Stories about music

Junaid Jamshed taught me the importance of humility, positivity and staying true to oneself

It has been a year since crooner turned preacher, Junaid Jamshed, passed away in an air crash. He had been coming back from a preaching mission (tableeghi jamaat) in Chitral, when he met his unfortunate demise. Jamshed had gained countless fans during his singing days and was credited for bringing Pakistan out of its Ziaul Haq-induced oppression of the 80s. Eventually, he turned to religion at the turn of the century and earned followers by delivering sermons and naats in his silvery voice. Interestingly, when Jamshed retired at the peak of his career and decided to become more religiously inclined, he remained popular. ...

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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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Bujayote: The future of Pakistan’s musical valley may be bright, but the future of their music is dark

In the extreme north of Pakistan, a small area located in Yasin Valley known as Bujayote, is the home of traditional musicians. According to these artists, this name is associated with one of the very early musicians named ‘Bujaye’, a professional, whose generation pursued this profession. The area is also locally known as “Ustadishoo Deh” which literally means the neighbourhood of the musicians. Yasin Valley is one of the many mountain-locked valleys in the extreme north of Gilgit-Baltistan. The instrumentalists of Yasin perform in a set group of more than three. One of them plays a pair of kettle drums locally called ...

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Shoaib Mansoor’s most anticipated movie, Verna, is yet another example of his anger towards social injustice

After hits like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol revived Pakistani cinema, Shoaib Mansoor is all set to return with another potential box office hit, Verna. Directed by Mansoor and produced by Showman Productions, the trailer has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release. #Verna Trailer – 1 Million Views on YouTube!!! A film by Shoaib MansoorReleasing on 17.11.17#HUMFilms #Shoman #MahiraKhan pic.twitter.com/I9UAEIpFz4 — Verna The Movie (@VernaTheMovie) October 19, 2017 Not only have Mansoor’s previous films been considered monumental for Pakistani cinema, he is also the brains behind classic drama serials in Pakistan like Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Fifty Fifty and Ankahi. It is thus unsurprising that news of ...

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The Limehouse Golem: When Jack the Ripper meets Sherlock Holmes for a Victorian gothic mystery

The Victorian era gothic mystery, The Limehouse Golem, will remind you of a number of Alfred Hitchcock’s directorial rudiments. These include his famous methods of handling the suspense rather than utilising the milieu of surprise, the redirection of guilt, and most importantly, the MacGuffin technique, where a pleasant felon pursues certain ambition. Director and writer Juan Carlos Medina adapted this film from English author Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994). His film’s theme can easily be linked to a plot pocketed from Jack the Ripper’s mystery murders, with lots of Sherlock Holmes effects. It has lavish baroque amalgamation of real historical ...

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How could Salman Ahmed let his masterpiece die a sad death at the hands of singers who were not meant for it?

Being a 90s child, it won’t be wrong to say that we’re the last generation, that among many other endeavours, still like playing the real, traditional Ludo (not Ludo Star). We grew up having a total of two television channels to watch and ran down the hills to find who reached the ground first. We spent all our nights playing board games with our cousins during long summer nights, saved money for a Walkman and eventually witnessed the glorious pop music era in Pakistan. I might sound like an old grandfather glorifying everything from his past while shunning everything today. But I am very certain that ...

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Mooroo: Cool is mass marketed, quality has to be found

YouTube is the most prominent source of consuming entertainment. In this post-cable era, YouTube is the chief provider of quality content on a regular basis. I find myself lost in its inter-web for hours. Occasionally I find a channel that really hits the right spot and I find myself binging all its videos in a marathon that can last for days. Namely: The Nerdwriter, How It Should Have Ended, and Casey Neistat are a few channels that I could sit back and watch for hours. They’re talented people with great ideas and excellent execution. If I had to make a ...

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“So, what’s Pakistan like?”

The old man had the most startling blue eyes, the kind that glittered in a wizard-like way. He was a contractual worker fixing some room in the building where I work, and I met him in the kitchen over my morning coffee. He asked where I’m from and widened his eyes. He didn’t comment on how good my English is, but how American my accent is (which I take no offence or pride in – it’s not the two years of Master’s in St Louis but all those American movies and TV shows I watch). And then he asked me ...

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Remembering the ones we lost too soon

It seems like the year 2016 just started a while back, but here we are, just a few days shy from welcoming 2017. A lot happened last year which took us by surprise and shocked us. But even amidst such unpredictability, we were not prepared to see some of the deaths that came our way. Some were lost to old age, some to disease and some to murder. But regardless, they were all taken too soon. Here are some of those names, in no particular order. Peter Vaughan Photo: IMDb Even though he had a career spanning 75 years, ...

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Will Lahore Se Aagey live up to its promising trailer?

Director cum producer, Wajahat Rauf, is back to entice moviegoers with another road film Lahore Se Aagey. The upcoming rom-com is a sequel to his directorial debut Karachi Se Lahore (2015). Although, Rauf’s first film received mixed reviews, his new project has been a much anticipated movie this year with Yasir Hussain and Saba Qamar as the lead pair. The short teaser, and now the trailer, has received an overwhelmingly positive response. The audience is rather pleased as it promises the right balance of humour, romance, music, and dance. As per the trailer, the spinoff chiefly focuses on Karachi Se Lahore’s character Moti, played ...

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