Stories about music

Four reasons why Coke Studio’s Afreen Afreen is my new favourite

Coke Studio’s second episode went on air on August 19, 2016, and Afreen Afreen, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan, stole the limelight – rightfully so. While some loved it and others hated it – for me, Afreen Afreen encompassed exactly what Coke Studio is all about. Coke Studio started nine years ago, and succeeded in bringing famous Pakistani singers together on a platform in order to recreate some of the most legendary songs of the past. When I say recreate, it should be made clear that recreation does not mean singing it again, as it is, rather it means creating something new, with the essence of ...

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Pakistan and India: Friends abroad always, enemies at home always always

As someone who had been raised in the United States by Pakistani immigrants, I have always found it difficult to fathom the animosity between Pakistanis and Indians living in South Asia. All the aspects of life that bring the two groups together – from music and food, to values and mannerisms – get clouded out by the venomous politics between the countries’ governments. During this time of celebration for the 69th year of independence of Pakistan and India, I strongly believe that the only way forward is for the citizens of both these countries to recognise their shared experiences ...

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Pop-up in the Park: Reclaiming public spaces in Karachi

Spoken Stage, in collaboration with Girls at Dhabas, hosted an event coined “Pop-up in the Park” at Frere Hall this Saturday in order to reclaim the public spaces in Karachi. Spoken Stage is an organisation that fosters the growth of individual expression through the projection of spoken word poetry and prose. Girls at Dhabas was created with the intention of enabling women to claim public spaces, and is quickly gaining influence as women all over South Asia are using the hashtag #girlsatdhabas. The event took place at Frere Hall with the intention of reclaiming public spaces.Photo: ...

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Is the Lahore Metro more important than Nusrat Fateh Ali’s legacy?

The Lahore Metro, a project first proposed in the early 1990’s, has finally been set in motion after overcoming many of its obstacles regarding funding. After construction had begun, the Lahore High Court intervened and suspended the activity till the Orange Line was rerouted to protect 11 heritage sites from being impacted. These heritage sites include the Shalimar Gardens, Chauburji monuments, St Andrews Church, the tomb of Mehrunnisa and the tomb of Mauj Darya Bukhari. This intervention has calmed the uproar of the masses as it protects the symbols of our culture and history. To most of us what would ...

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Is education killing creativity?

This one TED-talk made me rethink my concept of education. Education for me had always been about rote learning and grades. I mean, if I could repeat the day’s lesson verbatim I was one of the most intelligent students. But if that logic applies, then a parrot can repeat things perfectly too so it is probably the most intelligent of all life forms. But parrots aren’t educated. Do you see my conundrum? Education should be about more than just about becoming literate, it should also facilitate creativity and originality. In my opinion, formal education is producing a workforce conditioned to be conformist; ...

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11 things we learnt from Ho Mann Jahaan

“Ho Mann Jahaan”, apparently among Pakistan’s most anticipated films, released recently to packed houses and rave reviews. While there’s enough in the film to keep you glued to the seats, Pakistan has definitely seen better films lately. An amazing soundtrack, a boisterous star-cast, decent acting, ample use of flashy colours, spectacular cinematography and some great locales are some of the film’s strong points. However, there’s more to the film; and far more shades of grey that go well in one flick. So here’s a round-up of the deeper meanings and greater life lessons from “Ho Mann Jahaan”. No spoilers ...

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Noori awakens the music industry with ‘Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh’

Recently, the highly acclaimed Pakistani music band, Noori, held album preview sessions in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi for the public on a first come basis. That was the first uncut and instrumental public performance of their upcoming new album, “Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh”. Being a Noori fan myself and having attended the album preview held in Lahore, I can safely say the band members, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, have not given up on the music industry in Pakistan just yet. They made an attempt to bond with their loyal fan base and discussed the ideas and concepts behind the album in ...

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Aik Tha Badshah: Is Noori declaring war on Pakistan’s rock bands?

Noori is back! After 10 years of crappy commercial songs and a few good coke studio productions, after 10 years of dormancy, Noori is back. Noori, for me, is synonymous with nostalgia. It reminds of the long drives on GT Road travelling between cities. It reminds of riding my bicycle late at night while playing chor-police in the neighbourhood. It reminds me of the heavy torrential rains of Punjab that used to wet the earth for weeks on end (Oh God, let it rain in Karachi). It reminds me of the all-nighters I pulled off during my matriculation exams where every inch of my existence would pull ...

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Aao Parhao – A teacher can use all the help they can get

A school is so much more than just a series of classrooms. A school is so much more than just a number of lessons. And an educated person is so much more than a literate person. Education entails all the different facets that are crucial to the mental and physical development of a person as a responsible citizen of society. At the fountainhead of western civilization in ancient Athens, education included the arts and physical education as part of the curriculum rather than extra-curricular activities. Far too often, schools in Pakistan are focused on grades and memorisation of lessons over a ...

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16 facts you didn’t know about Ho Mann Jahaan

Pakistani cinema is on the verge of revival as more and more talented directors and film-makers prove their mettle in the field. Asim Raza’s debut project, Ho Mann Jahaan is one such movie we should keep an eye out for. Currently in the making, unlike many other movies in Lollywood, this film does not focus on politics. Based on the relationship dynamics between three friends, it is going to be the perfect epitome of an entertaining yet meaningful Lollywood flick.

I got the chance to meet the cast and crew of this much-awaited movie and tried my best to get as much ...

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