INDIA. Filmmaker Ajay Govind, best known for his collaboration with Onir on Shab and Sanjay Suri on My Birthday Song, has shot a new music video featuring noted singer Sona Mohapatra which recently got released on YouTube. Titled “Raat Ke Musaafir”, it follows two working women, a cab driver and a hockey player, going about their daily routines in the middle of a night when the whole city sleeps. The music video as well as the song beautifully capture their journey and struggle. While the song is composed by Nitin Krishna Menon, the lyrics are penned by Govind himself. The script for the music video is written by Remya Sasindran.
The video was shot through the night across 3 nights. “Anupama, who plays the hockey player, is actually a trained doctor. Both Sakshi, who plays the cab driver, and Anupama are Delhi-based actors. It wasn’t an easy shoot as we had to shoot across 3 nights and both the actors had one additional task to perform as actors – one had to play hockey the other had to drive a cab. I especially enjoyed the sports bit for which we had Ms. Sonal Shah, a hockey coach who made sure we made it look right. Overall, it was great fun working with such an energetic and enthusiastic team,” reveals Govind.
Govind is fascinated by the idea of “picking a mundane moment in someone’s struggle and present it as-is, without romanticizing it.” The plan was to create a scenario highlighting that everyone has their own struggle. “Amidst the struggle we wanted to create a moment of hope for one of our protagonists through an unexpected ally along the way. You see, even the dramatic high point of the video is unfortunately a very routine moment in the lives of most women. We wanted to bring in the everyday struggles that women have which is heightened by the barriers of safe spaces and safe times. We were fortunate to have a producer like Kumar Bharti who backed our vision which wasn’t necessarily mainstream in a conventional sense”, explains Govind.
Govind was introduced to Sona Mohapatra by Sanjay Suri. “We always knew Sona Mohapatra was the perfect artist to collaborate with us for this song. So I discussed it with Sanjay and he connected us with her. She liked the idea that was it! Watching her sing the song was a dream. She really brought life into the softer bits of the song and tremendous energy and emotion in the chorus,” recollects Govind.
“Raat Ke Musaafir” was released by Ultra Media & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. on their YouTube channel which has over 24 million subscribers. “I felt like the video deserved a wide release and when I shared the video with the Ultra team, they reacted very positively to the song and the video. I believe that they would give it the kind of visibility it deserves. There’s a lot of good independent music out there that doesn’t reach people just because it’s not on the right channel,” opines Govind who opted for an Independence Day release hoping that the music video may take a different notion on independence and the desire to be free.
Watch the music video at the following link:
An earlier version of this story was first published in The Daily Guardian.