One of our lovely interns, Amna Khan, has written this tribute to her favourite memories of Pakistani pop music. Which of these can you relate to?
We have all read the comical sign often in restaurants illustrating, ‘No Wifi, talk to each other like its 1995’. Often forgetting how during that era people bonded over music equally as much as they did over stimulating conversation. A pop culture era that initiated its rudiments within the Pakistani Music scene during the early 1980’s right after Zia’s demise. However It all officially started by Ahmad Rushdi’s ‘Ko ko korina’ in 1966.
The cataclysm of the Pop culture of Pakistan was further dominated by Vital Signs, Strings, and Junoon. These bands who worked and toiled hard to maintain a niche market attracting people all over the world to their concerts far more than any artists of Indian origin. Yes, undoubtedly there was the panache of Stereo Nation and Palash Sen’s Euphoria. But the loyalty exacerbated by South Asian Youth towards their local artists is next to incomparable.
Vital Signs’ soft songs, Junoon’s Sufism and String’s freshness is still being praised by music lovers. ‘Purani Jeans‘ by Ali Haider and ‘Mr.Fraudiye‘ by Awaz sums up the majority of the dilemma we face as youth in the 80’s when times were simpler and people less pretentious.
Even today when we turn our radios on the kickback to what we may call the indisputable golden age of our music we find a cacophony of old memories distilling us with their presence. When it was harder to win over any girl’s heart and men actually had expend a lot of effort. When love notes were written awkwardly through pens on various parchments rather than Messenger and people would communicate via words as opposed to texts. When a landline was all everyone had and spontaneous plans were always there to save the day. When there was genuinely a sense of adventure to hanging out at veranda coffee shops and Food Street. People and times have changed so much that it takes far more than just busting a tune to bring on that craving for nostalgia…
However more often than not that is enough for those of us who remember and feel the transiency of time. Who crave the fervor and relish the effect of that classic patriotic music, Nayyara Noor’s ‘Wattan Ki Mitti’, Mehdi Hassan’s ‘Ye Wattan Tumhara Hai’ which made us believe how tangible and progress this state is.
‘Dil Dil Pakistan‘ was ranked third in the BBC World Service international poll of popular songs and used to be one of the favourites of all school celebrations and performances on Independence Day.
‘Mera Paigham Pakistan‘ by another legendary voice, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who engendered in us the sacrifices that our country men made to establish their nation. The expression through the art of words and verse exactly how they feel about their mother land pop music will formally always remain a testimony to the sagacity of our nation.