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Monday, September 29, 2008

Laga Reh - Nadeem F. Paracha

Shahzad Roy’s latest video and song, Laga Reh, has created a prominent little ripple in the local pop scene. An irreverent take on the various socio-political forces of agitation in the country, the song has also managed to disturb the sterile homogeneity of today’s music scene. In spite of the fact that Roy began his career as just another run-of-the-mill pop peddler, his new video and song is the sort of work one can never expect from the scene’s current bigwigs such as Strings, Atif Aslam, Jal, Raeth, Fuzon or Ali Zafar.

These players remain isolated from situations and scenarios that cannot be ignored anymore. They are doing a wonderful job in making quality commercial music, but their content starts seeming rather regular and remote at the same time, as if stuck inside a glossy soap opera. The way Roy’s song and video (directed by Ahsan Rahim) addresses the political idiosyncrasies of Pakistan, it is apparent where Roy is coming from. He finds himself in the middle of a spiralling conflict between what can be called the establishment (the feudals, the dictators, the lotas) versus the new so-called “anti-establishment” forces in the shape of the lawyers, the mullahs and the politicians. Each one of these, especially the mullahs, now seem to be suddenly struck by a rude awakening of conscience, because even till the 1990s they had been very much a part of the same forces they are now disconcertedly gibbering about.


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