January 11, 2012

Why I am forever indebted to Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad

How does one write about music? Of all the arts, the most difficult to describe is the music, at least, for me. With films (and books), I can very clearly say what I like, what type of acting I do, or do not like (since my main criteria for liking films is acting and then the story and rest). Also, with films, there are so many areas which I can write about, the direction, story, dialogues, screenplay, music, cinematography, etc. But when it comes to music, or as in the case of this blog post, a particular song, there is that song and nothing else. Especially, for someone like me, who does not understand or worry much about lyrics.

The purpose of this lengthy introduction is me trying to explain how difficult it is to write about the song which I love and love only for the sake of the music. However hard I may try, it would be difficult to fully express how much or why I love this and to what extent. Perhaps, this is because of the limitation of the language or my knowledge of the language, but definitely not my love for the song.


The song or my national anthem (as I would like to call it) is ''Kangna de de'' of season 2 of Coke Studio (Pakistan). I believe, this is a song which not every one will like or will even have the patience to listen. Some initiation into classical music would help and as I have observed, sometimes, even that will not suffice. (But ideally, anyone with a decent pair of ears should be able to appreciate this.)

I loved it the first time I listened and still continue to do it. This song would have been, perhaps, a good song without the unique voice of Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad (brothers). Now, it is nothing short of pure genius. After listening to this song, I listened to their other songs too. Though there are many good songs of them, nothing comes close to this one. I guess, it is a combination of many factors which makes some music immortal, tune, voice, instruments and other unknown factors perhaps.

Lyrics can be found here, but that is of least importance to me. But the Hindi and the Persian words does add to the beauty of the tune, like "ma ra bah ghamzah kusht o qaza ra bahaanah saakht", "ri chail mero" "tore payyaan paroon" "bar dosh-i ghair dast nihaad" "lapak jhapak" and also the expression "ah ha ha".

Also, the other unique factor being, the video of this is equally attractive as the audio. To watch Fareed Ayaz sing is like entering a contest which you are going to lose. Once I start watching the video, there is no escape from it. It is not about whether I can stop watching it in the middle or not, it is about the number of times I have to watch it, before losing the contest. I'm sure, I have contributed to nearly 100 views to this youtube video. Yes, I know it can be downloaded (and I have), but there is something about watching it online, reading all the (thankfully, moderated) comments, waiting for the video to buffer and then the joy of reloading it instantly for repeated viewing.

Thanks to Coke Studio Pakistan and Rohail Hyatt for producing this amazing song.

(link via this tweet of @diogeneb)