Whether as children or adults, people spend most of their lives being told how to behave and how they’re “supposed” to be – especially women. People are expected to follow gender norms and stereotypes, fit into labels, act according to their age, class, status, gender and so on.

“Don’t stand too tall, don’t crouch too low; don’t laugh too hard, but don’t you frown; don’t talk too loud, and watch your words; don’t be a funny girl but don’t be a bore.”

Sick and tired of being told what to do and how to be, New Delhi band Kitchensink echoes these commands for normative behaviour in the lyrics of their song Funny Girl, which is all about breaking out of such moulds.

The improvisational indie, jazz band – which comprises Adhir Ghosh, Smiti Malik, Ritwik De, Jayant Manchanda and Siddharth Jain – told “Both lyrically and musically, this song is about breaking out of moulds/prescriptions. Although written from the perspective of a woman, the lyrics aim to question a much broader experience of how, regardless of gender, age and so on, we are all expected to internalise a set of behaviour and norms through our lives. Somewhere, we are also questioning the fallout(s) of that process and how it breeds feelings of intolerance, isolation and impedes empathy.”

A moving music video, conceptualised and directed by Talisa Oberoi, accompanies the song, portraying parallel, mirroring stories of a young girl and a woman, who emulate the song and its message.

The song is part of the band’s debut album Harmless Things, which was released in July. The music video was shot in three days across Delhi-NCR (of 45-degree-Celsius heat).