Monday, March 13, 2017


I have been a fan of Coke Studio Pakistan since... forever. I don't remember what my initiation song to CSP was, but I remember my first thoughts: "WHAT SORCERY IS THIS? WHY IS THIS SOOOO GOOOOOD?"

Strangely, over the last few years, I've not kept myself updated on CSP. However, last week, this link popped up on my FB feed, and I couldn't help but click on it and then go on to listen to every single song listed there. Memories came rushing back, and I went straight to Youtube and listened to every song from Season 9. I went completely bonkers over Shamaan Pai Gaiyaan (soooo refreshing to see Rachel Viccaji get out of her backing vocalist seat and own the song like a boss!) and Uddi Ja (Uddi Ja initially took up a 3D2N residence in my head but now it's refusing to vacate!), playing them on loop all day long, until Xena protested, "Mama, I need to fill my head with other songs. Your songs have gone inside!"

(I know, right?)

Eventually, I stumbled upon 'Khaki banda' and after about two listens, I got the exact feeling that I'd got when I'd heard my first CSP song. "WHAT SORCERY IS THIS? WHY IS THIS SOOOO GOOOOOD?"

No, seriously. The lyrics, the music, the emotions, the singing (especially Ahmed Jahanzeb's voice -- HOW CAN ANYONE SING SOOOO WELL??? HOWWW???) -- it's the kind of stuff that can leave you goosebumpy and teary-eyed at the same time.

Viv didn't get why I loved the song so much, so I tried to explain to him how meaningful and humbling the lyrics are and how the song is about our ego and how we simply have no right to think of ourselves as highly as we do yada yada yada. He nodded along apprehensively, and I said, "I mean, the song title itself -- khaaki banda... is so deep and meaningful. Wait, you know what 'khaaki banda' means, right?"

"Of course," He said. "Policeman."

Okay, where's a pillar when you need it badly to thunk your head on?

Anyway, good things must be shared, so here you go -- be mesmerised by this mind-blowing piece of sheer musical genius. (Make sure the CC option is on, so you can get the lyrics AND the translation.)


ZQ said...

Nice music! Not so sure about the lyrics :)

Philosophical question - why do we observe Diwali or Holi or a birthday with as much gusto, color, verve as we can muster? It is after all a one-day phenomenon. The rangoli is swept away, the exquisite Ganesh murti is visarjan-ed. We do it: our celebration is explicitly and deliberately ephemeral. Are we fooled by the bright spectacle of the world?

CRD said...

Been a huge fan of Pakistani music since a decade now. Have you listened to the Mekal Hassan band?

Thanks for the list...i'm off to listen right away.


Anonymous said...

I felt the same way as you (sorcery, how can anyone sing so good) on hearing Meesha Shafi's Dasht-e-tanhai and Chori Chori and several others. Also Rohail Hyatt is a genius.

V said...

I love me some Meesha Shafi, her Bhole bhale is quite fun too. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

V - yes nice song, and aaya ladiye too. Her fashion choices in season 9 though :)

Sayesha said...

I hardly thing the song is referring to all the 'happy' ephemeral stuff we do. :)

Nope, haven't checked out the Mekal Hassan band yet, but will do so now. :)

//Also Rohail Hyatt is a genius.

Hear hear! I'm head over heels in love with 'Miyan ki malhaar'!

Yeah, I heard it. She's got that 'naughtiness' in her voice that suits certain songs very well. :)

Hahahaha! That nose ring? LOL! Xena loves Aaya laadiye, especially the part where she goes, "Jeejah!" :)

Soham Shah said...

Chanced upon this gem from Sajjad Ali and it is on repeat since then !

I hope you like it !

Ranjani said...

What did you do Sayesha? I was skeptical when you called this sorcery, but a few days later, I just clicked on one song, loved it, then played another, now I am hooked. I am eating, working etc etc. listening to this and sometimes it is maddening. This is pure magic! Thank you sooo much for writing about this!


Anonymous said...

Sayesha, yes the nose ring and also the alien-in-crappy-scifi look for bhole bhale. But mainly the nose ring, can you imagine when she has cold and shembud is flowing.