Asim Azhar is the latest Twitter casualty. Twitterati was very unapologetic about his PSL Anthem, but now he seems to be the one apologizing for not ‘meeting fan expectations’.
In a heartfelt post, Asim taught us a few things that we as a qaum might be aware of, (somewhere in our subconscious), but obviously need to be reminded of, again, and again, and yet again.
Here are the words that touched us in his post, and that made us say, yet again, that we, as a nation need to know how to criticize, and when to let go!
1. I’m sorry to the ones disappointed. Trust me, being cricket a fan, I get it.
Asim did not throw a tantrum, nor was he outraged at the obvious hate spewing forth as followers commented bila jhijak on why they hated the anthem so much! He acknowledged that his fans were displeased and apologized for not meeting expectations.
A heartfelt apology: How can we not feel a tiny bit of guilt for being so jazbaati about putting him down for an effort that was sincere, even if not perfect!
2. PSL anthems are not a competition.
You got that one right Asim! PSL Songs might hit the right note or might not gel with the fans – but you know what? Although we have every right to criticize the song, maybe we expected better, but to pitch one song against another is really quite distasteful. No one’s getting a trophy for the best anthem! It’s all about getting caught up in the spirit and celebrating the fact that this is the first PSL that will be played entirely in Pakistan!
So you know what guys, Khel tau jamay ga – chahe Asim Azhar sings or Ali Zafar. get with it and support your team!
3. All the anthems of PSL are OUR anthems. If you don’t like a certain one …you have others to enjoy from as well.
Dil Dil Pakistan, Jazba Junoon, Jeevay Jeevay – Did we ever pitch one song against the other? NO! You listen to what you want on 14th. August and at the cricket matches. No one song can capture the spirit of the nation entirely, because you know what, they all do! Khel Deewano ka renders a hip-hop kinda pop feel to it, Tayyar Hain has an organically Pakistani street feel (esp. with the instrumentals and the purely Pakistani beats in chorus), Ab khel jamay ga has a peppy, lift-me-up beat.
Lesson to learn? When the playing field is large enough, jagha dil mein honi chahiye fans! Pakistani hearts should be large enough to embrace ALL PSL Anthems. Shehnaz begum’s Jeevay Jeevay is no less of a song just because the youth listen to Dil Dil Pakistan currently – They’re both Pakistan and we love them both!
4. And also guys, please try to refrain & stick to criticism only. Making personal remarks, degrading comments … isn’t cool.
Asim taught us a much needed lesson on humility. He used the word ‘Please”. he didn’t have to, but he did. He didn’t lash out, he didn’t wait for his fans to support him and initiate a war of words on his page, (unlike some celebs), he plainly asked people to judge on the performance and not on the personal.
Yes, we all know that right? Except, if we glance through a Twitter feed and read some of the comments, you’d wonder if the trending language and sentiments really come from so called educated gharaanas. We are raising the literacy rate of a country but are we slipping into uncouth online behaviour? A nation’s manners will soon be judged by it’s Twitter followers, and let me tell you, ours need to be picked up from the gutters – not mincing words here – but that’s the truth. Don’t believe me? Go take a look for yourselves.
In fact, Asim has been very mild, and generous in his words. He has not stooped to the level of the comments that appeared on many PSL Anthem threads. Kudos to him – a lot we have to learn, if only, we took out some time to reflect!
5. Not talking about the memes, memes are fun!
Yes, he has a sense of humour. He’s okay about being laughed at. And this is perhaps the most large-hearted comment of all. Go ahead, make fun of me, it’s all good, (within a certain parameter, of course).
Asim is separating the uncontrolled online hate- mongering from the purely shugal memes that make us all laugh out loud, and hit the share button.
We assume his striped pants made it to the memes because – they were so meme worthy, and we suspect that’s what he was talking about!
To recap, we have many lessons to learn from the PSL Anthem fiasco. Firstly, we, the fans do have high expectations from our musicians and our cricketers. And all said and done, they are accountable to us – their fan base.
Perhaps PCB needs to consider releasing the song to a sample audience, testing the waters and viewer sentiments. After all, it is us, the jazbaati fans who will be humming this out loud when our teams score big! And we want something hummable right? Plus, the budget, effort and time that goes into producing something on such a large scale needs to be justified – the audience MUST like it! So get your act together people. The criticism might have been a bit too harsh, but certainly not incorrect!
In opting for humility over arrogance. In choosing apology over lashing out in anger – Asim has sent a very poignant message to his haters. If you want to be heard – be sincere. be honest and be humble – invaluable lessons indeed, that is, if we choose to learn them.
Lastly, Twitter – what can I say to you that hasn’t been said already? Can you find it in your heart to criticize with maturity, and pick your battles? If you want to wage a war, if you want a hashtag to trend overnight, let it be for the children of Kasur, for the Kashmiri youth, for the abandoned newborns found in trash cans or outside Edhi Centre. Let it be for the rape victims who don’t have a voice, and children on the street who fall prey to drug mafias. Let’s talk about real issues.
PSL V, Hum Tayyar Hain! But Dil Dil Pakistan is still trending no. 1 on our list of milli naghmay and you know what – it’s okay!
Shazia likes to pen her thoughts when she feels passionately about a life experience, a person or an event. She is mother to 3 lively boys and along with her husband, attempts to settle in her new country by taking German lessons so she is able to soak in the culture, language and spirit of the region.
“Wake up in the morning, take a deep breath and exhale! Keep on living with a passion that inspires others! “