World Cup anthem: Two thumbs down

Ali Zafar's song for the world cup lacks passion and energy. It is a huge disappointment.

Dr Amyn Malyk February 16, 2011
With the cricket World Cup days away, a frenzy has set in and no one seems to be talking about anything else. Radio and TV channels have shows where analysts evaluate different teams and predict who is going to succeed. Another constant feature is Pakistan’s World Cup soundtrack Jazba by Ali Zafar.

Pakistan’s World Cup song is suitably titled Jazba considering the presence of young players on the team and has been written, composed and sung by none other than Ali Zafar, the prince of pop himself.

The title of the song draws comparison to the ever green song Jazba Junoon that still reverberates around the country whenever Pakistan is playing an important game. Whereas that song inspired listeners and created a hype (and still does), Ali Zafar’s song fails to have an impact. Given Zafar’s stature and reputation, it is nothing short of a disappointment.

The song has a weak composition and just isn't catchy; the lyrics are inspiring but don’t live up to expectationz. Jazba doesn’t even compare well when pitted against String’s Hai koi hum jaisa, which was an instant hit with the public. It is probably the most disappointing anthem released by a Pakistani in the last few World Cups.

Compared to this, the official ICC World Cup anthem, composed and sung by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, De Ghuma Ke (which incidentally is also India’s official World Cup anthem) has a very good beat and is catchier. It gets the heart pumping and blood racing in the veins.

The video of Jazba slightly redeems it. It is full of green and white, capturing the colours of the national flag well. It also captures the excitement, youthful spirit and energy which Team Green should be full of, considering eight of the 15 players in the squad have never played a World Cup match.

The centre of attention in the video is of course the captain Shahid Khan Afridi himself, and rightly so. Afridi captures the imagination of the Pakistani public like none other in the current team and his cheerfulness is infectious. Maybe a few younger players like Shehzad could have been a part of it to give a holistic look to the anthem. The video ends with the masses going to the stadium to witness Pakistan’s match with expectations, something that an anthem is supposed to do!

Overall, the Pakistani fans and especially Ali Zafar’s fans have been let down by this anthem. The cricket World Cup is an occasion for excitement in our region, and probably one of the few left for us to celebrate. Music is another source of entertainment and together these two create a lethal combination, which inspires the participants and audience and gets them into the cricket spirit.

February 17, 2011


Rise of Jazba is a motivational song sponsored by Mobilink. Dunya hai dil walon ki is the official cricket World Cup 2011 song.
Dr Amyn Malyk The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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