Stories about music

From Dil Dil Pakistan to Dil Dil Hindustan

They say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is partly true. Imagine a comedian friend in your group, making fun of the way you walk or the way you talk or some of your special behaviour. Everyone will have a laugh at your expense but you might still be able to enjoy it too. However, I am not sure if plagiarism (an obvious kind of “imitation”) is the best form of flattery. Imagine a music director or a writer spending hours and hours of their time on creating something original and someone casually takes it, rephrases or re-tunes it ...

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What is the language of rain?

Like all mutinies, it begins as a whisper in the air. The sky turns tar-black as the dark clouds, ominous and threatening, negotiate an evil conspiracy… A coup against the sun. I hear a tapping on the window, announcing a much awaited arrival. Rain floats in gentle waves, as if gravity is a soft music from the Earth, a sweet seducing serenade. People run for cover; umbrellas are opened, temporary shades are sought, as the clouds spit out their beads of water. Puddles begin plinking, as the drops huddle in groups. Monsoon dew dances on the darkening pavement, as I hear the murmuring ...

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Inspiring and endearing, Fanney Khan fights body-shaming with a father’s love

Fanney Khan is a remake of the 2002 Belgian film Everybody’s Famous, and is the story of a father who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to fulfilling his daughter’s dreams. Prashant Sharma aka Fanney Khan, played by Anil Kapoor, is an orchestra singer who was famous in the 90s, but now in his 50s he drives a taxi for a living. He dreams of making his talented daughter Lata Sharma (Pihu Sand) a huge singing sensation, and is willing to do anything to help her attain the stardom he couldn’t achieve for himself. Although Lata does not have ...

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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 Anil-Aishwarya sharing the screen after 18 years, Fanney Khan seems simple yet unique

“Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the star of jhankar orchestra, Fanney Khan!” With such an exciting and quirky announcement, the trailer of debutant director Atul Manjrekar’s much awaited film Fanney Khan opens to tell the story of Fanney (Anil Kapoor), a struggling star from the 90s and his 16-year-old daughter Lata (Pihu Sand). The film is an official remake of the Dutch film Everybody’s famous. The preview presents a mixture of glitz, desire, emotions and tears, tempering it all with witty dialogues. Fans seem to love the simple yet hilarious elements of this emotionally charged musical comedy, and are eagerly waiting to ...

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A Star Is Born: Can Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga continue its 80-year legacy?

Even though this movie has been remade multiple times and every single time it appears as a major awards contender, the excitement and anticipation of filmgoers is unwavering. Once again, we have fallen head over heels in love with the trailer of actor turned director Bradley Cooper and singer turned actress Lady Gaga’s much awaited new version of the famous romantic story – A Star Is Born. The timeless love story’s charm has not faded; in fact, it has enhanced further as the new film preview vows to present Cooper and Gaga in adorable characters. The story revolves around a ...

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Can Bohemian Rhapsody do justice to a band as legendary as Queen?

Seeing how eager Hollywood is to immediately turn even mildly intriguing people and events into subjects of elaborate films, it seems peculiar that there hasn’t been any major Queen or Freddie Mercury biopic thus far. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade, but will finally come out later this year – and it quickly becomes apparent why filmmakers might have been reluctant to pursue such a project: it’s just so hard to do justice to a band as legendary as Queen. After all, ...

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When did dancing go from a form of art to a taboo, dishonourable act?

I am blessed to enjoy rhythm in my life, and blessed to have parents who put no restrictions on my body’s movement to music. I grew up as a typical uninteresting teenager; music blaring from my room, no matter what time of the day or night it was. I was so obsessed with music that even my telephone conversations with my girlfriends mostly consisted of singing along to the lyrics of the latest popular songs. All this was made possible due to growing up in a home in Lahore which provided space and privacy without disturbing the peace of other family members. My ...

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One year on: It only took a moment for one abominable act to alter Sehwan Sharif’s surrealism and serenity

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi Dhum, dhum, dhum… The drumbeat started plaintively at dusk. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. As I turned around, the sights were to behold – orange, purple, yellow, green and blue fairy lights adorned the tomb, creating a riot of colours. The chadors (cloth) being handed out for draping around our necks were lal (red), the colour attributed to the Saint. It wasn’t just the sights and sounds that were captivating; incense sticks generated a pleasant aroma. Typically, I would’ve ...

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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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