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20 Nov

Zeb Bangash shares her love for Iqbal’s poetry with ‘Shaheen o Mahi’


Zeb Bangash’s soulful rendition of Iqbal’s ‘Shaheen o Mahi’ has won people over; there isn’t anyone who could have performed the farsi poem to such perfection. It was, therefore, with that foresight that on this Iqbal Day, Pakistan Air Force collaborated with the singer to produce the beautiful song as an inspirational tribute to our national poet.

The project was conceptualized by the Pakistan Air Force, media and PR wing as the motto for the PAF ‘Sehra ast me Darya ast Tahe Baal O Pare Mast,’ lines that originate from the same poem.

“When Hasan Naeem from Bling Motion Pictures reached out about this PAF project, I was elated because I had always wanted to sing one of Iqbal’s Persian kalaams and I was honored that the Air Force had specifically asked for me,” shared Zeb in an exclusive chat with Something Haute.

Initially, she thought the project would be more restrictive than other commissioned projects, however, when she met the team, she was impressed with their love and mastery over poetry and literature, particularly Iqbal’s work, in both Urdu and Persian.

“Air Commodore Ahmer, who had conceptualized the project, is the gifted orator who translates the Persian poetry to Urdu and further enriches the song. Whilst, Air Commodore Ali, a music aficionado, provided valuable feedback throughout the song composition process,” she revealed.

The song has been beautifully composed by Sarmad Ghafoor and speaking of the collaboration, Zeb said it was a terrific experience altogether.

“Together, we worked to amplify the profundity of the message in the song that unfolds the conversation between a baby fish and a far-sighted eagle, whilst maintaining the simplicity of dialogue. After much experimentation, the way Sarmad amalgamated different ideas and sounds around this magical melody was truly mind-blowing.”

Addressing Iqbal’s message, Zeb added that the poem is primarily targeted at the youth, as Iqbal’s poetry often is.

“It centres around the conversation between a far-sighted eagle and baby fish, where whilst the eagle soars to go beyond the deserts and the seas, the fish cannot see beyond the borders of its own little world,” she revealed.

“Through this parable, Iqbal urges the youth to step out of their comfort zone, and go out in different terrains, instead of limiting their beliefs and horizons. Only through true leadership and vision can they soar, and embrace the spirit of the far-sighted eagle,” Zeb explained.

The success of Shaheen o Mahi, according to the singer, can truly be attributed to the production being a highly collaborative process.

Directed by Hasan Naeem of Bling Studio Motion Pictures, the music video was shot at the magnificent Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.

You can watch the song here:


Muna Moini

The author is a Karachi based writer at Something Haute.