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A rhythm for change

Sunita Rao supports the girl child through her latest song



Musical Cause Sunita Rao combines the message with music

Time has a powerful influence on life. So feels Sunita Rao, and that’s why her new album is titled Waqt. “It’s a salute to life and time,” she says. Sunita tells you she has used her classical training for t his album, which has raga-based contemporary tunes with a very “folksy feel”.

“There is, however, something else which is special about this album, and that is the video of her first song Sun Zara, dedicated to the girl child.

The video, shot by Jason West and directed by Rachel Reuben, depicts a young pregnant woman being pressurised to find out the sex of her baby.

Suchitra Pillai portrays the woman. Sunita herself appears as a symbolic archangel figure, who switches off the ultra sound machine, giving the woman the right to choose life for her baby. The song, says Sunita, has a rhythmic, anthem-like feel to it, which will quickly catch on with the listeners, and therefore reach out to their hearts.

Being the official spokesperson of the Laadli campaign of UNFPA, Sunita says she feels deeply about women’s issues.

Ask her about women who have inspired her and she says… Dr. Mithu Alur, founder of the Spastics Society of India, and goes on to M.S. Subbalakshmi, Oprah Winfrey, Asha Bhosle and Shabana Azmi. Added to the list are her mother, her grandmother, and all the women in her family!

This particular album is an “expression of my heart and what I am at this point in my life.” Her favourite song in the album is the title song ‘Waqt’, which features the legendary drummer Lenny White and has Carnatic music influences.

Sunita says she intends to work in the future on some of the music created with Lenny White.

What else is she stringing up for the days ahead? “I’m not the competitive sort…” she confides. “Right now, I’ll just be out there, making my album heard. I’ve had a lucrative career for 20 years so I can only be grateful for it.”

That’s the real Sunita for you – “In the moment. I’m alive!”

ZEHRA NAQVI

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