This follows the 2006 release of “Beirut”, a song inspired by the war in Lebanon, and “Ab Khud Kuch Karna Paray Ga” in 2010. The latter was done in collaboration with Atif Aslam, and strove to give the youth a wake-up call.
“Main To Dekhoon Ga” is a dream: Jab roti sasti ho gi, aur mehngi ho gi jaan (when bread will be cheap, and life will be precious). And it comes at an apt time too. In the wake of the lost semi-final, petrol price hikes and target killings, every Pakistani needs to dream a little, and that is precisely what this number does.
Bilal Maqsood, who penned the lyrics, has out- done himself. Inflation, corrupt leadership, dismembered unity of the nation and feudalism — he has astutely outlined every disease that plagues the country. “I had started writing the song casually; I was writing it for my kids, because they have not seen the Pakistan I saw in my childhood. It turned into something bigger though.”
“We are talking to the children of the nation. They cannot see any hope of betterment,” said Maqsood. The song urges and empowers the youth, whispering to them about utopian visions, of a time when they will have their rightful place as rulers of the nation, steering it to a better future; a time when politicians will lay down their arms of self righteousness, and re-learn their duty to the nation.
Maqsood has also composed the nostalgic melody of this song, which would strum the heart strings of any patriot. The video, directed by Jami, features the duo in an almost pied piper like fashion, albeit equipped with a harmonium. Dressed as teachers hailing from a rural school, the two wait atop a lone hill top; with a blank chalk board waits. One by one, young children appear, lured in by the lesson of hope that they preach in the song. From hilltops, to lakes and the lush country side, Faisal Kapadia sings his heart out to young smiling faces as they respond to the visionary message.
“This song is for all those people who have lost hope in Pakistan — losing hope is the worst thing you can do. We have to wait for the silver lining to appear, even though we cannot see it,” says Maqsood. “We have to believe in ourselves.”
As the children sketch their own visions of a better future, Kapadia croons “Jo duur gayay thay bhulay say, lautain gay watan ko aik shaam.”
“This song is a message to all those who are tired of the situation and want to leave, to run away,” says Maqsood. “But running away is not the solution. We have to look for our answers here.”
When asked whether this song is a conscious effort to promote socio-political awareness, the band says they are unsure.
“People ask whether we will return to our ‘normal’ songs anytime soon. All we can say is, for now we don’t feel like doing anything else. For now, this is normal. This is all we can think of”.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2011.