Bollywood singer Shalmali Kholgade, who hit the limelight with her song Pareshaan from the film Ishaqzaade (2012), has released her first-ever single, Aye.
Channeling her inner ‘Beyonce’ (there are similarities with Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show performance), Shalmali pitches in for women’s empowerment in real earnest. She is sassy and stops at nothing to make her point. The video begins with Shalmali draped in a saree with a prominent ‘bindi’ on her forehead. Soon, she rips both apart and we see her in a two-piece inner wear even as her character chops off her flowing mane – all signs of her rebellion against the rules set for her by society.
In an interview with HT, Shalmali said she wrote the song after being inspired by the journeys of a number of women she met throughout her life. The lyrics send out the message of combating societal pressure, and being who you want to be: “dekh, main bhi khadi yahaan pe zara, sun le tu meri; rokoge mujhe jo bhi yahaan, parkhein to koi.”
The lyrics reflect strength. Shalmali, too, was focused and clear about what she wanted from the video. She goes on to say how she had her ideas in place and was determined about not wanting to be overshadowed by someone else’s vision. So she contacted her friend, cinematographer Anuj Sangtani, put together a production team, and shot the video in 10 hours at Richardson & Cruddas mills in Byculla.
Kholgade’s video is, in fact, a big thumbs up to gender equality. At a moment in the video, she pulls a man onto the top spot and shares the podium with him. Clearly, she wants both men and women to be treated as equals.
Shalmali has not only composed this song but has also directed the video. A popular playback singer, Shalmali has been craving for a career as an independent singer. Speaking at the music video’s launch, Deccan Chronicle quoted Shalmali as saying, “I’ve waited too long to do this. No matter what the outcome, launching my independent career with this track gives me a feeling of fulfillment.”
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