Sona Mohapatra: Lesser-known facts about the sensational singer

Updated: Jun 17, 2020, 08:35 | Nikita Wagh
  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    Born on June 17, 1976, Sona Mohapatra's homeland is Cuttack, Odisha. Being a fauji kid, Sona has lived in Cochin, Pune, Hyderabad, Nigeria and Africa and did her schooling as per her father's transfer. She pursued B.Tech. from the College of Engineering and Technology. Yes, singer Sona Mohapatra is an Instrumentation and Electronics Engineer, and later followed it up with an MBA in marketing and system. In picture: Sona with her two sisters - Madhumita and Pratichee.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    A childhood picture of Mona (Madhumita Mohapatra), Sona (Mohapatra), Tina (Pratichee Mohapatra). The Mohapatra sisters share a close-knit bond. Pratichee, the youngest of the three siblings, is also a singer. She is remembered fondly as part of Viva, the first girl band India ever had. Sona had shared this picture and sharing memory about Pratichee, she said, "This is Tina aka @praticheemohapatra, the last to join the trio that Papa @dilipmohapatra & Mummy, Nayantara brought into the world. A baby who used to suck her thumb & one I remember watching sleep when I was a toddler with an inexplicable feeling of a heart bursting with love. I remember this overwhelming feeling of wonder very clearly & the feeling of deep protectiveness very vividly. She grew up as Papa's favourite but had a tough time with two elder sisters, me, @madhumitamohapatra & constant comparisons. Went on to shine & has grown up to be a beautiful woman. A human that can be relied upon. Someone with amazing skills to do things systematically. Tina's cupboards are measured by a scale for order! Tina is a warrior who has fought cancer in its most terrible avatar twice already & two versions of it this time. Fought & won & it’s a blessing that she keeps such normalcy despite the tough spot she has been in. Proud of you. Here's to many more victories & scrowls & smiles. [sic]"

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra and parents

    Sona Mohapatra's father Dilip Mohapatra is an Indian Navy officer and her mother Nayantara Mohapatra, a homemaker. In picture: Sona (the little kid) in her mother's arms, while Madhumita in her father's arms. Sona had written alongside, "My elder by a year sister Madhumita was & always will be my best friend. Today, the 10th of April is the day she was born to Nayantara & Dilip Mohapatra. I came a year later. A couple of years went by & then came Tina. [sic]"

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    She added further, "Mona Didi stopped getting called that in a strange phase of 'cooleth' disease took over & that is one of my deepest regrets. Today, I decided to go back to calling her that - Mona Didi." Isn't that cute?

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    Sona Mohapatra, since childhood, was fond of music and singing. As can be seen in the picture, Sona with her sister is performing live at a cultural event.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    However, the singing career started much later. After obtaining an MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD, Pune, Sona Mohapatra worked as the brand manager in popular company Marico, where she handled brands like Parachute and Mediker amongst others.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    Reminiscing her early days in Mumbai, Sona Mohapatra shared this picture of hers along with her story, from her younger days. "This is from 2003, taken on Carter Road by my colleague from the Brands team in Marico, Rajesh who was an aspiring photographer at that time and fond of monochrome pics as many beginners are. I was living in a Barsati, a small room on a terrace near Rizvi College which was self-contained & quite a pretty little hole, only that in the rains everything in the room gave me severe electric shocks due to faulty wiring & on complaining to my landlady who lived in the main flat, I was asked to vacate & not given my deposit back. I cursed her out of desperation & some years later heard bad news about her having a paralytic attack & felt so so guilty at that time! At the time of being asked to vacate, I literally had nowhere to go & nowhere to keep my stuff. No deposit money Cus I had lost the 1 lac the company had given. A huge amount! Literally carried my belongings down the stairs one by one since the lift was not operational & took a room in a chawl like space almost overnight with minimal deposit. Just to make sure I didn’t take any favours or feel obliged or obligated, I chose not to ask even a friend for help or temporary dwellings... Look back to these days as an outsider in a tough city like #Mumbai with a complete lack of sentimentality. Proud of my journey nevertheless."

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra and mother

    Sona Mohapatra's one of the first projects in the music industry started with lending voice for jingles. She gained popularity with her jingle Paas Aao Na for the Close-Up ad. She ended up singing the jingle in 30 different languages. Can you beat that?

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    "When I released Pass Aao Na, I never expected it to become such a rage. I am so glad that it became a part of a television commercial because that way it reached out to a lot more people across the world than it ordinarily would have. I never thought that I would end up singing it in 30 different languages," said Sona, in an interview with mid-day in 2010.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra and parents

    Did you know Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Family's popular Lohri song was sung by Sona Mohapatra? She made her debut in Bollywood in 2006 with Family, however, it was 2010's Delhi Belly's song Bedardi Raja that gave a boost to her career.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    Whether it is melodious song Jiya Laage Na from Talaash, her rendition of the Punjabi folk song Ambarsariyaan, her Odiya folk song Rangabati or Naina from Khoobsurat, Sona Mohapatra made her space as a singer and independent stage performer over the past 14 years.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Pratichee Mohapatra, Madhumita Mohapatra

    Not just a great singer, Sona Mohapatra is also known for her outspoken nature, one who unabashedly puts her views on social media platforms. She was one of the first artistes from the music industry who made allegations against big names like Kailash Kher and Anu Malik when the #MeToo fire raged in India. While her strong opinions on inequality in the music industry and her lending a voice to #MeToo movement dragged her into controversy, Sona says her outspoken nature does not make her an activist but a true-blue artiste.

    In picture: Sona Mohapatra with her sisters Pratichee and Madhumita in their 20s.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    Fearless, vocal and non-judgemental to the core, Sona Mohapatra shared a series of pictures of herself donning a monokini. What happened next is this - "I shared some #SonaOnTheRocks pictures on Instagram and many wrote in saying "wearing slut clothes and then saying #MeToo?!". Some felt let down, "thought you were a different type of person, didn't expect this from you?!". Many sent hearts and fire emojis too! I am grateful for all categories of people writing in. The first show themselves to the rest of the world and hopefully someone in their life's will teach them the concept of 'consent' and how clothes or lack of them doesn't justify anyone attacking a woman. The second category of people should throw away any notion of me living up to their idea of a intense, thinking, serious, loving and therefore only khadi or fully covered woman.. your Sanskari'pan or idea of 'worthy woman' is not mine, no apologies from me, therefore."

  • Sona Mohapatra

    "For the third lot who sent me love, right back at you!! You give me strength every day. I refuse to fit into any box, just like I refuse to suck in my well-earned belly or clean up pics, or make myself 'thin' using unnatural means or with apps. 2020 here I Come!!! I hear the music. I hear a beat. From the universe around. From within. Own your spirit. Own your journey. Own your belly. Don't suck any of it in," said Sona unabashedly.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    "For the records. For posterity. Keep expressing yourself, India. It's the only way relevant conversations are fuelled. It's the only way we help each other, open our minds. I deem my body to be the best. It's strong, can swim for miles without tiring to start with. Also, my beautiful body jumps on stage for 3 hours nonstop while keeping complex songs and conversations going and keeps pace with my 24/7 ticking mind. I cannot be more grateful for it. I cannot celebrate it enough!" wrote Sona and we couldn't agree more!

  • Sona Mohapatra, Ram Sampath

    On the personal front, Sona Mohapatra is married to music composed Ram Sampath. "Meeting Ram was surely a turning point in my life. We both complement each other in our skill sets at work and I believe great partnerships propel careers. I do feel blessed for the kind of compositions that he has created for me. It's custom-made in a sense and brings out my best for sure," said Sona during one of her candid conversations with mid-day.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Ram Sampath

    On January 16, 2020, Sona and Ram celebrated 15 years of togetherness. "Ups, Downs with Learnings & Love. Nothing conventional about this partnership of equals. No rules apply. Unconditional & Uplifting till Eternity. @ramsampathofficial Happy Anniversary," she captioned this adorable picture.

  • Sona Mohapatra, Ram Sampath

    The husband-wife have collaborated numerous times. "Both Ram and I are proud of our rich folk heritage. While Ram introduced me to world genres like Fado, Flamenco and Latin music, I introduced him to the folk music of India. Since then, it has been a fabulous journey of discovery," said Mohapatra.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    Sona Mohapatra feels she is one of those feminists who has a most amazing male partner at home (music director Ram Sampath). "I love him, I adore him. I am not ashamed of admitting that I am nothing without his constant support and encouragement. I am a believer in equal participation in every change happening in our life. The combination of male and female gaze in everything creates a balanced world. Our very mythology tells us about the equal participation of men and women. I am a big believer of Shiv-shakti, so when the Shiva and Parvati are in balance, the universe is in balance. There you go, I am talking equality," said a proud feminist - Sona Mohapatra.

  • Sona Mohapatra

    More power to you, woman! You are setting great examples and helping mankind, who is falling apart. Happy birthday, Sona!

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About The Gallery

It's singer Sona Mohapatra's birthday on June 17. As she turns a year older, we look at some of her childhood pictures, fond memories along with them and some lesser-known facts about Sona. (All pictures/Instagram account @sonamohapatra)