribal Sambalpuri to Khadi Boli Hindi, and from Punjabi folk to Sufiana Kalam, Sona has incorporated different flavours of the nation in the peppy track.