Don’t send us bombs, send us schools: Ali Gul Pir

Pir tells us about his new song and trip to the US.

Laila Dharamsey December 03, 2012


Comedian-singer Ali Gul Pir will release his new single “Taroo Maroo” on December 6. Six months ago, he defined the Sindhi word ‘saeen’ for us in his song “Wadere ka beta. Fans eagerly wait to see  what he’ll give meaning to this time.

Pir says his new song does not have that familiar hip-hop beat as he doesn’t agree that he must keep doing what works to be a hit. This time he wants to experiment with new ideas and tunes. “If something is good and if it comes from an honest source, it will work out no matter how unconventional it is,” says Pir.

Taroo Maroo” is wrapped in a sociological message, Pir is not revealing much else about the song now except that he will present it in a humourous way. “I am not a musician; I am a comedian,” says Pir. “I have a talented group of musicians with me; this video is an extension of my comedy,” he adds. “Even if I ever do a song for ‘Coke Studio,’ it will always have a funny element.”

Pir makes a living by performing his own songs and a mix of improvisational theatre and stand up. “My audiences are escapists — I want to make them forget their troubles,” he says. Pir believes he can alter generalisations about Pakistan using music and comedy.

“Azfar Ali, a producer at Geo who directed the show ‘Sab set hai’, encouraged me to do improvisational acts in Urdu. The scope for English is limited, even people who speak English watch Geo,” he says. Pir finished off two seasons of a comedy show  “Light on Hai” which he had been a part of since 2009.

“A man who works all day needs entertainment. Jub bum phat-ta hai toh woh marta hai, hum nahi martay. [When there is a bomb blast that working man dies, we don’t die],” says Pir.

Ali has recently come back from an artist exchange programme in the US, after being recommended for the programme by comedian Saad Haroon.

“We went to America, performed in four different states, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” he said.

Ali Gul Pir

During his visit to the US, Pir also represented Pakistan at community dinners and forums. “If people from Pakistan are invited by the State Department on a visit, it’s as a cultural ambassador,” he says. “I was surprised to see people travel on such programmes but still not represent Pakistan well.”

He shares his experience at Dartmouth College, where he spoke to students in an Islamic Politics class. “You need to change your perception; people like me exist also — a comedian from Pakistan, who uses comedy to make money.” In his speech, he also pleaded to the class by saying: “Don’t send us bombs send us schools.”

“The villains in films these days are brown. We have a couple of terrorists in our country, but that doesn’t mean, every Pakistani is a terrorist,” says Pir. “Let’s not say ‘death to America’, there are a lot of peaceful people out here.”

As far as Pir’s future plans are concerned, he is working on concepts for a biweekly internet show.  “It will be Pakistan’s first internet show ever, and I’m hoping to involve a brand,” says Pir. Pir has formed a company called Viral Gate and plans to form an internet channel.

He is thankful to his viewers and fans and says that he owes them. “I’m here for the people and because of them; I will continue to promote internet content.”

Pir always wanted to be known as the best comedian in Pakistan, and be someone the country is proud of. “These are my people, I’m one of them and they understand me,” he adds.

Pir jokes
We as Pakistanis are so used to feudalism, I once went to a wedding in my village and when the food was served one guest got up and picked up the whole salad plate and took it to his table. He thought, “If I control the salad, I control the people.” He never gave any salad to anyone. True story

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2012.            

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Mahnoor | 8 years ago | Reply

Ali gul pir sounds fun! It's always great to read about new talent in Pakistan. Hopefully, we should soon be recognised as more than just cultural ambassadors in international forums, and aid in erasing all other ugly labels we have attached with our identities. Good read :)

Sara Naqvi | 8 years ago | Reply

Good job Laila!!

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