Stories about music

Queen: Healing does not come in the arms of another man, Ladies!

“I also want to do something in my life” Rani says in a wishful voice to Alexander. He replies to the bewildered girl, “So who is stopping you?” This dialogue pretty much sums up the essence of the movie ‘Queen’. The barriers and restrictions holding us back in life are mostly the constructs of our own mind. Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’ is not a very novel perception of abandonment and coping with it, but there are a few moments in the movie which make the experience worthwhile. Queen, being a low budget film, has grossed almost $10 million in three weeks, without any male lead ...

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Jehangir Aziz Hayat and the Pashtun rock scene, finally uncovered!

A few of the bands that I grew up listening to were U2, Nirvana, Matchbox Twenty and Lifehouse, among others. The genres of these bands included rock, alternative rock, post-grunge and elements of metal in their songs. I remember attending rock fests that were held in Lahore during 2002 and 2003. They featured some rocking underground bands that were quite awesome, to say the least. Bands like EP, Aaroh and Call are some that I recall playing live at these fests, before they achieved mainstream success in Pakistan. However, almost all the songs sung by the bands that went on to receiving ...

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If I had my life to live all over again…

If I had my life to live over again, I’d simply be me. I’d live with fewer inhibitions, I’d care less about what people think of me and look at myself through my own mirror. I’d walk barefoot on the cool wet grass more often, I’d watch more sunsets, I’d listen to the music of my heart and live by it, I’d walk with my head high and smile, even if mounds of worry overwhelm me. I’d spend more time with myself, just myself. I’d dare to make more mistakes. I’d say ‘no’ more often. I’d appreciate others more, I’d try giving more and not worry about ingratitude, I’d live with lesser insecurities, I’d express my happiness ...

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Killed for enjoying music? What is the truth?

Kohistan is a settled district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the predominantly non-Pashtun Hazara Division. It stretches to about 7,500 square kilometres on both, the east and west of the Indus River. The population of Kohistan is over 550,000 and the people speak Shina and Kohistani – both of Dardic origin. However, like the controversial video scandal the culture, history and ethnography of Kohistan is a mystery for the common Pakistani. Western Kohistan was a part of Swat-Kohistan in the district of Swat but back in the 70s it was made a separate district as was eastern Kohistan. Interestingly, the Kohistan district has two judicial systems in practice. Western Kohistan is ...

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If I were prime minister of Pakistan in 2014 I would…

The year 2013 has been heavy on all of us. We’ve gotten through drone strikes, kidnappings and the elections, and had to suffer through the likes of Sahir Lodhi on our radio. On a more positive note, there were a record number of people at this year’s elections. There were talks of better relations with India (which did not really pan out) and Geo finally realised that Sana Bucha’s perfect hair was not enough to keep her on. However, with the coming of the new prime minister, I realised that there are a lot of things that I would change if I were to become ...

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Ali Azmat, you crossed the line

Comic book writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith once said the following words and they are perhaps some of the most profound I have ever read, probably because they resonate on a personal level: “Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favourite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.” As a child I loved to draw and for a ten-year-old I ...

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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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Concerts in Karachi: Bring back fun to this city!

I was at a Strings concert a few days ago. It was one of those fancy sit down affairs, with hideous white sofas and people taking selfies of each other to upload on social media. Bilal Maqsood began singing “mera bichra yaar” and the LCD screens behind him played a very old video from the 1990s. It was then that it hit me. Suddenly I wasn’t nodding and smiling politely to the music, but in a half built amphitheatre, I was screaming as the crème de la crème of the urban rock phenomena in Pakistan belted out their numbers. Coming up… ...

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Reshma, the flower in Pakistan’s desert is dead

One by one they are leaving us. Some left the music industry altogether, even before departing from this world, like Zubaida Khanum. Then, Iqbal Bano left us. Mehdi Hasan suffered quite a long illness before his death, leaving behind only his beautiful music; and the latest in our list of great losses is of course, Reshma. Fortunately for us, some like Surraya Multanikar, Farida Khanum, Rubina Qureshi and Ghulam Ali are still around. Of course, everybody has to leave and in the end, it is really not about how long they lived. Rather, it is more about what they brought with them and ...

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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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