From Saeen to Taroo: Ali Gul Pir holds a mirror to society

Published: December 9, 2012
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The comedian’s new song takes a dig at men with staring problems. DESIGN:  SAMRA AAMIR

The comedian’s new song takes a dig at men with staring problems. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

KARACHI: 

Much like Dutch-Pakistani singer Imran Khan’s catchy Amplifier, singer-comedian Ali Gul Pir’s single Waderai Ka Beta became an internet sensation. The Saeen to Saeen fire raged in Pakistan and Pir found a permanent spot amongst Pakistan’s best comedians. Like wisps of smoke, hot trends tend to fade and are remembered simply as one hit wonders. Pir, it appears, is clever enough to realise this and made sure to stoke the flame one more time by giving us Taroo Maroo — another hilarious track based on a simple concept.

The new track is about a ‘taroo’—a man who shamelessly stares at everything in sight. Pir has gained inspiration from this unflattering desi habit that any woman in our country can give evidence of; the distressing tendency of men to ogle at their heart’s content, and pride themselves on indulging in the activity.

“If you go out anywhere you will see taroo maroos; it’s a phenomenon that’s not linked to the lower class or middle class of Pakistan. A guy could have a Mercedes and still be a taroo,” he laughed, in a telephone interview with The Express Tribune. “This concept is not specific to any one segment of society. It’s a developing country phenomenon.”

The low budget music video is based on the stories of a rickshaw driver, an affluent man who drives a Mercedes and a common man riding the bus. Pir shows how these men have made it their life’s mission to stare at everything from buildings to goats! He also manages to pull of the rickshaw driver image quite successfully — with the kohl-rimmed eyes and shameless gaze, he manages to deliver the unapologetic image of a typical Pakistani taroo. The ridiculously short shiny blue kurta screams “I’m a maila and I love it”, making a fashion statement of its own.

He transforms from rickshaw driver to rich guy with black pants and an expensive looking silk shirt. He comes across as sophisticated, high-born and even sexy. His dance moves are laugh-out-loud hilarious. They are so terribly clumsy, that one feels compelled to mimic them and laugh. It’s no Gangnam Style, but will surely be seen at mehendis this winter because of the sheer hilarity.

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Pir’s Vital Saeens team has not let him down. Jasir Abro, Hamad Khan and Abdul Aziz and Ali Habib make the tune worth a listen. But it’s the delivery of the words “taroo maroo” that makes the song catchy; nasal, maila and hard to get out of your head. The last shot of him sliding down a silver pole in a bus pole-dancer style is a funny final touch.

If there is one aspect of Taroo Maroo that was disappointing, it is the inclusion of the lyrics “bachi bhi taroon ga” and then the clip of a little girl. In a country where child abuse is so common, this joke could have easily been done away with. Pir tries to save it and perhaps make it acceptable with “bakri bhi taroon ga”, but some areas are just no go’s — even for comedians. Pir, however, says: “My first objective is to entertain. I’m making people see how silly this is.”

The success of Pir’s ideas lies in his ability to mock society’s shortcomings. With Taroo Maroo, he has done just that, and played the ‘taroo’ in the form of three different characters himself with great confidence.

When asked if the ban on YouTube worries him, he says, “I’m not worried. I even waited [for it to be unblocked] but you can’t keep on waiting. This is what I do for a living. I can’t stop working just because of the ban.” His new song is available on Dailymotion and Vimeo.

We wish him luck and hope the taroo maroo’s out there take heed and understand how ridiculous they are!

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2012.          

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Striver
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:56PM

    LOVE IT !

    Recommend

  • Dec 9, 2012 - 8:16PM

    Good review, the objection you raised even I thought those too when I saw the video.

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  • Sidrah
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:17PM

    If there is one aspect of Taroo Maroo
    that was disappointing, it is the
    inclusion of the lyrics “bachi bhi
    taroon ga” and then the clip of a
    little girl. In a country where child
    abuse is so common, this joke could
    have easily been done away with.

    I thought I was the only one who didnt like that part.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Correction: It’s Ali Haider Habib, not Ali Habib (more like addition, not correction)

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  • Midhat
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:41PM

    Hilarious Song and Video, However just gets uncomfortable at the part where he says baby and shows a young kid. wish he could edit that! Otherwise Funny as always!

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  • Mariam Batool
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:53PM

    It was funny. okay. Not productive though!! Next time when a taroo stares he’ll be proud of his act. which in real is sick!!

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  • Salman
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:03PM

    @Sidrah: He might actually have tried to portray the same mayhem of our society. If article mentions that “Ali Gul Pir holds a mirror to society” then society needs to open its eyes instead of repudiating it and try to recover from such transgression.

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  • Safdar
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:57AM

    I didn’t find anything wrong with the “bachi bhi taroon ga” part. The taroo maroo is a maniac in his own way. In fact, it got funnier when a little girl appeared. Nothing to do with child abuse.
    Ali Gul Pir has brought a light mood song while portraying this social problem. Simple music, interesting lyrics and good characters – “meri behn hai yaar!!!!!”, HAH!!

    Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:49AM

    I’m sorry but I don’t feel it. Nada. Not having this random gibberish in the name of factual satire or even comedy. It may do well do now but come back to me after a year and we’ll talk about it.

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  • Dec 10, 2012 - 6:04AM

    Mr. Ali Gul Pir is seriously a comedian and should stick to Comedy not Music.

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  • Silas
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:52AM

    @Sidrah:
    He is just trying to portray the problems of the society. Some men don’t even spare little girls. that is what he was trying to say.

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  • Junaid Jani
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Love the track !

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  • Faiz
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:49AM

    His part of showing the little girl was all right because I know rotten twerps capable of going to those lows too and when they are told to at least leave the child from their stares they exclaim ‘kabhi tou bari hogi’. I am sorry but anyone who feels this should not have been included is wrong and ignorant of the real world that we live in.

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  • Jameel
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:29PM

    I really really like the dance. I have almost mastered it

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  • Jian
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:44PM

    In a country where child
    abuse is so common, this joke could
    have easily been done away with.

    In that case, in a country where sexual harassment and rape is so common, perhaps, the entire song could have been done away with.

    Recommend

  • shuja ul islam
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:38AM

    its a great song..the guy is doing sumthning worthwhile..let him..he is just telling it like it is..!!!

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  • Omer
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:05AM

    Interestingly no one has any problem with the word MAROO .

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