I have a dream, the dream to listen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in collaboration with Coke Studio! I know it’s just wishful thinking but the thought of this impossible combo gave me goosebumps. My love affair with music was gradual, I still remember when my mother used to listen to Noor Jahan’s “Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat , Meray Mehboob Na Maang”. I was 10, unable to understand the lyrics but able to enjoy the tune and so the affair started.
It got even better in adolescence with all the hormonal spikes when I listened to the first episode of Coke Studio. The song was ‘Shaman Paiyan’ by Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, believe it or not, it was my first time listening to Rahat and I was head-over-heels. I used to wait for the episode to release and listen to every song over and over again. Some I loved, some not but it was my personal journey to explore which kind of music I liked.
Then things changed and the day came when that buzz, that excitement, was over. Can you guess WHEN I faced this dilemma? When the 8th season of Coke Studio was released. I drifted to Indian singers and began to appreciate their Coke Studio over ours. There is only one person to blame for my loss and that person is Rohail Hyatt. Some years passed when I eventually realized that I didn’t love Coke Studio, I loved the passion and dedication that went into adding that oomph factor in a song – and how it transformed into something magical for me.
Things got worse and I saw Coke Studio’s untarnished image destroyed by celebrities who need vocal training coupled with a heavy dose of commercialization. I cherished the classic Coke Studio songs and eventually lost hope that they can get better and I can ever enjoy them again. Once in a while someone would discuss a new song and I would listen to it, but the enthusiasm was lost and it was my loss! Though new seasons of Coke Studio gave us many hits but for me, the old charm was missing. Using the term ‘fusion’ to massacre old hits was a sin to me and the fusion of Ko Ko Korina still gives me nightmares. From being a ‘music temple’ for me, – near sacred in its appeal – it turned into a beauty pageant, or worse still, a daycare for spoilt, entitled celebrity children!
Let’s get our facts straight here, we are a nation who love their music! From childbirth to Urs, we depict our feelings in the form of music and it hurts when something this close to you is treated with disregard. I blame Rohail Hyatt for the destruction of our passion for music as it started after he left Coke Studio (ever heard of the term ‘for the greater good’?). The experiments, so-called fusion, and overcrowding the place with mismatched joris brought us where we are right now. Coke Studio 11 was a major flop and the process was gradual, people just stopped paying attention to it but actually, it was not being earned anymore.
Last week, I heard that Rohail Hyatt will be back on Coke Studio – so is there still hope?
I want my choti choti khushiyan, one of that khushi is to revive Coke Studio in all its former glory. Though the last heartbreak was traumatizing, I am hoping and wishing again that this time it will be a love story that stays with me forever. After all, “Dil Hai Keh Maanta Nahin!”