A lump rises in the throat as you begin listening to ‘Aye Rah e Haq Ke Shaheedo’; Coke Studio has made it tradition to launch a new season in August, in honour of Independence Day, and this tribute is especially emotional. That lump rises as you almost hold your breath and as the screen moves from Abida Parveen’s powerful appeal to Maula Ali to Amjad Sabri’s smiling vocals, the eyes fill up and the tears begin to drop.
For me, personally, August is an emotional month every year. It’s a time when I see a well orchestrated and supremely insincere burlesque unfold in the media, on our television screens and on the roads. It’s a time in which our politicians and leaders use patriotic images to emotionally blackmail the people into believing that they care. And every time the frail image of Jinnah comes up on the screen, the heart sinks. What the hell have we done with his dream!
Coke Studio, however, is not meant to be depressing. The heart smiles at visions of Zeb Bangash, Mehwish Hayat, Quratulain Baloch, Meesha Shafi, Noori, Saeein Zahoor and Ali Azmat amongst many, many more artists that form a fabulous music symphony for Pakistan. Now that truly is something to be proud of.