Ali Raj

Ali Raj

A sub-editor at The Express Tribune. He tweets @AnaariKiBandooq (twitter.com/AnaariKiBandooq)

I can sing today because Amjad bhai told me I can

I never knew it would come down to this; me writing about how Amjad Sabri changed me. What sort of a man was he? Everyone has pictures with him. Everyone seems to know him personally. Every second politician has something to say. His death has made even those talk who were never fans; those who never considered him an A-lister. As a boy who grew up in the cultural milieu of Sadaat-e-Amroha, I would go to our community centre every year to witness Amjad Sabri perform for the Urs of Hussain Sharafuddin Shahwilayat. I had never been exposed to qawwali this ...

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Farida Khanum: Setting the Coke Studio bar very very high

Curtains have been drawn on the show’s eighth season as the final episode of Coke Studio was unveiled this weekend. Stringing together a farewell set list might have been a nervous job for the producers who used the currency of nostalgia to full use, week in week out. The Fayyaz Hashmi ghazal is perhaps the most popular lyrical piece of the recent past which was further accentuated by the signature Sohail Rana ministrations. The old kingdom is no more and Farida Khanum is one of the few of its viziers, in Hali’s words — Yadgar-e-bazm-e-Dilli aik Hali reh gaya (only Hali remains ...

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Would Manto be happy with Ali Sethi’s Aah Ko Chahiye?

Aah Ko Chahiye is the second track in the Manto OST. The video seems more like a trailer with numerous sequences from the awaited movie flashing past in rapid fire, contrary to the bland and tasteless composition trying its best to complement it. The attempt makes you question why Pakistani filmmakers fail to understand how important music is for the success of a movie, especially with the audience from our part of the world. Some of the scenes from the biopic hint towards the numerous short stories penned by the master storyteller or the different anecdotes associated with his turbulent life. Sarmad Khoosat’s acting does push ...

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AIB Controversy: Who has the last laugh, India or the moral police?

Although New Delhi’s legislative assembly elections are just round the corner and the city that has been the helm of power in the subcontinent for centuries will choose between its ‘aam aadmis’ and ‘khaas aadmis’, the fulcrum of debate instead is a comedy show uploaded to YouTube, a video-sharing website, that many Pakistanis wouldn’t know of, on January 28, 2015. It is fascinating how one chooses to become a comedian in a part of the world where something funny is going on all the time. A few years back a group of witty comedians, comprising Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan ...

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Younus Khan runs riot!

Younus Khan silenced all conjectures. The doubters have been taught the consequences of tickling Mardan’s sleeping dragon. He probably broke the record for breaking records in this two-match series. Stats have brought him head to head with some of the galactic greats of the game but the hero chooses to remain in the shadows of conflicting egos, serving our cause with what little is left in him. Younus is indeed an odd hero. For a fan base that dwells on little moments of glory, the progress of his tons and Pakistan turning tables has been soporific to many. The exploits ...

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