Stories about Ali Sethi

Coke Studio season 11 shows how beautifully diverse Pakistan is

In the midst of an agonising election season, and after the incredible success of Coke Studio Explorer, we just witnessed the release of the Coke Studio season 11 trailer. Leaving us utterly speechless with its ravishing and inclusive rendition of ‘Hum Dekhenge’ by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the song previewed many of the artists who will make their Coke Studio debut this season. Coke Studio has perhaps finally caught on to showcasing new artists that needed mainstream public attention for so long. These new artists are not only well-versed in their melodic symphonies, but also carry a cultural reminder, exemplifying what Pakistan’s ...

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With its Basant-like aura, the #CokeFest transported me to the old Lahore of the 90s

Despite living outside of Pakistan for almost three years now, I am still a hard-core desi at heart. The ‘desiness’ gets stronger if you are not just from Pakistan, but also from Lahore, and happen to be married to another Lahori, who is homesick more often than not. The Lahori inside my husband is so headstrong that a daig (large pot) at Data Sahib‘s shrine is the key to all our woes and worries. Despite studying in the UK and spending most of his professional life outside Lahore, he still compares the falooda he eats anywhere with the one he used ...

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The best and worst of season 10: Has Coke Studio lost its essence and attuned to mediocrity?

Coke Studio is back and unlike the previous seasons, it has failed to impress us so far. From the beginning, as we saw in their rendition of the national anthem, there were no goose bumps in sight. Now with the season moving forward, I wonder if Coke Studio has lost its essence and has adjusted to mediocrity. Having said that, let’s take a look at all the tracks that have been released so far, starting from best to worst based on my preference. Episode two: Faasle When it comes to vocals, ‘Faasle’ by Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch is my pick of the season so far. Jaffer Zaidi has done a remarkable job, ...

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Given PSL’s success, Najam Sethi is our only hope to bring cricket back to Pakistan

While Ali Sethi managed to save the first episode of Coke Studio season 10 with a beautiful rendition of Ranjhish Hi Sahi, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recalled his father, Najam Sethi, as PCB’s new chairman. It was clearly a great week for the Sethi family.  But this is not the first time Sethi has found himself at the helm of PCB’s affairs. He has competed with Zaka Ashraf for the position in the past as well, which definitely caused a lot of embarrassment for Pakistan on the international front. Sethi generally garners animosity from the masses because of his affiliation with the Sharifs and the absence of ...

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Coke Studio 10: A season of tributes that is too star-studded to be true?

You cannot make everyone happy. And nowhere does this apply more fittingly than to every offering of Pakistan’s musical opus: Coke Studio. The show, a success story like no other, has put Pakistan on the global culture map, but continues to divide opinions roaringly, more so of late. If the show plays it safe with covers, it’s unoriginal; if it delves into too much innovation, it becomes another Nescafe Basement. Navigating through the public complaints doesn’t always seem smooth for this show that has single-handedly rejuvenated Pakistan’s musical scene. With the line-up for the latest season having just been released, the furore is already upon us. For ...

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A tribute to remember

She was sitting outside when the sound first reached her ears. Her gnarly hands gripped the chair firmly. Staggering, she got up and walked towards the sound. The melody grew louder, different voices rising and falling. Melancholy gripped her. As a few minutes passed, the song reached its peak moments. And then the sound died abruptly. Puzzled, she hurried into the room. Her husband stood in the middle of the room, gripping the remote firmly. He glared at the television set with contempt. But Naghmana Bibi was not discouraged by his anger. She saw what others could not see. They saw his proud head, ...

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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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