Stamford Bridge, Green Street and Shor Macha!

Published: August 15, 2010

Celebrations aplenty in London. PHOTO: Zhaleah Qayyum, Rehan Zafar

With Chelsea running away to a thumping victory on the opening day of the season, Pakistani’s doing what they do best, that is making some noise, and one of my favourite bands coming out with a very cool video, my annual leave to London got off to a perfect start.

I love my work as a broadcast journalist at express 24/7, but after 21 months of work in the newsroom it was a time for a break, so I packed my bags and headed off to London. After 2 days of relative calm, my annual leave came to life on the 14th of august.

First up on my agenda for the day was a visit to Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s opening day fixture against West Bromwich Albion. Being a huge Chelsea fan I was really pumped up for the match, the first time I got to see Chelsea play live. But even I could not have hoped for a better start to the season. Chelsea started off exactly where they left off last season. They had won their last game against Wigan 8-0, and they won this one 6-0, which is also a record for the highest scoring win on the opening day. Drogba ended last season with a hat trick, and he began the new season with a hat trick. Chelsea were always expected to win the match, but with their demolition of West Brom they have sent a serious statement of intent to the other title challengers. However all was not well, the form of  Paulo Ferreira and John Mikel Obi must be a concern for Chelsea fans and manager alike.

After witnessing a great match at Stamford Bridge, I proceeded to Green street to take part in the Pakistan day Festivities.

When I reached their it was around the time of Iftar, hence the street was almost empty. However that was only the silence before the storm. Slowly as people opened their fast, swarms of people in green began flooding the street. Pakistani’s might not have vuvuzelas in our armoury but we do have the Baja, and boy do we know how to make some noise. The scenes that unfolded reminded me of liberty on the day we won the T20 world cup. People wrapped in flags, dancing and doing the bhangra, cars strolling through the streets with the windows down and volume up, and the bajas being blown at full blast. The passion with which I saw the people in east London celebrate 14th august, and the memory of how its celebrated in New York, made me wonder whether we in Pakistan do not fully appreciate what Pakistan means to millions of people around the world. While this Pakistani Diaspora community was celebrating 14th august with great enthusiasm the most heartening thing that I saw was that they had not forgotten those who had been affected by the deadly floods. Donations points had been set up not only across the street but across London I was told, and the peoples response was quiet encouraging.

After witnessing the celebrations on foot, me and my friends decided to take a stroll in the car through the streets of east London. One flag was pasted onto the car while one was held outside the window as we drove around with our windows down and volume up. In between our regular patriotic songs like Dil Dil Pakistan and Jazba Junoon we also treated the people of London to Entity Paradigms new single, Shor Macha.

Unlike most patriotic songs, it is not just a feel good song based in fantasy. It is a song based in reality which admits that we have very grave issues, but it also tells us that there is hope, and to turn around the fortunes of this nation we will have to take matters into our own hand and make some noise. Next up now is the oval test, and I hope the boys in green can now give us another reason to make some noise.


Shaukat Hamdani

Broadcast journalist with an interest in sports, travel, history and culture. He tweets @Shaukii

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