Shilpa Susan John
Shilpa Susan Jacob Image Credit: Facebook

Dubai: Shilpa Susan Jacob, a native of Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala, is now a social media sensation. The reason - her song titled ‘Mudi Rap’ (mudi means hair in Malayalam), has gone viral and raised some eyebrows. The rap song captures the story of her hair and how the simple decision to cut it brought her unwelcome attention, and questions.

A Facebook user @Dayaarakkan posted: "Wow! It reflects my story!"

Here's the video:

Four years ago, Jacob cut her hair short, and now, she has shared the "Mudi Rap" song. Jacob says she was inspired to come up with the song after watching an Indian playback singer Indulekha Warrier's "Penn Rap" (penn means female in Malayalam) that went viral a few weeks ago.

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Talking to an Indian news source, Jacob said: “Penn Rap was done brilliantly, and I found the lyrics hard-hitting. Despite being shot at home in a no-frills style, it still reached so many people, and I wondered if I could attempt something similar."

After penning the lyrics for "Mudi Rap", John shared it with her friends who encouraged her to give it a go. In fact, she chose the same free tracks available on Instagram that was used by Indulekha for "Penn Rap".

Another Facebook user @LijoKJohn commented: “This really makes me happy. Thank you for making an awesome video.”

Jacob recollects how "society" was splitting hairs when she first cut her hair short for practical reasons four years ago.

Jacob said: "It was a personal choice, but there were so many passing their comments about it. I had some hair issues and decided to cut my curls short. But soon, I realised that the way our society saw such a simple act was surprisingly different. There were those who asked me if I had some illness and made fun of me. Of course, some remarks were in good humour, but others were sarcastic. Then there were others who decided that I might have become part of the LGBT community…."

Jacob is now doing an internship with an accountancy firm in the Bengaluru district of Karnataka and is back home at Kangazha village in Kottayam district of Kerala due to the pandemic. In the song, she asks the conservative society to change so that it reflects the world, which has moved far ahead.

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Jacob added: "I was just trying to tell my story. I wanted to say that it is not your hair or your appearance that matters, but what you do."

The video was shot at home with the help of her sister Sneha, and Jacob says her family was supportive when she posted the track on social media.