Rock Music & Mullah Culture

We live in a society where people love being judegemental about things they know and also about things they don’t know. A society that prevails on the fact that what others are doing. People in our society love being slaves to the moral gestures, the 100 years old traditions and this fact that what our culture & society says about what we do? I don’t know what you guys think and what are your psychology is about society and our surroundings but in my writings, I totally talk things according to my beliefs and perceptions. Few days back, I was working on this video in which I had to cover different underground music scenes happening all over Karachi, write about them, interview those guys that what problems they face as being a musician and bla bla bla. During these days, I met couple of mullah’s too along my way. It’s not like I hate mullah’s or I hate Mullah culture. I love them and you know why? Because they are so interesting and amusing, that you can laugh whole day thinking about their things, words and shit they do. They ask me you are filming, playing out loud music, talking to musicians and doing all this stuff, you know that’s not allowed in Islam. I said yeah I do know but tell me things that are allowed in Islam and how much are we following them? He goes on to a debate with me and my fellow friend who also plays music about role of Islam and what’s music in Islam and stuff and we were listening them. During these talks, a nice looking chick passed by and that mullah was looking her just as we see our Pizza coming down to our table after minutes of awaiting at some restaurant. He was staring that girl for like 3 minutes and I was like what the hell he’s up to? And after that, he again started that topic. Well, mullah culture it is. Reason why I’m writing all this is that people should not be judgemental about things and before preaching anything, it’s good if we obey them ourselves too. That guy was talking sense about music and Islam and I was completely agreeing to it, but what he did was allowed in Islam? Isn’t lowering your gaze not prescribed in Islam? The moral is not everybody is perfect, yet we love to barge down our philosophies and concepts to the opposite person which is wrong. Before talking Islam, you should be a true identity so that the listener dissolves in your personality rather than your words. That’s all about it. Judging is the most stupid thing that anyone can do and that is totally my belief. You guys can contradict!

Moreover:

And these mullahs are so interesting that if you want to read more interesting aspects of them, I would suggest you to download this book written by Pakistan’s most acclaimed rock star, Salman Ahmed from Junoon. The book is called Rock and Roll Jihad in which he tells how he struggled against all these Islamic/Mullah conspiracies against him. Apart than this, you guys can download a documentary that was released in 2003 called ” The Rock star and The Mullahs ” which is discussing the same topic in a visual manner.

 

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Farewell to Probation Era

It was my end of third semester in Engineering and I finally was told that I’m on probation. For people who don’t know what probation is, it’s basically a warning in easy language. So the scene was that I had to clear/pass all my courses in next semester else my 2 years would be wasted and I would be kicked out from my university.

However I thought maybe things would get easy a bit, but that wasn’t the case. The start of fourth semester and it was something that I never ever imagined could take place. I started with my classes and in start it was all easy but in the middle, I was facing difficulties and trouble. SERIOUS troubles in my subjects. There was this course called Thermodynamics, and I was having my total like 42/60 before exam where as all my other friends were enjoying good 50’s or atleast 48/50. That made me worried a bit because I was the lowest scorer in that subject, and also the sword of probation and admission cancelling was lifting upon my head too. Cherry on top, there was this another course called Engineering Statics which was a nightmare for me. I was expecting that paper would be easy because the teacher who was taking that course was known for giving same old class questions but he made a paper which shooked me up. A paper consisting of 8 huge questions and out of them 6 were totally new. That moment I was like that I’m done with engineering.

However things were not going according to what I had in my mind and I was constantly loosing my important marks in almost 3 subjects out of 5. I even dropped one course because I thought that I would fail it. But in the last days, miracles started happening and things took a new direction. I just had two things in my mind.

  1.  Do something or else parents would be insulted.
  2.  Do something or else two years of life would be wasted.

I took these two points to my mind and starting working really hard after my mid term results. I still remember I used to study in scorching heat in no electricity, just because I wanted to give my best. I used to study till late night hours and wake up whole day, my eyes were all red but I couldn’t sleep because I was worried that if I slept, I would forget everything I studied. And many problems I faced during that time which I don’t even remember by now. And then my result came and it was very unexpected. I got good marks in almost all my courses and finally probation was out. I acheived my goals with the grace of Almighty Allah, and my determination.

Moral:
God is always looking upon you. When you think things go wrong, they actually are going right because God is making them for you to learn, to execute your talent and to fight among the miseries of life. I learned a lesson after my result and that was, if a person can will, he can achieve anything. Even if he dreams to fly without wings, he can. What we all need is motivation, good helpful friends and a hard work. You do your best, Allah will write the best for you! And enjoy every thing in your life whether they are successful things or are your failures. Never lose up, because? When one door gets closed, other doors automatically opens up for you. Life is a lesson and work till you achieve your desires.

Special thanks to my probation fellows Mudabbir Shan Ahmed, Hamza Ahmad Khan, Burhan Hussain, Taimoor Afaq and Imran Ahmed for experiencing that time with me. Love you all, and respect in regards for you guys! Thanks for being there when I was down and I used to look upon you guys taking courage to beat it all. You guys are inspirational to me!

PS: Excuse my typo errors and grammatical mistakes, because I don’t proof read once I am writing.

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Coke Studio 5 – A disappointment? NO.

Sunday 13th May 2012, was the day when Coke Studio Season 5 was premiered across the globe and almost everyone saw that online too that day. I was sitting with bunch of my friends and they were passing critical comments about the show which were pretty amusing and shocking as well. Well, one of them said that Coke Studio has lost it, I asked him why? He said me there’s no Gumby this time, and even Jaffer Zaidi is not in the house band therefore this Coke Studio is not having that flavour. I was thinking about it and in the meantime another friend of mine said this time Rohail Hyatt did not bring good musicians and didn’t produce it right. The songs are below average, the lyrics are screwed up and the combinations of singers are not satisfactory too. Well, according to me it is not true. The concept of Coke Studio is to provide a platform to new talent of PAKISTAN and to bring these guys in front of huge audience with the talent they possess. I don’t get why we got so judgemental? Just cause they don’t know who Qayaas is? Just cause they don’t know in what language Hamayoon Khan is? Just cause Hadiqa Qiyani is singing that’s why Coke Studio is not up to the mark? According to me this is entirely wrong. Coke Studio Pakistan is the only show we ever produced that is seen globally everywhere even at countries like Holland, Ireland and Finland. We should be proud that at least our talent is coming up on main stream and it would be good if professional music critics should judge these things rather than we becoming judgemental about such an amazing concept in just a single episode. According to me, the concept of show is still alive, and I know there’s a lot to come. So guys, stop hating on it. Promote Pakistani music, and promote this utter talent we got! Listen and urge people to listen this too. Guys, you cannot have all 10 songs in an album awesome, there are small flaws to it. Support the cause. This Coke Studio season has A LOT to offer! Happy listening.

Truck Art – Art on Wheels.

Art is something that cannot be expressed through paintings, or in poems or any other forms. It’s just something that progresses and changes with respect to time, imagination and people. There are various forms of art movements that passed out with time and so with them art started to evolve. In Pakistan, comic art, advertising art, theatre art, music art and every other different forms are well categorized and talked. Something that I want to talk on this blog is something unique, different and sadly quite under rated. This is a form of art which see daily whenever we are on roads, or travelling in scorching sun. This is art of routine, yes, TRUCK ART. We generally don’t consider this as art but in real it is some extraordinary art around which sadly has less appreciation and is regarded as one of the most under-rated art in our country. Comprising of beautiful patterns varying from floral designs, sketches of animals and birds with steel colours, calligraphy of verses from poems and not to forget those awesome driver quotes, THIS IS TRUELY MESMERIZING and without any doubts is something Pakistan should be proud of. Usually there is no education or classes for truck art, the trucks and other vehicles are customized by their own drivers. If I would further categorize this art into divisions it would fall into abstract art, jingle art or moving art category. Because of awesome colour selection and dark contrast mixing, this art truely catches attention of the viewer, and this is what makes Pakistan vehicles different from others around the globe. No doubt this is pride of Pakistan and I can bet on this people living abroad would know how much their sights miss this valuable and distinctive form of art. As I’m an art enthusiast, I love reading about art and history of art, so since couple of days I’m reading about truck art. What I came through is that this form of art varies from place to place. If we talk about Sindh this art contains camel bone ornamentation and if you talk about Balochistan and Peshawar district, this same art work is done with wooden structures which is really something mindblowing.Thus these trucks are also representative of different historical and cultural regions of Pakistan and is surely something that each Pakistani should brag about and I’m proud that this art originates from my country.

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Mehlum Sadriwala.

In Pakistan, specifically if I target Karachi, you will see tons of photography pages made by various people claiming themselves as artists, photographers or I’d rather say FOTUGRAAFERS but they don’t know this fact that if you’re a  true art person you don’t blab about your own art, its your work and creativity that speaks for yourself. One photographer which I can trustly shout on roads that yes he’s a PHOTOGRAPHER, an artist is no other but Mehlum Sadriwala. YES. I was surfing down Facebook and I got off to his page and since that day, I’m one of his huge admirers. I don’t know Mehlum personally nor he has paid me to write about him. It’s his art and awesome blending of colours with emotions which lead me to praise this young boy. I would not brag about him but seriously you all should see his photographs. If you will click to his page, you will see various pictures taken by him and things that you should note is his philosophy towards those pictures, the colours/tones that he use to edit his pictures which I have never seen on any other photography page. The way he processes his photos it surely makes you crazy and you feel like hitting that “LIKE” button on Facebook. In short, Mehlum is a pure genuine artist if you ask me and I would really recommend you to check out his work , appreciate his talent and give him positive feedback so he can produce more well.

Advice to other photographers who have made their facebook pages:
Learn from him, art does not require likes. Art requires an eye of creativity and imagination which everyone does not possess.

Message to Mehlum:
I’m a person who loves art like anything and seriously you are serving art in a different way. I love your work bro, and your processing is something which I can’t express (I have said this so many times on your page, lol). Lots of regards from my side on your work. You’re very creative & ORIGINAL.

To view his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ColorBlast.Studios

SIUT Spring Festival ’12 – Colours everywhere.

I usually never wake up for anything on beloved Sundays, but this Sunday I did. I actually woke up for a noble cause. For SIUT Spring Festival 2012. For people who were there with me need no introduction what it was about, and how it went. For those  who weren’t there or missed this great event, it was a spring festival (carnival/gathering) arranged by SIUT to gather funds for kidney patients who are under treatment at SIUT, the first free operated hospital unit by Dr. Adeeb Rizvi. Well, my friend told me about it and when I heard about it, I was like I HAVE TO ATTEND THIS,  and trust me I took many things home such as good memories, quality time and more than that, an experience of humanity. All young guys/girls ranging from college life to university life, even primary school kids took part as volunteers and played their significant roles all for a noble cause. The event consisted of colourful events such as music performances, plays, speeches from renowned media artist Zubeida Tariq, and honorary speech by Dr. Adeeb Rizvi himself. More than that, many people from television visited this festival. Few to name are Zubeida Tariq as I mentioned above, Mr. Haider Abbas Rizvi, Dr Abdul Sattar Edhi and quite more. Students from various schools and universities engaged themselves and the visitors into colourful playful activities and helped collecting funds. Few schools to mention are The Lyceum School, Beaconhouse School System, The City School, The Generation School, Foundation Public School, Karachi Grammar School, Ladybird Grammar School, Bayview High and the list goes on. The event got zing when professional dance artists from Act One came to stage and involved everyone into their flashmob. It was fun being  there for me doing some crazy dance steps. The event ended with rock band Spoonful’s performance! It was basically the integration of youth with creativity/colours/arts and fun.

Summary:
Overall it was a nice event, lots of good/innovative people were there. Everything was perfectly organized and everyone was working like a family, more like one unit. Events like these should happen often because it integrates us all in one. Personally speaking, I’m very much proud to be a part of SIUT Volunteer Team and will definitely be taking part whenever it’s going to happen next.

Fotograafi & Fotograaferzz.

Well, you guys would be agreeing to me on this fact that atleast there are 2 people in your own profiles who are fond of taking photos, and when people start appreciating their pictures the next thing they do is create their own personal fan page solely focusing on Photography. I mean this is ridiculous, how can a person create his own fan page just after taking like around 10 to 20 photographs? The worst part comes when they ask you to like it, and promote it. Haha, they claim themselves to be artists, but they don’t know that art doesn’t require any sort of likes, or anything. If your art is worthy, people will come themselves towards you and your work will spread like fire, but there’s no point begging each and everyone to like your page. Number of likes on a Facebook page or a picture does not mean that you’re a professional photographer. Photography is a form of visual art, that requires skill and at many institutions it is taught as an undergraduade degree, even diplomas. Kindly stop making your FAATOGRAAFI pages. You are NOT going to be considered as a pro photographer by few pictures. You guys don’t know doing this seriously affect real art of professional photographers and artists! Frankly speaking it annoys me to death seeing so many photography related pages everywhere! Getting a DSLR is not a big deal but capturing precious moments blending with art and colours is what I call talent as and I’m sure not everyone has built in art.

Piece of advice:  Don’t ruin the art. Either learn it and bounce to business else, leave and be a viewer.

Things I noticed in Pakistan Films/Theatre.

When you’re tired or exhausted from your job, and you want something to chill and relax, there are usually two things that comes to your mind. One’s music, and the other is films. Yeah, 60% of you like listening to your favourite music stars, and rest 40% (including me) tend to think about watching a nice movie. We usually do prefer watching Hollywood and Bollywood movies, but ever wonder/noticed what are those reasons which don’t even allow us to go near ouroriginal Pakistani films? Yeah, I’ll be discussing few points with you (apparently):

1- Cowsheds (Gaaye Bhains ke tabelay)
Almost 95% of songs in Pakistani movies are picturized in those cowsheds, which is really annoying to me atleast. There are beautiful places in Pakistan such as Swat, NWFP and Lahore, but no, cowsheds FTW! And cherry on top, rainfall happens too, ONLY WHEN they start dancing.

2- The angry hero
In Indian movies and songs, you might have seen that the hero is after the heroine, convincing and proposing her, singing love ballads and doing stupid stuff on road with flowers. But when it comes to Pakistani movies, the case is intirely opposite. Here, the guy is always angry and frustrated, and he’s like WTF and seems least bothered about the heroine where as the heroine is after her convincing and singing some lyrically challenged songs 😀

3- The red lipstick
Secrets to make heroine look good. Apply lots of flour on her face, and cover lips with inches of red lipstick. You don’t agree? Here’s the picture 😀

4- The moustache and rifle factor
Pakistan films are not FILMS, if you did not saw any sort of worn out rifles and cartridges in hands. There would be no sensible story, no sensible music and audiovisual editing, no proper direction and production but one thing will be near to perfection.The moustache! I swear I’m not lying. Here’s the proof 😀

5- Posters 😀
And I have no words to describe how promotions are carried out for these films, the posters of these films are so vibrant! The pictures will explain much better.

Gothic Art followers, seriously?

We all must have observed girls who apply black nail polish with their eyes darkened with lots of kohl-talking in a perpetual dark tone and act as reserved, cut down and disturbed. They usually prefer black clothes and beehive hairstyle, accompanied with macabre sense of jewellery such as bone earings, typically made from silver. Lets not forget the unique gloves, precarious stilettos and silver jewelry depicting religious or occult themes. They often claim themselves as to be GOTHIC, or in lame language if I explain, girls who love hard rock and dark metal music. To me, they appear as nothing but bunch of wannabes and girls who have left their identities out. What these girls usually desire is just a few moments of attention and glory. To check them whether they are real followers of “gothic culture” or whether they are just faking it, here are three points which they MUST know, and if they don’t know about it, you can have your answer in a true sense that they are just mimicing that culture and not actually following it. The three points are as follows:

1- Ask them questions about Victorian or Elizabethans age. Well, I don’t even know much about that era, but frankly, I’ve studied it a bit (past time, lol). Ask them relevant stuff regarding it and if they are true goth art lovers, they would speak like a talking encyclopedia.

2- Ask them about some famous female goth art cultural icons, such as Theda Bara, Bela Lugosi, Lux Interior, Siouxsie Sioux, Barbara La Marr and Morticia Addams. Haha, well yeah you’re right, such girls will know atleast something about Morticia Addams, because The Addams Family cartoon was a cult classic hit, but I’m sure they won’t know even the spellings of few names I have mentioned above.

3- Gothic Music-yeah right, this is the most interesting part. They usually take pictures making those common and obvious rock signs as a depiction of their support of rock music. Well this part will definitely tell whether they are true listeners or are just following music in their dreams. Gothic music has gained a lot of popularity through their dark tones, good lyrics, and strange names of songs and albums. Ask them about some very famous gothic music performers such as The Sex Pistols, Bahaus, Behemoth and Virgin Brunes. If they stay silent and numb, kudos to you, you got your answer.

A humble request/message to all girls of that sort from an influential rock musician Kurt Cobain:-
“Come as you are, as you were”

Problems musicians and artists face.

Society is one factor that decides where we need to head up, and where we have to go. We all depend on them, their thinking and what they think is right or wrong. Many amongst us are creative and talented but they don’t pursue that route. WHY? Because society doesn’t accept that route. This is one common problem which leads to multi personality disorders and yes, this factor causes one person to leave what he loves and do what society think is perfect. Same case is with artists, musicians, painters, graphic designers, sculptors and various professions I can name, which the society considers as wrong/unacceptable and thus, due to that, they face vulnerable problems. I will solely be talking about what few problems MUSICIANS & ARTISTS face.

1- Cultural and religious disagreements:
YES, we do face religious and cultural disagreements when it comes to taking music or arts as as a profession. We are inspired by Arab culture a bit too much which makes us draw conclusions; drawing of living things such as humans, animals and birds is condemned in Islam. Don’t listen to music because it has been considered Haram in Islam. Well, if we go and ask our parents that we want to pursue our career as a musician, they consider this as high disgrace and would sought to say; GAWAALA banoge? MERAASI banoge? Yes, this is true, nobody supports you, but will pinpoint you.

2- Scope factor and misconception:
There’s a misconcept in our minds since God knows when, that if you’re going to be a doctor, an engineer or a chartered accountant, you will be considered as a big gun. You will have a shiny car outside your home, a blackberry inside your pocket and every luxury that a person wishes for. People consider that there children would remain jobless and pennyless if they study arts or music. Besides this misperception, people who wish to pursue arts as a career are greated with an oft raised question; arts aur music karoge toh shadi kon karega? Bhookay marjaaogay. Very few families in Pakistan support their children if they want to pursue their career in arts/music, else 85% generally consider artists, painters, musicians and sculptors as just cow crap.

3- Lack of family support:
Families generally in Pakistan are less co-operative and supportive when it comes to this point. A mind set has been developed that if father is a doctor then his son should do something bigger than his father. That is yes, a surgeon or a PhD. Half of the time, they will usually criticize their children if they talk about joining an arts school to get an arts/communications degree.

4- Lack of appreciation/appraisal:
I agree, doctors and engineers are people who hold huge value, but you can’t deny the fact that if you move your eyes around you, there are artists and painters which are responsible for making world beautiful. They are musicians responsible for making those songs which you love to listen when you’re coming back home after a dreadful tiring job. Every profession is hard in its own dimension, but for arts and music, there is nobody to praise and appreciate.
All we do is go to any random site, and download their hours of hard work and sweat for free. Atleast, they should be judged equally with doctors, engineers or an accountant who are considered to be engaged in ‘something technical’. In reality, artists are the ones doing something really innovative and creative.

PS: Doctors can save lives, engineers can create mega structures that you can wonder of, but artists make your mind think of the depth of the feelings that exist in this world. They make us feel how beautiful this world is and how creative life can be. Musicians speak a language which is understood by everyone, without any disparity or difference in language. Doctors, engineers and accountants deal with things that are based on logics, facts and science. Musicians and artists deal with imagination, creativity and vision. On this account, I would like to end my article with a quote of him that is:

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere