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

Published: August 23, 2015

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 the envelope a number of times, only to be pulled back by Ali Sethi. It’s hard to tell why they chose to torment both Mirza Ghalib and Manto in the same breath.

The composition’s emptiness was reciprocated wonderfully by the vocals – a key element in eastern music. A path that once giants like Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali walked, the ghazal fails to leave an impression on the listener and only adds to the angst about overhyped and undeserving artists that are roaming around scot-free in this troubled Pakistani music industry.

As he attempts to revisit Ghalib through a powerless ballad, Sethi is literally caught this time with pants down, hands in the cookie jar. Hate to be the bearer of this news, but for those who don’t know, he will soon feature as a guest performer in the popular music show that claims to put out the ‘Sound of the Nation’. It seems the ghazal’s maqta, ‘Khaak hojaenge hum tumko khabar hone tak (I’ll be gone and dusted by the time you get to know), was written for our friend only, who is hell bent on doing what he is not good at.

Ali Raj

Ali Raj

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

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