Stories about Ali Azmat

With Ali as Randy, Bushra as Simon and Hadiqa as Paula, what will Pakistan Idol look like?

After creating much hype and expectation, Pakistan Idol is finally here and it is good to see reality television in Pakistan being done this professionally. Having been an avid follower of American Idol for more than six years, I have to say that the Pakistani team of Idol has done a commendable job; from the pre-launch publicity, the judges, the contestants, the fun and the drama, everything about the show makes it a must-watch! So let’s get down to business. Here is my first impression of the show: The contestants I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of the crowd outside the venue. It was definite ...

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Coke Studio vs Nescafe Basement – is there a winner?

Finally, the most awaited season of Coke Studio is on air. However, like last year, it seems like Coke Studio has not been able to ignite the same interest in people like it did in the first two seasons. Having said that, with just one episode on air, it is probably too early to determine the success of this season. What is different this time however, is that Coke Studio seems to have competition – and that too, young and fresh competition – in the form of Nescafe Basement. This show has been produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, better known as Zulfi, who used to be a part of Entity Paradigm (EP) and is currently in the band Call. ...

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6 areas where Waar missed the target

It is official. Waar is making coin! The film has shot to Rs10.5 crore within the first ten days of its release, firmly placing in its crosshairs Pakistan’s highest grossing film of all time, Bol. Waar has also bettered the Pakistani box office performance of Chennai Express, unexpectedly scoring a higher opening day than the Shahrukh Khan masala vehicle. This has been a talking point for many Pakistanis, who have taken the news as a national achievement. Unfortunately, for Waar, the film hasn’t been received as warmly by the nation’s film critics. Predictably enough, the Pakistani public has been unhappy with the negative reviews. Fans of Waar argue that although ...

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Why Babu Bhai, Ali Azmat?

It finally happened! Ali Azmat’s track was uploaded in the first episode of Coke Studio Season 6. Grinning in excitement, I clicked on the link only to hear this in a low monotone: “Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai, Babu Bhai.” Yes, that is what Ali Azmat’s new song – or rather, an attempt to a song – sounded like. I could almost feel blood dripping from my ears and all I wanted to do was block out the song, if you could call it that. Quite frankly, it seemed more like musical agony ...

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3 reasons I will watch Coke Studio Season 6

There are a few things a Pakistani can be proud of and music tops the list. From the eternal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the evergreen Noor Jehan; from the refreshing Nazia Hasan to the quirky Hadiqa Kiani; from the cheery Alamgir to the likes of Ali Azmat, Ali Zafar et al; from the soulful Alan Fakir to the ear soothing Mekaal Hasan Band and Fuzon, we’ve got it all! In fact, anyone would give their Led Zeppelin guitars for the talent Pakistan has. The newest and the most successful (probably after Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) addition to the list ...

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10 things Pakistanis hate to hear

One of the biggest disadvantages of living in a nation as homogeneous as ours is that it is very seldom that you get to hear alternative narratives on history, religion, culture and society in general. People who try and present narratives that are different from the main stream are labelled as agents, heretics or even worse, traitors. Here I have made a list of ten things that average Pakistanis just don’t want to hear. 1. America and Israel cannot be blamed for all the miseries of the Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular. For a country that was hand in ...

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An open letter to Ali Azmat

Dear Ali, I hope this letter finds you in great health and wealth. I am writing to you today to tell you that you have let your fans down – perhaps not all but quite a few of them. I have been a fan of your vocal prowess ever since I heard “Dosti” for the first time in 1988. You used to be part of The Jupiters then. Your voice and the song captivated me; I was instantly hooked. Then you joined Junoon, and from then on I and many fans like me swooned to the wonderful music you created. Pakistanis finally had ...

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Why believe conspiracy theorists?

I read an article written in The Express Tribune yesterday by veteran journalist Nadir Hassan, titled “What if the conspiracy theorists are correct?”. In his piece, he said that all anti-US conspiracy theories of recent years have proven to be true. He also expressed the view that it is possible to be both anti-US and anti-Taliban at the same time. I was surprised at the lack of understanding displayed by the esteemed writer. Conspiracy theories, by definition, cannot be proven either right or wrong; as far as anti-US conspiracy theories are concerned, he just glossed over a few of them ...

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News that is music to the ears

Every time a major political or controversial story breaks, our news channels make it a point to flash it continuously, spiced up with songs. And that irritates me a lot. It sounds non-serious, to say the least. Numbers like ‘Dulhan hum le jaiengay’ (we will take the bride) for Sania-Shoaib wedding, ‘Ye dosti hum nahi choreingay’ (We will not abandon this friendship) on PPP, MQM coalition after fall-outs really push the boundaries of what ought to be acceptable. It is so insane at times you wonder if they really are talking about real events and happenings. It’s a trend to ...

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The amazing messages of Ali Azmat

I once saw a sign in an ice cream parlor: NO SUGAR FREE, NO FAT FREE—ONLY REAL ICE CREAM. IF YOU WANT NUTRITION, EAT CARROTS. This pretty much sums up how I feel about music videos/movies/poetry/novels/et cetera meant to convey messages. They are useless in terms of providing pleasure, which is what they are meant to do, and utterly rubbish for nutrition, which is what they are purporting to do. When I first heard that Ali Azmat has released a video called Bum Phatta, and knowing what we all know about him, I laughed for about a week. Then I took the risk ...

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